16 Vacation Nail Ideas to Get You Ready For Your Trip

16 Vacation Nail Ideas to Get You Ready For Your Trip

Getty | Edward BerthelotGetty | Edward Berthelot

Sometimes, the beauty prep for a vacation can take almost as long as the trip itself. Depending on where you’re going (and how high maintenance you like to be beforehand in order to be low maintenance while you’re there), you may want to get a spray tan, wax, and, of course, manicure. Picking out your vacation nails can often set the mood for your entire trip. Nothing pops against a tropical backdrop like a bright, mood-boosting color or wearing a trendy nail design to a new city of your choice.

When searching for vacation nail ideas, Instagram is your bible. Whether you’re a maximalist or a minimalist with your beauty choices, you’ll find no shortage of inspiration. The design you choose largely depends on where you’re going and the time of year. Your typical beach vacation nails may include seashells or fun vacation nail colors of neons and pastels.

If you want something a little less on the nose and classy vacation nail designs are more your vibe, there are plenty of options for you outside of your stereotypical choices. French manicures, for example, are super popular right now and make for great vacation nail art depending on the color you use, and “aura nails” basically scream holiday. “Digital lavender” nails and chrome are also great for anyone who doesn’t like nail art.

For extra-long trips, you may want to consider picking a design with a neutral base — this will help disguise new growth and keep your manicure looking fresh for longer. Most varieties of french tips are great for this (minus the “inverted” french, which has color along the cuticle), as are ombré gradients and negative-space designs.

No matter where and when you’re going, ahead you’ll find a variety of vacation nail ideas to inspire your pick at the salon.

Mismatched Vacation Nails

If you can’t make up your mind on what design to get, consider opting for a mismatched manicure that showcases your personality.

Seashell Vacation Nails

For beach vacation nails but with a twist, try seashell nail art. Nature provides the best beauty inspiration, and this set proves that. Each fingertip mirrors the unique shape and texture of a shell.

Neon Vacation Nails

Neon hues practically make any manicure feel vacation-worthy. This set is reminiscent of the ocean, with designs that mimic coral and seaweed.

Desert Vacation Nails

Not every vacation is at the beach — if you’re headed somewhere like the desert, this set may be perfect for you. Using pastel colors, it has pictures of the sun, cactus, and landscapes.

Tropical Vacation Nails

Remember those tropical flowers you used to get on a single accent nail in the early aughts? Add them to a full set for a fun, nostalgic manicure.

Rainbow Vacation Nails

Incorporating rainbow colors into any nail-art design of your choice is an easy way to make a manicure feel vacation-ready.

Flower Vacation Nails

Flower nails can be worn in a variety of ways. This manicure combines the delicate design with french tips.

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Neon nails have been a popular manicure style for decades and for good reasons.

Aura Vacation Nails

Aura nails scream vacation, between the bright colors and the effortlessly cool design.

Digital Lavender Vacation Nails

Digital lavender nails are a great option for anyone looking for a fun manicure without going too heavy on nail art.

Cherry Vacation Nails

Cherry nails are so sweet for vacation. Pairing the design with a neutral base allows you to wear it for weeks.

Chrome Vacation Nails

French manicures are always a good choice, no matter the time of year or occasion. To dress up the design even more for vacation, opt for a chrome finish on the tips.

Geometric Vacation Nails

If you’re not vacationing on the beach, geometric nail designs may be more fitting for your trip.

Abstract Vacation Nails

You don’t need to have a clear idea of what you want your vacation nails to be. Sometimes, abstract shapes in complementary colors make for the best manicures.

Glazed-Doughnut Vacation Nails

Not a big fan of eye-catching nail art? Take a cue from the queen of minimal nails herself, Hailey Bieber, and get a glazed-doughnut manicure (in the color of your choice) for your vacation nails.

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Kids may look forward to summer because it means no school and lots of time off, but we look forward to summer because it means we can finally dig out the summer nail ideas we've been saving over the last few months and get started crossing looks off of our bucket list.

Jade Vacation Nails

Jade nails are a cool, effortless choice for anyone looking for a vacation manicure that’s not too on theme.

Swirl Vacation Nails

Swirl nails are one of those designs that are what you make of them — you can combine your favorite colors or switch with a theme, like neons or pastels.


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