There’s an entire category of vacation places we might call “bathing suit” resorts. You know, the kind where days are passed by the side of a pool, a lake, or the ocean, and one’s bathing suit is rarely dry. I have often packed my bags for these occasions. It’s my favorite way to spend time off.
I’ve believe I’ve got this packing down to a science, or, to be fair, an art. Science obeys universal laws, but style varies person to person. My mother still packs a special travel bathrobe. She still has special grape-cutting scissors too. But I digress. So.
The [Privileged] Guide to Packing for Bathing Suit Resorts, Or, What To Bring?
- Bring at least 2 bathing suits. 3, even better. Putting on a wet suit is one of the more unpleasant first world problems. Your life will be made easier if you pack complementary colors. Green, peach, and pink, or, blue, white, and black, for example. Hues of any sort terrify me in regular life. Vacations are different. Packing for a resort is all about color, since you will want limited structure in your clothing, and minimal texture to your fabrics.
- A cover-up, for walking to the water. I prefer sarongs. Thin fabric over bathing suit tops reveals straps and various bumps and wiggles. Looks messy. You hair will have already developed its own lovely wisps and frizzles. No need to turn up the mess dial. Whereas a sarong covers that which must be covered, and cascades gracefully down your legs. If you need something up top, wear a button-front shirt, or a plain white heavy tee. Millions of Southeast Asian men have proved the concept.
- 3 pairs of flip-flops, some, um, flippier than others. If you make sure that one pair is bejeweled leather, you will never have find yourself teetering on lava stone steps, or sinking into spongy paths. Again, explore interesting colors. It’s amazing how stylish a pair of lavender flip-flops can look, when you’re wearing little else.
- A pair of shoes for activities more strenuous than walking, on terrain more difficult than sand, or tile.
- A hat. Not a baseball cap – they can’t shade the critical parts of your face. Not stiff-brimmed either. Stiff-brimmed hats prevent one from laying one’s head back on a lounge chair to read. Mid-size, soft, white hats are perfect, as the brim can be folded up to make a point in conversation. Or watch particularly attractive passers-by.
- Sunscreen. But not too much. Over 30 SPF often discolors clothing. Sun umbrellas are your best friends. Just hide. Come out for swimming. Hide some more.
- A cloth or straw beach bag. Enormous pink slouchy patent leather bags don’t mix with water. And they disturb my serenity besides.
- Workout gear. For justifying mini-doughnuts sprinkled with coarsely granulated sugar or the third glass of pinot noir. Or both.
- Some shorts. Some tank tops or tees. For meals. I am from the old school that feels dining rooms should not be entered in visible bathing suits. It’s just not that hard to walk back to your room to put on your suit after breakfast.
- A couple of skirts. And your “good” tank tops or tee shirts. No top you have to fuss with is worth the effort, for warm nights by water. Impunity. If you are going somewhere with cool nights, bring a pair of pants. Warm nights were made for white jeans.
- Gold or silver bangles. If you sport silver sequins, the bangles should be gold. It’s vacation – live dangerously – mix metals. Aim to appear nonchalant, under the theory that ‘displaying the affect brings the effect.’ Smile and the world smiles with you. Bangle, and the world bangles with you.
- A wrap, a shawl, or, if you have more panache than I, some kind of 3/4 coat with kimono sleeves that you happened to pick up in, say, Bali. In 1972. Or 1986. Or 2001.