If there’s anything betches hate, it’s planning ahead. Most of the time, this means we lead the kind of carefree, Instagrammable lifestyle that lands us in whacky-yet-fun situations at 4am on a Saturday night. Every once in a while, though, it has its drawbacks—the kind where you were supposed to leave for the airport 15 minutes ago, the Uber is 30 seconds away, and you still have no idea what to pack for your trip, you beautiful human disaster. Two days later, you’re unpacking at a hostel in Bora Bora and realize you left your toothbrush at home, along with your sunglasses, underwear, and most importantly, your new bikini. What’s the point of vacay if you’re going to come back with last season’s tan line?
I hate to say it, but traveling does require a teensy amount of foresight (ugh). Otherwise, you’ll end up spending your partying budget on shit you should have brought with you, and that, my friends, is a tragedy. Here’s what to toss in a bag next time you’re scrambling to pack before a flight.
1. New Clothes
Social media was basically made for bragging about traveling, so pack at least one new outfit—or at least one that’s new to Instagram. There’s nothing more embarrassing than repeating an outfit you’ve worn in the last six months for the whole world to see/ridicule.
A good rule of thumb with your other outfits, BTW, is to bring at least one pair of jeans, shorts, and a bathing suit, then a couple different shirts. Don’t forget a dress that can double between day and evening, on the off chance that you meet some handsome young oil magnate on the plane who offers to take you to dinner that night. Weirder things have happened.
2. Two Pairs Of Shoes
You might think shoes are worth all the space they take up in your bag, but you would be wrong. Narrow your shoes down to two pairs: fancy shoes for when you go out and a pair of comfy flats for when you’re staggering through the airport with a suitcase heavy enough to have its own gravitational pull.
3. Skincare And Makeup
Considering how much makeup the average betch owns, bringing along your entire kit might require its own suitcase. The absolute essentials are deodorant, face wash (in a tiny container), tinted moisturizer, eyeliner, a neutral eyeshadow palette, mascara, and lip balm. Emphasis on the lip balm—airplanes turn your skin into a peeling, desiccated disaster if you’re not careful.
4. Too Much Underwear
Intentionally going commando is one thing, but if you forget to pack enough underwear, your chances of flashing everyone as you’re leaving the club skyrocket. When a Hollywood starlet does this, it’s risqué, but for those of us who aren’t C-list actresses, it’s just sloppy. Usually, I’ll just pack a pair of underwear for every day I’ll be gone, then throw in two more—one that’s sexy, just in case, and one that’s comfy and graying, also just in case. The Red Tide doesn’t give a fuck about convenient timing.
5. Cheap Toothbrush
Only pack your regular toothbrush under the direst circumstances—you know you’re just going to lose it if you bring it along. Instead, buy one of those flimsy $1 toothbrushes from CVS and keep it in your bag all the time, so you don’t have the chance to forget to pack it. How many toothbrushes have you left strewn in hotel rooms across the globe by now?
Don’t you want to be able to check out the guys who buy you drinks? Remember your fucking glasses.
7. Empty Flask
You never know when it’ll come in handy. Actually, I do know—it’s when you remember how much you spent on your plane ticket and have to sneak alcohol into a bar to save money.
8. Phone Charger
Obviously, you’re going to be documenting your every move while you’re traveling, and no phone is equipped to make it through more than a few hours of constant Snapchatting. Bring your phone charger. If you have more than one, pick the longer cord so you can sit as far away as possible from the crowd of smelly, cranky travelers clustered around the airport outlet.
Note: If, god forbid, you own a selfie stick, deposit it in the trash can on your way out the door. I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.
We’re not gonna be the vacation police and tell you not to eat carbs when you’re on vacation, or to hit the hotel gym at 6am before everyone else wakes up for the day. Like, vacation is vacation, not some Biggest Loser extreme bootcamp retreat (although I could probably fuck with one of those before bikini season). That being said, every Instagrammable vacay (and why would you go on a vacay if it wasn’t Instagrammable?) poses the same dilemma. On the one hand, calories don’t count when you’re on vacation. On the other hand, yes they do. They actually count double because you’re going to be taking pics, and if you have any respect for yourself at all, the majority of those pics will be on the beach in a bikini. So how do you both enjoy your vacation and come away with photos that actually represent all the pre-vacation bikni body work you put in? Don’t worry. We’ve got you. Here are our tips for how to have an amazing vacation without gaining 10 pounds in one weekend.
1. Start When You Get There
A huge mistake people make about indulging on vacation is that they start before they even get there. Having a glass of wine or two at the airport is fine (you can’t do a connecting flight sober), but don’t start your cheat week the night before or buy three packs of M&Ms for the flight. Try to be as healthy as you can during the few days before, and don’t start indulging until your trip actually starts. And never forget: airport food is the devil.
2. Don’t Order Drinks Like a 14-Year-Old
You’re obviously blacking out every night on vacation, but the trick is to black out in the most responsible way possible when it comes to calories. Alcohol has a ton of calories already, so stay away from any sugary, colorful drinks that your 14-year-old self would order. For example, vodka sodas and tequila shots are fine. Margaritas and some giant pineapple shit that is served with 10 straws and on fire is not. A difference in your drink order can save you hundreds of calories in one night.
(But low-key maybe you should order that pineapple thing at least once.)
3. Sharing Is Caring
If you’re going away with friends, take advantage of numbers by sharing food with them (also that way you won’t be getting fat alone). Like, we’re not gonna tell you not to order the sweet potato fries by the pool, but at least share them with the four people sitting with you. Also, at dinner, order something healthy for your main meal, but get unhealthy appetizers to split for the table. You’ll still be enjoying good food and you’ll end up being happier than you didn’t order the entire spicy tuna crispy rice appetizer for yourself.
4. Chill With The Breakfast Buffet
It’s pretty tempting to go HAM at the hotel’s breakfast buffet, but honestly, you’re better off saving your calories for later on in the day. If you’re ordering room service, go for an egg white omelet with some fruit or whole wheat toast. Breakfast food can actually be good without getting the most fattening things on the menu, so be smart about what you’re eating in the morning. Let’s be real. Mimosas are literally orange-flavored sugar in a glass, and bacon is the reason your jeans don’t fit. If you’re having trouble resisting the breakfast buffet, just take a moment to think about how many of the hotel weirdos woke up early AF and touched the food, or how many Ariana Grandes may have casually licked the donuts. Appetite solved.
5. Eat At Trendy Places
It’s just a fact that trendy restaurants serve amazing dishes in tiny portion sizes, so take advantage of that when choosing where to eat. Think somewhere like Nobu or Sugarfish over the all-you-can-eat Italian joint near your hotel. Anywhere with unlimited breadsticks is a hard no. You want to dine at one of those places that has the freshest ingredients and most expensive bill on the smallest plates known to mankind. You might not be Thanksgiving-level full after dinner, but have you ever taken a post-Thanksgiving dinner bikini pic? No. I don’t think so.
6. Choose Protein Over Carbs
When it comes to ordering at dinner, try to stick with dishes that are heavy in protein, not carbs. This isn’t some healthy message about how your bones need protein, but it’s just a fact that protein-heavy foods are healthier and probably taste just as good. You don’t need to order salad for every meal, but at least choose something less carb-filled. Choose the salmon over the chicken parm or the grilled chicken over the beef sliders. If you’re getting sushi, sashimi is your best friend. Also, stay away from anything fried unless you’re splitting it with the whole table or it’s like, some award-winning tempura dish.
Read: The 7 Foods You Need To Cut From Your Diet Immediately To Lose Weight
Dear World Traveler,
I would say welcome back, but I get the feeling you’re not all that happy to be here. Although nobody’s excited to come back from vacation, you’re taking the whole “take me back!” thing too far—so far the light of acceptable behavior won’t reach you for millions of years. Allow me to walk you through every faux pas you’ve committed since returning from your international vacay.
First, let’s talk about the endless Instagrams. While you were out of the country, I was forgiving of your habit of posting multiple times a day. Sure, it’s fucking annoying and better suited to Snapchat, but what’s the point of going somewhere cool for vacation if you can’t rub it in everyone’s faces back home? But as much as you may pretend otherwise, you’ve been home for weeks now. Stop posting pics like you’re still traipsing around Thailand. Literally everyone knows you’re back at the office, largely because you won’t shut up about how you’re saving up to go abroad again. If you must post your 342nd bikini pic in a week, at least have the decency to tag it #tbt.
Let’s also discuss this obsession with blending in with the locals. You’re not Beyoncé. Not a single resident in any given country gives a shit whether you specifically come visit. Tourism is an industry; as long as dumb Americans are spending their money in some way, the locals you so heroically befriended (read: followed around) couldn’t care less that you’re, like, super in tune with their culture. Newsflash: You’re not! I don’t care if you consider yourself a “traveler” instead of a tourist—either way, you don’t fucking live there. Partying with your surf instructor and learning how to order coffee in another language doesn’t make you an honorary citizen any more than twerking made Miley Cyrus black.
While we’re on the subject, everyone knows the U.S. grows shitty coffee; you don’t need to keep comparing it to the espresso you drank in your favorite café every morning. Suck it up and go to Starbucks like the rest of us.
Then there’s the one-upping. Good God, the one-upping. Not only do you find the excuse to turn every single conversation into a story from your vacation, but you refuse to entertain the possibility that anyone in the history of white girls visiting exotic party locales had a better time than you. Honestly, the only upside to this is your expression when someone busts out a story you can’t top.
In conclusion, I get it. Visiting another country is super fucking cool. But there’s a time and a place for bragging about your newfound worldly sophistication, and you flew past both a long time ago. Save the vacay pics for your grandma—nobody else cares.
We Will Not “Take You Back”,