Surf’s up folks: summer is here and the tan line season is well under way. Whether your local shore is a mile off or you prefer to jet off to the other side of the world, a sandy vacation can be the perfect way to unwind after a long year’s work. We’re talking swimsuits, sea and an air conditioned hotel. We’re talking palm trees and punchy drinks, with or without the family in tow. But just how can you make the most of a true bikini week?
First up, location. With so many beaches, resorts and residentials around the world you’re going to need to pick according to your needs. If scuba diving and vibrant coral reefs are the ideal, then get yourself on a long haul flight abroad. If a cosy Brighton B&B sounds more up your alley, get booking! One great way to make sure there’s a spot on the plain white sand for you is to go outside of the summer holidays. That way there’ll be fewer families on the roam. If this isn’t possible for you, no problem – just make sure you book in advance.
All-inclusive vs. Self-cater
Once you’ve got your heart (and or suitcase) set on a particular destination, it’s time to think about the practical side of things. The more you’ve got planned before you leave, the less stress will be waiting for you when you arrive. Do you speak the language? Do you have friends or relatives nearby in case of an emergency? Make sure you’ve got travel insurance booked in, the flights sorted and the food planned. Some resorts offer an all-inclusive deal, meaning cocktails, chow and even massages are on the house. You’ll be paying extra without a doubt, but there’ll be less on your mind. That way, the ocean and the drinks can be your only concern.
The alternative is a self-serve situation, one that involves either a lot of home cooking or a lot of eating out. That’s not necessarily a negative, but for those of us with specific dietary requirements, eating out all the time can certainly make life a little difficult, not to mention the expense. These days, though, takeout companies all over the world offering vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options and if you leave just one pair of shoes behind you’ll have space for protein-rich nuts and seeds – snacking from your home bulk buys is much cheaper than buying from tourist traps. Easy peasy.
Greece, the Caribbean, the South of France or Portugal. Wherever you are, in whatever ocean, on whatever coast, safety comes first. A beach holiday might be about relaxation, but it’s hard to make the most of paradise if you end up red as a lobster. Wear sunscreen every day, no exceptions. It might slow a tan, but it won’t stop one and you’ll have peace of mind throughout the trip. Reapply after a dip in the pool or sea, get your shades on and then chill out. There are mineral brands that can help to prevent breakouts if that’s any concern, as well as specific creams for even the most sensitive of skins.
Make sure you stay hydrated too (not just with cocktails), that you research the local wildlife and that you pay attention to any lifeguards that might be in the area. Once all that’s said and down, feel free to relax. That’s what a beach holiday is all about, after all!