Summer is here! Well, that’s the only “season” out of the four seasons other countries have that we get to experience. Technically, we have 2 seasons. No, not spring and summer nor is it autumn and summer. (This was told to some of my students by their other teachers. What do they teach in Philippine schools nowadays? lol) Kidding aside, our seasons would be the dry season and the wet season. Dry season starts in November and ends in May. The rainy season on the other hand, starts in June and lasts until October. March, April and May are our unofficial summer months where temperatures are at their highest and students have their summer vacation/holiday.
Anyway, I wanted to share my beach essentials for this summer as I am sure many of you, like me, are going to the beach.
- Hat. To protect your face from the sun of course.
- Sunglasses. They don’t only look fashionable, they also protect your eyes from the glare of the sun. I usually carry a cheap one with me, like this one here. Especially when backpacking as I tend to break stuff…a lot.
- Waterproof Phone Sleeve. I don’t know what to call it honestly. Anyway, I actually use this when swimming since I like having it on hand. But even if you don’t use it while swimming, It might be useful to have since things get wet at the beach.
- Phone. Need I elaborate? Lol. Yeah, I know some people prefer to “disconnect” while on holiday but I don’t use my phone 24/7 anyway. While on the beach, I use it to take pictures, listen to music and contact the driver or boatman lol.
- Power bank or battery pack. It depends on where you are going, you might need this or not. Some beaches/islands I’ve been to don’t have electricity or if they do, it’s through a generator so this would definitely be handy.
- Lip stain. I wear make up to the beach, but very minimal makeup. I usually do my brows and tap this on my cheeks and lips for some color. (At the end of the day I won’t probably even need to put this on my cheeks.)
- Action camera with floaty bobber. The one I got is verrrrry cheap. It’s no GoPro but it does the job. It’s the SJCAM SJ4000. This variant has wifi so you can connect it to your phone and use it as a remote/playback device for the camera. I usually go snorkeling so this is very useful as it comes with a waterproof case. The floaty bobber isn’t included in the set but I got this one for less than $5 on Ebay. If you plan on using your action camera to take pictures underwater, I would definitely suggest that you get this. The quality, on the other hand, is good (for the price). My photos usually end up very “cool” even after tweaking the white balance but it’s nothing photoshop or a little color correction can’t fix. (Depending on your editor, you can increase the temperature to make it warmer, or pull up the yellow and/or decrease the blue.)
- SUNSCREEN. Definitely protect your skin guys. I know we have more melanin than Caucasians but that’s no excuse to be proactive. I’ve seen sachets of sunscreen in Watson and they’re less than php50 if I remember correctly. This one I got was also very cheap. It was less than Php300 I think. It has an SPF of 30 which I think is already adequate. I would still end up having to reapply it anyway. More SPF facts here. Remember, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
- Scarf. Ala Senator de Lima. Jk. If you travel without a (big) scarf, rethink your priorities. Kidding, again. I think a scarf is really multifunctional. Whatever the weather, the circumstances, you can definitely find a use for it. Is the sun too hot? Your hat not offering enough protection from the sun? Put it over your head– tadaa makeshift umbrella. Your towel is too bulky? Leave it. Use this to clean yourself up. It dries faster too. There’s more but that will be for next time.
- Portable “fan”. I got this from a store downtown and it was very cheap, Php 60 (less than $2). I just plug this to my power bank’s USB port and voila, hangiiiiiin. It doesn’t consume a lot of power too which makes it so much better in my book. The reason I bought this wasn’t actually to bring it to the beach but rather, I initially intended it to be used at home. In the Philippines, our electric companies are so efficient we suffer from black outs and power failures once a month or more. In some instances, blackouts would last 8hours or more. In line with that, I got myself this and it has definitely made things more bearable. I just brought this to the beach with me because it has been so hot and humid everywhere.
- Rash guard. (Yes, it’s spelled RASH guard with an “A” not a “U”). While it seems to be the trend to wear bikinis as skimpy and “cheeky” as possible, I go the other way. First of all, I am fat. Second, I want more protection for my skin. Yeah, I’ve lathered some sunscreen on, but I definitely burn without an extra layer of clothing on my skin. Third, freckles. I have freckles on my face and exposing my bare back to the sun would definitely put some there.
- Shorts. Obviously. Lol.
- Aqua shoes. I go snorkeling and that means (sometimes) stepping on some sea grass or huge stones underwater. I feel really uncomfortable walking barefoot on the sea or any body of water. I don’t know, but every time I do, I feel as if something is going to bite me or I’m going to step on an urchin or something. This is why I hesitate walking around the catch basin of a waterfall or a lake, river, etc. If you feel the same way as I do, buy these. They’re cheap (Php250 or $5 in SM department store) and they’re also good when walking on a mossy or a slightly slippery surface. This seems like an exaggeration but I swear, it has changed (half of) my life. I can swim and snorkel in peace without having to worry about my next step.
That should be all for this time. How about you? What are your beach essentials?