caribbean beachIt's snowing right now in MN. Rather robust flakes in fact. It makes me more excited to leave for Jamaica next Sunday on our working vacation! No need to be can take a working vacation too!

Here's ten things I can't be without when on vacation in a warm climate (cold weather version to follow in months ahead):

1.  Dental Floss and threader: This doesn't sound very sexy, but being without it is even less sexy! I bring at least three packs of floss- one for my travel bag, one in my suitcase and one for my beach bag (this one is specifically for John so he doesn't have to run back to the room all the time). What's a threader you ask? Well, if you have a dental bridge or crown, you already know. Otherwise, it's a nifty little device that allows the dental floss to go under dental work. Dental floss can be found in third world countries, although not easily when arriving late at night. Threaders, on the other hand, cannot :(.

2.  SPF in a spray can for body: Now I can SPF 'my own self' as the kids used to say :). No assistance needed for my back and other hard to reach areas. I used to be stuck when John was off scuba diving. There never seemed to be a handsome pool boy around when I needed one.    I bring a minimum of two cans-  three to be safe. Sunscreen (and everything else on the islands) is expensive. The downside to spray SPF is it goes pretty fast. Upside: it dries fast, easy application and I'll use it more often.  What am I bringing this trip? Three cans of Coppertone Sport Continuous Spray SPF 30.

3.  Lubricating Eye Drops:  I have extended wear contacts. I love them! I keep them in for 30 days at a time, 24/7. At home, I just pop a drop of sterile saline solution in my eyes each morning. For travel, I bring a small bottle of lubricating eye drops and keep them by my bedside. Works great, and the small bottle is much more travel friendly than a big bottle of saline. This is also nice to have on hand during the dry flights.

4.  SPF for face:  You knew this was coming! I combine Clarins UV40 HP Medium and Dark Tint in a small bottle, as self-tanning has deepened my skin tone for the week. The combination of both colors is perfect and the small bottle lasts all week.

5.  Bandanas and hats:  The purpose of these is threefold: sun protection to prevent sunburned scalp, sun protection to prevent hair color from turning brassy, and sweat collection! I usually teach 2/3 classes a day- one in the pool, on our vacations, so having something on my head is very important. Bonus: easily hides a bad hair day. If you're not a ball cap kind of person, there are some really cute packable straw hats that fold well.

6.  Body Oil for the beach: Life on the beach is trying, I mean drying! A good friend of mine always carries a small bottle of baby oil in her beach bag. I bring Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil, because prefer natural oils to mineral oils. Often, Clarins will have a trial sized bottle of this as a gift choice, so look for it the next time you purchase Clarins at gift time.

7.  Sunglasses: I can't function without them during the day. Period. In fact, the thought of going without them puts me in a panic. Most likely because I'm a contact wearer and a migrainer. Polarized lenses are the best. Did you know that wearing sunglasses is one of the best things we can do to prevent cataracts? we can be stylin' and preventative all at the same time!

8.  First Aid Kit: To include, but certainly not limited to: band aids- regular and liquid, a strong topical antibiotic, an oral antibiotic (if you travel often to third world countries, ask your Dr. for a long lasting, broad spectrum antibiotic to keep in your suitcase- my OB/GYN offered to write a script for this), tweezers, blunt end scissors, clippers, antihistamine, benadryl, pain reliever, cold medicine, etc. All of these items are incredibly expensive, if even available, while on vacation. A visit to the Dr. and corresponding script will run hundreds of dollars.

9.  Laundry detergent: I transfer some liquid laundry detergent into a small squeeze bottle (a 2 oz. shampoo bottle works well). John and I teach throughout our vacation. As you can imagine, his clothes (ok, mine too!)  get sweaty and nasty. We don't own enough workout clothes for three classes a day, let alone have enough suitcase space. Bringing detergent and hand washing our clothes is the only way we get through the week. Depending on the humidity level, they dry in 12-24 hours by hanging them over the plastic chairs on the balcony. Nothing has EVER been stolen. Possibly because they're still too sweaty and nasty :)!

10. Spray tan in a can: Just like SPF, I can do it myself. I've found a week is too long to go without touch ups, so I bring it along. My favorite spray self tanner? Definitely Quick Tan by Body Drench. This stuff rocks. It's quick, easy and has a decent smell. The color is good and quite long lasting.

Okay, there you go. Please let us know what you bring along. Any advice is helpful, because I'm sure I'm forgetting something major. I feel like that every time we the house...passport? money? sunglasses? Did I turn the oven off? Did I schedule the bills to be paid on time? Did I schedule the PRO/STYLE post? Oh- that reminds me- next week, I'll be on vacation, so the next PRO/STYLE will be Wednesday, December 18.


* I receive no compensation for writing PRO/STYLE. If I do, I'll let you know!


Amy Macgowan
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