Ah, a beach holiday. Just what we need at the end of a long, rather tough year. And, in South Africa, there are a number of stunning beach getaways that invite local and international tourists to relax on the warms white sands or take a dip in the cool turquoise waters. Whether in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal or even a part of the Northern Cape, the South African coastline is extensive and exquisite.
To get the most out of your beach-bound vacation, a little bit of preparation and planning is required. It is well worth it when you are enjoying sea, sand and sunshine in sheer serenity.
Packing Your Bags
Having the right clothing is essential to any trip away from home. While you are probably planning on getting out of your costume only for showers and the odd formal dinner, you will need to prepare for bad weather too, no matter how optimistic the weatherman.So, while keeping it to the minimum, pack a warm fleecy top as well as a light waterproof jacket. Don’t forget one formal outfit for a classy dinner or night on the town.
Bright accessories show off a tan, so choose just a few pieces of jewellery and accessories that will showcase your colour, but not weigh your bags down.
Also, pack a full costume in addition to your bikini. Bikinis are better for tanning, but there may be times or places at which you feel it more appropriate to wear something a little more modest (depending on your destination).
Health and Beauty
Being in salty seawater or chlorine-treated swimming pools wreaks havoc on your hair and skin. In addition, you will be in the sun, wearing little to no protective make-up. So, you need to be extra careful about the protection of your skin. Sunscreen is of utmost importance. Choose one that has a high sun protection factor (30 or more), and apply it regularly, even in overcast conditions. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and good quality sunglasses, and be aware of the times in which you are outside, avoiding the sun between 11h00 and 14h00.
As relaxed and fun as you feel, avoid drinking alcohol in the sun. You may easily become dehydrated, but not thirsty enough to drink the water that your body needs. Too much alcohol will also increase your chances of forgetting to apply sunscreen, staying in the sun for too long or, even worse, trying to swim while not in full control.
Give your hair moisture treatments before the time and once you return from vacation. When possible, tie it up and keep it out of the water so that it is not constantly wet and full of sea salt or chlorine.
Holidays are often a time of over-indulgence; ditching the diet and just spoiling ourselves. But, the last thing you want while lying on the beach is a bloated stomach or the feeling of being fat and stagnant. So, while indulging every now and then isn’t going to hurt anyone, try to stick to light foods that combine raw ingredients and proteins, with little to no carbs.
Drink plenty of water (ensure that you have safe drinking water at your destination) and avoid having too much alcohol and sugar. Try to pack your meals and take them along if you are going to be out all day, rather than resorting to calorie-laden take-aways.
Most importantly, leave the stresses and strains in the city, while you soak up the Vitamin-D goodness of the coastal sunshine.