When historians look back on it, they will likely agree that peak spring break was achieved in the year 2000. Y2K is when MTV decided it would be a good idea to have Jerry Springer host a game show in which college students walked the catwalk in nothing but whipped cream bathing suits under a hot sun that caused the sundae topping to melt rapidly.
But that is just one of many instances of folks looking like idiots while on spring break. For whatever reason, heading to a warm destination in late March or early April seems to incite an affinity for Bret Michaels-esque straw cowboy hats, puka shell necklaces, and tank tops that say things like “I’ve fallen and I can’t get my beer.” Sure, alcohol plays a role in many of those decisions, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Whether you’re headed to Mexico, Florida, Texas, or some other awesome locale, we’ve put together the ultimate spring break survival kit. Each item was selected both for its party-proof qualities and its style. Because as much as spring break is about doing your best “My name is Otto. I love to get blotto,” it’s also about impressing the ladies. And while that may not be so hard when your competition is a guy in the aforementioned straw cowboy hat and tank top, every little bit helps.
VUARNET 03 SUNGLASSES
Legendary French shades brand Vuarnet is coming back to the U.S. The 03 model is what Jeff Bridges wore as The Dude in The Big Lebowski so they bring plenty of chill vibes. The dark lenses will also take the edge off of that mean morning hangover.
HERSCHEL HERITAGE BACKPACK
Spring break is all about transitioning from pool to beach to cocktail bar to dinner without interruption, so a good backpack will help you be prepared all day (and night) long. Herschel’s Heritage backpack only has the features you need (headphone port, sunglass pocket) and the nautical feel of the blue stripes will be right at home by the sea.
NOAH WINGED LOGO CAP
Whether you’re using it to protect you from the sun or to hide from the girl you were freaking on at the bar the night before, a good hat is key. Noah has nailed the poorly named “dad hat” look. The winged foot logo on this cap keeps things classy and classic.
VILBREQUIN SASHIMI BUBBLES TURTLES TRUNKS
Leave the boardshorts to dudes who actually surf and frat bros. These days, classic swim trunks are a far more stylish option. St. Tropez brand Vilbrequin has been making its Moorea shorts in fun prints for decades and they always look sharp.
YETI HOPPER 20 COOLER
Is this more cooler than you need? Perhaps, but it’s also probably the last cooler you’ll ever buy. The Hopper 20 easily holds 18 cans of your favorite adult soda and keeps ice frozen for days. It’s also puncture-resistant and leak proof so it can survive the biggest rager.
VANS SLIP-ON SF
Flip-flops are fine, but when you leave the beach to hit the bar you quickly realize the shortcomings of sandals. As part of its surf line, Vans made its iconic slip-on more beach friendly. The soft footbeds are as comfortable as flip-flops and the heel easily collapses so you can shuffle around in them easily.
POLER X PENDLETON JACQUARD TOWEL
On spring break, a towel can be much more than a way to dry off. It’s a blanket when you pass out by the pool, a makeshift sarong when your buddies decide to hide your other shorts. So make sure to bring a good one. You DO NOT want to be dependent on the hotel’s. This plush and soft towel from Poler and Pendleton will be your best friend on your trip.
EXCEDRIN EXTRA STRENGTH
Prices vary, drugstore.com
Whatever the biggest size you can get, buy it. Spring break is all about good times and with good times come hangovers. Bad ones. Plus, you know that none of your friends are going to plan ahead, which means they’ll be hitting you up for your supply.
OUTERKNOWN BLANKET SHIRT
Outerknown’s blanket shirt is like a more grown-up version of the old drug rug poncho. The organic cotton is ridiculously soft and the style is perfectly relaxed for spring break. This is a great layer to throw on when it gets cooler at night and you want to look a little more put together.
EVRGRN LAST CALL FLASK
Not that booze is ever in short supply on spring break, but if you find yourself low on the funds required for another banana daiquiri, a flask can come in handy.