16 Feb PLAYACAR, MEXICO | What’s In My Wellness Travel Bag
January 2021, I was planning a trip designed for reconnection. The Rivera Maya has always been a special place in my soul, my heart, ever since I visited there as young child and teen with my grandparents.
This trip was extra special, to heal a heart, and create a story of freedom and letting go. While most will destine Cancun or Tulum in the Riviera Maya — which is a quick 90-minute flight from my home base in Miami — I chose the lesser-known and privately enclosed Playacar just outside of Playa del Carmen.
I had an invite to the 5-star wellness resort Palmaia, House of Aia, for a four-night stay at their wellness resort. On the agenda included shamanic ceremonies, beachside meditations, all-inclusive vegan and organic dining and plenty of water therapy (a.k.a. beach time). Water, in itself, is its own therapy, after all.
So, when packing, what does one bring to such an adventure? Just because it’s the Riviera Maya, we needed more than just swimsuits after all. Taking a trip back in time, when I was packing prior to my departure, here’s what I packed in my wellness travel bag as I traversed to Playacar, Riviera Maya on this trip of reconnection:
1. FACE COVERINGS (MASKS)
A mandatory in all public arenas, but especially in airports, airplanes and majority of public areas in resorts.
I’m a big supporter of washable and reusable options, like this 3-pack face mask set from adidas, which comes in two different sizes as well.
2. HAND SANITIZER (FOR EVERYWHERE)
There are plenty of dispensers throughout Miami International Airport and Cancun Airport for public use. Still, I always prefer keeping my own supply “on-hand” (pun intended there).
3. SNACKS FOR THE ROAD
Pack snacks traveling there, in-flight pre- and post- avoiding airport interaction. Airplane food options were slim-pickings before COVID. Now, with I’d guess 33% of in-airport options closed, and lounge food limited, the options for healthy snacks has been cut even more. In-flight foods are close to null, so instead of being at the mercy of a 6 oz. bottle of water and possible pretzel bag, bring your own food to stay healthy, and satiated.
Some favorite snack options for healthy travel snacks are linked below:
4. SNEAKERS & SANDALS
Palmaia has a full gym with Precor equipment with large open windows encircling the Mayan jungle. Sneakers for working out and the days of travel (open-toed on a planes and airports are a no-go for me). I’ve tried various sneakers before for both fashion and fitness function, and the adidas Ultraboost line is by far one of my top picks. The Ultraboost 20 sneaker is a part of their Primeblue line (read more on Primeblue here), made from Parley Plastics, reducing plastic ocean waste.
Sandals are a must for any beach destination, for walking around the resort, heading from the beach, to the meditation deck, to the lounge. Quick-drying, stylish and offering comfortable cushion for foot support, I’m a fan of the adilette aqua slides that can pass for the beach, or a casual dinner.
6. LIGHT-REFLECTING HAT
In addition to sunscreen, I definitely need a hat. adidas Mini Logo Relaxed Hat goes with all outfits, is clean, classy and keeps the sun out of my eyes. I prefer the white, reflecting light, and keeping me cool.
7. LAYERS FOR THE PLANE & EVENINGS
As hot as the days can be in Playacar, the nights can turn and be super chilly. Plus, I’m always flying in layers. I love the style of the sleek Glam On Bomber Jacket and made from heavyweight organic french terry, Adicolor Premium Sweat Pants, for both functions flying, and siesta-ing, in comfortable chic fashion.
8. TENNIS SKIRT
A tennis skirt for the beach? Yep. Tennis skirts doubles perfect (ha, the puns keep rolling) for workout and casual style. I’ve always been more of a gym, softball, volleyball or yoga athlete, but I do have a love for tennis skirts. Shown in the photos, here’s a dress up and dress down look for both a casual day look, or use it at the gym or poolside.
Also in their sustainable line, the Tennis Heat.RDY Primeblue Match Skort quickly has become a multi-function piece in my wardrobe that easily goes from beach, to workout, afternoon casual, as shown in the variety of photos below.
9. BOOKS FOR BEACH-READING
When I try to reconnect, I try to leave my phone in the room and either take in the sound of the ocean waves beachside, or read a book over my open-aired edamame salad and guacamole lunch in the sands. Two books in tow with me on this trip: “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek, and “Building a Story Brand” by Donald Miller.
If you’re not connected already with WhatsApp, download it before heading abroad. Palmaia’s Nomadic Guide (you’re personal butler during your stay, in a sorts) is at your call via a private number to contact him/her for any of your needs during your stay.
For carrying our phone around, the adidas Pouch is perfect pocket sized to tote and keep the sand out from your mobile.
Looking back, I needed all and no less of what I had packed with me. Fortunately, the resort had yoga mats at my disposal, lessening the need to bring more than a carry-on. Personally, the trip was healing in many ways, letting go of past pains. While keeping the body physically active is important, the mind must be the greatest muscle we continue to strengthen daily as well.
Now, back in Miami, the question is: where will this wellness-focused traveler head off to next?