I have an upcoming post regarding the contents of my ‘Dream Beach Bag’ but, for now, I thought I would share with you my actual beach bag and all it’s accompanying paraphenalia. I know that this kind of post has been done a million ways – on many different blogs – but I can’t help it, I just find it interesting. Here’s hoping that you do too! Beach Bag: Stella and Dot Getaway in Red Ikat (now sold out – similar here: Stella and Dot Getaway in Red Elephant)
Gorgeous and versatile beach bag/going away bag/carry-on. Very generously sized with the option to unzip for further packing potential – you know, like when you go away and you swear that you won’t be doing any shopping because you’re on a budget but then somehow, after only the briefest visit to the mall, your luggage has doubled in size. No. Really? Only me then… Available in a selection of vibrant fabrics in interesting prints* the interiors are as beautiful as the exteriors and are spill-resistant – a bonus when it comes time for the inevitable sunscreen
Bikini: Current favourite – ASOS DD-F Longline Bikini top in Japanese Flower Print
I have long been a fan of ASOS’ affordable mix and match bikini separates, especially as they cater to the larger cup sizes. I can wear a comfortable under-wired bikini top all day on boat trips without straps cutting into my neck or shoulders. They bring out a good variety of different designs every season and at that price-point I can justify getting a new one
practically every weekend from time to time. As a side note, I am loving the longline bikini tops that they have been bringing out recently – I feel that they are more flattering to my long torso. Am sure that they don’t work for everyone, but it is a trend that I am sincerely hoping sticks around for a while!
Bikini Bag: Hiho Bikini Bag
Can’t go anywhere without my bikini bag – its water-resistant lining keeps my spare clothes dry (in the event that my bag gets soggy – you just never know on a boat) and then keeps my wet bikini safely away from phone, camera, everything else while on our way home. This one is a good size and can fit at least a spare set of underwear, spare bikini (I live in fear of a clasp breaking on a boat day or, God forbid, a sailing weekend) and a fresh cover-up, or two (I’m never knowingly under-packed). Also doubles as a good wash-bag, if you didn’t have one already…
Insulated Drinks Tumbler: Starbucks Stainless Steel Cold Cup with Logo
Very early on in my island life, as a boat-day novice, I once saw one of my fellow crew mates with a Starbucks double-insulated tumbler and it changed my boating days immeasurably… There are few things more frustrating than banging along on a speed boat with a refreshingly cold beverage in hand that is (a) spilling all over you – even more so if it is something that will stain (!) and (b) you are too afraid to drink for fear of losing one or two of your front teeth. This is where an insulated cup with a sealed lid and a straw becomes your best friend! Need I say any more? I didn’t think so, moving on…
Hat: I love a good Panama Hat, but I’m pretty sure that I got this one from a local market stall, similar here: J Crew Panama Hat
I cannot advocate the importance of sunscreen and a nice, wide-brimmed hat enough. Yes, I’ve lost more of them off the back of the boat and into the ocean than I care to mention… but I still keep buying them (and try to remember to keep one hand on it when gusty) because they are key to keeping the worst of the sun off my face. When I first moved to island, over 7 years ago, I basked in the sunshine at every given opportunity and now, sadly, my skin is paying that price. A hat is a necessity if you desire a (relatively) wrinkle-free future. Hats people, hats, hats, hats. That is all.
Suncream: Garnier Golden Protect spf 30
I love this stuff – quite a thick and creamy formula so you need to put it on well before dressing, but if you can apply after your shower and then have some time to let it soak in, you won’t really have to re-apply, it does not budge. Gives your skin a gorgeous golden shimmer (that frequently gets commented on) and decent spf coverage.
Scarf/Sarong: Mine was a gift, similar here – Star scarf
I hate wet and sandy towels, I hate them in my car, I hate them in my bag, I hate having to lug them around… they are bulky and heavy and soggy. Instead I have
an unnecessarily large a selection of large scarves/sarongs that I use in place of a towel. Wear it round your neck on the way to your destination, wrap it around you when you get out of the water, lie it on the sand to sit on, tie it to your bag handle when you’re on the way home. Imminently more stylish, not bulky, takes minutes to dry, easy to wash. Done.
Sandals: Current favourites – these studded beauties by Fergie
Unless you are on Nikki beach, soaking up the sun in Monaco or in a few other very swanky European beach destinations (actually quite few places, but anyway, in the Caribbean I’m telling you…) sand and heels do not go. Ensure that you have beautiful flat sandals instead. I’m currently addicted to these. I have them in gold as well (obvs) but I prefer the black as it shows the pretty studded detail more clearly.
My Grab Bag: Some time ago I read an ingenious blog post (sadly I can’t remember who to credit for this brilliant idea) which introduced me to the concept of a ‘grab bag’. This bag lives in my handbag and contains all the little knick knacks that, while essential, you often forget to transfer when switching bags… Mine is
an embarrassingly grubby a cheeky little Kate Spade number (that is sadly no longer available) and contains, among other things, hair ties, bobby pins, chewing gum, tampons, tissues, mints, plasters (band-aids), my power battery bank, a nail file, camera battery charger, lip gloss, a bottle of Advil, a pen… in short, it is a little Mary Poppins marvel. When the weekend rolls around I just have to transfer this from my handbag to my beach bag and I am good. to. go. * I absolutely couldn’t resist a new one and actually now have two (shhh, don’t tell my husband) the red one I use for my general stash bag, gym bag, beach bag and the blue ikat (my favourite) I save for long weekends away/carry on. Blue ikat still available here.