Sometimes all you really need is a picture-perfect beach, hours of sunshine, a good book and some relaxation time to rejuvenate. For the beach Girl about the Globe, here's my guide on the best beaches in the world. Discover the best white and black sand beaches, what to pack in your beach bag, how to feel more confident when you do get on the beach and how to keep yourself cool in the summer heat. Get beach ready with my mini guide!
- Best White Sand Beaches
- Best Black Sand Beaches
- Beach Bag Essentials
- How To Feel Confident at The Beach
- Laser Hair Removal
- How To Stay Safe in The Sun
- How To Beat The Summer Heat
- Related Posts For Beach Lovers
Best White Sand Beaches
The Caribbean has to be the top destination for some beach love. You're guaranteed a picture perfect beach in the Caribbean and don't let the fact it attracts couples of families stop you from going solo either. You can still mingle with the locals or find an all-inclusive resort to meet others. Relax on white sands at Seven Mile Beach in Jamaica, Eagle Beach in Aruba, or near the crystal waters of Punta Cana in Dominican Republic. And the best thing is that there is an island for you no matter what time of year you want to go.
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Can you really get better beaches than the natural atolls of the Maldives? Just pick any of the stunning islands for that picture-perfect beach or visit my favourite: Cocoa Island. You can always join a dive boat to meet others here or just spend a week relaxing on a beach in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. This was a destination that I visited for my honeymoon so do expect there to be couples there but you can't beat flying on a small seaplane and seeing the beautiful atolls. The best time to go to the Maldives is from December to February.
Thailand is not only a fantastic place for solos but it's also one of the best places in the world for white sand beaches. Railay Bay in Krabi with its turquoise blue lagoon is my favourite. Or visit Maya Bay, the location for the film The Beach (on a day trip only). This beach is one of the most stunning I have seen. Koh Samui is great for socialising and meeting others or visit Hua Hin or Koh Kood, home to Thailand’s most luxurious hideaways where you can escape the crowds. The best time to go is between December to April.
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For those in the U.S. Mexico is a great destination to fly to for a beautiful beach. Close to Mayan ruins, Tulum beach is perfect for combining beach with ancient history. Choose Cancun or Playa del Carmen for perfect relaxation, Cozumel for Mexican huts or Cabo San Lucas for watersports. The best time to go is between November and April. May to October is the hottest if you don’t mind travelling during the rainy season (rain only lasts a couple of hours before it clears). Be prepared that Cancun gets busy during the American Spring Break in March and April.
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Australia has some spectacular beaches and one of the most beautiful is Whitehaven Beach, a secluded island in the Whitsundays. Take a boat ride here from Airlie Beach and enjoy a sailing trip snorkelling with rays within its waters. Or take the catamaran and stop off at Hamilton Island on the same trip. Other beautiful beaches here are on Magnetic Island in the Great Barrier Reef where you can take a moke (golf cart) around the island or the famous Bondi Beach which is popular with surfers. The best time to go to Oz is November to March.
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According to the National Geographic, you don't have to go any further than Europe to see one of the best beaches. Which is good news for those of us in Europe or close to it. One of the best on the Mediterranean coast is Tossa de Mar in northeastern Spain. With a charming town and beach, this area of Catalonia draws in the tourists. The best time to go to Spain is between May to September but be prepared for the hottest month which is August.
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The Best Black Sand Beaches
Although we associate a stunning beach with white crystal sand, we can’t forget that black sand is just as impressive. Found on volcanic islands, black sand beaches should definitely be on your solo bucket list. For the beach Girl about the Globe, here are my favourite black sand beaches to inspire you.
In Saint Lucia, the only white sand is imported. Being a volcanic island most of the beaches are black sand. This Caribbean island has stunning scenery and is incredibly lush with mountainous terrain. Anse Chastanet can be difficult to get to but you’ll avoid the crowds on this black sand beach or visit Anse Couchon perfect for snorkelling.
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Known as part of Spain, the Canary Islands are a chain of volcanic islands off the northwest coast of Africa. You may be visiting just for the nightlife and party atmosphere but head north away from the touristy town of Playa del la Americas and you’ll find plenty of black sand to take stunning pictures. Valle Gran Rey in La Gomera has the longest beach or visit the small beach of Los Cancajos on La Palma for rocky inlets. One of the most picturesque black beaches here is El Golfo beach nestled between the ocean and a green lagoon.
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Once nominated as one of the most beautiful beaches, Vik Beach in Iceland is a black sand beach located in the south of Iceland. This beach comes with its adventure of being constantly flooded due to its position beneath the Myrdalsjokull glacier. You can’t swim here but it’s definitely worth a photo opportunity next time you’re in Iceland.
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Hawaii has got to be the Queen of black sand beaches. There’s Oneuli Beach where you can hike on the Lower Trail and camp on this secluded beach, Honokalani with lava cliffs and caves, and Waianapanapa Beach, one of the most beautiful black sand beaches here. Kehena Beach in Hawaii is allegedly a nudist beach. But it’s not just topless sunbathers that you’ll find here as also known as Dolphin Beach, dolphins are often found here too.
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Costa Rica is a great destination. It's biodiverse, great for wildlife lovers and it also has a black beach! Playa Negra (Spanish for ‘black beach’) can be found on the Caribbean coast near the city of Cahuita. This area is one of the country’s only living reefs and is near to Cahuita National Park with thousands of marine acres. Visit from December to March and you’ll see surfers riding the waves along the black sand.
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It’s not a country that springs to mind when thinking of beaches but Samyang Beach in Jeju, South Korea is a volcanic island with a black sand beach called Samyang Beach. It is said to have healing properties. The volcanic soil comes from Halla Mountain which dominates the island. Being so close to the Jeju, the largest city of the island it is popular with locals so expect the beach to be busy.
St Vincent & The Grenadines
This gorgeous gem in the Caribbean is generally overlooked because it doesn’t hold the same attractions as Barbados for example. I spent a week here and was surprised by how much nature was on the island. Most of the beaches are black sand except for Indian Bay and Villa. This lush island is steeped in slave history and along the Coast at Chateaubelair you’ll find a stunning black beach with a nearby old mill to explore. For classic white beaches head to its neighbouring islands the Grenadines.
What To Pack in a Beach Bag: Beach Bag Essentials
Now you've decided which beach you're heading to, what do you pack in your bag to go there? We’ve all been there. You packed and packed for a day at the beach and lugged it all out to get the perfect seaside spot, only to realize you forgot your SPF…or favourite hat … or sunglasses. A girl cannot properly beach it without her fave shades. Let’s face it—the beach is fantastic but it does take some preparation to get it right (along with some tolerance for sand).
Here's a quick guide on the items that every girl needs in her beach bag. If you're unsure what to pack in your beach bag, here are my recommended beach bag essentials (and don't forget that pedicure before you go too!
1. Throw Some Shade
From cat eyes and Jackie Os to wayfarers and aviators, sunglasses have become a true form of self-expression. In fact, perhaps you should have a pair for the car and a pair for the beach bag—they’re that important. Not only do they help us look fah-bu-lous but they also truly do protect our eyes from the sun’s unrelenting rays. Plus, crow’s feet. Need I say more? You can always grab yourself a bamboo pair to be eco-friendly too!
2. Sun Protection
Gone are the days of soaking ourselves in baby oil to amplify the sun’s rays. Wrinkles are the worst and we now know better than to fall victim to them under the sun. That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy our toes in the sand and our bodies in the water. There are some great sunscreens on the market including ones specifically for your face too. I use P20 as you only have to apply it once and it lasts all day! • Check P20 prices here
3. Ode to the Hat
Again, fashion meets function with your beach hat. Whether you don a trucker hat or a wide brimmed stunner, your lid lets you show your sense of style while protecting your skin—a true win/win. Plus, if you decide to take a dip in the ocean and aren’t one of the lucky ones whose hair comes out with the perfect beach waves, hats can be our saviours when we want to run errands or hit the pub post-beach.
4. The Quintessential Beach Read
There’s something about the beach that says light and romantic (read: simple and trashy). War and Peace is great but it’s not meant for our seaside romps. Grab the latest beach read, snag a spot under the umbrella, and get reading. Warning: You might get so into your book that you don't see the tide coming in. I carry a Kindle but you can't beat a paper book for the beach. If you don't read, how about a puzzle book instead? * Check Kindle prices
5. A Wardrobe Change
Depending on where you are, don't forget that when the sun goes in, it may turn a little bit fresh. Perhaps you wear a cover-up over your bikini to the beach but, due to the distinct possibility that you’ll get wet and/or sandy, you should probably throw in a cute tank top and jean shorts for your post-beach fun. And maybe a cover-up for the transition from a hot day to a cool evening breeze too.
6. For the Love of Lounging
You don’t want to have to lie down on the hot sand so a towel is a must. What’s great is there are plenty of options these days that won’t break your back or the bank. If you're travelling domestically you can always take a wearable beach chair but, if you're flying internationally think about a nice towel or blanket that wicks away the moisture and shakes the sand off easily. Round beach towels are oh-so-cute and help you claim plenty of personal space! And if you do forget one, you can always buy one from sellers on the beach (hello Barcelona).
7. Gandys Flip Flops
The number of times I've forgotten to take flip-flops when I've gone to the beach and then had to walk like I was on hot coals as I hot-footed it down to the sea for a swim! If you need a new pair to take with you, Gandy's Flip Flops are a great buy. Not only do their flip-flops look good but they're for a good cause too.
You definitely don’t want to get dehydrated while lying out in the sun so water is a must. But you don't want it going hot in the summer heat so I recommend keeping yours in a Hydroflask. You won’t believe how cold your water (iced tea, lemonade, etc.) will stay in one of these. Even in the hottest temperatures, the liquids in your Hydroflask will be nearly ice cold.
If you're heading to the beach don't forget to pack these. And if you decide you want a swim but you're solo, ask one of your lounging neighbours to look after your stuff for you whilst you take a dip.
How To Feel Confident at The Beach
For many of us, the idea of hitting the beach isn’t a good one. It can fill us with panic and dread especially about revealing too much skin. These can include worries about our weight, skin, shape or age, or just a general feeling of low self-esteem. But the reality is that many of us have hangups about our bodies and instead of letting our worries ruin our beach day, why not try to find ways to build our body confidence ready for the summer? Here are some of the best ways to do just that.
How to prepare for the beach
Sleep – Your body needs around 8 hours of sleep a night to recover from the day and work at its best. Getting enough sleep enables you to wake up looking and feeling alert and ready for your day as opposed to grumpy and tired.
Eat well – Eating a healthy and balanced diet doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to eat treats and things you like. It just means having them in moderation. The best way to maintain a healthy weight is to make small, sustainable changes such as cutting out unhealthy snacks and avoiding sugary drinks.
Drink water – Drinking 8 glasses of water a day helps to keep your body and mind working at their best. It also makes you less likely to overeat and helps your skin stay glowing and youthful.
Exercise – Exercising is a great way to lose or maintain your weight and tone your muscles. But, it does so much more. Regular exercise decreases your chance of long and short-term mental and physical health conditions. It decreases stress and tension and it also makes your brain release serotonin, adrenaline and endorphins all of which make you happy and more confident.
Take Care of Problem Areas – If there is an area you are particularly concerned about and it’s getting you down, target it. If you're worried about pimples on your face, try a special face wash. If you’ve got stretch marks or cellulite make sure you drink enough water, moisturise and use a body brush to help reduce their appearance. Or if you are worried about your stomach, pilates or yoga can be incredibly effective at toning the stomach. Whatever you are worried about, there will be something you can do.
Shop – There is a lot you can do with good wardrobe choices. Experiment with different styles and make sure you buy clothes that fit well and flatter your shape. When it comes to hitting the beach, there are many options. If you are worried about your figure plus size tankinis can help you feel sexy and confident while flattering your curves and keeping you supported and comfortable.
Stop Comparing – We all compare ourselves to others. We look at other women on the beach and feel envious. But, this can become unhealthy, especially if you are constantly comparing yourself to other women, either in real life or on Instagram. Take a social media break and try to remind yourself that the women you are looking at are probably feeling envious of other women. Don’t compare yourself.
Fake It – Have you ever heard the expression “fake it ‘til you make it”? This applies to your confidence too. Put a smile on your face, take those big baggy jumpers off and have some fun. Force yourself to look confident and you might find you start to believe it.
Talk – Speak to your friends and family about your concerns. They’ll tell you how great you are and that you’ve got nothing to worry about. They might even be able to help you deal with some of your worries and concerns. If these tips aren’t working and you’re still feeling down, maybe you could book an appointment with someone? Low self-esteem is something that affects many people at some point in their lives and it may be worth getting some help. your doctor will know what to do to help.
Remember not to pressure yourself. If you still don’t want to strip off on the beach, don’t. Only get down to your swimsuit to swim, and stay covered in a loose t-shirt the rest of the time. Your happiness is much more important than how you look. Relax, enjoy yourself, and don’t forget sunscreen!
Laser Hair Removal
When we travel, we still need to think about ‘women’s things.’ Hair removal being one of them, especially if we’re venturing somewhere hot and want to bear our body on the beach. If you don’t want to have to shave every other day then consider different types of hair removal before you go.
Traditional shaving can leave our skin feeling irritable especially if we have sensitive skin. It can be blotchy and cause redness, rashes and cuts, which isn’t comfortable in intense heat and high humidity. One way of getting rid of unwanted hair for good is with laser hair removal, one of the best advanced technological methods to remove all your unwanted hair from its roots. If you're unsure if this method is for you, I've listed some information to help you decide.
When you think about Laser it might seem to be an extreme step but the entire procedure is completely safe because of the advanced technology that is involved in it. The laser equipment comes along with a cooling machine that can relieve the pain and irritation both during and after the laser process. Unlike the regular methods, you don’t have to worry about enduring side effects on your sensitive skin as the method is advanced and the technology and equipment have evolved to cater for all skin and body hair.
The laser light targets the hair follicles that are present inside the skin so they are damaged at first and destroyed in the later stages. The method is so effective that you can get rid of your body hair from its base.
Don’t expect to witness immediate results as laser hair removal takes between four to either laser sessions to see complete hair loss in the treated areas. Smaller areas consume less time while the larger areas take a bit longer. After that, you will be completely free from body hair.
Laser Hair Removal Cost
If you do decide to go for it, there are many different clinics to choose from. From your high street beauticians to spas and clinics. Ensure that you choose a branded clinic that has the experience and a good reputation for the procedure. To have laser hair removal on your upper lip or chin costs from £35 and for your legs, you're looking at between £100 and £200. One good way to try it is through Groupon. It's a platform that gives you discounts on beauty treatments. So, if you’re looking for a beach-ready body, for all off your future solo trips, laser hair removal can definitely be the way to go.
How To Stay Safe in The Sun
Glorious sunshine is one of the many reasons that we want to get away and explore the world. After all, who doesn’t want to wake up to blue skies and the feel of the warm sun on their skin?
But when we're travelling and constantly seeing new things, it can be easy to forget to protect ourselves from the elements. But the last thing you want to do is ruin your holiday or have to avoid going outside because of the sun especially if you are on a beach holiday. Being sensible from day one will ensure that you have a much more enjoyable trip (and a better tan too!)
While most of us love basking in golden rays, exposure to the sun can be dangerous and you are putting yourself at risk if you don’t act sensibly in the sun. This doesn’t mean that you have to hide away under a cloak of darkness. There’s no need to plan your annual holiday in the North Pole instead of Australia, as long as you fully protect yourself and try and reduce the risk of sun damage as much as possible.
Wearing a high-quality sunscreen is one of the first steps to ensuring that you are protected. Even if the weather doesn’t look sunny outside, the light can still contain powerful UV rays which can be damaging to skin. This is especially true of countries that have warm but overcast weather such as South East Asia.
Make sure that you choose high-quality sunscreen. A useful way to do this is to check reviews online to discover how effective it is, as the price doesn’t necessarily depict quality. Reapply your sunscreen at regular intervals throughout the day, or whenever you have contact with water, and this even includes sweat.
Don’t be fooled into thinking you don’t need to protect yourself just because you aren’t sunbathing on a beach, you can become just as burnt from walking around, swimming and shopping. The easiest way to ensure that you are fully protected at all times is to always wear a high-protection sunscreen while you are out of the house during the day, be sure to apply this 20 minutes before you leave your accommodation so it has had time to soak into the skin.
P20 is great for all kinds of travellers. Whatever you’re planning to do, whether trekking, sailing or just sunbathing, you just apply it to your body before you go out and it lasts all day. It comes in factor 15 to factor 50 and covers all skin types for up to 10 hours. You still get a great tan if you’re in the sun all day and you only need to apply it once. It’s water resistant too. * Read P20 reviews here
How To Deal With Sunburn
Don’t panic if you do experience sunburn, it’s usually a very minor complaint which will disappear after a few days. If you feel like you are burning while you are out, be sure to cover up the area with a large t-shirt, hat or shorts. Once you are out of the sun, soothe the area with a cold cloth and apply after-sun containing aloe vera, which will relieve the heat and put lost moisture back into the skin.
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and avoid alcohol as it will dehydrate you even further. You can numb the pain with over-the-counter painkillers like Ibuprofen and Paracetamol, but if the burn remains for longer than a few days consult your doctor. While it’s probably nothing serious it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially if you are away from home.
Beat The Heat Tips
If you only have a few week's holiday or vacation a year, then the summer period may be the only time that you get to fulfil your travel goals. But depending on where you go, the summer can be hot so you'll want to avoid experiencing heatstroke and dehydration when the temperature gets too high, especially if you're travelling alone. Here are my tips to beat the heat.
1. Drink Lots of Water
The best thing to do to beat the heat is to drink lots of water and keep yourself hydrated all the time. Almost any drink is good, but limit alcohol and caffeine drinks because these will only increase dehydration. Carry a water flask with you and keep it topped up, especially if you're going hiking alone.
2. Wear One Layer of Lightweight Clothing
If you're planning on doing a tour or jumping on a bike tour around a city, stick to wearing lightweight clothes so you won't feel too hot whilst taking part in different activities. Wearing more than one layer or heavy clothes will only increase your body temperature, making you feel hotter and uncomfortable.
3. Eat Spicy Food or Hot Cups of Tea
Eating or drinking something hot or spicy may be the last thing you want to do when you're already feeling too hot as it will make you sweat more, but it’s actually good to do so because your sweat will help your body to cool down, making you feel a bit fresher.
4. Stay Downstairs
If you prefer staying indoors or at home, it would be best to stay in the coolest spot which happens to be the bottom floor. Since hot air rises, areas with higher elevation are likely to be hotter compared to lower ones.
5. Turn it Off
Turn off the lights, stove, computer, gadgets or anything else that uses electricity. As we all know, electricity generates heat, so turning off your gadgets and appliances in your accommodation (except fans and the air conditioner) can help make the room cooler.
6. Avoid Peak Hours of Sunlight
Avoid going out between 10 am and 2pm. This is the time when the temperature and UV rays are at their highest points. Staying in shady areas during this time not only saves you from heatstroke and dehydration, it will also keep you from getting sunburn and other heat-related skin damage.
7. Spritz Yourself
Some people use moisture mists to cool themselves when the temperature gets too high, but a simpler solution to beat the heat is to refrigerate a spray bottle filled with water and spritz yourself when the heat becomes intolerable.
8. Take a Cool Shower
Taking cool showers frequently will help keep your body temperature down and wash off the sweat that makes you feel sticky. An additional tip for those with long hair: after taking a shower, dry your hair immediately, as your wet hair will make you feel hotter and uncomfortable.
I hope this mini guide for beach lovers will help you feel more prepared for your beach holiday! Below are some recommended posts for additional ideas and inspiration for the beach Girl about the Globe.
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