Find out which surprising “extras” top travel experts toss in their bags when they prepare to hit the surf and sand.
Your flights are booked, hotels are reserved and a spot in the sand is being daydreamed about. Your beach vacation is almost here. All that’s left to do? Pack. You’d have to be severely jetlagged to forget your Pack-It with your bikinis or board shorts, but other items might not be as obvious. Check out what the experts never forget to include on their beach vacation packing lists.
1. Snorkel, Mask and Fins
Where there’s sand on the shore, there are often coral reefs lurking in the water just beyond it. Renting snorkel gear—a mask, fins and a snorkel—at a beach destination can cost more than $10 per day, while a decent set can be purchased for around $30 at a sporting goods store back home. Plus, packing your own set guarantees you won’t have to deal with a leaky old mask or cracked fins.
2. Lotions and Sun Protection
Beach environments can be harsh on the body, and requires a fair number of grooming products to combat the elements. Don’t leave home without sunscreen, Aloe vera for the inevitable sunburn, SPF lip balm, and leave in-conditioner for travelers with longer hair– plus a leak resistant toiletry bag to store them all in. Remember, apply sunscreen 45 minutes before you’re in the sun and reapply every hour or so after swimming or sweating.
3. Waterproof Housings for Electronics
While the idea of unplugging for a beach getaway can be blissful, it’s just as tempting to document every moment of indulgence. Canon makes underwater housings for many of their point-and-shoot cameras, which are handy not just for the beach but also for scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and other water sports. Otterbox makes a waterproof, sandproof and shockproof iPhone case that will keep you sending out envy-inducing Instagram posts for your whole trip.
4. Sarong or Travel Towel
Beach towels can be bulky, and beach chairs can be cumbersome and heavy. The easy, take-anywhere solution? A light and breezy sarong or travel towel. Spread it over the sand, throw it over grass, or use to dry off after an impromptu swim. Folded up, one will fit easily into even the tiniest beach bag.
5. Good Reads
Kindles and other eReaders may be the way of the future, but nothing says “beach getaway” like a waterlogged old paperback. Stock up on a few guilty pleasure reads before you leave home, and swap them or leave them along the way. Some beachy classics include Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe, and The Beach.
What do you pack when you set off for the sand? Did we forget any of your essentials? Fill us in via the comments below!
Alexandra Baackes is a traveling writer, designer, and underwater videographer. She is currently in her second year of living as a full-time nomad.
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