In just a few hours, I will head to Aruba for the sun, the sand, and the sea, along with some much needed relaxation. After months of teaching and grading papers, there is nothing I’m looking forward to as much as lounging on the beach with a drink in my hand.
What I love most about beach vacations is just how easy they are to pack for. Although, often they are too easy, which means I wait until the very last minute. Regardless, here are a few essentials that I always bring along.
This is a clear essential for any woman traveling to a tropical destination. Sundresses make great cover-ups, can be worn out while shopping in town, and can be dressed up for dinner or drinks. Find a few simple dresses, long and short, that can be worn several times during the trip. It will make packing a whole lot easier.
Whether it’s a fedora or wide-brimmed, I need a hat while I am on the beach. My Irish skin freckles and burns very easily, and a hat is the most fashionable way to take care of this little problem. Plus, the styles that are out now are too cute not to wear out on the beach.
Also necessary for my light skin, sunscreen is a necessity. But, this depends on the island I will be visiting and who I am traveling with. Since I never use any luggage larger than a carry on, my liquids are limited as it is, which is why, normally, I bring along a face stick and purchase sunscreen at my destination. However, if I happen to be traveling with someone who checks his or her luggage, then I am able to stick a few bottles of my SPF 50 in their suitcase. This is especially useful if I know that the sunscreen on the island will cost a pretty penny.
Books and Magazines
I can’t think of anything more relaxing than reading a book to the soundtrack of waves crashing on the shore. And, after months of reading young adult lit, I am finally able to give myself the time to read something I’ll enjoy. This trip, I’m bringing: The Best Travel Writing 2011 and Whatever You Do, Don’t Run, two books that I have had on my reading list for a few months. Also coming with me are the latest copies of Afar and InTouch Weekly, because sometimes it’s nice to just not have to think.
Taking pictures of where I visit is so important to me, so I always remember to bring my camera along. Though this is probably less important on a vacation where relaxation is the key, I still tend to get a little snap happy while visiting a new, beautiful country. Beaches are usually the perfect backdrop for any pictures, and personally, I can’t think of anything I’d rather photograph.
Aside from these small items, nothing else is really necessary. Just add flip flops, sunglasses, and money, and you are all set for your tropical destination. Plus, that tropical drink that’s waiting for you when you arrive.