As many of you who follow us on Instagram know earlier this month my husband and I visited Playa del Carmen in Mexico and I received a lot of messages about how to do water and adrenaline activities while wearing hijab. I've created this list of hijabi essentials for traveling to beach locations and what we did to make it more Muslim friendly. Hope you enjoy!
1. Ditch the resorts and find an Airbnb.
I never understood why Muslims love to go to resorts. Unless you have kids and want to just make life easier and never leave the hotel while you're on vacation, in my opinion resorts are waaaay overpriced, they treat hotel staff terribly and if you're a hijabi woman there is really not much for you to do at a resort. Whenever my husband and I travel we always opt for an Airbnb. Here's what Airbnbs can offer you at affordable rates that hotels do not, unless you're looking to spend $500-$600 per night.
- Private swimming pools
Whenever we travel to warm locations we always try to find hosts who have private swimming pools or plunge pools so we can soak up the sun, and I can swim comfortably. It's way more fun and comfortable than lounging at the pool deck in front of strangers wearing your burkini and hijab - trust me.
- Accommodating hosts
One of my favorite parts about booking an Airbnb is that you usually have amazing hosts and on site managers to help you with everything you need. From finding local gems like restaurants and activities, to picking you up from the airport, these hosts are like having a private travel guide with you during your entire stay. When booking try looking for 'Superhosts' - these guys are experienced hosts who make your stay even that more memorable.
- More space
There are some Airbnb's where you can just rent a private room, but whenever we book a stay we opt for booking an entire home/apartment. This means you usually have your own kitchen, bathroom(s) and bedroom(s) to make your stay even more comfortable. It also means you can travel with your entire family or large groups and all stay in the same place and even split the cost between families to make it more affordable!
2. Be adventurous.
I love adventures and adrenaline activities. I know most people go on vacation to relax and sleep in, but when I go on vacation I want to have fun! We love to try new activities and visit new places when we are in a new country. It's the best way to meet new people including locals, and foreigners who moved there. Some of my favorite activities include - scuba diving, jet skiing, rappelling, white water rafting, cliff jumping and horse back riding. And yes - you can do all these things while wearing your hijab!
3. Dressing for activities
Here are some essentials that I take with me to make water sports and activities easier and more comfortable as a hijabi:
- Sport leggings/pants
The reason why I opt for leggings rather than loose sporty pants like I typically wear to the gym is because when you're in water your clothes tend to float and move around if they aren't tight. So I always opt for leggings so they stay put while I'm swimming and I know I won't get exposed. I recently bought these compression leggings here for my Mexico trip and they worked great while swimming!
- Long dri-fit tops
If you're a hijabi girl who works out you'll know just how hard it is to find long sleeve tops that are both long enough to cover your behind and loose. When shopping for these kind of tops I usually always get lucky in the men's section at Marshall's or TJMaxx. You can typically find long sleeve Nike Dri Fit tops for around $20 which are long, loose AND affordable! I have a bunch of these tops in basic colors for when I travel.
- Jersey hijabs
For any kind of activity I always opt for jersey hijabs. The material is great in the water, they aren't see through and they are comfortable enough to wear all day. I definitely can't go without my jersey hijabs! I recommend taking some older hijabs that you don't care about ruining in water or getting them dirty.
I know some of you may think wearing a hat on top of your hijab is a strange trend but it is especially useful while doing activities because it keeps your hijab in place and you don't have to worry about it sliding or flying off if you're doing high speed activities or something that requires you to be moving a lot. Another alternative is wearing a one-piece hijab but I just hate how those look on my face so I go for this instead!
4. Plan ahead!
Before I go on any vacation I usually have done a decent amount of research of the area we are visiting and what there is to do. I love planning my trips on TripAdvisor because they have thousands of trusted reviews from around the world of all different kinds of activities, restaurants and hotels. I usually make a list of activities I definitely want to do in each area before we get there to make coordinating our schedule easier and more efficient. This way when you get there you have more time to enjoy your travel and less time on planning your days.
Pro tip: Try searching for "secret" or lesser known beaches in the area you are visiting for a more private experience. When we visited Costa Rica we were in an area where we pretty much had the entire beach to ourselves which was incredible!
Lastly, no matter where you are wear your hijab proudly and confidently! Even if you feel people stare just know that the only limitations you have are the ones in your mind!
Hope you guys enjoyed this read! Let us know what your top tips are in the comments!
Much love xx