What NOT to Pack for Surf Camp

by Bev Sanders on May 12, 2016

When traveling, you’ll enjoy a more en-lightened travel experience simply by letting go of a few things on your packing list.

Your baggage handler and bellhop will thank you.

Beach towels
Beach towels are bulky to pack and we’ll provide a fresh one every day. For travelers moving on to cheaper accommodations or camping, pack a lightweight sarong instead. These do the job well and double up as a tablecloth or lightweight cover-up.

Mascara runs, lipstick melts, and blush is natural with a kiss from the sun. If you didn’t wear makeup when you were a girl, it’s likely you don’t need it at Las Olas. Remember our motto: We make girls out of women. If you can’t live without makeup (and you know who you are), go for a natural glow with minimal fuss.

We all love denim, but for a surf trip it can be uncomfortable and bulky to pack. Opt for yoga tights instead. They work well for both yoga classes, knocking around, and surfing. Yes, you can even surf in yoga tights! They keep your legs from chaffing on the surfboard and they look pretty cool.

You’ll find a hairdryer in your villa, but why use it? Wavy beach hair is what surfer girls are famous for and beach hair goes well with your new girl-ish glow. If you need to blow dry your hair before catching that plane home, salon services are available.

Leave your fancy shoes at home. Flip flops are the shoe of choice for dusty roads leading to the beach. We recommend wearing comfortable shoes on the plane. Save those heels for back home.

Nothing says “pick me” to a thief like bling. When you’re traveling to surf camp or elsewhere, wear minimal jewelry. You don’t want to risk losing expensive jewelry before paddling out. If the piece is meaningful to you, leave it home. Inexpensive, bohemian-style jewelry is available in town or offered by vendors parading down the beach.

We provide an award-winning, organic blend of sunscreen by Coola. It’s a zinc oxide and titanium dioxide mineral sunscreen with no nano-particles. Transparent and easy to apply, there’s plenty on hand at La Casita, our private clubhouse. Apply before surfing, early and often.

Unless your surfboard has magical powers, leave it at home. It’s difficult to pack and there’s a good chance it’ll get damaged. Worse, you can lose a board on a connecting flight. We provide a wide range of excellent boards for all our guests ranging from beginner foam boards to custom longboards by pro-surf instructors Kristy Murphy, Julie Cox, and Ashley Lloyd. Many beginners graduate to the fiberglass and epoxy boards quickly, so try a different board each day!

AC Adapter
Our villas have US standard 110V electrical outlets for phone chargers or whatever gadget you can’t live without.

Books and Travel Guides
Leave your hardcover library on the shelf. You’ll save your back (and bellhop Ricardo’s) by downloading reading material to your phone or tablet. If you do bring books, grab the paperbacks for some light reading. You can leave them in the villa after you’re done. This will add to your en-lightened experience.

Over the counter medications (and more)
You can’t walk a block between drugstores here. You can find anything from aspirin to deodorant. Many prescription drugs are available here in Mexico.

Laptop computer
Leave it at the office. Smart phones are great for keeping in touch with people at home. You can access free, reliable wi-fi in your villa and in restaurants around town. Remember, if you bring your laptop, you’ll be more tempted to work and it’s our job to take you away from that.

EXPERT TIP: I organize camp items and personal items using packing cubes in different colors so I can easily find things. I never pack without them!

One of my favorite go-to’s for packing cubes and other travel gear is eBags.

If you have any surf travel tips, we’d love to hear them!

See you in the wave,


Bev Sanders is founder and president of Las Olas Surf Safaris for Women and editor-in-chief of GetdressedandGO.com an eco fashion and travel site for women adventurers. She started surfing at 44 continuing her lifelong pursuit of introducing women to sports. You’ll find her and husband Chris on the beach in Mexico throughout the surf season.

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