My sister invited me on a girls' trip to Panama City Beach this year. Do you know how rare it is for a single mom to go on a vacation that does not involve packing everything her child owns? I started to think about what I'd need for a solo trip. Which led me to putting together this beach survival packing blog.
It seems silly to remind you to pack clothes. Obviously, you are going to do this. What I wanted to point out is that you will probably want some casual outfits but also something nice if you plan to go out to dinner. A girls' trip should include getting dressed up at least once. We also plan to do some content photos for our hair care business, so I am bringing a few extra outfits with that in mind. Additionally, let's not forget the swimwear! I recommend at least two bathing suits so that you always have one dry one to put on. Or perhaps you have one beach suit and one pool suit so that they don't both end up with sand and/or chlorine.
As a Monat girl, I am just learning about the importance of skin care. However, I have ALWAYS known about the importance of sunscreen! I have nearly see-through skin and have a severe sensitivity to the sun due to an autoimmune disorder (yes, I realize the irony in going on a beach vacation). I am bringing Sun Veil by Monat for my daily face SPF. I am ALSO bringing spray on sunscreen with at least 50 SPF and I will be applying it VERY regularly.
In addition to sunscreen, we have our daily skin care items (all of which I would be more than happy to help you get set up with through Monat): cleanser, moisturizer (daytime and nighttime), 30-second Eye Miracle, a vegan retinol, skin essence, eye smoothing cream (for those fine lines, wrinkles, dark circles, and puffiness), and C Radiance (a vitamin C serum for your face to give it that youthful glow). I also have our crown jewel, the unicorn oil, Rejuvanique, which has over 100 different uses, including helping to soothe your skin after being in the sun. Additionally, I packed some lip serum (don't forget to add SPF to your lips!) and Lavaderm from Young Living as an added after-sun protector.
All of these products, along with our hair care items, will be carried along in a makeup case that we converted to a holder for the things we actually use (note: I do not wear makeup on a regular basis). Although I am not getting fully into the hair care products we are bringing, I did want to note that I will definitely have The Champ by Monat, which is the BEST dry shampoo I have EVER used (and trust me, I have tried them all). We will also have texturizing spray to give our hair that beachy look all day long.
Knowing that this is a beach vacation, I am bringing items that I know will be important for this activity. Although I wear glasses (yes, they are trifocals...yes, I am getting older), I am bringing along a cheap(ish) pair of sunglasses because I worry about losing prescription sunglasses or getting them scratched up by the sand. I also have a sun hat (mine is more like a visor that rolls up for easy travel) because, as I said, I am sensitive to the sun. Along those same lines, my beach cover up is actually a kimono with long sleeves to protect my arms when I am not in the water. It's light enough that it won't make me hot in the sun but gives an added layer of protection beyond just my sunscreen.
I like to have a book or two to read while I am at the beach. I will probably also pick up a couple magazines. I always go for cheaper books in case they get lost or damaged. Plus, who doesn't love a cheesy romance when they are lounging poolside or gulf side?
Don't forget to bring a towel...or two. I like the over-sized beach towels because I want it to wrap around me comfortably. These are also nice if you plan to lay out on your towel so that half of your body isn't in the sand. Alternatively, you could bring a beach blanket to sit on (if you aren't renting/bringing beach chairs). This is also a good spot to store your beach bag and other items so that they don't get too sandy. Speaking of beach bags, don't forget to pack one! They have mesh bags for easy sand and water removal. They also have some with built-in cooler compartments if you aren't bringing a cooler with you on vacation. This is useful to store bottles of water or cream-based sunscreen (no one likes a runny sunscreen).
Bring the Fun
I could literally go on all day about things to bring or do while on a trip. But I will leave you with this last piece of advice: bring the fun! Not only am I referring to bringing some games to play in your hotel (we picked out a couple card games that look like fun!), but I also mean to allow yourself to have fun. Being away from the kids (if you're a mom, like me) can be stressful because you're worried about how the kids are. Trust that they are safe (obviously, call and check in on them). But give yourself permission to enjoy your trip. You deserve it!
I put together a checklist (pdf download available here) to help get organized for your beach vacation. It is not a comprehensive list, but it does include some of the basics that you would definitely hate to forget!