Saturday, February 18, 2012

Weekend Beach Travelling Like a Bawse

So you have a long weekend ahead of you - or if you're like me, need a break from Man-illa every three weeks - and are super psyched for your weekend beach trip. As the Philippines is composed of over a thousand little islands, there is a very high possibility that the trip will include some sun worshiping and a lot of salty sea water. Here are some tips for minimal travel stress and maximum fun!

Beach Necessities:

If you plan on staying out in the sun all day, then applying sunblock every now and then is mandatory. If you're out in the water for long periods of time or into water sports like surfing or wakeboarding, I'd suggest adding an extra layer of protection with zinc, as it stays on longer. Also protect your lips with SPF 50 lip balm, as laying out in the sun can also lead to darker lips.

If you're a sun worshipper, like me, this is a must to help you achieve that caramel, sunkissed glow. Sunblock first, sun tan lotion second, and then follow up with self-tanning lotion when you get back to the city. It's all about layering, babe.

Every girl needs at least two pairs of swimwear (bikini, tankini, monokini, or a thong... whatever floats your boat) for a weekend away. I guess it's the same for guys, too? Pack a third if you have one, for you never know what bikini mishaps may happen once you're on the road, in the pool, or wading in the ocean.
*Note for road warriors: You might want to bring something for damp tushies to sit on just in case you don't want your car smelling like a wet sock. It should be great for collecting sand, too!

Cotton kaftans, sarongs and/or malongs are usually made of thin, breathable cotton fabrics and hardly take up any space in your bag. And sarongs are great for deflecting the sun's glare when trying to see the screen of your iPhone or iPad when playing Temple Run. Anyway, with all them beach shops popping up everywhere, looking cute in wearing barely anything has never been easier!

Oh yes, working on a tan or surfing all day can lead to a major case of the munchies. While waiting for your friends to come out of the water, or wake up from dozing in the sun, I find bringing along a stash of trail mix or candy-coated chocolate (peanut M&Ms!) helps keep the growling tummy at bay. I'm not a huge fan of crisps (maybe a can of Sour Cream Pringles) and chocolate bars tend to get all gooey when exposed to the sun.

This is super important! I went to Boracay once and went all hardcore on my tan, only to find out I didn't bring a hydrating mask with me. When I got back to the city I had to deal with my flaky Zombie-face for a good week. Not sexy.

In General:

Put together a couple of checklists - especially if you're a bit of a scatterbrain like me - like a list of things to bring, activities to do when you get there, restaurants to try, etc. Doing your research and putting everything on a sheet of paper or on your smart phone helps you from going crazy when you get to your destination.

Throw your weather worries out the window by checking the local weather forecast for the duration of your trip. That way you'll know whether or not to pack your bulky umbrella and wellies.
*Note for road warriors: Pack that extra umbrella anyway. And a jacket. And a fluffy blanket for nap ninjas like me.

If you don't know how far the next working ATM is from the place you're staying at, or aren't sure whether or not the restaurants nearby accept plastic, it's always a good idea to have a sensible wad of bills and some change in your wallet.

Most standard hotels only have a maximum of two electrical outlets for you to use during your stay. Others have a couple more, but they position it as far away from the bed as possible, which is trés annoying. If you're the type of traveler who can't live without a laptop, smart phone and other gadgets and gizmos that need charging, bringing this will be a lifesaver. Check this in with the rest of your luggage - you have no use for it on the plane.

Always a must, packing a small kit with your stash of OTC meds, painkillers and salon pas always comes in handy.  A First Aid Kit should also include: alcohol, a povidone-iodine antiseptic, bandages (adhesive and gauze), adhesive tape, hydrocortisone cream, antibiotic cream, tweezers, and scissors.

For Road Warriors:

Since you don't have to be worried of baggage weight restrictions in your car, you'd best pack an extra set of clothes, bottles of mineral water, some high-energy snacks, a couple of canned goods that don't require a can opener (read: Vienna sausages and Hunt's Pork & Beans), some instant noodles and crackers should be enough to see you through a possible emergency.