I love all sorts of travel, from independent to group travel, from activities that push me to the limit, right down to just chilling on a beach for a week and working on my tan! Its the last of these that I’ll be discussing today as its one that the travel industry puts an amazing amount of importance on. Its long been the stereotypical view of a “holiday” that you escape the daily activities and just chill out, relax, and take the weight off your shoulders for a while. Of course there are many ways to do this but its safe to say that to really sell this idea marketing agencies are always coming up with new and exciting trends to do nothing! So lets explore some of what they tell you and my real advice on having that perfect beach holiday you’ve always dreamed of.
Lets start with one of the biggest trends that is always changing and always pushing you towards beach holidays over any other type. The fashion industry goes crazy in the summer months convincing you to buy the latest and greatest trends so you look cool, elegant and sexy on your holiday! Not only that but women’s magazines and the health industry go all out to get you on that “bikini body” diet ready to hit the beach and impress a lot of strangers.
The simple fact is that beach fashion really hasn’t changed all that much since the 60s when bikinis became the swimwear of choice, regardless of whether you go for a swim! I can offer some simple advice on beachwear and that’s wear what makes you feel good! You don’t need to impress anyone else but yourself, you’re on holiday to feel relaxed and comfortable so find a bikini that makes you feel that way. It doesn’t have to be a bikini either, there’s plenty of other swimwear options like Tankinis and full swimsuits that are just as elegant. My greatest piece of advice is don’t buy cheap swimwear! So many low-cost stores and websites now have bikinis for ludicrously low prices, believe me its not worth it as you often find one dip in the pool and the colour will run or fade. Or even worse you get suncream on it and the mark never comes out. Always buy high quality swimwear, its the only thing you’ll have on so make it count. The same goes for sunglasses, quality will protect your eyes!
I could write endlessly about this and lets face it this is the crux of any holiday. It just so happens that beach holidays require a lot of relaxation techniques, an almost stress inducing amount if you’re not careful. If you’re like me you’ll find it hard to unwind and let go of daily stress levels so plenty of preparation here is called for. Here’s a quite few to think about. Buy more books than you need, options are always good and don’t wait until the airport to rush and buy them, do some research online and treat yourself to that book everyone’s been on about for ages. Load up your smartphone with all your favourite chill out music, even find a few meditation podcasts or albums to listen to (they’re surprisingly good!). Try some new smartphone games and indulge in your favourite apps and websites too (I’m partial to a bit of mobile bingo when I’m bored!). Everyone has their own methods of relaxing but don’t stress yourself out by denying yourself the things you like doing. Chill out in your own way.
Don’t waste money on expensive suncream
You might be surprised to learn that own brand suncreams are just as good and often better than expensive brands. A recent study showed that some big name brands actually produced lower protection levels than their bottle’s stated. There’s all sorts of application methods these days from invisible sprays to aerosol style cans. For an even tan and good all-over protection I always advise the original cream style application. You can see exactly where its been applied, you can rub it in evenly until the white sheen has disappeared and you don’t end up losing half the spray from the sea breeze! Just remember to re-apply regularly. The SPF value of your suncream essentially means how long it will protect your skin for. So if you could burn your skin in 10 minutes of direct sunlight, an SPF 15 will only give you 2 hours 30 minutes of protection. Trust me you burn quicker than you think so don’t be a fool and think the sun wont harm your toughened skin.
I’ll be featuring a lot more tips and advice on making the most of your summer travels so keep an eye on my website for more!