Winter is almost over, and you’ve been dreaming of getting away for months. The cold weather hangs around, and spring hasn’t sprung. Whether you plan to stay close to home and make a weekend family trip to the beach or you plan to take an extended vacation in the Caribbean, 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.
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.
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.
- Bathing suit
- A good book
- Tank tops
- Cell phone and charger
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
- Beach towel
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:
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 equipped bags 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!
GET MORE PACKING ADVICE!
Want to learn more about how to pack for a specific type of trip? We’ve got more packing advice from travel experts:
Packing Lists by Location:
What to Pack for Uruguay: The 5-Step Solution
What To Pack For Greenland: The Five-Step Solution
Minimalist Travel: How to Pack Your Bag for Cuba
What to Pack for Cambodia: The 5 Step Solution
Packing Lists by Activity:
8 Items To Pack For a Super Active Summer Vacation
What to Pack for Your First Ragnar Relay Race
The Essential Packing List for a Traveling Kitchen
What to Pack for a Weekend Sailing Trip
More Travel Checklists:
Packing Light for a Cold Weather Getaway
How To Pack the Ultimate Gym Bag
Main Travel Bag: Rolling Luggage, Travel Backpack, or Duffel Bag
Packing Organizers: Packing Folders, Packing Cubes, Packing Sacs, etc.
Comfort and Security Items: Travel Pillow, Money Belt, Travel Lock, Travel Organizers
Day Bag: Backpack or Tote