It’s been a while since most of us have traveled, so it’s fair to say I’m a bit out of practice, and recently my anxiety about packing accelerated. Is it just me or is everyone thinking about the things to pack for beach days before the actual beach day? There is nothing worse than hitting the beach and realizing you forgot your sunglasses or your phone charger and having to scour the local boutiques to find what you need.
So to help myself (and anyone else who might feel the same), I created the ultimate beach packing list, along with all the beach bag essentials.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to things to pack for the beach is to think in light. That means light clothing to survive the heat, a light jacket for cold nights, lightweight towels that shake off the sand and lightweight chairs that are easy to transport to the beach (if your resort doesn’t provide them). I always think I’m going to need more than I really need, and over the years it has helped me plan my outfits ahead of time to keep my beach packing list to a minimum. Even though the holidays are a great time to wear fun, trendy clothes, bring a pair of matching jeans with at least two tops and shoes that go with everything.
The next thing to remember is not to let the sun fool you. I tend to get so excited to finally feel the warmth of the sun on my skin that I forget to put on a hat and take breaks in the shade. Beach bag essential # 1: sunscreen. Bring a lot, you’ll get through it faster than you think. But even if you’re a sunscreen expert, no one is immune from sunburn, so don’t forget about after-sun care. Pro Tip: When packing these items in your checked luggage, seal them in a reusable plastic bag in case they leak.
When it comes to toiletries, think small. It’s worth investing in travel-size toothpaste and deodorant to save space. Just bring your makeup essentials, trust me, you won’t want to wear a lot in the heat and humidity. Windblown hair will require a detangling spray and a good hairbrush, but don’t be afraid to trim and twist it too. After all, the ocean is Mother Nature’s sea salt spray!
Although great fun awaits you, if you think a little about what you bring now, you will leave the stress at home and enjoy yourself at the beach!
Read on for the best beach packing list to prepare for your next seaside adventure:
Swimsuits. Think of swimsuits that you feel comfortable in when you lie down or play on the beach.
Cover ups. I’m always looking for lightweight cover-ups that I can wear at the resort and feel confident in.
Sunglasses. Sunglasses are one of my favorite beach essentials because they are practical and glamorous.
Hats. Sunscreen can’t do everything.
Flip flops. Think comfort and Department, to facilitate packing.
Sleepwear. At the beach I always opt for light, short-sleeved nightwear because I love leaving the windows open to listen to the waves.
Casual shirts. Nothing on the beach is too fancy, so think casual, cute, and versatile when it comes to tops.
Cowboys. As I mentioned, bring a pair of jeans to match anything. I also love white jeans for the beach.
Shorts. Easy, breezy and cool.
Dresses. Dresses are the perfect things to pack for the beach, as a single garment is a complete ensemble.
Skirts. Skirts are ideal for the beach as they are light and airy and can be worn with the same tops that you pair with jeans for a fresh look.
A light jacket. The beach can get chilly at night when the sun goes down, so bring a jacket or coat for dinner.
Jewels. Jewelry is another great and easy way to pack to spice up an outfit. Just don’t travel with anything too valuable. I don’t know how many times I’ve lost something in the sand or swimming in the ocean and you don’t want it to be your most valuable ring or pair of earrings.
Beach bag. Choose a straw beach bag that fits well in a suitcase and contains everything you need.
Small purse. I love a nice neutral straw beach bag to add summer touches to all my outfits.
Exercise clothes. I spend 90% of my time on the beach relaxing, but going for a walk on the beach is one of my favorite activities.
Athletic shoes. I’m all for sandy toes, but I prefer to wear athletic shoes for long walks.
Toothbrush. It never hurts to have an extra reminder to bring your toothbrush.
Deodorant. Hot sun = a lot of sweat = body odor.
Hair brush. The beach breeze can be nice, but you’ll have to get it out of your hair somehow. Invest in a wet brush and thank me later.
Detangling spray. You’ll thank me later when you get out of the shower after a long day at the beach.
Beach Wave Hair Spray. Hug the beach! The water is not the only thing that looks good with the waves.
Face cleaner. Never go outside to the sheets, always wash your face.
Moisturizing. The sun can be incredibly dry. Bring moisturizing cream for both the face and the body.
Shaving cream. You never know when your legs or armpits may need to be touched up.
Razor. Nothing worse than sunbathing on the beach and realizing that you forgot to shave (if shaving is something you do).
Makeup remover. Make your nighttime routine easier with wet wipes.
Sunscreen. This may seem obvious, but again, there is nothing wrong with reminders.
Facial sunscreen. Protect that beautiful face of yours at all costs.
SPF lip balm. It seems like lips are always forgetting when it comes to SPF.
After sun care. Rather safe than sorry.
Hand sanitizer. For the plane, in restaurants, in the hotel, etc.
Insect repellent. Don’t let the pesky critters spoil your fun.
Beach towel. We’ve got you covered with the best beach towels, but be sure to check if your resort already has them so you don’t overpack.
Beach chairs. Look for lightweight beach chairs that fold or better yet fold into a backpack so you can easily carry them while holding other things.
Beach umbrella. Take time out of the sun to read a book in the shade and cool off.
Beach games. For more entertainment and competition. Check out our list of the best outdoor games.
Floats. When you need to cool off, take to the waves.
Cooler. Come prepared with the drinks and snacks you may need. Water, Gatorade, and maybe a bottle of rosé.
Waterproof phone bag. Protect your phone from the elements.
Portable Speakers. Don’t override the gentle sounds of the waves!
Can insulators. Because there is nothing worse than a hot soda or a beer.
Books. The beach is the best time to catch up on reading. Check out our favorite books so far.
Facial masks for skin care. I love pampering my skin after a long day in the sun.
Medical face masks. The least fun type of mask, but the most important.
Chargers A dead phone can’t capture all of your beach vacation memories.
Camera. A picture is worth a thousand words. Capture memories on a 35mm.
Copy of vaccination cards. In case someone is suspicious of your travels.
Appetizers. For the flight, the road trip or the beach.
Portable Charger. You never know when you will need a charge.
Headphones. A must for the flight, but if your friends and family don’t want music on the beach, listen to it on your own!
Sleep mask. This is my favorite sleep mask that I wear every night to block out the sun and make up for lost sleep on vacation.
Hair clips. It’s always nice to be able to pull your hair back.
I’m missing something? Comment below with more things to pack for the beach and your beach bag essentials!