Beach holiday packing list

Are you on the countdown to a beach getaway?

While the Okanagan shivers under cold, cloudy skies, many take the opportunity at the time of year to spend a week or more in the south’s sunshine.

Whether you’re booked for an all-inclusive Caribbean resort or an extensive trek through Southeast Asia, it is possible to travel with one carry-on suitcase and a tote.

Just don’t forget to pack these essentials for any sun destination:

Flip flops — poolside, on the beach, or wandering streets, you’ll be wearing these a lot. Crocs, Vionic, and Fit Flops make flip flops that are sturdier, more comfortable, and dressy than your basic thongs.

Beach tote -— a lightweight tote made of raffia or canvas can be used as your purse on the plane, then carted with you to the beach or shopping. Longchamp’s Le Pliage totes are popular with travellers because they are waterproof, lightweight, and fold up into a small packable rectangle.

Sarong — a silk, modal or cotton rectangle takes up no space in your luggage and can be used in infinite ways - as a dress, skirt, shoulder wrap, scarf, and beach blanket. Find one that at least measures 100 cm X 200 cm to maximize usability. My favourites are from Weston Earth Images (westonearthimages.com)

Kimono — another multipurpose, easy-to-pack staple. Wear it during the day as a beach cover-up, and belt it in the evening for a dressy top.

Mix and match swimsuits -— I’m a big fan of solid colour mix-and-match bikini separates; you don’t feel like you are wearing the same thing every day. Also, if you opt for bra-style bikini tops in neutrals like black and white/cream, they can be worn as a bra under tanks and sundresses. Great styles are available at Aerie, La Vie En Rose Aqua and Bikini Village in Orchard Park mall.

Packable beach hat or visor — if you like to read on the beach, sunglasses alone never completely block the overhead rays. Plus you end up with a racoon tan. Pack along a crushable wide-brim hat - Columbia and Tilly Endurables make good ones.

Secure small bag — sadly, some tourist areas are known for theft, so for evenings out or excursions where you aren’t carrying a lot of stuff, use a crossbody with a secure zip or snap closure. Mini backpacks are another good option and very on-trend.

Solid sunscreen -— avoid those pesky liquid size restrictions by bringing a solid stick sunscreen.

Solid shampoo — ditto with shampoo. Lush Cosmetics makes wonderful smelling solid shampoo cakes that are perfectly packable and last forever. They also make solid conditioner bars, but I prefer the following...

Leave-in conditioner — save time in the shower by using a conditioner you don’t have to rinse out. I use a generous spray of leave-in condition after shampooing, braid my hair and let it dry in the sunshine for soft beach waves.

Argan oil — a tiny travel-size vial of this natural oil goes a long way. I use it to add shine and defrizz my locks, as a cuticle conditioner, face cream and super skin conditioner on the go.

All-in-one beauty — instead of carrying a bunch of makeup, pack products that do double duty. Bite Beauty’s multistick can be used on lips, cheeks and eyes for a flattering monochromatic look, and bronzing powders also work as a tan-complementary eyeshadow.

Bon voyage!


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About the Author

Marla is best known for her 19-year career in the local charitable sector as a fund development and marketing manager with the Okanagan Regional Library, United Way, UBC Okanagan, and Kelowna Community Resources. 

In 2014, Marla and her husband decided to take a break from the work world, and, four years, later they are still enjoying Okanagan summers, winters in Mexico, and extensive travel. 

Marla has had a life-long passion for fashion, designing her own graduation dress and formal gown for the 1990 Miss Interior competition before age 20.

In 2014, she was named one of nine Style Ambassadors for a year-long marketing campaign at Orchard Park Mall. Her motto is “Life is short...you might as well go through it looking good."

If you have a style question or topic you’d like Marla to cover in this column, contact her at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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