How to pack for a beach holiday

Heading to the beach? Use our Ultimate Beach Vacation Packing List to ensure your trip is as stress free as possible. Packing can be a big concern, especially when traveling to a new and unfamiliar place. Save yourself the extra worry and money of last-minute purchases with this easy to use packing checklist for any beach vacation. Just click on the image below to download and print an easy-to-use checklist of all the items you’ll want to include.

How to pack for a beach holiday

What to Pack for a Beach Vacation

Below you’ll find a tried and true list of what to pack for a beach vacation from the must-have essentials to items that will make your beach getaway even better than expected. Check out the video at the bottom of this article for some need-to-know travel tips from our editors. There’s one specific travel hack that will keep you organized and neat throughout your entire trip.

Beach Essentials

Bathing suits

Whether you plan on exploring the low-key beach town, lounging in the sun or snorkeling for the day, be sure to pack a bathing suit, like this Trina Turk tropical one piece, on your beach vacation. Wear what you feel the most comfortable in, and be sure to pack some extras. No one likes putting on a wet suit!

Beach cover-up

For running back to the hotel room, grabbing a quick beach-side bite or just to protect your skin from the sun’s rays, a beach cover-up allows you to have some quick coverage. This simple Billabong Women’s Lovechild Cover Up is both effortlessly chic and effective at shielding your skin from especially sunny days. A favorite among men is this Columbia PFG Bahama II Long Sleeve Shirt, it’s both breathable, light and the material has UV protection, great for fishing trips and long beach days.


Squinting in the sun is no fun! Make sure sunglasses are at the top of your beach vacation packing list. We recommend not toting your most valuable designer shades at the beach because sand and salt water can damage sunglasses. Bring along a cheap but stylish pair of shades for practical eye protection from the sun. These SOJOS Classic Aviator Mirrored Flat Lens Sunglasses are stylish and won’t break the bank, meaning you don’t have to worry if you drop them in the sand or lose them at sea.

Choose from a baseball hat or a big floppy sun hat. These accessories can be both stylish and practical, acting as a shield from the sun’s strong rays. For the best protection, pack a hat that shades your face, chest and shoulders. Make a statement with this fun embroidered sun hat.

Beach towel

Many hotels or resorts will supply beach towels. Check in advance that you’ll have access to beach towels at the pool before your trip to avoid over packing.

Beach bag

Don’t use your favorite purse or bag to tote your beach items back and forth! Opt for a large bag made especially for the beach, this one has compartments for all of your storage needs. You can find lots of cute and fun options that will prevent you from finding sand in your day-to-day bag for years to come.

Sandals/Flip flops

Ever put on soggy sneakers or shoes filled with sand? Avoid this beach faux pas by packing beach appropriate sandals or flip flops. The most practical options are easily washable, allowing you to hose off any unwanted sand after a long beach day, these Reef Fanning Mens Sandals are perfect for men, and they have a quirky bottle opener attached for those refreshing beach-side beverages.

Water bottle

Stay hydrated in the sun, but also stay eco-conscious. Add a reusable water bottle to your beach vacation packing list so you can just refill and be ready to go. Healthy Human creates a range of insulated stainless steel water bottles that stay cold for up to 24 hours!


Apply and reapply SPF any time you are out and about to avoid skin damage and sun burn. Be sure to check rules and regulations for sunscreen and sunblock in your destination as many beach cities are ruling out harmful SPFs to protect the environment. Stream2Sea specializes in biodegradable sunscreen products that won’t harm the ocean.

Lip balm

Chapped lips? Keep your lips soft and smooth, even after hours on the beach. The sun, sea breeze and salt water can take a toll on your perfect pout. Pack a moisturizing lip balm with SPF to protect your smile. We recommend Sun Bum’s SPF 30 Lip Balm.

Aloe vera/After-sun lotion

So you’ve spent a little too much time in the sun? We’ve all been there! Be sure to bring along aloe vera to reduce the redness and sooth irritated skin. NaturSense makes an organic after-sun gel that soothes skin from all types of irritants from sun burn to razor bumps.

Insect repellent

In any tropical destination, there are often pests. Whether it be at dusk or on certain excursions, you’ll be grateful for a spritz of this bug spray.

Disposable wipes

On hot days, you’ll appreciate some refreshing cleansing wipes. These Biodegradable disposable wipes by GoodWipes are made with soothing tea tree and aloe, perfect for any mid-afternoon clean up.

Baby powder

Beach travel hack right here! Baby powder is a go-to for beach goers who want to remove the unwanted sand from their bodies, without rubbing their skin raw with a beach towel. Simply sprinkle on some Johnson’s Baby Powder, and the sand brushes right off.

Safety/Flotation devices (if needed)

You’ll probably want to float in the ocean at some point during your beach vacation. Get in on the giant swan floatie Instagram craze with Swimline’s Giant Inflatable Swan Pool Float. As always, we recommend that you never leave children unattended and never fall asleep on an unsecured raft.

When you go to the beach, it’s true you only really need to take a pair of sunglasses, a trucker cap and a swimsuit if you fancy a dip. However, if you want to have a great time with everything you need and more, knowing what to pack for the beach is your solution. There’s nothing worse than turning up and realising you’ve forgotten something. Make sure you don’t go unprepared, and you have everything you will ever need in your trusty beach bag.

Beach holidays can be the best way to relax and take your mind off work and the daily demands of life; but, if you don’t know what to pack, this may not be the case. So if you are unsure what you should be taking to the beach, keep reading for your answers!

Sun Lotion.

One of the essential items to pack for your beach holiday is sunscreen, so don’t forget to lotion up to enjoy your beach getaway!

Experts across the globe have broadcasted for decades that you should wear sunscreen whenever you visit the beach. Not only does sun lotion protect your skin from the harmful UV rays that cause sunburn and eventually skin cancer, but it also prevents premature ageing.

A Range of Outfits

Having two or three choices of outfits with you can be a blessing in disguise when you go to the beach. Once on the beach and in the throws of your day out, you might get your original clothes wet or dirty, so having a set of clothes to change into will allow you to enjoy your time fuss-free. And, you will be so much more comfortable travelling home again in the dry!

Light Shoes

Taking a pair of canvas shoes with you to the beach is a great way to maintain some comfort when you’re walking along the sand. Not only do they protect your feet from any harmful objects under the golden grains, but they also allow air to cool your feet on hot days. It also allows you to go climbing around rockpools or walking along the cliffs too. These shoes and lightweight and small enough for any summer beach bag; even if you don’t use them on this trip, it’s good to have the option!

Beach Bag.

Beach bags are fantastic for holding all your essentials while you spend time on the beach. From keeping your beach towel to your car or hotel key, ensuring that you have a bag with you on your beach holiday is essential.

At Universal Flip, we believe that you should have the freedom to explore every beach your heart desires. Using our beach bags, you will be one step closer to having all of your beach bag essentials checked off your list. If you would like to browse, please click here.

Aloe Vera Gel.

As good as it is to be prepared to fight the sun’s UV rays, unfortunately, you might still get sunburnt on your holiday. A solution for this is the gel from aloe vera. It is a must-have in your beach bag as it contains antibacterial qualities and can reduce inflammation while also preventing your skin from peeling ! So having a tube or two in your bag will be beneficial for those pesky moments when you or your family get sunburnt. You will be able to keep having a great beach holiday while your skin heals, but don’t forget to keep your sunburn covered.

Beach Blanket.

There’s nothing better than spending all day on the beach while relaxing to your heart’s content. However, once the sun starts to disappear, so can the heat, so packing a beach blanket for your holiday will come in handy when you want to watch the sunset over the horizon.

From a picnic blanket, a lightweight beach towel to a shawl in the evenings, they are also great for escaping the sun’s rays for a moment; a beach blanket is another must-have on our list! We offer a range of products that are perfect for your beach holiday, and our beach blanket is simply one of them! Adaptable to your needs and surprisingly lightweight, you will be able to keep your beach blanket on hand in your beach bag. To find out more, visit our webpage here .

With our six suggestions in your suitcase or overnight bag, you will always be ready for a trip to the beach! Whether it’s for a relaxing sunbathe, a quick dip or even an explore among the rocks, you will always be prepared.

At Universal Flip, we aimed to create sustainable and ethically made products that enable you to feel and experience the magic and freedom of the beach. If you would like to be inspired by our products, please visit our online store . We are excited for you to explore our new accessory bundles !

Chris Gray Faust

Headed on a beach vacation? Use our essential beach packing list to help you pack everything you’ll need for a relaxing beach getaway. Best of all, it can save you money, since packing the right things now will keep you from having to repurchase items once you arrive. (Just click on the below image or this link to download, edit, or print).

Let other people sweat the small stuff, and streamline your list of hot weather must-haves so you look cool, even when the temperature isn’t. Here’s what to pack for the beach—without overpacking.

How to pack for a beach holiday

What to Pack

Clothes & Accessories to Pack

  • Swimsuits
  • Cover-ups
  • Sunglasses
  • Hats
  • Sandals
  • Water Shoes
  • Socks
  • Undershirts
  • Bras
  • Sleepwear
  • T-shirts
  • Casual Shirts
  • Jeans
  • Pants
  • Shorts
  • Dresses
  • Skirts
  • Light Sweaters
  • Leisure Shoes
  • Belts
  • Jewelry
  • Beach Bag
  • Small Purse
  • Athletic Shoes
  • Workout Gear

Shop Our Clothing Packing List on Amazon

Toiletries to Pack

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental Floss
  • Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Hair Brush
  • Styling Tools
  • Facial Cleanser
  • Moisturizer
  • Sunscreen
  • Shaving Supplies
  • Contact Lenses
  • Contact Solution
  • Makeup
  • Makeup Remover
  • Feminine-Hygiene Products
  • Birth Control
  • SPF Lip Balm
  • After Sun Cream
  • Nail File
  • Nail Clippers
  • Tweezers
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Bandages
  • First-Aid Ointment
  • Insect Repellent
  • Medications
  • Pain Relievers
  • Vitamins
  • Disposable Wipes

Shop Our Toiletries Packing List on Amazon

Beach Gear to Pack

  • Beach Umbrella
  • Beach Towel
  • Beach Blanket
  • Beach Chairs
  • Beach Toys
  • Beach Sport Games
  • Inflatable Floats
  • Snorkel Gear
  • Cooler
  • Waterproof Phone Case
  • Portable Speaker
  • Beach Safe

Shop Our Beach Packing List on Amazon

Misc. Travel Essentials to Pack

  • Water Bottle
  • Books
  • Passport/Visa/ID
  • Itinerary
  • Maps/Directions
  • Guidebook
  • Cash
  • Credit/ATM Cards
  • Face Masks
  • Insurance Cards
  • List of Medications
  • Emergency Contacts
  • Copies of Documents
  • Smart Phone
  • Electronic Chargers
  • Adapter
  • Camera
  • Copy of Vaccine Card
  • Snacks
  • Laptop
  • Portable Charger
  • Suitcase Locks
  • Sleep Travel Set
  • Headphones
  • Tissues
  • Reusable Baggies

Shop Our Carry-on Essentials on Amazon

Other Beach Packing Tips

Overall Plan: Light and breezy items should dominate your wardrobe choices. While you want to be comfortable, skip the faded and raggedy T-shirts and instead aim for a summery look that’s casual but polished. And while you’re packing, you may be tempted to focus just on getting there, make sure you also spend some time thinking about how you’ll transport wet and sandy items back home. There’s nothing worse than a suitcase full of sand. CGear has a line of products, including lounge chairs, blankets, and bags, that are “sand-free” and are must-have additions to your beach packing list.

What’s Essential? No beach vacation is complete without a swimsuit. Buy more than one so there’s always something dry to wear, and bring them along in your carry-on. For footwear, pack flip-flops, sandals, water shoes, or canvas tennis shoes, depending on the type of beach you’re on.


Choose a mesh or nylon beach bag with a distinctive pattern so it’s easy to spot in a crowd, and make sure it has inside pockets, preferably waterproof, to store valuables and small electronics such as your cell phone. Speaking of gadgets, make sure that they’re waterproof or have protective covers. A soft-sided insulated tote for drinks and snacks is easier to carry than a bulky cooler. Pack some disposable wipes for quick clean-up. Reusable plastic bags can be your best friend: Use them to bring food to the beach, and then carry wet swimsuits and towels on the way home. And you’ll probably want a portable speaker, too. For more ideas, see 15 Beach Bag Essentials You Need for Summer.

Secret Weapon: If you wear corrective lenses and your beach sessions involve exploring reefs for colorful fish, you may want to invest in a prescription snorkel mask. Having your own mask can also prevent communicable diseases. (I once got a wicked case of pinkeye from a tainted snorkel mask in Costa Rica. Lesson learned.)


Safety First: No matter how good it feels, the sun is not your friend. Load up on sun protection with a strong sunscreen that you can reapply often. If you’re traveling to your destination by plane, look into sunscreen towelettes that won’t explode or leak like bottled sunscreen. When you’re lathering up, don’t forget your face. Add SPF lip balm, and wear sunglasses and a sun hat. Make sure to check the environmental regulations at your beach destination, as some places are banning harmful and coral-damaging chemical sunscreens. Instead, shop for reef-safe sunscreens.

Leave at Home: Being on the beach is an excuse to cut loose; avoid bringing clothing that’s too stuffy or structured. If you’re staying at a hotel, find out ahead of time if towels and other beach amenities are included. Many vacation rentals also have “house” items such as camp chairs and barbecue grills so there’s no need to bring your own.

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2012. It has been updated to reflect the most current information. Chris Gray Faust contributed to this story.

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Whether you’re heading to Mykonos or the Maldives, here are the 10 items to have on your check list

How to pack for a beach holiday

How to pack for a beach holiday

How to pack for a beach holiday

This low-back, halter-neck top from Jacquemus is the ultimate statement piece for your holiday wardrobe. You’ll wear it with your jeans when you’re back on home turf too.

Cotton top, £325, Jacquemus at Browns

How to pack for a beach holiday

No beach look is complete without a great pair of sunnies.

Sunglasses, £300, Dior

How to pack for a beach holiday

Keep your evening looks summery in this stylish gingham dress from Joseph.

Viscose dress, £395, Joseph at MyTheresa

How to pack for a beach holiday

When it comes to day dressing, Lisa Marie Fernandez has the most beautiful selection of floaty frocks.

Cotton dress, £815, Lisa Marie Fernandez at Net-a-Porter

How to pack for a beach holiday

Cheap, cheerful and versatile – these sandals will work with any ensemble, day or night.

Sandals, £19.99, Mango

How to pack for a beach holiday

Although straw bags have now gone beyond the beach, that doesn’t mean that one isn’t still essential for your holiday wardrobe.

Straw bag, £169, Muuñ at Stylebop

How to pack for a beach holiday

Channel your inner ’90s woman in this string bikini.

Bikini, £155, Oseree at Browns

How to pack for a beach holiday

This summer, swap your kaftan for this nautical offering from Mara Hoffman.

Viscose dress, £250, Mara Hoffman at Matches Fashion

How to pack for a beach holiday

The best way to accessorise on the beach? With a statement straw hat of course.

Straw hat, £25.99, Zara

How to pack for a beach holiday

Throw over your bikini after the beach or team with a silky camisole and statement earrings when you head out for dinner.

Cotton skirt, £395, Zimmermann at Net-a-Porter

A beach trip is the perfect option to enjoy a Summer vacation while also safely socially distancing. Whether you plan to stay close to home and make a family road trip to the beach you need a complete beach packing list.

If you’re worried about what to bring to the beach, we’ve got you covered with a list of beach essentials. From basics to extras, and from toiletries to luxury relaxation, you won’t forget a thing if you stick to these beach necessities.

Beach Luggage

Your luggage should always be versatile and lightweight. Especially for a beach vacation, you want to make sure you don’t pack too much. The goal is to relieve stress, not add to it.

Consider a carry-on, a personal item, and, if you must, a checked bag. But no more than this. You will be lounging on the beach in your bikini most of the time, so you don’t need much. Your bags should be easy to carry, too. You’ll feel more carefree.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Duffel bag – Lightweight and versatile, the duffle bag’s soft sides fit just about any space. Toss and go. It’s easy to pack, holds more than a rigid suitcase, and is more durable than you’d expect.
  • Wheeled bags – You can’t beat wheels for heavy bags or long walking distances. If you plan to be on the go more than you intend to relax, this is an excellent back-saver.
  • Carry on – Finally, for a care-free week at the beach where all you need is a swimsuit, a small carry on is easy, lightweight, and perfect.

Getting Organized

For lots of activities, you have a lot of supplies. From sandals and walking shoes to sunscreen and shades, you need to keep it all organized.

Keep your beach essentials straight with packing organizers like cubes, and save space by compressing your clothing. You can quickly slide organizers of any kind straight into the drawers of your hotel dresser, making unpacking a breeze.

For vacations when you’re on the move more than you’re staying put, it’s easy to load up and head out if everything is contained. Compressing your clothing saves up to eighty percent more space, so for extended trips, it can reduce the amount of luggage you need.

Use folders for your dress clothes to keep them nice and neat so you can enjoy date night without worrying about wrinkles. Using zippered compartments for things like toiletries makes it easy to keep track of makeup, jewelry, and other necessities.

The Basics: Beach Packing Check List

Even if you plan to lounge on the beach and do nothing else, there are some basic items you want to include in your beach packing list.

  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Bathing suit
  • A good book
  • Sandals
  • Tank tops
  • Shorts
  • Hat
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Underwear
  • Pajamas
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Soap

If you plan to sightsee or do anything else, your beach vacation checklist is probably more extensive. You may include walking shoes and socks, additional toiletries like makeup, and more lightweight clothing you can layer.

Other fun things to take to the beach include:

  • Toys to play in the sand
  • Goggles
  • Snorkel
  • towel
  • Sarong
  • Umbrella

Travel Health

Even when packing for the beach, don’t forget prescription medications and other items to stay healthy. You don’t want to ruin your vacation by getting sick. Take precautions like using hand sanitizer (even after washing your hands), and pack a small first aid kit with band-aids.

If you travel internationally, check the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website for the necessary travel vaccines, medication, and other travel advice. You may also need additional personal healthcare items like glasses, contacts, or allergy pills. Stay informed and always be prepared.

Personal Items and Travel Documents

Even if you plan to check a bag, make sure necessary travel documents are always accessible in your carry on. You should have photo identification, passports, birth certificates for minors, insurance cards, credit cards, and boarding passes with you at all times, perhaps in a money belt.

If you have frequent flyer cards, a student ID (or anything else that might get you a discount), or maps and travel guides, bring those, too.

Also, keep an extra outfit and some essential toiletries with you in case your checked bag gets lost or delayed. It’s a good idea to pack a light jacket, an eye mask, or earplugs to keep you comfortable on long journeys.

For entertainment purposes, you should consider packing the following items as well:

  • Laptop or tablet
  • Headphones
  • Camera
  • Electrical converters or adapters
  • Journal and pen
  • Book
  • Chapstick
  • Water bottle


Consider your safety above all else when you travel to an unfamiliar place. Hidden belts, undercover bras, reflective clothing, and a flashlight are useful. You can also carry RFID blockers to keep your identity safe.

Many people forget to keep their home safe while they’re away. Not only should you keep yourself safe on vacation, but you need to prepare your home for your departure. Consider the following:

  • Hold your mail
  • Stop deliveries
  • Board your pets
  • Pre-pay bills
  • Unplug appliances
  • Lock doors and windows
  • Put lights on timers
  • Secure valuables
  • Give travel itinerary to a trusted friend
  • Set your alarm

Vacation is supposed to be fun, so don’t spend time worrying about whether you forgot to lock up the house before you left. Check this list off before you go and enjoy a carefree trip!

Use these lists as a jumping off point for your own personalized beach packing list. Go through your itinerary day by day and make a list of things to take to the beach that you know you will need. Dress yourself (in your mind) from head to toe each day, considering all weather scenarios and other possible travel hiccups.

Book your travel now, pack your bags, and enjoy your glorious beach vacation getaway!


Want to learn more about how to pack for a specific type of trip? We’ve got more packing advice from travel experts:

Whilst getting a dose of summer sunshine and much needed vitamin D sounds idyllic, too much sun (or too little protection for that matter), can have adverse effects on your health. Too much unprotected exposure to the sun’s UV rays and infrared light can be dangerous. If you’re not careful, they can cause skin damage, eye damage, immune system suppression, and skin cancer.

Therefore, it’s important to protect your skin whilst on holiday. The good news is that skin cancer is preventable in 86% of cases , so by taking steps such as wearing a high level SPF and seeking shade, you can greatly reduce your risk.

What does the SPF level mean?

How to pack for a beach holiday

The SPF number tells you how long the sun’s UV radiation would take to redden your skin when using the product as advertised. So SPF 50 (in theory!) would take you 50 times longer to burn compared to if you were not wearing any sunscreen at all.

It’s recommended that you wear SPF 30+ if you are going to be outside in the sun for any length of time. You can even burn in winter, so it’s recommended to wear an SPF all year round if you spend any length of time outdoors.

Why is SPF and skin protection important and how can I protect myself?

How to pack for a beach holiday

If you have too much sun (and too little SPF), you can get sunburn and heatstroke, so try your best to maintain a balance of getting enough vitamin D whilst still protecting your skin.

Where possible, aim to spend time in the shade during the hottest parts of the day – typically between 11am and 3pm. And don’t forget to look for a sunscreen with the letters UVA in a circle as that indicates it meets the EU standards !

What to Pack:

When you’re packing your suitcase, it’s essential you remember all the holiday essentials to keep you safe yet stylish.

How to pack for a beach holiday

Firstly – don’t forget your SPF! Arguably the most important item, make sure to pop this in your luggage first. For added protection, you should also look to pack some light beach trousers and cover ups (and maybe even some sunhats) to keep yourself out of direct sunlight during the hottest parts of the day.

You may also want to pack:

  • Kindle
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Facemasks
  • Magazines
  • Books
  • Camera
  • Beach towels
  • Swimsuits
  • After sun
  • Beach balls / toys
  • Reusable water bottles

Wherever you choose to go on your next holiday, make sure you stay safe with your SPF. By opting for an SPF 30+ and packing some light beach cover ups, you can have as much fun as you like without wreaking havoc on your body. We promise – your skin will thank you for it!

February 28, 2018

Most people hit the beach for 3-7 days when they get to go. Sometimes it’s a weekend trip or sometimes you’re lucky enough to rent a house for an entire week. Instead of dreading that last-minute packing frenzy, here is our SB Beach Vacation Packing List, which allows you to be done packing a full day in advance, all in one suitcase. Impossible? No, ma’am, it’s not!

How to pack for a beach holiday

The key to a beach vacation packing list is to include multi-purpose items and resist the urge to overpack!

If you plan your wardrobe out in advance, you are far less likely to overpack or forget a key wardrobe item behind. Preferably, try on the items you would like to pack two weeks in advance. If it’s for Spring Break, just consider this your seasonal “what fits” time that we all have to go through. Try on your white jeans, white tees, dresses, skirts, bathing suit and coverups. Look them over carefully and make sure that white tee doesn’t need to be replaced (it likely does!).

If you need to purchase anything, you’ve got two weeks. If you are down to only three days out … far better than three hours out!

Before we go into actual outfits, remember these travel necessities, but also know a drugstore is never far away:

  • Travel size toiletries
  • Stain remover wipes
  • Feminine hygiene needs
  • Cosmetics/skincare
  • Medicines if needed
  • Download, borrow or buy a good beach book
  • Consider leaving sunscreen and magazine purchases for the beach

Two days before your trip, we got a packing list from Tina Adams Wardrobe Consulting:

  • Stick to mostly neutrals. You can add a pop of color with jewelry or a pashmina.
  • Use versatile pieces that serve double duty, like a tunic that is a coverup by day and a going-out top with white jeans by night.
  • Leave high maintenance pieces at home, like silk tops that need to be ironed.
  • And here’s a biggie: no more than 3 pairs of shoes. They are heavy and take up way too much space in your suitcase.

Beach Vacation Packing List

So here’s what goes in the suitcase:

  • 2 swimsuits, and if they are 2-pieces, make sure the bottoms coordinate with the tops so you have even more options
  • 2 tunics and/or 2 sundresses (to total 2) that will serve as coverups by day and going out pieces by night
  • 3-7 pairs panties and 2-3 bras, depending on washer/dryer availability
  • PJ’s
  • 2-3 pairs of gym shorts (if you plan to work out), depending on washer/dryer availability (remember, you can rinse in the sink!)
  • 2 t-shirts and 3 tank tops
  • 2 going out tops, like a sparkly tank and a linen camp shirt
  • One pair of shorts, preferably white
  • One fun skirt, preferably white
  • White jeans
  • Light sweater or jacket
  • Pashmina
  • 1 pair flip flops
  • 1 pair trainers or athleisure shoes + socks
  • 1 pair wedges
  • A colorful statement necklace
  • Gold hoop earrings
  • A floppy hat that folds in your suitcase
  • Toiletries & incidentals (Make travel-size toiletries from drug store containers.)
  • Make sure to pack electronic chargers.
  • Assume a hairdryer is at your hotel/rental house, but you may want to check!

Beach Wear

How to pack for a beach holiday

Here are just a few of our favorite current beachwear essentials for your beach vacation packing list. These on-trend Mod Star sunnies from Quay (top left) are $60, this versatile Michael Stars Coverup Caftan (top middle) is $148, these easy-to-style white slides (top right) are $100, this beach-appropriate boho bag (bottom left) is $121, the Bon Voyage floppy hat (bottom middle) is $96 and this ultra-flattering J.Crew one piece (bottom right) is $98. Images: J.Crew/Anthropologie/Revolve/Quay

Day and Evening Looks

How to pack for a beach holiday

Take advantage of your tropical surroundings and opt for something fun and vibrant on your evening out! Here we went for a sweet pink motif. The fedora with pink ribbon (top left) is $150, this bright pink tank (top middle) is $68, the pink tassel earrings (top right) is $55, this Sweet Sunset scarf (middle left) is $22, the floral embroidered clutch (bottom left) is $68, these Steve Madden wedges (bottom middle) are $80 and this textured white stripe skirt (bottom right) is $118. Images: Anthropologie/Revolve

The only other bag you’ll need is a tote. Here’s what goes in it:

  • Your book
  • Travel snacks
  • Sunglasses in case
  • A clutch for evening, and inside your clutch goes your wallet
  • You may want to pack your pashmina in your tote as well, for a cool flight.

For more travel tips, and vacation ideas, check out all our travel articles HERE.

Travel Tips

How to pack for a beach holiday

Packing for a beach house vacation (Photo: beach house image by jimcox40 from )

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A vacation in a rented beach house can be an ideal trip for a family, but the freedom of staying in a rental house instead of a hotel comes with a packing price. While the domestic basics are usually provided, you often have to bring your own linens. Being organized can insure that you have all the sheets, towels and beach towels to make certain your stay at the seaside has all the home comforts you need.

Items you will need

  • Top sheets
  • Fitted sheets
  • Pillowcases
  • Blankets
  • Towels
  • Washcloths
  • Oversize zip-top plastic bags

Step 1

Check your rental agreement or lease to see what linens are included and what sheets and towels you will need to bring. Also check for what size each bed is so that you know how many single, double or queen sets of sheet you need to bring.

Step 2

Gather the sheets and blankets that you will need. Fold the top and fitted sheet to be small enough to slide into the matching pillowcase. Put the sheets for each bed inside each pillowcase, to keep sets together and organized. Place with the blanket for each bed.

Step 3

Place the washcloths, bath and [beach towels]( for each room or person with the stuffed pillowcase and blanket for that room.

Step 4

Place each set of sheets, blanket, washcloth and towels in it’s own oversize zip-top plastic bag and seal. This makes for easy distribution to each room when you arrive at your destination.

Step 5

Save the plastic bags. At the end of your vacation, use them as handy laundry bags to transport the used linens back home for washing.

  • Fodor’s How to Pack, 2nd Edition by Laurel Cardone; 2003

Author and journalist Elle McLaughlin has been writing about travel and lifestyle topics for magazines since 1994. Always in pursuit of a good story, she has harvested agave in Mexico, made cheese in Vermont and picked grapes in New Zealand. McLaughlin attended the City University of New York, majoring in history and minoring in international relations.