We’ve been traveling with baby-in-tow for years now, after six kids, you get used to it! Toting along a baby with me means plenty of planning and sorting as well as my best packing strategies for how to prepare for a beach vacation. (See how I pack a carry-on tote when traveling with baby here.)
Do you know what I’m currently dreaming of? SUMMER TRAVEL and a beach getaway! Keep reading for tips on how to prepare for a beach vacation, a summer reading booklist with our top summer book suggestions and a list of the top-rated self-tanners for 2021!
How to Prepare for a Beach Vacation
I’m thinking of a couple of slow days soaking up the sunshine and warmth. Over our anniversary this year (13 years!!) we talked about hopping on a 3 day cruise.
So whether or not we’re boat bound or just spending a couple of days beachside (because you guys, it’s going to happen soon and I’m loving the beach life we’re headed into right now!), I’m sharing what I’d toss in a tote for a sunshine getaway… and how to prepare for a beach vacation and soaking up a couple of days in the sun.
And to be honest, now that spring has sprung and summer is on our heels, I’m preparing for summer itself in much the same manner – it’s time to get that summer glow going!
Hat (similar) | Sunnies | Bag (similar) | Striped Dress (similar) | OTC dress | Maxi | Towel | One-Piece (similar) | Sandals | Sneakers
One study showed that a four-day “long weekend” vacation had positive effects on well-being, recovery, strain, and perceived stress for as long as 45 days.verywell mind
How to Prepare for a Beach Vacation + Summer Travel: Prepare your bag.
Who wouldn’t love to escape the rigor of routine with this perfectly named bag? Whatever you’ve got though, grab your tote and fill with just what you need.
An escape means not being weighed down, and traveling light is the perfect way to unplug and unwind.
With key outfit pieces that can all mix and match, in a neutral color scheme and both structured and flowy choices, you’ll have plenty on hand for frolicking in the sand, to poolside brunching all while taking in the sights, scenes, and tastes along the way.
Of course a swimsuit is necessary, and since they don’t weigh too much, throwing in two will help with those pesky tan lines and switching it up.
Plus, a one-piece can double as daywear under shorts and an open top! A hat that can travel well, shade from too much sun, and hide a messy head of beach hair while heading into town as well. Packing a lightweight towel that can double as a wrap, a beach or picnic blanket, cover-up OR towel is such a great way to use space while having what you need handy.
How to Prepare for a Beach Vacation + Summer Travel: Prepare your body.
Okay so I’m NOT talking about losing weight.
What I’m talking about is owning the body you have and making yourself glow and feel great before you step out in tanks and bikinis. Like I mentioned, it’s time for that summer glow!
Before I head out to spend any planned length of time in the sunshine, I make sure to have a good base color and then I cover in sunscreen.
One absolutely easy way I’ve found to start that summer glow is to exfoliate with a homemade scrub in the shower and then just moisturize with a gradual, buildable dose of that sunkissed look.
Tips and Tricks for building a natural base tan to start a great summer glow:
- For the most natural-looking color, be sure to exfoliate before first use.
- Use a self tanner sparingly on drier areas of the skin like knuckles, knees, ankles, and in between fingers/toes.
- Smooth on evenly and thoroughly just as you would with any moisturizer.
- Use daily until you have achieved the desired level of color, then continue to apply 1-2x a week.
I’ve Been Reading ALL of the Reviews to Find The 10 Best Self-Tanners That Don’t Streak
- BEST DRUGSTORE SELF-TANNER – SOL by Jergens Medium Water Mousse
- BEST NATURAL CHEMICAL-FREE SELF-TANNER – Beauty by Earth Self Tanner
- BEST SELF-TANNER DROPS – Tanologist Face + Body Drops
- BEST SELF-TANNER OIL – Coola Organic Gradual Tan Dry Body Oil
- BEST SELF-TANNER FOR FACE – St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist
- BEST 1-HOUR SELF-TANNING FOAM – Bondi Sands 1 Hour Express Self Tanning Foam
- BEST FACE SELF-TANNER FOR BLEMISH PRONE SKIN – Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad Self-Tanner for Face
- BEST SELF-TANNER FOR TRAVEL – Endless Luxe Self Tanner – 100% Natural, Vegan Towelettes
- BEST SPF SELF-TANNER – Supergoop! Healthy Glow Sunless Tan SPF 40
- BEST BUDGET SELF-TANNER – L’Oreal Paris Hydrating Sunless-Tanning Milk
- BEST BUILDABLE SHOWER SELF-TANNER – Jergens Natural Glow In Shower Lotion
How to Prepare for a Beach Vacation + Summer Travel: Prepare your mind.
While most of us plan to at least unplug in some way while traveling or taking a vacation, a short getaway doesn’t allow for much time to slow down before heading back into the routine of life. This means it’s even more imperative to go into this time away ready to slow down, both physically and mentally.
Take those deep breaths, STOP checking emails and social media even before you leave, and remember that this time away will leave you healthier and happier if you use it for what it is; time away.
Life (ie; emails, laundry, to-do lists, deadlines, and messes) will always be waiting, and it can wait for a couple of days while you unplug from the constant uploading and downloading of information.
Notice I didn’t try and pack a bunch of electronics for a beach getaway?!
For me, summer travel must include time to unplug and step away from all of my devices.
Being someone who works online most of my day, like so many, is spent in front of a screen. So when I have the opportunity to be intentional about relaxing, screens are the number one thing that I do my best to step away from.
A couple of the ways that I do that is getting lost in a good book or even just a walk on the beach where I am intentional about taking in the beauty around me can be enough.
When it comes to the books, I like to check a physical copy out from the library, so I’m not tempted to head over to Facebook between chapters on my device. Both of these things definitely help me relax and unwind.
Here is my current summer reading list, perfect for summer travel:
- Shadow and Bone Series
- A Court of Thorns and Roses Series
- Firekeeper’s Daughter
- The Lost Apothecary
- Mindfulness On The Go
- Atomic Habits
- The Midnight Library
- The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
Do you have any packing tips or tricks for unwinding and relaxing? Share in the comments, I’d love to hear!
More Summer Posts!
Are you going on a beach vacation this summer? Let me know in a comment below!
These are such great tips! My favorite summer getaway is at the beach. Just relaxing and doing nothing!
Belle | One Awesome Momma
Tabitha Blue says
Yes definitely! Such a great way to unwind 🙂 My favorite way!
This is the perfect summer packing list!
Tabitha Blue says
Thanks! Everything works together… you could have outfits for a week with mixing and matching!!
I’m loving all of your picks! That yellow bag is fabulous.
Tabitha Blue says
I definitely don’t have that bag yet, but want it!!
Amanda | My Own Unexpected Journey says
Love your clothing picks! I agree–for a beach getaway, simple, light, and electronics-free is the way to go! As I sit here while it snows around me AGAIN (come on, Wisconsin–it’s April!), I am definitely dreaming of hot summer beach days.
Le @ Mom* says
I always mess up sunless tanner. That’s a great tips to moisturize right before putting it on. I’m going to try that.
This is such a perfect list! 🙂 We’re taking a little trip here shortly and I’m going to use this as reference! 😉
Sapana V says
The article is really helpful for preparing travel bag without missing any important item.
Love this post. Thank you for sharing.
I didn’t see anything posted about the flowy tie blouse. Where did you get this?/ What brand is it? I am looking for one just like it.
🙂 Please share!!!
HI! Where is the black bikini from? Love it!!
Tabitha Blue says
It’s from Target!! 🙂
Where is the blouse from? I loveit
Thank you for the terrific post
I love this post!! I have a few items- but this is totally my style! Adorable little traveler as well 😉 I am definitely going to add these to my travel bag. My son and I have 3 trips planned this summer and I am so looking forward to some fun time off in the warm weather!
Tabitha Blue says
Thank you so much!!! It’s definitely helpful, especially when traveling with kids, or wanting a simple carry-on bag. Enjoy this summer of travel, sounds great!