For the 50+ Traveler

Okay, this might sound counterintuitive: You’re going on a nude vacation, but you need to remember to pack things. Hmm. Believe it or not, I have seen naturists arrive for a two-week vacation hoping to return home without tan lines struggling behind a couple of large suitcases. What were they carrying? Not clothes, surely? Well, in some cases -- yes. Even on a naturist vacation (cutely termed a “nakation”), there are times when it’s just appropriate to cover up. But there are other key essentials not to forget, too.

Editor’s Note: Interest piqued but need to know more? Read up on everything you wanted to know about being a naturist but were afraid to ask and six reasons nude vacations are becoming more popular.

The Bare Essentials For Any Naturist Vacation

No matter what type of nakation you’re going on, there are some things that should always be the first (and sometimes only) things you need to pack.

First and foremost take a high SPF sunscreen. There are parts of your body that haven’t seen much sun, and it’s not much fun to get burned in places where the sun doesn’t normally shine. You cannot take too much, so don’t scrimp on this one item.

Naturists always carry a towel with them -- it’s Naturist Etiquette 101 to sit on a towel and not on your bare bum. It’s also useful to wrap around you in case you accidentally find yourself wandering into non-naturist (or “textile”) territory. It does happen. While upscale resorts may issue you a towel, it’s always best to have your own.

Naturists like to spend time outside in the sun, so a hat is the third must-bring item. For those of us who are follically challenged, a touch of sunscreen on the head doesn’t go amiss either.

It’s always a good idea to have some sort of wrap handy. Whilst a towel will do the job, it’s not always as practical as something lighter like a pareo or sarong, which can be worn around the waist or as a full-body covering for women. It’s worth the investment if you don’t already own one.

Yes, You’ll Need Clothes

Depending on your nakation destination, you may not need to bring any clothes at all. You simply leave wearing the clothes you arrived in and that’s it. However, this assumes your location will remain warm throughout your stay, and you do not plan to eat at an on-site restaurant (note that these typically have dress codes) or leave the naturist property during your vacation. The other things you need to pack depend on the type of nakation you’re going on. Here are the most popular options.

1. Tent Camping

The simplest form of nakation can be very minimalist. Take whatever you would normally pack on a clothed (often referred to by naturists as “textile”) vacation but leave most of the clothes behind. A couple of items you might want to consider packing, though: a tee shirt or top for when you’re cooking over a grill (frying bacon in the nude is just too risky) and good footwear as campgrounds are not usually level and smooth.

2. Staying At A Nude Resort

Although you do not need to bring anything more than the bare essentials, it’s good to have options especially when it comes to eating. If you are self-catering, you can don as much or as little as you choose. However, if you choose to eat breakfast or the evening meal in a resort restaurant, then you most probably need to be dressed. This doesn’t need to be anything more than a t-shirt and shorts but your bits need to be covered. Some resorts have “beach bar” facilities where you can grab a cold drink and a snack at lunchtime. Here, you don’t normally need to dress -- but do keep the towel handy if you’re going to sit.

If you happen to be vacationing during a holiday period (New Year, Halloween, et cetera), you may find the resort will be hosting a party, in which case you might want to pack something festive to wear, though this is not a requirement by any means.

3. Staying At A Nude Hotel

Whilst I don’t know of any large chain hotel where you can go naked without being arrested, the four-star, multi-story Vera Playa Club Hotel in Spain is one where you can be naked and feel like you’re in a Hilton, Marriott, or any other large hotel. There are times when, however, you must be dressed (in the lobby after 7 p.m. and in the restaurants at any time). Attire for the restaurant should be appropriate -- wear what you would normally wear in a textile restaurant. A string bikini on a well-endowed woman that leaves nothing to the imagination, for example, is not appropriate.

4. Nude Cruise

I have seen nakationers struggle on board with bulging suitcases and thought this to be crazy. However, restaurant etiquette on board is the same as any hotel: Be dressed. Cruises will have shore visits scheduled which, again, will require you to be dressed (even when heading to a nude beach). Add to that the fact that cruises specialize in constant entertainment with dancing (you can do this nude) and theme nights, and you’ll soon find your wife telling you she needs a different outfit for every night. Go figure!

When You Want To Do More Than Lie By The Pool All Day

There are a number of activities naturists seem to enjoy no matter where in the world they go. Here’s what you need to pack if you want to participate.

  • Water volleyball: Pack nothing.
  • Petanque: Flip flops are a good idea.
  • Pickleball: Take tennis shoes. Some women may prefer to wear a sports bra.
  • Running (nude 5k races are becoming popular): Running shoes and a sports bra if needed. A good idea is to rub cream on the inside of your thighs to stop them from chaffing.
  • Yoga: Pack nothing, though some women find it more comfortable wearing bikini bottoms.

Hiking in the nude can be really exhilarating. Apart from the obvious hiking boots and socks, bring a small backpack to put your clothes in and carry a wrap so you can cover yourself quickly in case you come across fellow, non-naturist hikers.

Non-Essential But Really Useful Items To Pack

You might consider sunglasses as essential, but even if you don’t, bring them anyway. Water shoes are really useful if the beach is rocky or the sand is scorching hot. After a long day at the beach or laying by the pool, applying after-sun lotion is soooo soothing. Pack a small bottle.

A fanny pack for money doesn’t always look like a glamorous accessory, but consider where you might keep your money. Another option is a lightweight shoulder bag to carry your wallet, towel, and keys especially if you’re heading to the beach for the day.

Choose loose, easy to remove clothing when heading to a nude beach. The last thing you need (especially on that first, nervous-yet-excited visit) is to spend 10 minutes struggling to get out of your tight clothing.

Things To Leave Behind

Some private resorts have rules regarding genital piercings. Check before you go and leave the bling at home. There are very strict privacy rules about photography at naturist venues and events. So unless you have all the necessary permissions (and in some cases, paperwork) leave your mega-zoom lens at home.

Also leave behind your work laptop, your worries, and prejudices but do remember to bring your open mind. Oh, and a good book.