Staff Picks: Our Editors Name Their Favorite Spring Break Essentials

Resort bound? Here's your packing list.

Please note: If you buy through the links in this article, we may earn a small share of the profits.

Welcome to InsideHook’s Staff Picks, a compendium of all the things our editors have been digging on recently. Up this week: in honor of someone’s spring break (though tragically not ours), we asked our team to share their favorite resort essentials.

Kahala Strands Collector’s Edition
When I’m on vacation, I let every know about it. Deciding whether I should order another mojito? “Hey, I’m on vacation!” Looking up from my book to marvel at the the quiet, crushing beauty of Ma Earth? “Damn, I’m on vacation.” Winning a tennis rally that went on for so long it brings my opponent to his knees? “I’m on #$@&ing vacation!!!” And when I’m on vacation, I need a shirt that screams it right along with me. Kahala’s been cranking out aloha shirts since 1936, and they just revived “Strands,” a camp collar that’s hung framed in their Oahu store since the 1940s. Printed in a traditional pareo style, this is the spiritual antonym to a beige, thumbtacked cubicle, and I will bring it to resorts until the end of my days. Tanner Garrity, Associate Editor


Travel Medic First Aid Kit
I went to a resort in Costa Rica four years ago, ate some ceviche, lost a day. Went to a resort in Antigua three years back, drank a half-bottle of English Harbour 5 Year, almost didn’t last the morning. Tulum in 2017 and ’18: ate some crickets, slipped on a rock during an off-property cave adventure… you get it. When I’m “relaxing,” I hurt myself. So throw this lifesaver in your carry-on or day bag: the kit offers blister and small cut relief, along with generic versions of all the pills I’ll need to soothe the areas of my body to which I’ve done grievous harm (stomach, head, etc.). If I survive, meet you at the pool (this is a two-pack, so I gotcha covered). — Kirk Miller, Nation Editor/Managing Editor


Zachary Prell Caruth Short Sleeve Button Up
Sure, long-heeded vacation conventions tell us that we need to let our hair down and wear some wacky prints while kicking our feet up at a Caribbean resort. And while I concur that no carry-on is complete without some Tommy Bahama, I do think there’s something to be said for a more reserved look. For starters, should you decide to head into town, you won’t stick out like an oblivious tourist’s sore thumb. This button-down shirt from Zachary Prell is made of Peruvian cotton and it’s incredibly breathable and lightweight — perfect for the beach, four-star dinner, night club or anything else you choose to do (shy of snorkeling). Try and loosen up a little more than the guy in the photo wearing it, though. — Eli London, Director of Partnerships and User Acquisition


Sperry Bionic Collection
Boat shoe in the city? No. On your resort vacation? Certainly. On vacation and made from plastic recovered from marine and coastal environments? Someone bring this man a piña colada! Sperry’s brand new collection brings together material engineering company Bionic and advocacy group Waterkeeper Alliance to create eco-friendly versions of their classic footwear. For those who have forsaken the boat shoe (like some IH editors), there are sneakers and slip-ons aplenty. — Alex Lauer, Senior Editor


Uniqlo Striped Kando Pants
No matter the climate, there are certain situations in which a man should not wear shorts. And eating dinner at a half-decent restaurant — even if they have a piña colada machine and Jimmy Buffett blasting out of the speakers — is one of those situations. Now, I’m not suggesting that you pack jeans, chinos and slacks for a trip to Cabo. What I am saying is you should have at least a few dedicated pairs of “resort pants,” which I would define as: A) super lightweight, B) nice enough to wear with a button-up, and C) light in color. And for those qualities, it’s tough to beat Uniqlo’s Kando pants, which I own in three colorways and wear almost exclusively while on vacation near a large body of water. — Walker Loetscher, Editor in Chief


Birddogs Gym Shorts
For me, the concept of “vacationing” involves equal parts active pursuits (running, paddleboarding, competitive bocci, etc) and straight up drink-in-hand, body-on-colorful-pool-float chillin’. And as a dude who prefers to travel light whenever possible, I’m always in the market for a pair of shorts that can do double duty (a four mile run in a pair of swim trunks with standard liners is not a mistake I’m going to make twice). Enter Birddogs, which not only hold the title for comfiest workout shorts I’ve ever worn, but also come in colorways fun enough to hit the pool and not feel like, for lack of more nuanced description, the guy who wore his workout shorts to the pool. All the zippered pocketry and moisture-wicking properties you’d expect, plus three inseam lengths depending on how much tanned thigh you want to show off. Danny Agnew, Creative Director



Shochu is the most popular drink in Japan, but you may have never heard of it here. Hard to describe, but it’s stronger than sake and single distilled; it’s sometimes mistakenly called “Japanese vodka.” But shochu is its own, umami-tinged, clear spirit. This week we tried iichiko Saiten, a new barley shochu from Japan’s Kyushu Island. It’s a high-proof variant (43% ABV, vs the traditional 25%) that was specifically designed for cocktails — there’s a bit of umami flavor here, and it’s a damn smooth spirit works well in highballs, martinis and citrus-forward drinks. It packs a kick but it’s also light on the palate and easy to just sip.


Join America's Fastest Growing Spirits Newsletter THE SPILL. Unlock all the reviews, recipes and revelry — and get 15% off award-winning La Tierra de Acre Mezcal.