Year-round stress is no good for anyone, which is why one of the most important questions that we need to ask ourselves is where we should go for our next vacation. To begin with, there is of course the debate between the mountains and the beach. However, with the amount of time many people have spent isolated, or working from home in dark or poorly lit rooms, the most popular choice by and large will be a beach or tropical paradise. Whether you are a vacation veteran or a complete novice, here is a helpful checklist for crucial items to pack on your trip to lands filled with sun and sand.
Your Travel Documents
You can hardly start your vacation getaway if you can’t even get there. Remember that if you are going abroad, you will need a host of documents. To begin with, you will need a passport or Real ID for your flights. If flying, tickets for the plane are a must, and if driving, don’t forget money for toll routes. Next off, you will want to frequently check for updates about your destinations and focus on COVID-related restrictions. Be aware of what countries are currently accepting US visitors and what, if any, restrictions and precautions they require.
If you’re going to be spending most of your days tanning, swimming, surfing, or otherwise frolicking on the beach, it is best to come with sunscreen – and lots of it! Sage advice would recommend bringing at least one bottle to start with, and to simply buy more as necessary. Make sure not to forget those easy-to-overlook areas like ears, face, lips, and the tops of your feet. If you plan to do extensive swimming, paddling, or other water-related activities, it would be wise to pack a water-resistant sunscreen, as well.
UV Sunglasses and Other Protectors
A sunburn is a quick way to turn your tropical vacation into an absolute nightmare, so make sure to pack clothes that can protect you from the sun, as well. Staples have usually been sunglasses, hats, cover-ups, and sundresses, but there are even clothes now that are resistant to UV! A dedicated shirt that resists UV can make sure that you can enjoy the sunshine without burning. If you are concerned about how all this extra clothing may affect packing and whether you can fit it all, consider taking a minimalist approach when packing for traveling so everything can fit in the bags that you take with you.
This is especially important advice after a few years of COVID making traveling and vacations difficult. It would be absolutely devastating if your son was too big for his swim trunks, or that your well-worn bikini has a wardrobe malfunction on the first full day of the trip. This is why an extra swimsuit is a good call. Buying it ahead of time makes sure that you not only have reliable attire for the trip, but that you’ll avoid the price gouging that can occur around swim items in tropical locations. So before you go, make sure to drag the husband out for new trunks, get a cute little girl bikini for your daughter, and make sure that they’re all packed away with the old sets!
Flipflops or Sandals
In the rush to pack all the essentials – such as clothing, sunblock, swimsuits, and a good book for the pool – you might just arrive at your destination and realize you don’t have anything to wear on your feet except for your sneakers. This might make for a sandy, gritty, unpleasant vacation, so be sure to pack away your sandals or flip-flops! Sandals are generally preferred, as they can make a good companion for on and off again walking. If you plan on spending most of your time in or by the water, perhaps consider a pair of water shoes, too. This is especially helpful if the beach you are visiting has high amounts of seashells or other detritus that might be painful or uncomfortable to walk on all day.
Overall, though, the best way to pack for your vacation is to give yourself ample time beforehand. Make sure to begin packing a few nights in advance, a little at a time. If you pack this way, there won’t be any last-minute panic as you prepare for leaving, and all you’ll have to worry about when you arrive at your destination is if you have enough time to fit all the fun stuff in!