I have the same skin type you described and am notorious for quick sunburns that used to ruin my vacations by the second day. I have found that, like Donna, a few visits to the tanning bed makes a big difference. I start 30 days out at 5 minutes but I go twice per week to build up enough tan. First 3 trips 5 minutes, 10 minutes, and 15 minutes respectively. Then the rest are at the prescribed limit for the type of tanning bed being used.
It works, I have never had a significant burn on vacations where I prepared with the tanning bed. Also, I can reduce the number of occasions where I need sunscreen. I really don’t like wearing the stuff.
Still I will frequently wear a T-shirt while in the sun or snorkeling. Don’t want to tempt the fates too much.