What to Pack for a Beach Vacation: 7 Little-Known Essentials

Jennifer Flodin Florida, Packing Guides Leave a Comment

What's not to love about a beach vacation?!

While there's plenty to love about the beach, there's also so undeniable drawbacks.

  1. That pesky sand that provides painful rashes after a sick boogie board sesh.
  2. Getting a sunburn on the first day so that the remainder of the trip hurts.
  3. The irreversible skin damage the sun can cause.
  4. Tangled hair that is so dry it brushing it is a nightmare.
  5. Having your phone claimed by the raising tide or plain carelessness while trying to snap the perfect photo.

Fortunately, we live in a time where even the smallest of our problems can be solved by some sort of product or service.

So, here's what you should pack for a beach vacation if you'd like to avoid all of that terrible situations mentioned above.

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How to Protect Your Hair

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It's not easy to protect your hair from the salt and sea air. (Did you like my rhyme?)

There's a few different ways you need to protect your hair. You need to shield it from the sun (just like your skin), cleanse it and condition it properly, and gently untangle it.

I have compiled my 5 favorite hair care products that have completely changed the way my hair experiences the beach.

1. Sunscreen for Your Hair

It might sound silly when I say "sunscreen for hair," but that's pretty much what the first product is.

Just as the sun can damage your skin, it can also ruin your hair. Fortunately, hair cancer isn't a thing, so you're mainly trying to keep the sun from drying out your hair beyond repair.

I've used a couple of sun veils for my hair.

The first one I ever tried was from Aveda. I actually started using it to help keep my color from fading in the summer. I don't dye my hair anymore, but I love using this product anytime I know I'll be exposing my hair to the sun for an extended period of time.

I found that it worked really well to help preserve the color and integrity of my hair during the summer, so I highly recommend it.

Also, if you're going swimming, it's supposed to stay in your hair, which is pretty neat.

There are plenty of other companies that also make similar products. For example, I know Bumble and Bumble also makes one, which I tried when I was in Costa Rica. It was nice, but I think I liked the smell of the Aveda sun veil better.

The only draw back to the Aveda sun veil is that it's a little bit pricey. It's usually somewhere around $30. But, it's honestly similarly price to other products that do the same thing.

Summing It Up

I love the Aveda sun veil for many reasons. Here are the top 5:

  1. Light and doesn't make your hair feel weird
  2. Water-resistant, so you can swim with it
  3. Protects color treated hair
  4. Protects hair from UV rays so it doesn't dry out
  5. Smells amazing!

Like I said, there are other options on the market that do the same thing.

For example, if you're looking for something that does more than just one thing, you might prefer the Bumble and Bumble product that I mentioned earlier. In addition to protecting hair from UV rays, it's a general heat protector.

It's a similar price to the Aveda product, but you get more and it has multiple purposes.

Check the Price of Aveda Sun Veil

2. Cleansing Your Hair from Salt, Sand, and Sweat

I don't know about you, but after I spend time at the beach, my hair feels like crap. The salt and sand just seems to stick to it. Then, the wind whips it around, creating a huge mess.

When I get back to shower, I'm usually incredibly excited, and ready to get my hair back to feeling normal. Ya feel me?

Then, I shower, only to find out that I need to wash my hair twice to get everything out of it.

Give me a "hell yes" in the comments if you can relate!

So, what's a girl to do?

I started using Totally Beachin' Shampoo by Bed Head on my trip to Miami and Key West a couple of years ago, and it's a game changer!

I only need to wash my hair once, and it gets all of the salt, sand, and product out of my hair, leaving it feeling soft and hydrated.

Once drawback to using this product is that it's too big to pack in a carry-on. You would need to put it into a smaller container in order to fly with it in your carry-on.

They do have smaller travel bottles, but they're very expensive for what you get, so buying the big version and putting it into a travel bottle is most economical. If that's just not your thing, you can check out the travel-sized one here.

As you might imagine, this niche product is a bit pricey (even the full size one). Because of this, I exclusively use it when I go to the beach or pool. It is not something that I use willy-nilly.

Summing It Up

I love the Totally Beachin' Shampoo from Bed Head. Here are the top 4 reasons I like it:

  1. One wash to cleanse the hair
  2. Leaves hair feeling light, soft, and hydrated
  3. Safe for use on colored hair
  4. Smells amazing!

This shampoo helps keep my hair looking and feeling great on all of my beach vacations, and I'm so glad I found it.

Check the Price of Bed Head Totally Beachin' Shampoo
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3. Nourish Your Hair

While the Totally Beachin' Shampoo cleanses your hair of the salt, sand, and sweat, you need something to nourish your hair in order to revitalize it.

I always follow up my Totally Beachin' Shampoo with Totally Beachin' Conditioner.

This conditioner makes my hair feel soft and nourished even after hours in the sun. Needless to say, this is my go-to.

It's a nice conditioner that leaves my hair feeling light but hydrated. It's not so intense that it makes my hair oily or anything.

Summing It Up

I love the Totally Beachin' Conditioner. Here are the top 4 reasons I like it:

  1. Leaves hair feeling light
  2. Doesn't make my hair oily
  3. Safe for use on colored hair
  4. Smells amazing!

This conditioner has been a great find. I love the way it helps my hair recover from the ocean waves and intense sunshine. It keeps my hair looking lovely throughout my entire vacation!

Get More Info About Totally Beachin' Conditioner

4. Gently Brush Out the Tangles

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If you've spent anytime in a rough ocean, you know how quickly your hair inevitably gets tangled.

Even if you're on the golf-side of Florida, while the ocean itself may not tangle your hair, a stiff breeze certainly will.

What's a girl to do?

Well, you can try putting up your hair. However, I've found that pony tails aren't supper helpful and buns don't stay.

At the end of the day, you're going to need to brush out the tangles, which is why not just any brush will do.

I recommend any of the brushes by Wet Brush. I use the shine brush daily. But, if you're looking for something exceptionally gentle and good at entangling, you should try the Detangling Wet Brush.

This brush is gentle on sensitive scalps and hair alike. The last thing you want is a brush that is going to break your strands of hair while your brush out the intense tangles.

Summing It Up

I love the Detangling Wet Brush. Here are the top 4 reasons I love it:

  1. Gentle on hair, minimizing breakage
  2. Gentle on the scalp
  3. Quickly detangles hair
  4. Cute designs

This hair brush has been a great tool to use after the beach but before the shower.

Get More Info About the Detangling Wet Brush

5. What to do when Brushing Alone Doesn't Work

Ever had tangles that just won't come out no matter what you do?

These aren't exactly uncommon after an extended day at the beach.

Different hair types can also tangle worse than others. For example, my husband has course curly hair that tangles nearly instantly after a shower. While, I have medium wavy hair that can tangle, but isn't too terrible.

If you, like my husband, struggle with hair that tangles even under the best conditions, you might want to consider getting a detangler for your post-beach hair brushing.

If you just want something basic that doesn't cost a lot of money, you can get a Pantene Detangler that will do the job.

When I was in Sarasota, my hair was so tangled, that I ran into a Walgreens to purchase a detangler. I got one from Pantene. It worked, but it's certainly not something I would have used without showering immediately afterward. It's pretty heavy, and made my hair feel a little weird.

If you'd like something that's a little more specific to your activities, you might like the Bed Head Beach Freak Moisturizing Detangler. This was specifically designed for the particularly difficult tangles that the beach can cause.

The sun and salt dries out the hair making tangles extra difficult to get out.

Summing It Up

I haven't tried the Beach Freak Moisurizing Detangler yet. But, I plan on grabbing a bottle for this summer, and here's why:

  1. Prevents hair from breaking
  2. Supposed to make your hair feel nice and not need to necessarily wash it after use
  3. Reduces discomfort while brushing tangles

This detangler seems to be exactly what I've been looking for! I can't wait to try it out this beach season!

Get More Info About the Beach Freak Detangler

Protect Your Phone

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How much do you think about your phone when you go to the beach?

Are you the kind of person who whips it out, puts it on the towel, and takes it in the water with you?

Or are you the leave it in the hotel room because I paid $800 for that and I'm not letting it get ruined type of person?

I tend to fall closer to the second category. I've also had my phone stolen, so I'm always weary of leaving it with my stuff and no supervision on the beach. Particularly, incredibly busy beaches (e.g. Miami Beach).

(It wasn't stolen on the beach or anything. I'm just generally worries about it now.)

You only need one thing to protect your phone from the ocean, sand, and (potential) lurking thieves.

6. Keep Your Phone Safe from Water and Sand

I used my first water-proof phone pouch a few years ago on my trip to Miami and Key West.

It was incredibly useful and worked great! Until it broke.

I bought a cheap one off Amazon, which I will not be recommending for obvious reasons.

Instead, I found another one with great reviews that will protect your phone and last longer than one use...

You should take a look at Aquavault.

If you like taking pictures with your phone at the beach, investing in a water-proof pouch is a great idea.

You also might like one if you'd rather keep your phone on you at all times instead of leaving it unattended while your in the water.

It by no means necessary, but I found that having one makes me way more comfortable and confident at the beach.

Summing It Up

I haven't tried the Aquavault, but I love water-proof pouches for the following 4 reasons:

  1. It's water-proof
  2. Allows you to take pictures
  3. Can keep phone with you at all times
  4. Protects phone from sand

At the beach, there's sand flying around in the air, and you can always get splashed by an unexpectedly large wave, so being prepared is important. A water-proof pouch, will eliminate 99% of threats your phone faces at the beach.

Get More Info About the Aquavault

Protect Your Skin

I'm sure you know that you need to wear sunscreen when you visit the beach.

If you've ever used sunscreen before and still gotten burned, you probably felt frustrated, especially if you still have more days in the sun planned.

While I always recommend taking breaks from the sun by using an umbrella, you can actually help protect your skin even better while you're in the sun.

And, no, you don't have to use 100 SPF sunscreen that coats your body in white film.

7. Shield Your Skin with a Swim Shirt

Swim shirts were never something I gave much thought to.

At home, I always had an umbrella at the beach to take breaks under.

But, I figured out real quick that I didn't necessarily have access to umbrellas while I traveled.

I got badly sunburned on the first day of one of our trips. I had to swim with a t-shirt on for the rest of the trip.

It was uncomfortable and never dried.

From that point, I swore that I would purchase a swim shirt for my next beach vacation.

I haven't taken that trip yet. But, when I do, you can find me sporting one of these cute, tried and true Roxy swim shirts.

Summing It Up

I love swim shirts for the following 4 reasons:

  1. They protect your skin from the sun
  2. They prevent rashes
  3. They reduce the amount of sunscreen you use
  4. They prevent you from dealing with the pain of a sunburn

If you plan on spending extended periods of time in the sun, investing in a swim shirt is a great idea for your well-being and comfort.

If Roxy seems a little pricey, you can always take a look at the Swim Shirts for Women on Amazon.

Take a Look at all of Roxy's Swimshirts

Planning a Beach Vacation? Use This!

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Conclusion

There's a lot of important things that you'll want to pack for your beach vacation that we didn't cover in this post.

Instead, I wanted to focus on the things you may not know you needed to bring.

To give you a quick recap, here are 7 things you didn't know you needed for your next beach vacation:

  1. Sunscreen for your Hair - Aveda Sun Veil
  2. Cleansing and Nourishing Shampoo - Totally Beachin' Shampoo
  3. Moisturizing and Repairing Conditioner - Totally Beachin' Conditioner
  4. Gentle Hair Brush - Detangler Wet Brush
  5. Spray on Detangler - Beach Freak Detangler
  6. Water-proof phone pouch - Aquavault
  7. Swim Shirt for Protection from the Sun - Roxy Swim Shirts

I hope you enjoyed this blog post!

If any fellow beach bums think I missed anything, please let me know in the comments below!

Know someone who needs this information, please share it with them!

As always, if you have questions, send me an email (jennifer@roadswewander.com).

Talk soon!

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What to Pack for a Beach Vacation: 7 Little-Known Essentials

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