June 15, 2014

summer travels light: bare essentials for beach holidays

four small bags? or one large bag? how to travel best, how to travel light. In our humble opinion, traveling light is traveling best. Unless you are traveling up the Amazon on a raft (snacks for the piranhas) or through the Gobi desert on a camel, all the things you think you may need: you don't. Because you can get everything where you're going. Not that this is a call to spend. Not at all but often buying small things like a toothbrush or toothpaste, soap, shower gel is more of an unusual souvenir than hats and t-shirts.  Because you can't get Chinese or Indian toothpaste at home. But you can get an I heart wherever pretty much anywhere (hello internet. you have destroyed the specialness of souvenir t-shirts). 

So, here is a itemized break down of summer light travel based on a make-up free face, days on the beach, strolls through cobblestone streets in the evenings with a gelato, the occasional museum, maybe walking up a mountain (not a really tall one though) and happy to party in flip flops and a shift dress from H&M.

- get your eyelashes and brows tinted a day or two before you leave
- shave or wax (consult experts on how long in advance to get a wax. I have no idea. I shave)
- manicure/pedicure (I do my own so no need besides I don't want chipped polish to deal with during my holidays)


beauty bag: 
utensils for clean teeth (brush, paste, floss)
sun creme for the face (SPF 50)
BB creme or a light tinted moisturizer (my favs Vichy or Lierac)
eyebrow pencil
an all-arounder moisturizer (doesn't have to be 'after sun' and depending on the humidity factor of your resort, moisturizer can be light)
Rose creme (essential: works for razor burn, bites, sunburn, anything really. It's amazing)
new razor
body lotion (after sun with a nice scent - leave the parfum at home. Too strong for the heat)
Sunscreen for the body
Cleansing milk
Cotton pads
hair bands
bobby pins
hair clips
hair oil

I've intentionally left shampoo and conditioner off the list as these things are usually available at the hotel. Deodorant has also been left off the list. It's bad for you (spraying a chemical factory on your skin to plug the pores so you don't sweat? Hello?) so take a break. If you must, get yourself a light eau de toilet or those lovely scented alcohol-free sun sprays from Biotherm or Clarins. For evenings. But during the day, you're on the beach, in the water. Who needs it? The smell of salt on your skin is way sexier.

Foundation factor:  It will melt off your face so leave it at home. If you're a 'i don't do naked face" take a break for the two weeks you're on holidays. Discover the beauty of a natural face. Give your skin and your routine a holiday as well.

Footwear: flip flops, sneakers, ballerinas, running shoes

Clothes: one bikini, one pair of denim shorts, training shorts, sports bra, some t-shirts, one summer day dress, one summer evening dress (basically the same but most likely in black), a sweater (for the plane), a light cotton scarf (can be used as a parreo for the beach or to cover the shoulders if necessary), leggings or soft sweat pants for travel and/or evening chill. Voilà.

Since evenings are usually spent strolling through the streets of the resort, you will most likely find something you want to buy (another bikini, swimsuit, nice little dress) so you'll be happy you didn't pack so much and still have room for the odd treasure you find.

Hand luggage: any device you need plus chargers/adapters, wallet, rose creme, tissues (lack of toilet paper in foreign toilets; be prepared) pen, notepad, Ibuprofen, chewing gum or mints (or your pain killer of choice). As to the difficult decision what kind of hand bag/purse/tote to take: I like messenger bags for casual occasions. Maybe a clutch or a smallish tote in your luggage for the evening out as an option.

At the airport: 
Since we are traveling so efficiently and lightweight, we can take our trolley on board. Yay! No danger of lost luggage plus we'll get to the cabs first when we arrive.

Arrival at your destination:
Open the windows and let the sea breeze in. Breathe deeply. You've here. Unpack. Since you haven't brought much, you'll be finished in five minutes. Tip: hang up your dresses in the bathroom when you shower. The steam helps de-wrinkle.

Fashion magazines aggressively market and want us to buy buy buy; take lots of superfluous stuff: bronzer, gloss, glitter, this, that. High heels, low heels, beach dress, party dress, breakfast dress, afternoon shorts, evening shorts, gelato t-shirt...You don't need any of that  for a beach holiday. Strip it down. Keep it essential. Dare to be bare.

Next post:  some suggestions good quality multi-tasking beauty products reasonably priced and where in France, Italy, Greece, Spain to get them

No comments: