This is a bit of a departure from our usual stories on the full sweep of luxury travels and travel tips and advice we usually bring you here. But ever since we first wrote about our experiences of mixed nudist spas in Austria, we have been surprised at just how popular that story has proven to be. Ten of thousands of you have read that article and our first exploration of hitting the spa in the nude. So we thought it was about time to add some practical tips to the mix and combine it with other posts that you enjoy – our packing lists – because what on earth do you pack for a clothing optional holiday, or a trip to a naturist resort?
It may seem something of an oxymoron, to compose a packing list of essential items for a holiday at a naturist resort, but bear with us.
We’ve all packed our bags for a week or two away and had difficulty choosing what to take and what to leave behind. And if you’re flying, weight restrictions will also limit how much you can take.
So could a clothing optional or naturist resort break solve our packing problems?
I have very limited personal experience to call on, so that’s where Andrew Welch, spokesperson for British Naturism, comes in. He said: “It is difficult to go back to other holidays once you’ve experienced the freedom of a naturist resort.
“Of themselves naturist holidays are not that different to traditional breaks, naturism challenges some social conventions is all. You just need to get there and experience it.”
The weather is going to play a big part in what you will need with you and so perhaps we need two lists. One for warm countries and another for places like the UK. Here are 10 tips to consider when heading off to a naturist resort.
What to pack for a naturist resort break
Lots of sunscreen
This is a packing essential on any sunshine holiday, but given that there are parts of your body on show that don’t usually see daylight, be sure to give them extra protection!
It is always useful to have something easy to wear just in case you need it. Also, a sarong is a multi purpose item, you can wear it, use it as a towel, or something to lay on the sand for you to sit on.
For the follicle-challenged among us a hat is a must have, it also shelters the eyes and can help prevent sunstroke.
This is always useful to have in case the evenings turn a bit chilly.
Just because you’re not wearing clothes doesn’t mean you can’t accessorise.
Flip flops, sandals, or footwear for going into the sea where it may be rocky. Also bear in mind that in destinations where nudist beaches are common, they are are often found at the edges of resort towns, so they can be in less desirable, or more rocky outcrops, but this doesn’t affect the swimming or sun-bathing there.
Hmm… guess the bugs have more to aim at! Also, perhaps pack ointments for wasp or bee stings – better to be safe than sorry.
An open mind
Naturism has been popular for many decades, but even though tens of thousands of travellers enjoy it, it is still a minority preference. So if you want to try it for the first time, don’t be judgmental – go with an open mind and just go with the flow.
If you are getting your kit off for the first time it will take a certain amount of self-confidence. However, you won’t be the first to try it and everyone who enjoys the lifestyle, says it is very liberating.
People trying a naturist resort for the first time may feel awkward for the first 10-15 minutes, then they realise there is nothing to be worried about. No one is bothered about your nudity, and are instead pleased to welcome you as a new member of their growing community.
A smaller suitcase
Well, you’re not going to need as much clothing, or a selection of swimwear each day! Perhaps, you’ll be able to fly with hand luggage only, thus also saving money. However, if you want to leave the resort for the day, you’ll need some clothing, so take at least a couple of outfits with you.
Some practical tips and observations:
- Carrying a towel around a naturist resort is the norm as one is always used for sitting on.
- Some people want to dress up occasionally and others don’t, both are fine. Often clothing optional resorts want you to wear something at meal times, others don’t. Food however is generally served while clothed.
- Some couples try naturist resorts as one of the partners want the experience and so it is not unusual to have one partner clothed while the other is naked. “I know of only one resort that insists on the need to be naked all the time, and that is in Canada,” explains Andrew of British Naturism.
- All resorts insist on you being naked when using the swimming pool. Studies have shown that swimming pools are much cleaner when used naked than when bathers wear swimwear.
- The staff in a clothing optional resort are usually dressed although at smaller resorts with naturist owners you will most likely find staff naked like their guests.
- Camera usage around other guests has to be handled with care.
“Visitors to a naturist resort, beaches or spas are generally friendlier, as all barriers are removed, which makes for a far more social setting and occasion,” said Andrew.
Have you taken the plunge and visited a naturist resort before? Or have you been to a nudist beach? Share your tips and let us know what items you would you add to our packing list below.