11 Tips on What to Bring to the Pool or Beach When Staying at a Hotel

D espite not usually being the type of person who “worships” the sun, sometimes I like to take a day off from actively traveling and simply lounge around the pool — or, if accessible, the beach — to lazily relax when staying at a hotel or resort property when weather conditions are ideal…

…but I do not want to be the target of a thief and have anything stolen from me — nor do I want to lose anything — so with the summer season approaching the northern hemisphere, I cobbled together 11 tips on what to bring to the pool or beach when staying at a hotel or resort property loosely based on my experiences; and not all of them are required for everyone.

What to Bring to the Pool or Beach When Staying at a Hotel

When I go to a pool or beach which is part of the hotel or resort property, I take the plastic key card of my hotel room but without anything which would reveal the actual location of my room — such as the small jacket which has the room number printed on it. Anyone who steals my hotel room key will find it useless — unless they attempt to open every room in the hotel or resort property until they find the right one.

I usually travel with at least one empty clear plastic zippered bag for items which required additional protection — such as paper money, for example — but the plastic key card of a hotel room and other small items will fit nicely in one as well; and if the bag is small enough and your bathing suit is equipped with a secure pocket, ensure that the bag is sealed and place it in that pocket to mitigate the worry about the contents getting wet.

If slippers wrapped in plastic are provided in my room by the hotel or resort property, I will take them to the pool or beach, as they are perfect for simply slipping on and off of the feet. Who cares about grains of sand with those slippers? My feet are also protected in case the ground is hot from the sun; and if my feet are wet from the water, I do not have to necessarily wait for them to dry before putting on the slippers to get to my room — or anywhere else I may need to go. I bring a pair of those slippers with me in my baggage just in case I am staying at a hotel or resort property which does not provide them.

There is typically no need to bring credit cards or cash, as any item or service you may want to purchase can usually be added to your hotel room account to be paid upon checking out of the hotel or resort property. Bringing a few bills of small denominations of the local currency may not be a bad idea for tips or small purchases; and if they are stolen — well, no big deal. Simply store them either in the toe of one of the aforementioned slippers; or in a small clear plastic zippered bag and then put the bag in the secure pocket of your bathing suit so that you may go into the water with it.

If there is no place to borrow a towel, I will bring one from my room — and, of course, I will bring it back when I am done with it so that no towels are missing. Ensure, though, that bringing towels from your room to the pool or beach is permitted by management of the hotel or resort property. If the walk from the water to your room is long enough and there is a nice breeze, you may not even need a towel to dry yourself off by the time you get to your room to shower.

Bring sunglasses if your eyes are sensitive to the sun — ensure that they are inexpensive and yet still offer the protection your eyes need — and if you do not wear contact lenses, bring prescription eyeglasses with something to secure them to your person so that they may hang around your neck.

If your skin is sensitive to the sun, bring a small bottle of sunscreen lotion — and you can employ this method of maximizing portability while keeping expenses low when traveling with sunscreen and other liquid toiletries. For marginally additional protection, bring a cheap shirt or other inexpensive clothing items which you would not be concerned if they became wet, soiled, stolen or lost.

Some people like to bring powder — comprised of talc or cornstarch — to help remove sand from their wet bodies while helping to dry them. If you are one of those people, bring a small container of that powder with you.

I do not take any medication; but if you need any, only take what is necessary and not the entire bottle or container with you. Again, you will have enough for while you are at the pool or beach; but if you lose them for whatever reason, again — no big deal.

Bring something inexpensive which has a clock on it — such as an old and obsolete portable electronic device or watch — but only if you need to know the time while relaxing. Even the most ancient portable electronic devices have a working clock if the battery can still hold a charge.

The plastic laundry bag found in your hotel room is an excellent conveyance with which to bring your minimal amount of items with you to the pool or beach, as it is water resistant and will help to protect your items from sand or other foreign objects.


These suggestions are designed to maximize the enjoyment of your experience at the pool or beach of a hotel or resort property while simultaneously minimizing inconvenience without compromising security; and many of them can also be applied to pools and beaches which are far enough away from where you are staying that a mode of transportation to access them is required.

The key here is simplicity: do not take with you more than you need; and do not expose yourself to potentially being the target of theft. There is no sense in needlessly inviting concern to what is supposed to be an otherwise relaxing and joyful experience.

As always, additional suggestions and thoughts are welcome in assisting fellow readers of The Gate.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

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