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Being born and raised in Florida definitely has its advantages– for example, virtually every week during the months of March through November can easily transform into an impromptu spring break. I have personally indulged in at least 100+ spring breaks during the span of my adult life thus far, so I consider myself to be a bit of an expert when it comes to the bare beach necessities. I refuse to lug around speakers or cumbersome seating with low utility percentages; I’d rather stick to the basics and save my energy for tanning. Here are my top 10 spring break essentials:
one | For starters, you’ll notice I didn’t include any electronics in any of my photos, and my reasoning is two-fold: 1. I prefer the peaceful tranquility of the ocean waves to facilitate easy reading over boisterous speakers with spotty connections and 2. Floridians aren’t perfect, and things get stolen. Easily. Grab a book. If you’re short a reading list, check out any one of these 12 books all girlbosses should read in 2016.
two | Although sunburns in any location and of any degree of intensity are painful, nothing– and I mean nothing— is worse than a bad facial sunburn. Reapplying sub-par sunscreen every 15 minutes can cause you to break out, so I opt for a light layer of SPF50+ before heading out into the sun and commit to wearing a sunhat whenever possible. Plus, everybody looks cute a wide-rimmed straw sunhat, so it’s both a functional and fashionable investment.
three | Don’t forget sunscreen, and don’t think that one application, regardless of its SPF, is sufficient for an entire day’s worth of outdoor activities. From painful experience, it isn’t. I can’t stress enough how easily a second- or even third-degree sunburn can put a damper on your spring break festivities, so please be careful and conscious of your skin.
four | Lip Balm is another fundamental inclusion in your beach bag. I feel like I’m starting to sound like an anti-skin cancer campaign, but I don’t care; even your lips can get burnt, and ain’t nobody got time to deal with your lips peeling off while on spring break.
five | Nobody wants to ruin a once-in-a-lifetime girls trip with feminine complications. Even if it’s not your time of the month, be prepared to help a girlfriend out and remember that Mother Nature has a way of sneaking up on you at the most inopportune times. Attempting to look like a Baywatch lifeguard on the beach in front of a neighboring fraternity is awkward enough as it is, so I rely on Tampax Pearl tampons to keep me confident– and most importantly, protected. Their products are constructed with a unique built-in backup system with an extra layer of protection to help stop leaks before they happen, and they gently expand to fit everyone’s unique shape. In all my years of Floridian “adulting,” Tampax Pearl has literally never let me down in all my years of beaching, so I’m a pretty gosh darn appreciative fan.
six | I’m not one for lugging around huge beach bags. I can barely keep track of myself, let alone a huge bag filled with all my (and inevitably all my friends’) personal belongings. Although they’re convenient, I prefer only having to keep tabs on a tiny clutch or makeup bag. They can easily contain (and disguise) the aforementioned feminine products, as well as house your credit card, ID, and/or cell phone. Plus, if a friend does choose to tote along a big beach bag, ask to throw your clutch inside, and you’re literally worry free.
seven | I can really only speak for Florida, but I assume spring break just about everywhere gets pretty darn hot. Stay healthy and hydrated by bringing along a water bottle everywhere you go.
eight | Sunglasses are key for both blocking out harmful UV light and hiding any evidence of a hangover.
nine | This may sound odd, but ever since I had a swimsuit top literally break (on me) while swimming in the ocean when I was about 13 years old, I always leave an extra swimsuit in the car. Again, even if it’s not you with the wardrobe malfunction, this gesture can be a saving grace for a friend, as well.
ten | If you’re on spring break, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll stay in one place all day. Bring a cute cover-up to throw on top of your bikini if you choose to eat at a restaurant, bar hop, go shopping, or just in case you’re sunburnt and just want some extra protection before heading home.
So there you have my top 10 spring break essentials! What are yours? And does anyone have concrete spring break plans this year? I’m in search of fun adventures!