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You said you ‘n’ me was gonna get out of town and for once just really let our hair down. Well darlin’, look out ’cause my hair is comin’ down!
~ Thelma and Louise
You’re sitting at work on a Tuesday afternoon, wondering when something interesting will happen. Then it hits you. It’s summer. It’s hot. Why not grab a few girlfriends, throw some stuff in the car and head to the nearest beach for a couple days?
A girls’ beach weekend is a common cure for midsummer boredom. You get to leave everyday stresses behind and focus on hanging out and maybe enjoying a nice glass (or three) of wine.
At least that’s how girls’ weekends are supposed to work. But everyday stresses have a way of showing up when you don’t want them to – like when you forget to pack something important and have to brave a crowded supermarket to fix your mistake.
Keep your girls’ weekend easy and relaxing with this essentials packing list.
Forgetting sunscreen will cost you. This beach must-have product is amazingly expensive in summer tourist areas. And if you’re somewhere remote, you may have to drive a ways to find the nearest drugstore.
Remember too that one bottle of sunscreen is rarely ideal for face, body and hair.
Face: Sunscreens and blocks designed for your body can leave a sticky feel on your face. They can also cause breakouts if you have sensitive skin. Take care of your face with a moisturizer with SPF 30 or higher. I like RoC MULTI CORREXION 5 in 1 Daily Moisturizer.
Body: Stick with waterproof, sweat proof formulas with high SPF. There are many good sport suncreens on the market. I like the spray-on variety, only because it goes on quickly.
Hair: If you go without hair sunscreen, you risk a burned scalp and ravaged, discolored hair. The right product for you depends on what you’re after. There are brush-on hair suncreens that are designed to protect your scalp and spray-on products that will protect your color. Ask for a recommendation from your hair stylist.
Squinting puts stress on your face, and too much direct sunlight can damage your eyes. The right sunglasses for a beach trip prevent you from squinting and absorb UB rays. Look for wraparound or close-fitting styles for maximum protection. Sunglasses labeled UV 400 block UVA and UVB rays.
The right hat makes a fun fashion statement for super-casual events. Try a cap or visor when you’re feeling sporty. Opt for a big floppy straw hat for more sophistication. Or, get flirty with a straw cowboy hat with some beaded details.
Don’t ever travel with just one suit, especially if it’s brand new. You never really know how a swimsuit fits until you wear it for a day. Plus, sometimes a girl just likes to have options. Bring your sexy suit and a more conservative option in case your mood changes. Having trouble finding a suit you like? See our swimwear guide.
The swim cover-up manages the transition between bathing suit and clothes. If you leave yours at home, you won’t have a cute statement piece to wear when you’re refilling your cocktail at the beachfront bar.
Beach weekend is no time for War and Peace. Bring a few issues of a gossip magazine to pass the time. I like paper magazines for beach trips, just so you don’t have to worry about scratching, dropping or losing your Kindle or iPad.
Dry lips are the worst. Keep your lips looking healthy and flirty with a high quality lip balm that protects and leaves a slight sheen.
Skip the bulky traditional beach towel and pick up a flat-woven Turkish towel. They pack better than traditional towels, plus they’re super absorbent and fast-drying.
A good comb is a lifesaver if you take a dip in the ocean. The salt water tends to leave hair coarse and tangled. Add an ocean breeze to that and you’re left with a dry, frizzy, knotted mess. After a dip in the water, run a wide-toothed comb through your hair and then tie it back in a low bun.
Lastly, you need a bag to carry your stuff in, right? A large colorful purse will do. Just make sure the opening is big enough to fit your towel and magazines. Consider prepacking your tote with your beach gear so you can grab it and go as soon as you arrive at your destination.
That’s our must-have list for beach weekends. What’d we miss?