Spring break 2021 isn't much different than spring break 2020, in the sense that it's safer to stay home than it is to travel amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. However, staying home doesn't mean you still can't have an adventure — you just have to get creative. Planning a spring break staycation, complete with essentials that will bring the beachy vibes into your home, is one such way to get those creative juices flowing.
Traveling by plane to a tropical location or road tripping with your friends to a popular party spot may've been on your original spring vacation bucket list, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) latest guidelines still advise against unnecessary travel, even if you're vaccinated. Fortunately, when you're planning a spring staycation by yourself or with your roommates, family, or anyone else in your immediate household, the chances of spreading and getting COVID-19 are far less likely, allowing you to breathe a sigh of relief, and focus only on your relaxation and overall enjoyment.
An entire itinerary isn't necessary when you're staycationing, but a few new essentials however, are, well... essential. Not only do you need comfortable yet Instagram-worthy clothes (think loungewear and pool attire) and stylish accessories (what's spring break without a fire pair of sunnies?), but you also need to set the mood with some tropical scents and virtual experiences, as well as a few extras such as sun-safe skin care products and lighthearted beach reads. Once you peep these spring break staycation essentials we curated for you below, then you can safely switch your vacation mode setting to the "on" position.
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For all those moments when it's not quite hot enough for a tank but not quite cold enough for a hoodie, you'll need loungewear that's equal parts lightweight and cozy. A sleeveless hoodie offers exactly that, allowing you to feel the air on your arms and warmth on your chest.
A majority of your (non-)plans for your week off include chilling out and doing a whole lot of nothing, so this long-sleeve pullover from Uniqlo is here to offer you peak comfort while you relax. If you do happen to hop on a Zoom or FaceTime at any point, however, it's also super chic, so all your bases are covered.
Yes, tie-dye fashion is still in style in 2021, and Emma Chamberlain and PacSun's spring 2021 collection is full of it. You can find the YouTuber's favorite staples — high-waisted jeans, sweatpants, and hoodies — in the fun print on the brand's website. There's just something about the tie-dye sweatshorts, in particular, that scream "'sunshine and good times."
TikTokers of all shapes and sizes can't get enough of this Aerie swimsuit, and you won't be able to either. In a viral video from Hanna Ann Brandow (@hanbran0116) — who self-identifies as having "a really hard time finding swimwear" — the TikToker happily announces while showing off her body: "I know that I am staying in here — in the top and in the bottom." In other words, this Aerie swimsuit totally slaps.
Travel essentials brand CALPAK teamed up with Netflix stars/organization gurus Clea and Joanna of The Home Edit to create an assortment of everyday go-to products you'll want to get your hands on (and wrap yourself up in). A shawl blanket, a sweatshirt, and a neck pillow are just a few items in the Home Edit x CALPAK collection, but you won't want to wait another minute before snagging a pair of the cotton French terry joggers.
Your spring break staycation selfie would not be complete without a floppy hat. Whether you choose to take a front-view snap in your trendy sunnies, or a back-view shot of you looking off into the distance, this straw hat from ASOS would pair perfectly with either moment with its palm tree print.
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Have you heard the news? Fruit drink pouch bags are making a comeback. The fashionable accessory from the early 2000s — which features several pouches from fruit drinks such as Capri Sun & Kool-Aid Jammers sewn together to create a bag — are taking over Etsy and your fave social media stars' photos. Even if you're just stepping outside to get some air, you still need something to hold your phone, tissues, lip balm, and hand sanitizer, so you might as well be trendy AF about it.
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Slides aren't just having a moment — they are here to stay. These Chillos by Chaco are as soft and comfortable as they are cool and contemporary, so you can wear them poolside or around the house. All you need is a fun DIY pedicure and you'll be good to go.
We're not sure what we love more about these sunglasses: the bold, multi-colored stripes or the extreme cat-eye shape. Either way, expect to read at least a handful of, "OK, but where did you get those sunnies from???" comments on the 'Gram, because you'll be the envy of all your followers with this fashion-forward pair.
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Available for most Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy devices
It's time for some spring cleaning, which means it's also time to ditch your worn-out phone case with a fresh upgrade. If you frequently use the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt hashtag, then wait until you see the "As Seen On TikTok" section on Casetify's website. There are so many stylish options that pass the spring break vibe check, especially this lemon-covered case that's sweet and sour at the same time.
Even when travel isn't physically possible, at least one of your senses can still take you on a journey. Yankee Candle's 2021 Scent of the Year, Discovery, brings together a combination of aromas from around the globe like red ginger, starfruit, mango, passion fruit, and vanilla spice. One whiff and you'll be completely captivated.
Taking a dip in the pool is the epitome of spring break relaxation. But what if you don't have a built-in pool in your backyard? Not to worry, because the "millennial and Gen Z sun experts" at PoolCandy designed an array of Instagram-worthy sunning pools that can be blown up in minutes.
Transport yourself to one of the most stunning locations in Southern California with Amazon Explore's virtual tour of Huntington Beach. From now through June, you can experience the waves of the Pacific Ocean while also getting a history lesson on how surfing was brought to the SoCal hotspot from the comfort of your home.
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Take your virtual spring break experience to the next level by relaxing in a swing instead of on your couch. You can watch the waves go by on your screen while rocking back and forth on a hanging swing, reminiscent of a beach hammock. Don't worry if you can't hang anything from your ceiling — the swing can easily be hung on a C-style hammock stand ($98, Amazon) or from a sturdy tree outside.
The cutest pint-sized speaker packs a powerful punch, delivering 360-degree sound that lasts up to 13 hours. What makes the WONDERBOOM 2 perfect for your staycation is that it's waterproof and it floats, which means you can take it with you while you're soaking in the tub or lounging in the pool.
Treat yourself to a mini spa day with a sheet mask from cult-favorite K-beauty brand TONYMOLY. It's made of cotton and soaked in avocado extract, giving you a soft and luxurious hint of the tropics in as little as 20 minutes.
There's nothing more refreshing than a fruity beverage to quench your thirst throughout the day, especially when you're on spring break, dreaming of an island getaway. This pineapple-inspired bottle can help stimulate your senses with its look and functionality. Whether you're in need of a cup to hold your piña colada, or an impromptu shaker, all you need to do is simply add this to your cart.
A girls' trip to Las Vegas is a total spring break vibe — and that's exactly where Grace Porter and her friends go in Morgan Rogers' debut book, Honey Girl. While most would say, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas," this coming-of-age story changes the narrative, because what happens in Vegas when you marry a woman whose name you don't even know certainly doesn't stay in Sin City.
Leave it to beauty TikTok to deliver a hack that gives you an at-home spray tan that perfectly covers your skin without an expensive machine or a messy mousse. All you need is self-tanning water and a continuous mister (Amazon, $7) to give you a tropical vacation-like glow.
Above all else, if you plan on stepping outside to soak up some rays at any point during your staycation, you'll definitely need some sunscreen to protect your gorgeous skin. New clean beauty brand Nuria offers a weightless, matte option that acts as a sunscreen (SPF 30), moisturizer, or even a primer under your makeup.