Travel Tips

The Beach Travel Tips That Promise a Near-Perfect Vacation

Marriott Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Beach ResortNo one plans for a vacation to go wrong. But they happen. And often times, there are the root of a small problem that turns into a mighty big problem and just spirals out of control. Well have no fear, travel buddies. We’re here to help. Here are a few not-so-obvious travel tips you’ll want to remember in efforts to have the most perfect vacation EVER.

If traveling abroad, scan your passport and email it to your smartphone or take a picture of it.

Unless you’re heading to Puerto Rico or the USVI, you’ll need a passport. And while the first rule of thumb is to keep up with your passport, you just don’t want to be unprepared. Before you head out, make a copy of your passport (maybe 2). You can either print out the paper or save a picture of it on your smart phone, but its great backup should something happen to your must-have to get home. It’s also a great way to provide identification for things like excursions, hotel check-ins, restaurants, etc., so you don’t have to carry the real thing around with you.

If you’re not traveling out of the country, you can still do this with your driver’s license or ID card.

Call your credit card company BEFORE you leave.

This is one the most common things people forget to do. You’re all excited to jet away to paradise and forget to make this call, you go to swipe your card to buy the most kick-butt souvenir and it’s denied. Not only is this embarrassing, but it’s a hassle. And if you’re like us, it might ensue a level of panic around the fact that your card isn’t working in a foreign country.

Simply call your credit card company or bank a few days before you depart and let them know the dates you’ll be out of the country so they don’t freeze your account because of suspicious activity (AKA trying to use your card in a foreign country).

Always have an extra change of clothes in your carry-on.

Not an “OMG, my vacation’s ruined” tip, but this is a solid idea - for a few reasons. 1) What if (god forbid) something happens to your luggage? It gets delayed and has to get delivered to you, or worse, gets lost. Trying to enjoy your vacation in the same set of clothes just doesn’t sound like fun. 2) You’re headed to the beach! Depending on when you arrive, check-in may not be until a few hours after you arrive, which is okay and happens quite often. But if you’ve got a bathing suit and some sandals in your bag, you don’t have to wait for check-in to officially begin your vacation. Suit up and head out to that big beautiful beach, beach-goer! Throw something small and light into your carry-on and you’ll be set no matter the circumstances.

Extra tip (because we like you): when you’re packing, rolling up vs. folding your clothes can save you SO much space. It’ll give you room for that extra pair of shoes you just HAVE to have.

Bring your own beach towels (if you have the space).

We don’t make this suggestion because you’ll need your own beach towel. Nearly every resort will offer you a surplus of beach towels. But if you’ve got the room in your luggage, throw an extra one of your own in there, preferably bright-colored. Why, you ask? It’s a great way to spot your beach spot from a far distance. When everyone is using the same color towel, it may be hard to find your spot as you’re walking up from an afternoon dip in the ocean. It’ll help you remember where your stuff is AND provide a great way to see it from a far distance should you want to keep an eye on your area while splashing in the waves.

Vacations are meant to be pain-free and relaxing, so making sure you're prepared should definitely be a priority. Oh, and don't forget to make sure you've got the latest and greatest in essential beach travel gadgets. We're curious as to what things you swear by. Tell us your favorite travel tips in the comments below!

Brittany Innes is the try-anything-once spontaneous type with a knack for exploring new places and embracing her inner food-lover. She's also a big fan of college football and instagramming everything she eats, as she eats it (she's that girl).

5 Beach Travel Gadgets You Need Right Now

Sure, vacations are pretty much amazing. They’re the perfect time for you to unplug and rejuvenate; if I had my choice, I’d have a permanent out-of-office reply on and be beachside every day. And traditionally, vacation is a time for you to put down the gadgets and escape from it all. While I definitely recommend clearing your mind, there are a few fun and life-saving gadgets that might just take your beach vacation to a whole other level. Here’s a list of beach-friendly travel gadgets you might want to consider throwing in your suitcase next time you’re beach bound.

ECOXPRO Audio Case for Extreme Protection:

Waterproof Phone & Audio Case - Beach Travel Gadgets -

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This bad boy promises exactly what the name states – protection. You won’t have to worry about waterproofing your phone or not being able to snap photos because of FOSP (Fear of Sand in Phone), because ECOXPRO has you covered. It’s waterproof and protects from pretty much any of Mother Nature’s elements. It fits nearly every device and has a pocket for credit cards, cash, etc. that stays air tight and locked up. The speaker on the case makes for easy access to your beach tunes playlist. There’s even a 30-hour battery life on this thing. Oh, and the best part? It floats.

Perfect vacation spot: Costa Rica. Or any place where jungle zip lines are as common as fast-food joints and relaxation time is perceived to be a rigorous hike to catch some out-of-this-world views from the top.

Ray-Ban Remix:

Um. What’s more amazing than having the PERFECT pair of shades to protect your precious eyes from all things sun? That’s why I’m totally into the Remix collection Ray-Bay is offering right now. Choose from iconic Ray-Ban styles like the aviator, wayfarer or even my personal favorite, the clubmaster. Once you select your style, you’ve got options like color, lenses and metal details to think about. Finalize your selction and BOOM, they’ll ship your shades right to you. It honestly doesn’t get much better than that. And the customization comes at no extra cost. Design away, my friends!

Customizable Ray-Ban Sunglasses - Beach Travel Gadgets by

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Perfect vacation spot: ANYWHERE. Yep, as long as sunny skies are in the forecast, you’re set and officially ready to take on the beach.

Shake Bottom Beach Bag:

Ugh. Sand. We all dream of putting our toes in the sand after a long hard day at the office, right? And while that’s certainly wonderful, bringing the sand home from the beach is always a drag. That’s why the Shake Bottom Beach Bag is sort of like the end-all, be-all for a beach trip. The bag features a reversible flap pinned to either side, allowing you to reveal or conceal the netting at will. When sand begins to intrude, just flip the flap and shake away! It doesn’t help that these bags boast an affordable price tag and are actually adorable. I may even be compelled to use this bag sans beach.

Shake Bottom Beach Bag - Beach Travel Gadgets by

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Perfect vacation spot: Well, any beach will due. But iconic sand destinations to test this out include the pink sands of Bermuda, black sands of St. Lucia, or the whitest of the white sands in the Bahamas.

Waterproofed Kindle Paperwhite:

Are there any other bonafide beach bums out there? If at least one of your vacation days MUST be spent beach side with copious amounts of frosty drinks and poolside service, then you’ll probably consider a waterproof kindle papershite a necessity too. So if it’s time to switch from beach cabana to pool float (because it’s a better tanning angle for you, duh), don’t even think about having to mess with keeping the kindle away from the water, or even tucking it away in your bag in hopes it doesn’t come across some damage on it’s own. The paperwhite version is also a nice option because it will literally change your life when trying to read outside in the sun. And yes, this means it’s OK to finish Gone Girl and move onto the next title on your book club’s list.

Waterproof Kindle Paperwhite - Beach Travel Gadgets -

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Perfect vacation spot: Again, any beach will probably suffice. Not to mention you can use this kindle when you get back home too. But all-inclusive luxury resorts like Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun offer all the amenities you need, all while allowing you to get down on the latest novel.


We all like to come home from vacation looking a little sun-kissed. But we’ve all been there when that golden brown color you think you’re safely developing turns into an outright burn and, let’s face it, it’s miserable. Well. Welcome to the future of sun protection. JUNE is a device that measures your sun exposure throughout the day and provides you with real-time updates on your smart phone. It’s a simple (and cute!) bracelet you wear when outside and the app on your smart phone will keep track of things like your current UV levels, the appropriate SPF for your skin, when you should probably put a hat on, and of course, when it’s time to move into the shade. So let JUNE do the work for you, while you just bask in the sun god/goddess glory at the end of the day.

JUNE Sun Protection Bracelet - Beach Travel Gadgets - Cheap Caribbean

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Perfect vacation spot: This is another “anywhere there’s some sun” gadgets, but one place that’s extra sunny and super popular this time of year is Breahtless Punta Cana & Spa in the Dominican Republic. With the DJ’ed pool parties this place sees on a regular basis, your JUNE will absolutely come in handy.

There you have it--some of the things considers to be beach travel musts. No doubt, these items will simplify and elevate your beach vacation experience. Ah. Thank you, technology. What are your beach travel gadget favorites? Tell us in the comments below!

Brittany Innes is a travel junkie with a passion for food, trying new things, and being spontaneous.


Travel Tips: What to Expect at the Airport

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Congratulations! You’ve just booked your first trip to the Caribbean. While you’re probably overly excited at the moment, you may also be wondering, “What happens next?”

Air travel can be tricky, especially if it’s your first time on a plane. You probably have a ton of questions about what goes down in an airport, but you may not be sure of where to look for answers. It’s ALWAYS better to be prepared, so we’ve gathered up a step-by-step list of what to expect at an airport.

  1. Pack Carefully - learn everything you need to know about packing for air travel (links to Packing for Air Travel article) before you head out to the airport.
  2. Timing Is Key – you won’t know where anything is, so give yourself plenty of time to make it from the airport parking lot, through long check-in and security lines, and to your gate on time. Nothing feels worse than missing your first flight.
  3. Keep Your Documentation On Hand – you’re going to be asked to present your passport and boarding pass multiple times, so you’ll need to find a way to keep them handy without risking losing them (a neck pouch usually does the trick).
  4. Head to the Check-In Desk – there are signs that guide you from the entry to your airline’s check-in area. But in case you need more detailed instructions of how to get to the check-in desk, feel free to ask attendants for help.
  5. Go Through Security – there’ll be plenty of signs to guide you along the process. Once you get to the screening machines, you’ll need to take your shoes and jacket off and place them in a plastic bin along with the plastic bags in which you’re carrying your 3-ounce liquids. If you have a laptop, you’ll need to place it in a bin by itself, outside of any case or carrying bag. Then you’ll place the bins on a conveyor belt so that they can be screened. An attendant will then ask you to step through the metal detector and once you’re cleared, you can pick your belongings up at the other end of the conveyor belt. There’ll be tables where you can place your bins if you need some time to get your shoes back on and put everything back where it belongs.
  6. Find Your Gate – look for your gate number on your boarding pass. If you can’t find it, just look for the electronic displays and find your flight and gate number there. Once you know your gate number, just follow the signs to get to your gate’s waiting area and then take a seat. Depending on how early you got to the airport, you might have to wait a while.
  7. Keep An Ear Out – important messages, like flight delays, will be announced over the PA system. Make sure you listen to what’s being said while you wait for your flight.
  8. Know Your Seat Number – once your flight is ready to board, a gate attendant will begin to call for boarding. Airlines usually board by row, so you’ll have to wait until your row is called. Once you’re in the plane, find your seat by checking the numbers above the rows.
  9. Know Where Your Carry-Ons Go – carry-on luggage can go in two places; large bags go in the overhead compartment and smaller bags go under the seat in front of you. Don’t close the overhead compartments, a flight attendant will come around and do that for you.
  10. Collect Your Checked Bags – once you land, exit the plane and follow signs leading you to baggage claim. Your flight number and departure city will be listed on electronic displays. Wait at the conveyor belt until you’ve collected your bags. If one is missing, talk to the airport staff.

Is there anything else you'd add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!

Roberto Jaimes is a Texas A&M graduate and a Web Content Editor at Roberto can do a thing or two in Adobe Creative Suite and spends his free time watching/playing soccer and exploring Mexico and the Caribbean. 

Beach Bum 101: How to Ace Your Beach Vacation

So you want to be a beach bum. You want to laze the day away on a comfy lounger, letting your feet graze the soothing sand below while the sun warms your increasingly-more-golden skin. Sure, there are basic things we all know about going to the beach, like packing swimwear and inevitably getting sand everywhere (and we mean everywhere.) But, there are tips and tricks that separate the newb from the pro. It takes a few trips out onto the shore to get the experience and knowledge one needs to refer to him/herself as a beach bum.

Lucky for you, you’ve got a beach lover to show you the ropes. I started out young, a little 8-month-old thing eating sand with a side of juice off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. A dozen or so trips to the Riviera Maya later, throw in some trips to Florida and California and a couple more to Punta Cana, and I’m not eating sand anymore (on purpose) but I do have some beach tips to share.

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For your own sake and mine, I’m skipping the obvious points today and digging in deeper:

Lesson 1: Pack like a pro

  • Don’t under any circumstances forget sunblock and insect repellant. Your resort’s shop will likely sell them to you but you won’t be happy about the price.
  • Sometimes resorts will serve your drinks in small plastic cups. And if you’re someone who needs quick refills, you may be better off taking your own insulated thermos for the beach staff to serve you in.
  • Low-key entertainment to heighten your beach lounging experience. Take a book, a crossword puzzle, your favorite jams, whatever’s enjoyable to you.
  • Pack some empty plastic bags in your suitcase. You can put your swimwear in them if they’re still damp when you check out.

Lesson 2: Prepare for tropical weather

  • On the day that you travel, dress in layers that you can take off as you deplane so you don’t sweat through too much clothing at customs.
  • A lightweight scarf triples as a way to keep you warm in transit, a blanket if you’re cold on the plane, and a cover-up on the beach or by the pool.
  • Keep your sunglasses in your carry-on so you can slide them on as soon as the sun greets your skin at the airport.

Lesson 3: Protect your bronzed bod

  • Recoat your sunblock every few hours, instead of just once in the morning. You’ll still get tan and you’ll protect your skin from burning.
  • Take aloe vera or a cooling lotion to soothe your skin at the end of the day. Just trust me.
  • While we all love to drink cocktails in the Caribbean, make sure to drink just as much water while you’re lounging. It’s easy to get dehydrated when you’re out in the sun all day and that’s the last thing you want on vacation.

There you have it! Your 10 tips from a seasoned beach goer should make you the Mary Poppins of beach bummin’ on your next trip to the Caribbean. So go show off your skills! And if you have any tips you'd add to this list, be sure to leave them in the comments below. Class is dismissed.

By Cristy Angulo