What to Pack for Relaxation and Play on Your Vacation

by Tracy Kunzler

From the editor: Relaxation AND play on your vacation are requirements. Our relaxation expert, Tracy Kunzler, has some water-full recommendations for kids and grown-ups. And if you’re anything like us, you’re always a kid at heart!

What to Pack for Relaxation

Spring Float Papasan

Yes, it’s great to explore new places, learn about different cultures and broaden our horizons while on vacation, but let’s face it. The most-cherished

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part of vacation is lollygagging, and its importance should not be overlooked. Many studies have shown lollygagging is good for your health. No one produces better best lollygagging-enhancing water products than SwimWays. As a professional lollygagger, when it comes to travel, I highly recommend packing the SwimWays Spring Float Papasan. Three really important facts about this baby:

  1. It provides you with a really comfortable way to float and lollygag in the pool, lake or ocean.
  2. It makes everyone around you envious that they don’t have their own Papasan, and…
  3. It packs away so small, it takes up about the same amount of space as a Frisbee in your suitcase!

Just a head’s up: you’ll want to be sure to have one for each adult in your group so there’s no fighting over it.

What to Pack for Play

I think we can all agree outdoor play is important for children. It promotes fitness, hand-eye coordination, and vitamin D. Most importantly, it gets kids out of your hair for a few minutes. Following are some great toys that will keep your kids from pestering you – I mean happy and fit – on your family vacation.

Dive Toys

Small dive toys like Toypedo Bandits are half the size of the popular Toypedo Original, and only take up 50% of the room in your suitcase while providing 100% of the fun. Suited for kids ages five and up, these colorful little dive sticks glide underwater up to 20 feet! Let kids use your empty plastic drink cups as underwater targets for a fun game even the adults will want to get in on.


Another suitcase friendly game that’s ideal for players of all ages and skill sets is simply… catch! Stick to the basics and pack a ball or step it up a little and get a catch game

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with water-friendly mitts like COOP Hydro Catch. The fuzzy ball is designed to easily cling to the water-friendly mitts, so players of all skill levels can enjoy. Whatever you choose, you’ll want to consider getting enough for your family, so everyone gets to play!

Swimming Toy Fish

When kids are just starting to get used to the water, swimming fish come in small sizes and will take up little room in your suitcase but provide lots of fun. Bright, colorful Rainbow Reef Guppies allow kids to simply pull the drawstring and delight in watching the fish “swim” on their own! No batteries required!

Check out the links below for more of Tracy’s series on spring break travel and packing tips!

Tracy Kunzler - Relaxation Expert

Tracy Kunzler knows relaxing like no other! She has devoted her life to the field of relaxation and is incredibly disciplined in the subject. Tracy lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia where she regularly relaxes and entertains beachside and at her backyard pool with husband Neil,their twin sons Cole and Duke (when not away at college), and their beloved mixed breed Bogie. Tracy’s Book

Beach and Poolside Fashion and Color Trends for 2014

SwimWays Spring Float Graphic Prints

Are you ready for summer? It’s just a few months away! We know you water lovers are thinking about it – especially with the bitterly cold weather we’ve all experienced lately. Just imagine it… the warm sun on your skin, your favorite ice cold drink by your side, and your toes in the water. Have you thought about your poolside style yet? Well don’t worry, because we’ve gathered poolside fashion and color trends from around the web so you can enjoy the fun days of summer, stylishly.

For the Gals

The good news is that this season there’s no particular print that’s on trend, we’ve seen nautical stripes, polka dots, tropical/floral prints, paisleys and crochet textures (and everything in between) in a variety of hues and styles for all shapes and sizes. You’ll be happy to learn that figure flattering vintage styles, ruched materials, ruffles, and fringes are still in. You’ll also see lots of color blocking by way of pattern and solid color mix and match, and graduated color blends. Ultimately you should wear the style you feel most comfortable in, a swim suit style that really suits your body shape and spice it up a little by embracing some of this year’s vibrant colors taking the fashion world by storm.

Accessorize your swimsuit with a brightly colored pool float

Pool floats: SwimWays Spring Float SwimWays.com, Tomato and Cream Scallop Swimsuit TopShop.com, Dot Underwire Tank JCrew.com

Polka dots on navy are hot again this year, so accessorize your swimsuit with a colorful tote and sandals. Remember, accessories don’t have to match – contrast is great!

Bright solid colors meets vintage polka halterneck bikini

Bag:Pineapple Jute Bag TommyBahama.com, Bikini: Freya Calamity Bandeau Swim Top BareNecessities.com, Sandals: Bare Traps Delia Flat Sandals Macys.com

If a one-piece swimsuit is your style, and you’re not a huge fan of patterns, why not opt for something in a bright solid like turquoise and pair it up with bohemian themed accessories with like color accents?

A little bit of bohemia goes well with this bright solid one-piece

Bag: Billabong Geary Trips Zappos.com, Swimsuit: La Blanca Ruched One-Piece Swimsuit Nordstrom.com, Sandals: Grazie Scorch Sandals Zappos.com

And for the Guys

As we’ve seen in recent years the main trend for swim trunk length is still just above the knee, boardshorts are still very popular and flattering for most and are available in a variety of rises. Bright neon colors, earth toned solids and mixed prints are hot this year. From Hawaiian prints and wide checks to graduated stripes, there’s something for every taste.

Graduated stripes and bright neon colors for the guys

Pool foats: SwimWays Spring Float SwimWays.com, Rip Curl Mens Boardshorts Mirage Aggrotrippin Lime HansenSurf.com, Billabong Mens Boardshorts All Day Bright Green HansenSurf.com

For a convenient vacation style, go for a neutral colored trunk so you can effortlessly transition from pool to restaurant with a nice light linen or cotton shirt in a contrasting color – white always works! Don’t forget to dry off first!

Earth tones allow for easy transition from the pool

Left: Billabong Mens Shorts Reggie PX Silver HansenSurf.com, Sea Glass Breezer Short-Sleeve Shirt TommyBahama.com, Clarks Swing Sky Sandals ClarksUSA.com. Right: Rip Curl Mens Boardshorts Stoker Navy HansenSurf.com, Scott Hawaii Mens Sandals Pui Brown HansenSurf.com, Sean John Shirt, Short Sleeved Linen-Blend Macys.com

Our 2014 Color Favorites

This year our products feature a host of bright, vibrant colors that you’ll love. Great for pairing with your favorite swimwear and poolside accessories.

SwimWays Color Trends 2014

Check out our Beach & Pool Style board on Pinterest

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for more pool and beach style inspiration! You’ll find pool and beach fashions in addition to

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color and trend reports for the upcoming season.

What fashion and color trends will be your summer favorites?

Follow SwimWays’s board Beach & Pool Style on Pinterest.

What to do with Oodles of Noodles

Let’s just admit it. Summer is over. There’s no going back as we watch the leaves turning brown on the trees. Now that your pool is finally closed, you may have left over foam noodles from those warm summer days, but where do they go when the air gets chilly? Why not put them to work?!

Our 5 Favorite Pool Noodle Ideas

  1. This simple, yet beautiful pool noodle garland really brings everything together. Check out the blog post from Sugar & Cloth for a full tutorial.Pool Noodle Garland via Sugar & Cloth
  2. At the Swimways Corp. annual cookout this summer we used our noodles as napkin rings – a cute and colorful way to brighten up any party. Using three different colored noodles, simply slice evenly and pull your napkins through the hole for a cheap and quirky solution.Pool Noodle Napkin Rings
  3. This tutorial for creating Pool Noodle Ponies from Ginger Snap Crafts is great for imaginative young minds and makes for an awesome weekend craft project for kids and parents. Pool Noodle Ponies
  4. It is October! So here’s a fun decorative fall idea from Coupons Are Great, with tutorial – Pool Noodle Pumpkins!Pool  Noodle Pumpkins
  5. Ahoy thar me mateys! Do you have a pirate party t’plan? If so, Sophie’s World has a great
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    tutorial and video walk-through that teaches you how to make a special foam noodle pirate sword for your little rapscallions!

But Wait, There’s More!

We’ve scoured Pinterest for the most creative pool noodle craft ideas out there and created a dedicated board. Here are our favorites! What’s your favorite noodle re-purposing idea?