I did it. I just completed my last ever written exam of my undergraduate career! (My finals are all project or paper based) Let’s not talk about the percentage of material I actually understood though.
In less than 24 hours, I will be on a flight to a relaxing beach vacation on the shores of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. It’ll be my first trip out of the country in a long time, and I can’t be more excited or in need of the escape. Before I go, there is still a lot left to do starting with packing! No matter which tropical paradise you are going to this spring break (or maybe not even one at all), there are a few essentials you must have with you for the week. I’ve left out the typical flip-flops, sunglasses, bathing suits and all that jazz to focus on my more overall must-haves that are applicable regardless of destination.
They are the following:
Who doesn’t want a sunkissed glow? But who wants skin cancer? For my trip, I’ve packed sunscreen around 45 SPF, waterproof sunscreen for my face, body lotion aloe vera in it, sunglasses to protect my eyes from the sun’s harmful rays, and a hat to cover my face when it gets too hot. These are all important in protecting your skin from dangerous UVA/UVB rays while getting your tan on. I have also decided to try using tanning oil. By all means, I do not support consistent and abundant use of it though. Tanning oil is not exactly the best thing for your skin and prevention of skin cancer, using a little bit of it during less strong sun hours for a short amount of time can be a little less harmful. For example, I plan on using it in the mornings before the sun starts to hit its peak hours which is when I’ll rinse it off and apply sunscreen.
Let’s say you’re not headed towards a tropical oasis. UV rays are still apparent in cloudy days or colder climates as well, especially if you are skiing/riding! Don’t be fooled by the temperature. Be sure to have at least a light layer of something on your exposed skin that protects you from the rays, even if it is 15 SPF.
I know it sounds silly that I am putting this second on my essentials list, but think about how many times you leave for vacation and realize you don’t have your lip balm with you. So unless you buy the ridiculously overpriced ones at airports, you’re looking at windburn, sunburn, or both on your lips for the duration of your stay. Pain in your lips can make or break your enjoyable trip believe it or not. It makes the common activity, such as eating, talking, or brushing your teeth, so much less enjoyable. And what if you meet Prince Charming? Who would want to kiss with chapped and pained lips?
Whether your camera is an iPhone, a DSLR, or a Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 polaroid, bring something to capture the moments. You always want to relive a scene or memory. While the photograph is not the same, it’s a way of bringing a little piece of that moment home with you to share or to cherish. Memories are great, but the physical image is always better.
You can always use a spare. There is no argument here. Just do it.
FIRST AID KIT
Accidents happen. At the worst times too. It never hurts to be prepared! Bring a little bag with bandaids, gauze and tape, Q-tips, and Neosporin. No matter how bad the cut, you can always go to your mini kit for something to hold you off until you get proper care for it. After all, you wouldn’t want to be bleeding in the ocean with sharks nearby…
Nothing is worse than starting off your vacation with a vicious cramp that prevents you from utilizing your neck and in full range. Imagine passing by the Eiffel Tower and being unable to enjoy it fully because you can’t turn your neck thanks to the cramp from sleeping on one side on the plane ride… Not fun right? When in doubt and with the capability to, bring a neck pillow. See that Eiffel Tower. Do it. DO IT.
It doesn’t matter if you’re on a beach or in the mountains. There is always some down time on vacations. As cheesy as it sounds, find something that will spark inspiration. Whether that is a journal or something you have been meaning to read, find it and bring it. When you’re on vacation, you are more likely to put the stressors on the back burner and truly enjoy what the author has written. You’re more likely to understand the full depth of the characters of a book and the little details of every plot twist. You’re also more likely to have the time to jot things down as they come or write down what you experience so you can remember it. Who knows, maybe a great trip will spark a great story!
There you have it! My spring break (or any break really) essentials. I’ll be packing these away in my suitcase in just a few hours before zipping it up and heading out. I hope you all have a relaxing and safe spring break wherever your destination is (even if it’s just home) and come back to work or school recharged and ready. There’s a whole lot of 2017 left for you to accomplish great goals.
Bon voyage, mes chéries!