The single most asked question at this time of year (oh, apart from “can we catch up?”) has to be, “are you going away for Christmas?”
Some of my friends have already flown the coop (and family squabbles); some are packing as I type. For most it’s all about the quintessential Aussie beach holiday.
So, given that I live at the beach ALL YEAR ROUND (sorry, had to rub that one in), I thought I’d offer a community service blog post for those still scratching their head as to what to pack. (I’ve already discussed sunscreen, over here, so take that as a given please.)
Here are my 10 summer holiday essentials:
1. Swimsuit. Obvious, I know. But essential all the same. And a classic black one-piece will see you through the season in style. This one from Jets is all class. And more.
2. Something to throw over the swimsuit. You know, to save your shoulders from a deep fry and in which to gracefully walk across the road from beach to grab a coffee/cocktail (insert appropriate beverage of choice here).
3. A bag in which to carry all your beach essentials. Our family is a big fan of the blue IKEA bags but if I didn’t have to fit five towels, five water bottles and sufficient snacks for five people in one bag, I’d be happily throwing this bag over my arm.
4. A cotton maxi dress, in which to swan around and generally feel fabulous in. This one’s new in at Witchery. I’d wear it with a Nearly Nude black bandeau bra underneath to resolve the fact that my boobs no longer sit where they should. Young and perky bosums will be just fine.
5. A pair of fun flats, preferably with a bit of bling. Loving these from Holster.
6. Some bright nail colour. Holidays are not the time for being shy. You’re away from home. The only people you will potentially embarrass are members of your family. And if you’re like me, you already do a good job of that on a daily basis anyway. So slick on some blue … or orange. You know you want to.
7. A pedicure kit. I kid you not. I have zero time in the madness that is the pre-Christmas rush to care for my feet. On holidays it’s a different matter. This kit from Burt’s Bees is particularly wonderful and includes a pair of yellow socks to put on your Coconut-Cremed feet overnight. Perhaps not good for a holiday romance but fab for crack-free heels.
8. Aloe Vera gel. Specifically Plunkett’s Certified Organic Aloe Vera gel. We are very much a sunscreen and rash vest type of family but sometimes, we stuff up. Like the time I sunscreened everywhere except my left forearm. BAD, BAD MISTAKE. That’s why we always have a pump pack of this on hand. It’s the real deal – 99% pure and boy, does it work to soothe. Immediately. Also a gem on insect bites and shaving rash.
9. A hand sanitiser. What can I say? I may have a little Virgo rising in me. I just like to have this Nougat London natural hand sanitiser on … well … hand. It’s natural and brimming with oils such as lemongrass, bergamot, eucalyptus and lemon to help keep germs at bay. (Available at David Jones as well as selected pharmacies and boutiques. Ph 1800 137 480)
10. A good bronzer. This is particularly handy if you have been away on a beach holiday, it’s rained non-stop but you still want to return to the office boasting about your fabulous vaycay. At the very least it will make you feel like you’ve been on a summer holiday … you can enlist this little gem to create that feeling all year round.
And while you’re sitting on the beach this summer, keep in mind these interesting stats (the good people at NIVEA* did some research) about what we don’t like about the beach:
• 57% of us do not like not being able to find a car park
• 52% of us hate getting sunburnt
• 47% of us worry about belongings being stolen
• 45% of us don’t like having other people’s sandy towels shaken on us
• 40% of us don’t like our beach too crowded or to have people sitting too close
• 27% of us are offended by “old men” in Speedos
• 26% of us don’t like beaches without showers
• 23% of us find the sight of couples getting too intimate annoying
… me, I’m surprised that only 27% of the beach-going population are apparently offended by old men in Speedos. Quite frankly, they should be banned.
*Ultra Beach Study Report research conducted by Lonergan Research, for NIVEA SUN – November 1, 2010