Resort Wear and Travel

Written By Marina Pascale and Tarita Karsanji-Davenock

Travel is exciting and always brings that special rush to the blood stream. The anticipation of new adventures makes us smile and fantasize. Doctor OZ would say that is a very healthy state of mind and changes chemistry of your body. For some of us, travel brings a long-awaited freedom, confidence and the sense of being equal.
Louise Sertsis, Styling: Marina Pascale, Photo: Alissa Baltazar

I had the privilege to work on this styling project with one original, dynamic woman. Meet
Louise Sertsis – she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999, at the age of 20 years old and uses a wheelchair for mobility. With all of the challenges that life put on her, she is still confident, radiant, enthusiastic, and genuine and just wants to be herself. Louise is also a perfectionist. She likes style and elegance. She carefully plans her vacations, choosing clothing that fits well, is easy to change and complementary for the occasion. Despite the challenges in Louise’s life, ultimately she is a woman and has never lost her feminine attractiveness. She is not ready to give up on simple pleasures that highlight her beauty and help her carry that perfect smile with confidence.

With this past long winter, we have all dreamt of sandy beaches, palm trees and crystal blue water. We are anxious to break away from this seemingly never-ending cold weather or perhaps, are already planning ahead for summer vacations. When we start packing for travel, our first impulse is to pack the entire closet. However we only have space in the luggage for necessary things – in other words – pack the bare minimum, pack colorful style garments and be ready for any occasion.  Rain or shine, here is a great advice for any traveler. If the size of your luggage allows you to pack a few extras – you are in luck (just remember not to go over the 50lb weight limit or you will be charged extra)!

Louise at the Grand Hotel, Toronto, Canada
Louise was very involved in sharing the insights of her travel habits and helping us to learn how to pack wisely when using a wheelchair.
When you spend most of your time sitting– focus on changing your tops as much as you can! Pack a few different styles and colors so you have an extra wardrobe selection. Be sure to pack something light and breathable.

Typically your routine at the resort will consist of daytime activities and dinner events. Pack a few colorful tops that will brighten your mood – pick colors that look best with your skin and hair. If you packed a few favorite colors, add some classic black & white staples or fashionable prints. Experiment and be brave! Note that colors will look brighter in tropical sunshine.


When you travel, one of the best activities awaiting you is time at the swimming pool or beach. When choosing swimwear, you don't have to be self-critical – just make sure you are comfortable with the style and the color.  It’s easy when you have few tops and bottoms that you can mix and match.
Louise is fond of tankinis. “Tankini has the style of a one piece swimsuit, accentuates my body and yet consists of two pieces,” - says Louise. Other important advantages of Tankinis are that they add flexibility and allow bathroom use without having to fully undress.

Pair your swimsuit with a hat and matching pareos (also known as a sarong) which work as a stunning cover-up and are easy and versatile to use because when you are sitting, you can cheat and drape over your legs instead of wrapping around.

Like colors? Play with popular prints or solid colors. Chic and contemporary, one of the popular hues of the season will make a huge difference in your wardrobe. Tropical destinations are your chance to go pull out those bright colorful outfits especially after a winter of neutrals. There are traditional colors that look absolutely inspiring and gorgeous by the sea. Yellow, coral, blue, red and white are the most popular shades of any destination vacation. These colors breathe summer, happiness and typically enhance your look and moods. Treat yourself to a new color every day.

If you are heading out for a week – bring one top for each day and 2-3 pairs of bottoms whether it be shorts, lightweight pants or skirts.

If you are a minimalist traveler – you can pack fewer tops and wear each of them twice.

A slick long skirt is one of the must-haves for your vacation. You can travel in it, you can wear it for different events and you'll always look stylish. Make sure you have a classic black skirt for your evenings and a few fancy tops. 2-3 long skirts would be a great addition to your evening wardrobe. You will not feel overdressed and it will be just enough to feel well dressed.

If you have any tops or skirts with gold or silver trims – bring it with you! Anything with shine and glitter will look amazing in your travel paradise. You will dazzle, radiating confidence and happiness.

Another versatile option is a maxi dress. Pair it with casual sandals during the day for shopping and excursions, then you can dress it up in the evenings with dressier accessories.

Don’t underestimate the power of jewelry in your wardrobe.
Pack a few statement pieces for each evening. Accessories are essential for your evening wardrobe and can play a huge role in changing your wardrobe.

Some options for selecting accessories:
  • Choose contrast jewelry for your top or blouse.
  • Select jewelry that stands out; avoid choosing pieces that blend with your hair color or with garment color.
  • Add some geometry with silver or gold tone jewelry – a chunky necklace or bracelet will add to your elegant look.

The best thing about jewelry is that it doesn't take up much space in your luggage, yet creates a significant impact for your wardrobe. Well-coordinated colors of your clothes combined with complementary accessories will complete your elegant wardrobe.

Sandals are very important for your wardrobe. Something nice and chic with embellishments would suit perfectly for your dinner event. Sandals with metal accessories or crystals always look very festive and fancy! Have fun on your vacation and stay beautiful.

Makeup bag!
Keep handy all your necessities. Sunscreen, your favorite skin care products, mascara, eye brow pencil, 2-3 lipsticks to play with different colors, and a file – pack and you're set! Instead of a heavy foundation in the tropical humidity, you may want to try a tinted sunscreen or CC Cream which contains moisturizer, a light foundation, brightening primer and anti-aging ingredients all-in-one which is perfect for packing (bb Cream would work too but is more moisturizing and tends to be a little heavier). Now you are all set for a relaxing vacation in paradise.

OK, now that you are all packed, where should you go?
Radisson Aquatica Resort, Barbados

We asked accessible travel expert, Tarita Karsanji-Davenock of Tarita’s Travel Connections for a destination recommendation for the mobileWOMAN.  One of my favorite accessible beach destinations is Barbados!
Barbados is a coral island on the West Coast of Barbados, coral shore beaches of fine white sand stretch along a blue-green sea. Coral reefs fringe the Barbados shoreline to provide excellent snorkeling and Scuba Diving. The constant breeze of the trade wind gives Barbados a mild and pleasant tropical climate.
When you visit Barbados, you will see it is mostly a flat coral island with excellent beaches, but there are rolling hills and many deep ridges and gullies, with an interesting distribution of flora and fauna.
Barbados is a very beautiful island, with lots of art, activities, night life, music, history and some of the best restaurants to be found anywhere. But what makes Barbados even more special, and the reason why so many visitors keep returning to the island year after year, is the people.
Barbadians, called Bajans, are warm and friendly souls…
FAB (Fully Accessible Barbados) is an initiative the government has created to bring an even warmer welcoming as an ‘inclusive’ destination.

One of the many fully accessible resorts is the Radisson which is synonymous with outstanding levels of service and comfort delivered with utmost style.
The folks at Radisson understand that accessibility is important to every guest. The hotel has accessible rooms that may include the following accessible features:
  • Amenities within accessible range to reach
  • Controls operable without grasping or twisting
  • Transfer seat to tub
  • Wider guest room and bathroom doorways
  • Wheelchair accessible lobby
  • Wheelchair accessible public entrance
  • Wheelchair accessible public restrooms
  • Wheelchair available – on request
  • Beach Wheelchairs are available for rental$$

For more information about accessible resorts and travel, contact Tarita at Tarita’s Travel Connections.

About Marina Pascale: Marina Pascale is a Canadian-based entrepreneur and the designer behind the brand La Maison De Pascale.  Inspiration for her swimwear collection came from traveling the world and her love of the blue ocean, hot sun and clear skies - all of which could be described in two simple, but powerful words: ‘Tropical Paradise’. 

Marina wanted to combine bright, tropical colors with unique fabric textures and convert them into simple, yet elegant beachwear. Marina's fashion view and style were heavily influenced by European designers. She held a long-term goal of creating swimwear that inspired a desire to dive into the ocean, pack for travel abroad, or embark on a beach adventure.

Marina’s passion for swimwear was key for instilling the sense of style and happiness that’s wrapped in vivid bright colors within her women’s beachwear. The result was the creation of La Maison De Pascale.

Marina Pascale closely works with young women and helps to develop their talents and nurture aspirations for self- development. She is familiar with many challenges facing growing talent and always finds a way to support young women in local communities. Marina has vast experience with fashion events and has worked with young women on multiple projects from charity events to small fashion shows.

Her accomplishments include founding the Love + Fashion=Cure event that ran a successful fundraising program in support of Prostate Cancer Canada. She has served as a judge at the Miss Black Beauty Canada pageant, and the Miss Canada Tourism pageant. She has sponsored several candidates in Miss World Canada, acted as the official swimwear sponsor for the swimwear contest at Miss Canada Tourism and Miss Black Beauty Canada, and has helped others by being a career mentor. 

Tarita Karsanji-Davenock

About Tarita Karsanji-Davenock: Some of us are lucky enough to fall into careers that we love, where just coming to work is a joyful part of the day. Fewer have been purposeful, have seized the brass ring and gotten into those careers through hard work, perseverance and, yes, even a little bit of luck. The path to Tarita’s dream career was decided by an entirely different kind of luck. A social worker whose specialty was in helping children and adults with special needs, she had stability; her MA in English and Psychology ensured the future of that,; all she needed was a bit of time and some creative budgeting and the world, a world she had traveled extensively, would be her oyster.
All of this stability was shattered when, at the age of 29, Tarita was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and was struck with the realization that her life would never be the same. Knowing that her best way forward was to take hold of that life and ensure that its direction was one of her own choosing, that the MS was not going to control her future, she seized on a passion for travel she had nursed since childhood. Tarita became an entrepreneur in an industry where she has been able to carve out a significant niche, based on a personal philosophy that travel should be Inclusive and not exclusive.
Seventeen years later, Tarita has found her place as an expert in creating dream vacations for those who thought dream vacations were for other people. A Certified Special Needs Travel Advocate, she takes great pride in ensuring that, regardless of your level of mobility or ability, you will have the experience of a lifetime.
Tarita feels that all businesses should be run with a Pay it Forward philosophy, and her desire to make a difference doesn’t just apply to people; she is a passionate animal rights activist, and gives generously to her local SPCA through a Paws for Holidays campaign. A portion of all her travel earnings goes to help animals in need, both locally and nationwide.
CREDITS: Styling by Marina Pascale, Photo by Alissa Baltazar Photography, Place: Grand Hotel on Jarvis, Toronto – fully accessible hotel, Hair and Makeup by Kay Zhang.
Louise wearing Tankini set Sail by Pascale Swim, Beach cover up in black by Pascale Swim


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