Beach travel is definitely a big part of our world travel. Ironic for someone as photosensitive as I am, but the sound of the water and the feeling of sand between my toes means I just prepare myself a bit more for the excursion. Now, these 5 basics presume I have a great lounger and umbrella set-up already, because it’s imperative for my beach time fun that I have access to shade and also a comfortable place to rest. And remember, beaches can be warm and cold. These are generally more warm-centric recommendations. That being said, every recommendation here is either valid for the cold or has a cold-centric counterpart.
Seriously, don’t we all need floppy hats at the beach? I absolutely love a floppy hat moment and feel like I probably always will. Especially since having lupus means that trying to avoid UV rays as much as I can is a priority. At this point, I own too many floppy hats to even display in any appropriate way. I will recommend, though, that you try to prioritize a hat that will travel well. I tend to lean into a good floppy hat that still has a bit of structure, especially in the actual hat portion. If I am bringing a larger checked luggage, I pack my floppy hat in with my clothing and make sure to fill the hat portion to help keep its structure and form.
For the cold: 100% recommend a hat with built in ear coverage. Cold weather beaches are generally fairly windy and cold ears will really be your demise.
I generally prioritize shoes that are multifunctional. Often, we’re hiking in nature or exploring the city before or after the beach. For that reason, a water-safe, quick drying sandal is my go to. I love Teva and Keen for travel sandals. And you know I love my platform Crocs. They all allow me to still present myself fashion forward, while still being functional.
For the cold: Comfortable and waterproof is the way to go. Most cold weather beaches are fairly damp. Wet feet are pretty miserable when you’re freezing.
Sunnies are a must. I own far too many pairs of prescription sunglasses because I absolutely love the aesthetic quality, but also… I have really light sensitive eyes. Sunglasses can offer protection against eye damage from UV radiation. Excessive exposure to UV rays can damage your vision, and also increase your odds of developing diseases like cataracts. They’ll also offer protection against blowing sand. Double win in my book. Bottom line? Don’t forget your sunglasses!
For the cold: I still recommend sunglasses in the winter. Bright white water or snow, even, can still be damaging to your eyes. Those bright reflections are still a problem. Additionally, they can be protective if wind is a concern.
OK, this one should be a no brainer. For me, at least, since I’m a photographer. But, really, we all always have a camera at the ready. Cellphone cameras have come such a long way. Whether you have your mirrorless, DSLR, GoPro, cellphone. Whatever it may be. Live in the moment, but also don’t be afraid to document some of it, too. Memories are amazing, but they can also fade. Photos are such a wonderful way to reminisce and relive our beloved moments.
For the cold: I always recommend a camera. If it is going to be rainy, think about bringing protective gear for your gear, though. Most DSLRs and mirrorless cameras have some water-resistance. Cellphones, too. And we know the GoPro will be fine. Prepare based on the equipment you bring.
I always recommend bringing a small daypack, if possible. Something that can fit your sunnies, phone, any IDs you need to bring, plus your cash. I’m all about form and function, so make sure that super cute daypack will also be a help and not a hindrance. For instance, I prefer a bag that can wrap around my waist or work as a crossbody bag, so my hands are free or I don’t have to worry about having something hanging on my shoulder. All things to think about while traveling.
I’m sure we all have our top 5 basics list, but I really do think this covers my main needs. What would you add or remove from this list?