We’re making a packing list and checking it twice.
You’ve done it! You’ve pulled the trigger on those Aruba/Jamaica/Costa Rica plane tickets and for two sweet weeks this winter you’re going to be trading thermal underwear and balaclavas for coconut sunscreen, flip-flops and squeezed-from-a-real-pineapple piña coladas. The only thing left to do is craft a tactful out of office reply that accurately relays the situation—”I’VE ESCAPED WINTER’S DARK DAYS, HARROWING BLIZZARDS AND FRIGID MISERY” (without going overboard), and, to pack! For the latter, here’s our list of “beaches, here we come!” must-haves and essentials.
Here Comes the Sun Hat
Safety first! Covering up is paramount when avoiding sunstroke and sun burns, and unlike sunscreen, a hat is something you won’t have to worry about constantly reapplying. And the bigger, the better for beach sojourns, but if you need something that’s going to function from breakfast on the terrace to walks on the beach to shopping downtown, a small-to-medium sized brim is a chic option. Above we’ve got a his and hers: Madewell’s Raw Edge fedora, $42, and a $10 H&M straw hat for him.
Game-Changing Water Bottle
Hydration is key, and if you pack your own water bottle, you won’t have to feel guilty buying plastic water bottles every day. There are a ton of options out there, the soft plastic refillables that function more like pouches so you can roll them up when they’re not in use, or there’s this amazing BPA-free Aquabot Sport water bottle, $28, from Lunatec. It is genius because it has a pressurized mister so you can mist yourself with cool water on those jungle hikes (!), plus it also doubles as a camp shower.
Two Go-To Bathing Suits
When it comes to bathing suits and swim shorts, you’ll want to bring at least two so you can always have a dry suit at the ready (stepping into a damp swimsuit in the morning = pure torture). Go one step further and pick something versatile, like this classic Magicsuit Solid Bailey, $164. Monochrome pairs well with all manner of wraps and flowy skirts, plus these flattering bold white lines add a hint of sophistication to any sunbathing sesh. For men, we like these Miami-flavoured Patagonia Baggies 5-inch swim trunks in aqua, because you can throw a shirt or button-up over top and look dressed up enough to grab lunch in a restaurant or hit the shops.
Face-Specific Sunscreen That Feels and Looks Great
Some sunscreens almost feel like they burn on the skin, others don’t absorb fully, are too greasy, smell weird, or are sticky to the touch—for one that’s juuuust right, Goldilocks, give Skinceuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50, $39, a try. It’s a lightweight, non-greasy fluid that’s slightly tinted and virtually disappears upon application (so great as-is or under makeup). A mainstay in our toiletry bags!
The Ultimate Weekender Bag
We’re huge proponents of the rolling-clothes-into-packing-cubes system, but sometimes you want to bring a special blazer, shirt or dress and not have it emerge from your suitcase as angry and wrinkly as a newborn baby. The answer? Hook and Albert’s line of garment weekender bags, for men and women. Fully unzipped, this Men’s Olive Twill Garment bag, $525.57, will fit two suits, dress shoes and still have room for everyday essentials.
The ocean deep has claimed countless pairs of new shades, your new tortoise-shell Ray-Bans, your colour-tinted metal aviators—it doesn’t discriminate. But these Unisex Zebra Wood Wayfarer Polarized sunglasses, $49.99, are made from wood, and wood floats! Sustainably sourced wood at that, and they offer 100% UVA and UVB protection.
After-sun products are extra weight in the suitcase right up until dinner time on Hot Vacation Day 1 when you notice red burn marks on the tops of your shoulders, nose, ears, decolletage and feet. If you’re going carry-on, buy a big bottle of Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Soothe lotion, $5.68, and pump out what you need for a 50-ml refillable travel bottle ahead of time. Checking? Opt for a bottle of the ultra-cooling and hydrating Korres After-Sun Greek Yoghurt Cooling Gel, $26, (made with real Greek yoghurt).
Boat, Brunch and Everywhere-in-Between Shoes
Footwear can take up precious suitcase real estate like no other, this is why versatile shoes are a must. This Converse-esque Jefferson shoe from Native, $65, is a perfect utility slip-on that’s also easy on the eyes. The shoes are made from molded EVA and rubber (so they can get wet) and are shock absorbant, odor resistant and hand-washable. Available in adult and super-cute kid sizes (attention families who love to MATCH), and in loads of colours.
Never neglect the lips! Keep pouts sun-safe and moisture-rich with EOS Active Lip Balm (SPF 30!). It comes in a few different subtle flavours, priced at $3.29 each, but pink grapefruit smells nice and fresh without being too overpowering.
The Instantly Camera-Ready Cover Up
At the pool and getting too much sun? This cover up. At the beach and Leonardo DiCaprio walks by and asks if you want to join him on his yacht for a celebrity party and Kate, Brad and Clooney will be there too? This cover up. It’s instant head-to-toe fabulousness that still looks amazing after a full day of it sitting balled up in your beach bag. All clothes should aspire to be so accomplished: the Ganni cotton cover up dress in polka dot, $190.