I was a willing vacay guinea pig. Here’s what I discovered…
It’s an actual paradise.
Who doesn’t love jumping into the car and heading to the beach on a warm summers day? Pack the following seven essentials, which will make every trip to the beach feel fun and effortless – as it should be! Don’t forget to comment below with some of your best options, also.
Even if the sun isn’t shining, a hat is still a must-have for every single beach trip. Have you ever burnt your head or hair-line? Ouch! Choose a standard baseball cape if you prefer the structure or switch it up with a floppy hat which will also protect your shoulders and neck.
Protect your eyes from the glare of the water with a pair of sunglasses. Make sure they’re nothing fancy though, just in case they get lost or scratched by the sand!
This should be the number one item to pack in your beach bag since nobody wants to burn! Aim for an SPF that is higher than 30+ so that you won’t have to constantly re-apply it after entering the water.
Does anyone else find it so boring going to the beach alone? Rather than spending most of the day on Instagram or Facebook, bring along a book or magazine to occupy your time. Trust us, you won’t care about social media after a relaxing day at the beach.
Don’t forget to moisturise your lips! They can burn very easily, crack, and start to peel after just a few hours in the sun.
Hydrate your body from the inside-out by drinking water during your day at the beach. Keep a 1 litre bottle in your beach bag, and feel free to re-fill it throughout the day.
To avoid hair breakage from the sea water, lightly mist your ends with a leave-in conditioner. It will help to coat the hair until you get home and wash the salty water away!
Image via Lei Lei Clavey
We caught up with our latest We Are Handsome X New Caledonia string bikini winner, Penny Robertson (pictured), who was “absolutely delighted” upon receiving her prize pack last week. As she prepares to hit the beaches in Queensland, we found out just how easy the competition process was for her.
How did you find out about the competition?
I found out about the competition in a SHESAID email [newsletter].
After signing up, did you share the comp with your friends and family?
I’m sorry, but I can’t remember if I shared the competition… Sorry!
What was going through your mind when you were signing up?
I was a little dubious signing up… Didn’t want to get caught in a long-winded competition process.
What would have initially made you feel more ease at during the signup process?
Let us know that we won’t be caught up in a spam nightmare!
We also noticed that you’ve since signed up to receive extra offers from our advertisers, have you received any exciting deals from them?
I’m on a disability pension, so I haven’t spent any money on any offers (very broke… but that’s life!).
What are your thoughts on winning the swimwear?
Absolutely delighted – so wrapped! I live in Brisbane and spend many months wearing bikinis – thank you.
Will you join another competition again after winning this amazing prize?
Certainly will enter more competitions.
If you’re planning a getaway this summer, there are a list of things that you mustn’t forget for your travels – and no, we’re not talking about your passport or your boarding pass (although that’s also important!). Make sure you add the following items to your checklist before boarding the plane!
It goes without saying that SPF is absolutely necessary, even if it’s not summer! The higher protection, the better. Try for an SPF 50+ since this means you won’t have to apply it as regularly throughout the day, plus you will avoid burning.
The chlorine and sea water can dry-out even oily skin and leave it looking rough and flakey. Keep your skin hydrated every morning and night with a lightweight formula that sinks easily into the skin.
If you haven’t already waxed your legs before leaving, a razor is necessary for those touch-ups. Choose a small, travel-sized razor which fits into your carry-on luggage and will last the entire trip.
Keep your face feeling hydrated with a pack of face wipes in your beach bag. Not only are they great at removing excess dirt and makeup, but you can also clean your hands with them – without the use of water.
Protect your eyes from the sun (and glare from the water) with a pair of stylish sunglasses. Don’t invest in an expensive pair since they’re likely to get scratched, lost in transit, or stolen!
A baseball cap or a wide-brim hat is a must-have to protect your face, neck and décolletage from the suns rays.
Pretty obvious! Pack a few different swimsuits in your beach tote to have some variety in your outfits each day. This also means that you don’t have to wash your swimsuit every day after the beach.
A cover-up or loose dress for the beach is necessary for commuting back and forth all over town. Choose a dress which protects your skin from UV rays – it’s crucial!
Thongs, flip-flops or sandals are essential if you’re travelling to and from the beach. Pebbled beaches are painful to walk on and you might need to swim in your sandals. Don’t get annoyed if they get wet from the sea water!
Pack a small cosmetics bag into your tote and store your essentials such as makeup, phone and iPod. Most cosmetic bags are actually waterproof and won’t destroy your precious items inside.
Have we forgotten any other must-haves for the beach?
Image via Cindy Mangomini
Byron Bay is one of Australia’s most popular destinations both for tourists and locals. It’s perfect for a long weekend away, but you will most likely want to stay longer. If I had to describe Byron Bay in three words, they would be surf, love and music.
Of course you can go to Byron Bay just for the beaches and great surf, but there are a few other things that you shouldn’t miss while you’re there:
1. Explore Cape Byron lighthouse
Located at the very east of Byron Bay – and in fact, Australia – you find the beautiful Cape Byron light house on top of a hill. You can drive up by car, but make sure you get out and walk a few minutes to Australia’s most easterly point and take in the stunning view. Of course, sunrise and sunset times make for the prettiest backdrop.
2. Visit the markets
The hippie-haven markets in Byron offer everything from pottery to clothes and lots of really good food. The location changes depending on the day, but it’s hard to miss them; just check here for more information.
3. Listen to the music
If you walk through the main streets of Byron, you will pass plenty of street musicians, some of which are very talented. Just take some time and enjoy the music, or even dance in the street! There’s no better place to do it.
4. Walk along Seven Mile Beach
This very long and picturesque beach stretches from Lennox Head to Byron Bay and is perfect for surfing and (very) long walks. Why not get up early and watch the sunrise from there?
5. Have breakfast at the Macadamia Castle
Ok, technically this place is outside of Byron Bay, but it’s just a 15-minute car ride away and worth a visit if you like macadamias and Disneyland-style fake castles. Behind the “castle”, there is a small wildlife park which is great for kids, but even if you just come for the pancakes, it’s worth your while.
image via ignant.de
It’s beginning to feel like Autumn: the leaves are turning rusty gold colours, the mornings have a crisp bite and that coffee before work has become more of a warm necessity than a choice.
As the months get cooler, we take a look at the 10 hottest travel destinations for sun seekers to escape the winter chill. From the dramatic mountainous bays of Budva in Montenegro to kite surfing on the glass-like Aegean Sea in Paros, there’s something for everyone’s travel taste. Be warned: this gallery will make you want to book flights, stat!
- The Algarve, Portugal
Boasting breathtaking cliffs and achingly beautiful stretches of sand, The Algarve in Portugal is an unbeatable summer escape. This southernmost region of mainland Portugal is a holidaymaker’s paradise. Relax on a gold sand beach, sip on cocktails at one of the many beach bars or try your hand at watersports.
- Budva, Montenegro
Ever since Australian travel blogger Jessica Stein (aka Tuula Vintage) uploaded snaps in Budva, Montenegro we’ve added this stop to our bucket list! Located below Croatia in Southeast Europe, Montenegro boasts jaw-dropping dramatic mountain peaks and stunning crystal clear water.
It’s much more than just a resort town though. Head inland to the rugged mountains and forests for a hike or hire a kayak and explore Montenegro from the water.
- Komiza, Croatia
Croatia is often featured on travel hit lists for its jewels Dubrovnik and Hvar. This summer, explore one of the lesser-known towns in Croatia, Komiza. This quaint fishing village sits on the western coast of the island of Vis.
Organised tours such as The Yacht Week do make stops to this Adriatic paradise, but you’ll easily find secluded beaches and quiet lookouts unrivaled by other Croatian towns.
- Paros, Greece
Imagine winding cobblestone alleys, exquisite seafood restaurants and azure beaches, and you’ve got a pretty clear picture of Paros. This Greek island sits in the central Aegean Sea, a hydrofoil ride from Athens.
Paros is the ultimate destination for sun seekers who want the restaurants of Mykonos without the crowds. The old town centre contains white washed boutiques and bougainvillea covered balconies. Grab a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants, then quad bike across the island to try your hand at kite surfing or paddleboarding.
- Santa Barbara, USA
Dubbed as the ‘American Riviera’ by local Californians, Santa Barbara is the perfect coastal escape for families or loved-up couples. If it’s your first time exploring the West Coast of the United States, take the time to hire a Mustang and drive from San Francisco down the coast, stopping for slow sunsets with the top down!
When you reach Santa Barbara, drop the car off and explore the 20 square miles of boutiques and restaurants by foot. Stop for a wine and take in the surrounding mountains and beach – perfection!
- Palma De Mallorca, Spain
This slice of heaven is situated just off the coast of Spain, a short plane ride from Barcelona or Ibiza. Unlike its other famous Spanish counterparts, Mallorca operates on a slower pace.
Famous for its world-class resorts and white sand, turquoise beaches, Mallorca is truly the stuff of dreams. Be sure to book ahead and also hire a car – the island might be small but its transport system is basic and the best beaches are off the bus line.
- Upper Yasawa Islands, Fiji
Perfect for Australians fleeing the cooler months, Fiji is only a four-hour flight from Sydney. Don’t get caught in the usual tourist trap – book a boat transfer from Port Denarau to the Yasawa Islands. The upper islands take up to five hours to reach, but believe us, it’s worth it.
Choosing an island will be the hardest decision you’ll make on the trip. Accommodation ranges from locally run huts on the beach to five star resorts with jacuzzis and private beach access. Don’t miss a snorkeling trip to the Blue Lagoon and day trip to the floating bar with a cult Instagram following, Cloud 9.
- Positano, Italy
A list of iconic beach destinations wouldn’t be complete without the Italian coastal town of Positano. Nestled between Amalfi and Sorrento, you might recognize Positano’s famous beachfront of pastel-hued houses built at impossible angles into the mountainside. If you can’t get enough of the European boutiques and turquoise water, catch a boat to Capri and visit the legendary Blue Grotto.
- Budapest, Hungary
Budapest might seem like an odd addition to a sun seeker hit list, but this European gem boasts some of the best outdoor pools and thermal spas in the world. In summer, temperatures soar to 30 degrees Celsius and there’s no better way to enjoy the heat than to don a bikini and head straight to the thermal baths.
Unlike our concept of ‘spas’ or ‘baths,’ Budapest’s thermal baths consist of indoor and ourdoor heated pools infused with thermal waters that boast healing qualities. Our top pick is the Szechenyi Baths and Pool. Stay after dark for their world famous night Sparty, a giant club held in the baths!
- Port Douglas
Just because it’s winter in Australia doesn’t mean you need to jet set out of the country for a tropical escape. The best time to visit Northern Queensland to swim is between April and October, when the infamous Box Jellyfish doesn’t rule the water.
Soak up Australia’s most famous destinations with a trip to the Great Barrier Reef or Daintree Rainforest and repeat after me: there’s no place like home.
Images via Wikipedia, Tuula Vintage, Greece Tourism, Santa Barbara Home and Lifestyle, Let’s Go Spain, Get Your Guide, Typischich, Szechenyifurdo Info, Diving Port Douglas
Europe is a popular destination for tourists in the Summer. It goes without saying that these places will be jam-packed with tourists during summer. It is best to go later in the season, or earlier in the year to avoid soaring prices and heavy crowds.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
Make Sorrento your base for exploring the glorious Amalfi coastline in Southern Italy. It is easy to get to Positano and Amalfi – the other main towns along the coast, but Sorrento is the final stop on the train line. Famous for colorful cliff-side buildings and turquoise waters, enjoy this bright and tasty trip in one of the world’s finest foodie capitals.
Santorini will always top my list of recommended travel destinations. The blue roofs, white building, red cliffs and bright orange sunsets are magical. Visit the unique black sand beaches, or jump straight off the rocks in Oia, anywhere you go, the water will be warm and crystal clear.
Nice is one of the largest towns along the Cote D’Azur – more commonly known as the French Riviera. Enjoy a stroll through this coastal fashion capital, visit one of the many tourist attractions, or spend all day on the sand. Maybe you’ll spot a few celebrities or moguls in their natural habitat.
San Sebastian, Spain
Situated in northern Spain, San Sebastian isn’t usually as hot as some of the more popular southern beaches, like Malaga. There are two main beaches: Playa de la Concha is better for families and sunbathers, whereas Playa de Gros is adored by adventure seekers and surfers, worldwide. Come nightfall, start the party with some pintxos and sangria.
After scaling the old walls of this marvelous medieval city, find a secluded beach and relax. There are long sandy beaches, as well as seclude swimming holes along the city’s rocky coast. Lagos is a notorious party town, but don’t be put off. It also has a rich history and plenty of activities.
Note: You must be on high alert for con artists and scams during the European Summer. Have a look at our tips for staying safe on your travels.