Planning a trip to the south this winter? Here are my favourite essentials:

A Great Bathing Suit – I haven’t worn a 2 piece suit in years, but when I was in Greece last summer, I noticed everyone wearing bikinis.  Doesn’t matter how old or how out of shape they are. Imagine how odd I felt wearing my one-piece suit made for aquafitness!  I resolved to get stylish and go for a vintage high waist bottom with a flattering bikini top.  I bravely tried on my options at Swimco in the Willowbrook Mall.  They were so helpful there.  In the end, I couldn’t decide, so I bought 2 tops.  I will bring along one tankini, for those days when I am not feeling so ahem… slim.

bathing suits


Long Beach Dresses – Evenings will include dinner at one of the many à la carte restaurants. Gentlemen must wear trousers, so I thought I’d invest in a couple of long jersey dresses.  I found just what I needed at the Cloverdale Flea Market.  Two dresses for $38.  You can’t beat that!  

beach dresses


I will also be able to get plenty of use from those dresses next summer on the beach or in the city. I switch them up by wearing a cami or a t-shirt to give me more coverage when I’m not at a beach resort.

The little turquoise purse was from Value Village$9 is an investment I can afford.

Stylish Travel Outfits – You need to travel from here to there. Why not do it in comfort and style?  For my trip south, I thought I’d wear wideleg jersey pants and a striped tunic length t-shirt. The tunic was from Winners last winter and the pants were from another flea market down south.  

tunic and wide pants orangetunic and wide pants turquoise

To complete the outfit, I always bring along a large scarf to wrap around me on the plane.  The turquoise one is actually a beach cover-up that I picked up in Sydney, AU years back. $20 at an airport kiosk. You can probably find similar or make your own with a large piece of sheer fabric. The orange scarf was a souvenir from my daughter’s trip to Cambodia.  The orange purse was from Sears in Nanaimo as few years back.  


I completed the outfits with my gold flats, a bargain from Army Navy in Langley last summer.  All I have to do is decide which colour scheme I want to go with.  I am leaning towards the orange as I like a roomier purse for the plane.  That way I can fit my ipad in it. The turquoise colour scheme can be worn on a cooler evening when I might add a necklace.

*I try not to wear jewelry when I travel by plane.  It avoids removing all that as I pass through security.

 A Perfect T-Shirt Dress – I can wear that dress on its own with sandals and a sunhat or pair it with ¾ length leggings and my gold flats on a cooler day.  The length of the dress with its shirttail hem makes it so versatile.  It was an inexpensive find at a discount store in Ontario.  If the people at Giant Tiger are reading this – we could really use a nice store in Aldergrove!

dress and leggings

A Stylish Sunhat – mine is getting a bit old, so I might have to shop around while on vacation.  It’s worth spending a bit more for a style and quality that really suit you. I prefer a style that looks good in the city as well as on the beach, so I opt for a fedora most times. Just remember not to pack it in your luggage so it doesn’t get crushed.

One last tip – I try to keep my clothes in the same colour family.  I wear a lot of black and blue and add touches of orange or turquoise to break it up.  Once I put all my clothes out on the bed, I make outfits with them and see what I can remove from the mix.  

Pack less!  You won’t miss it.

What are your beach travel essentials?