The Packing List: Beach Trips

 
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Sunglasses $7.95 H&M, Polka Dot Bikini Top $17.95 H&M,  Polka Dot Bikini Bottoms $12.95 H&M, Striped Cotton Dress $39.90 Zara, Light Wash Denim Jacket $70 River Island, California Palm Print Frill Halter Beach Playsuit $38.11 ASOS, We Are All Smith Venice Beach Tank $32 BlueFly, Linen Blended Tank $12.90 Uniqlo, Denim Shorts $29.95 H&M   

Sunglasses $7.95 H&M, Polka Dot Bikini Top $17.95 H&M,  Polka Dot Bikini Bottoms $12.95 H&M, Striped Cotton Dress $39.90 Zara, Light Wash Denim Jacket $70 River Island, California Palm Print Frill Halter Beach Playsuit $38.11 ASOS, We Are All Smith Venice Beach Tank $32 BlueFly, Linen Blended Tank $12.90 Uniqlo, Denim Shorts $29.95 H&M 

 

Black Birkenstocks $120 Shopbop, Chuck Taylor Classics in Optical White $50 Converse, Nate Berkus Multi Point Beach Towel $15.29 Target, La Chance Passe Smartphone Wallet $45.95 MochiThings, Shea Butter Lip Balm in Coral Crush $8 Pixi Beauty, Iconic Straw Panama Hat $14.80 Forever 21, Men's Canvas Weekender Bag $34.99 Target, Coppertone Sport SPF 30 Dual Pack $13.99 Amazon, Toni&Guy Casual Sea Salt Texturizing Spray $15 BirchBox

Black Birkenstocks $120 Shopbop, Chuck Taylor Classics in Optical White $50 Converse, Nate Berkus Multi Point Beach Towel $15.29 Target, La Chance Passe Smartphone Wallet $45.95 MochiThings, Shea Butter Lip Balm in Coral Crush $8 Pixi Beauty, Iconic Straw Panama Hat $14.80 Forever 21, Men's Canvas Weekender Bag $34.99 Target, Coppertone Sport SPF 30 Dual Pack $13.99 Amazon, Toni&Guy Casual Sea Salt Texturizing Spray $15 BirchBox

Let me start off by saying that I'm incredibly lucky. My parents have a beach house in Delaware that they let me use whenever the moment strikes. I'm also incredibly unlucky. Since I live in New York, transit time is a little over 5 hours from said house and, like most New Yorkers, I don't own a car. That means that even weekend trips to the beach house require careful planning to reserve a car and configure schedules.

After years of renting exorbitantly priced cars in the city, I finally realized that I could avoid major fees AND tunnel traffic by renting in New Jersey. Now I use CarRentals.com to rent with Dollar Rental, conveniently located inside the Newport Mall (easily accesible by the PATH train). The cars start at just $30/day compared to the $80/day in NYC. I've used this rental location for trips to the Poconos, Vermont, Catskills and Delaware. I cannot stress enough how much easier this is than renting inside the city. (Check back soon for how to do a beach trip from NYC without a car!)

My friends and I generally leave after work on Thursday around 8pm to avoid NJ Turnpike, which gets us to the house around 1am. After a quick stop at Grotto Pizza to refuel, we're off to bed. Besides the beach, we try to fit in at least one meal of steamed crabs, a trip to Funland,  and recently - a race! Ever since my friends and I got into running a few years back, we've tried to incorporate races into our vacations. (Happy side effect: we can eat more steamed crabs and boardwalk fries without the guilt.) We'll be running the Blue-Gold All Star 5k in Lewes. Wish us luck (PRs for everyone!)!

Besides running gear, here's what I'll be packing on my trip...

  • Dress + Romper: I love packing for summer trips because I can pack dresses. Whenever I can pack one item and have that serve as an entire outfit, I feel like I've won at life. Rompers are a great alternative to dresses, but be warned - going to the bathroom in one of these things is a challenge. Small price to pay for comfort?
  • Breezy Tanks: I can never have too many of these during the warmer months. The linen blend ones from Uniqlo are lightweight, soft and come in so many fun summer colors (though I went with a dark gray so that I can mix and match easier.) 
  • Classic Denim: You can never go wrong with cuffed denim shorts at the beach. These will never go out of style and can be dressed up or dressed down easily. Same goes for a denim jacket. Since its only the start of summer and the temperatures aren't tooooo warm yet, I expect to wear this on cooler nights.
  • Fun (and supportive!) Swimwear: This may seem obvious, but support is a HUGE issue for me with swimwear. For those who don't know me, I'm, shall we say, on the bustier side. For that reason, buying swimwear is always tricky. Luckily, in the past few years H&M has come out with supportive and stylish options that are ridiculously inexpensive so I can buy a new one every season. 
  • Sun accessories: I don't tan, I burn, so a hat is a must... otherwise it will hurt to brush my hair the next day. No joke. Sunglasses are also important for me since my light-colored eyes + the sun don't mix. 
  • Comfy Shoes: I know Staci doesn't approve (yet!) but I'm fully embracing the "ugly shoe" trend and wearing the hell out of my Birkenstocks this summer. They're super comfy, easy to slip on and off and only get better with age. Similarly, my converse are my go-to summer sneakers. 
  • Multipurpose Luggage: I love when I can use my luggage during a trip like I can with this duffel/ beach bag. I use my Smartphone wallet every day because it holds all my cards, money and phone and keeps my purse organized. It's also great for travel because its essentially a clutch! 
  • Sea Salt Spray: I hate doing my hair while on vacation, especially while at the beach. It takes precious time away from enjoying my vacation, so this sea salt spray is perfect. I just spray it into my damp hair, throw it into a bun and an hour later I have beach waves. It's not always perfect, but its the beach... it shouldn't be perfect, right?

-Jen