In late January I’ll be visiting Grand Cayman for the wedding of two dear friends (bummer, right?).  With less than two weeks to go, I couldn’t help but start thinking about what I should bring…. or buy!  So, without further ado, the Ten Essentials for your Tropical Holiday:

1. The Embroidered Sun Hat

A sun hat is a must have, especially with the strong UV rays on tropical islands.  But straying away from the typical, I’ll be wearing the below hand embroidered hat from the Life Has Just Begun Etsy Store.  With ‘Do Not Disturb’ daintily sewn into the straw, all intruders will have fair warning to stay away… I’m on vacation!

2. Bathing Suits

Ok, duh. Obviously a bathing suit is a necessity for a tropical getaway.  But here are some of my favorites.  The first, a chic one-piece by Becca Show & Tell is fully crocheted and offers the perfect amount of sexy for a non-bikini!  Next, the two piece, OTS (off the shoulder).  This striped Eberjey bikini’s neckline is feminine and right on trend.  The bottom is smooth and sleek which perfectly balances the flow of this look.  Finally, every now and then you gotta find your inner Taylor Swift, and now you can with this Private Party Squad suit.  I will be traveling with friends, so this only makes sense! Plus, it’s fun… and if a vacation is not fun, well then, what the heck is the point?

3. Waterproof iPhone Case

I’m not saying we need to be connected ALL the time.  Though, to be fair, I do have a slight addiction to Instagram!  A waterproof iPhone case is great for capturing memories while in crystal clear tropical waters.  I don’t know about you, but I love taking underwater photos, and unless you’re strapped with an underwater camera, this can be a difficult feat.  The below three cases (Vansky Universal, Optrix and Watershot) are perfect for all of your under the sea adventures!

4. Coverups

As important as it is to look fashionable on the beach, it’s still essential to get there in style.  Enter, the coverup.   First we have Red Carter‘s breezy chambray dress featuring the on trend shoulder-baring silhouette. This coverup is polished enough to take you from a beach cabana to boardwalk cocktails.  For a simpler look, there’s the silky soft Echo cover-up which goes with basically any kind of suit. Lastly, and my personal favorite, is the folksy, bell sleeved, boho, cold-shoulder cover-up dress from Nanette Lepore.

5. Suncare

Taking care of your skin is priority #1.  The sun is a powerful star that can severely damage your skin’s health.  This is why we have to take care of it with great diligence.  I chose the following products from Kiehl’s to keep my skin protected during my tropical vacay. I never go less than SPF 30, but these days, I’ve been using 50!  Yes, this may prevent me from getting tan (but I don’t tan anyway. Unfortunately, I am a lifelong, freckle-faced  burner)! Luckily, Kiehl’s also makes a Self-Tanner.  So now we can be safe from the sun’s rays and still get our tan’s on!

6. Snorkel Gear

This one might depend on where you’re heading, but Grand Cayman has some of the best dive and snorkel sites in the world!  The last time we were there, my husband and I literally jumped off the side of a Burger King and went snorkeling. We brought our friends’ snorkel gear with us everywhere we went.  So this time, we figured we’d bring our own!  We’ll be taking the Sewavenger Snorkel Set from

7. Sunglasses

I don’t care where you’re going, cold weather or warm.  Every vacation needs to be accompanied by a nice variety of sunnies!  I went with a blue theme to match the crystal waters of Grand Cayman.  First up, the forever classic Dior So Real Mirrored Sunglasses.  These trend-setting glasses mix sleek lines and artful curves, making sure to raise the bar! Next on the list are the My Girl Mirrored Cat Eye Sunglasses by Quay. These beach-ready sunnies have metallic accents and mirrored lenses, keeping right on trend this season.  Finally, I love these Illesteva Leonard II Mirrored Shield Sunglasses.  As you can see, mirrored glasses are all the rage and all three of the below sunnies feature this on-fashion detail.

8. Pom Pom & Tassel Sandals

I love pom pom and tassel sandals. Below are a few of my favorite pairs!  From Left to right there’s the Gretchen by Sam Edelman which combines fabric detail with a wrap around ankle strap for an effortlessly cool look. I also love the Penny Lane Gladiators from Elina Linardaki.  Pair them with an off the shoulder, bell sleeved blouse, and you’re sure to be the belle of the beach! Last but certainly not least is the Chinese Laundry Posh Beaded Flat Sandal.   The leather leg-tie sandals with intricate beading and pom details give off an effortlessly cool vibe.


9. Inflatable Floats

Rent them there, or bring them with you, but inflatable lounges in the shapes of birds, unicorns, pizza or donuts are a must-have while lounging in the ocean or the pool.  Not to mention all the Instagram worthy moments you’ll be able to capture on one of these puppies.  And while we’re on the subject, inflatable puppies are also acceptable.  Grab some floats on Amazon!

10. Beach Book

Just when you thought we were entering shallow waters with water floats, somewhere deep down you knew we couldn’t complete a list of tropical vacation necessities without the recommendation of some great beach reads.  I read Big Little Lies on the beach in the Domincan Republic and couldn’t put it down.  Turning pages between sips of pina coladas, I had this murder mystery finished by sunset!  Beautiful Ruins will make you feel like you’re on vacation, even if you’re not!  Set in beautiful 1960s Italy, and modern-day LA, this is the story of a man in search of a long-lost love.  Finally, The Swans of Fifth Avenue, which I am currently reading, feels better suited for the beaches of Grand Cayman than the freezing cold of NYC. Anyway, this piece of historical fiction tells the story of the 1950’s New York society “swans,” and so far, it’s pretty juicy!


What have I forgotten?  What’s on your list of vacation essentials? Let me know!




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The incredibly crisp blend of orange blossom, Italian bergamot, and Tunisian Neroli makes it the ultimate scent for your beach getaway.


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For my trip to Singapore and Bali which was just over 2 weeks and only summer clothing, I took the m and found it was more than enough.

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