I am preparing for my exciting day in Xel Ha and my friend KCee gave me an informative and comical list she and her daughter compiled for their friends going on day trips here in the Riviera Maya. This is PART 2 of that list.
DON’T LOSE YOUR STYLE WHILE EXPLORING XEL HA – PART 2
First, let’s start by recapping where we are from PART 1. By now you have a nice beachbag or backpack that matches your smart swimsuit and it is fairly light and easily portable and it has everything you will need for your day trip BUT we haven’t talked about your clothing options and towel yet.
This is the most important point to remember when you are going touring.
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!
Second, a day trip is not the time to be spending lining up in the ladies washroom to jam your body into your swimsuit in a crammed stall or changeroom or to be lugging huge wet beachtowels around.
This is how you do it. There are some variations, but basically it is the same theme.
1) DO wear your swimsuit underneath your clothing. If you feel better wearing a one piece bathing suit, then I recommend this – find a bathing suit that looks like it is a one piece, but it actually two pieces. That way, if you have to go to the bathroom it won’t be so difficult and you will be more comfortable if you can open your suit at the tummy to let the air in under your shirt if it gets really hot.
Now if you have a personal hygiene issue with wearing your swimsuit, here is the trick – wear a small minipad in your swimsuit and just before you go swimming, remove it and put it in some toilet paper and a baggie until you get it to a garbage.
2) DO bring a pair of underwear with a matching bra (preferably without underwire), that is sexy and colors matching your outfit just in case someone sees them! Anyone who sees them will definitely know you have got it goin’ on! Put them in a larger ziploc bag, the ziploc bag you will put your wet swimsuit in if it doesn’t dry before you get back on the bus.
3) DO wear a comfortable easy to wear something on top of the swimsuit. This is what I like to do because it is so easy. I love those throw-over dresses that you can buy in the shop in the hotel. They are different styles and colors and they basically get thrown over your swimsuit. Easy. Pick one that matches your swimsuit, beachbag and sandals. Obviously don’t get a super long one – not good for climbing ruins and things if you are planning to do that. Just the usual length you wear – remember you have your swimsuit on – and it will match your dress if anyone sees it.
4) DO add a pareo. Now pareos are called all different names depending on the country you are in, saris, sarongs, wraps, but here in Mexico we call them pareos. THIS WILL BE YOUR TOWEL. They are fairly inexpensive, very light, very absorbant and very versatile. They also make EXCELLENT souvenirs for your friends back home, too! They come in so many colors and you will be sure to find one in your outfit for the day colors. Or, if you are reading this in the planning stage, you can find a nice light fabric in your local fabric store that rocks and all you have to do is sew a hem on the open ends and you have a pareo. The pareo is so cool because you can use it for all kinds of things before you actually have to use it to dry off after swimming… you can drape it around your neck to carry it, and it will also absorb any perspiration you have, after all it is the tropics, chicas! Or, I know sometimes it can get hot exploring so you can drape the pareo over your head and hold the two corners up, so you have instant shade! If you are getting sunburned, you can wear it like a head scarf to cover your face and shoulders and it’s so light, you won’t be like a furnace underneath!
If your dress you are wearing above needs a belt, voila, use your pareo!
If you need longer handles for your beach bag, use your pareo!
If you rent bikes in Coba Ruins for example, you might need an instant bungie cord to tie your stuff in the basket, use your pareo!
If you decide after all you will buy a huge souvenir for your friend back home and it doesn’t fit in your beach bag, make a sling and carry it in your pareo!
You can see what I mean about pareos, right?
Even if you wanted to travel really light, you could use your pareo as your dress wrap, there are tons of videos on youtube demonstrating how to put them on.
5) DO wear shorts and a button up shirt if you don’t want to wear a dress. Make sure they are light, and won’t stick to your body when you get damp from walking or leftover swimming. I recommend the button up for two reasons – you won’t get all tangled lifting it over your head and also, it gives you another option for ventilation if it gets hot – you can unbutton it and leave it open, because you have your swimsuit underneath!
I also recommend light shorts. Fitness pants can be good for two reasons – there is no bulky zipper and they dry really fast if they get wet. They cover more of your leg, so you won’t have to worry about too much showing when you are climbing out on the swim ladders at the cenotes in your swimsuit. If you are going ziplining, having shorts on either by themselves or under the dress is a must, because your dress will be flying! Also fitness shorts are good because, without pockets you can’t leave anything that might fall out when you are ruin climbing or going in and out of buses. Best to have everything in your beach bag.
6) DO wear a hat! Like I mentioned a lot of the ruins are in the sun with very little shade, so you will want to have shade on your face for a good part of the time. Remember the light as possible suggestion, and try not to bring a light color as you will be sweating and taking it on and off and you don’t want one of those unsightly sweat lines for all to see when you are off swimming. Also – good rule – don’t buy a hat that says something spanish on it unless you TOTALLY know what it says! Sometimes hat makers can have a good laugh with what they put on unsuspecting tourists heads. Get the kind of hat that has the velcro hasp at the back, because if you decide to go for the tan you don’t want it squished in your beach bag – just velcro it on one of the handles and carry it around. You might even want to have a safety pin to pin it there just in case.
7) DO wear sunglasses. I recommend the type that have the nose saddle holding them on, instead of the separate nose pads. You are going to be taking them on and off all day, for photos, for swimming, to see your camera lens in the sun, many many times, and those nose pad sunglasses always get caught in my hair, probably yours too. I highly recommend getting one of those cool croakies neck cords to hang them around your neck when you have to take them off and on all the time.
So now you are completely ready to show that being a traveling tropics girl doesn’t mean you don’t have it all together.
In PART 1 your stylish backback or backpack is filled so far for your day trip – camera, phone, plastic bag as wallet, plastic bag with a small amount of sunscreen, water bottle, compact, tissue, lipstick, mascara, maybe a hairbrush, elastics and for the first half of the trip anyways, apples, oranges and cookies.
In PART 2 we added your stylish undies and matching bra in a larger plastic bag and a safety pin. You will want to add a small non-transparent baggie to put your mini-pad in until you can throw it out. Your bag is still pretty light and you are not packing the kitchen sink. You will have time to enjoy the trip thoroughly and know you look stylish and like you have it goin’ on.
You are matching and stylish from top to bottom, from hat to sandals.
Don’t Bounce Your Style in the Tropics!