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What To Pack On A Beach Vacation
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What To Pack On A Beach Vacation

Packing for a beach vacation can be an exciting, yet overwhelming task. You want to make sure you don’t forget any essentials while also avoiding overpacking. The key is organization and preparation. When you start planning what to bring a few weeks in advance, you can create thorough packing lists and purchase any needed items ahead of time.

What To Pack On A Beach Vacation

This article will provide tips on how to pack light yet prepared for a fun beach getaway, including:

  • Beachwear and accessories
  • Toiletries
  • Beach gear and electronics
  • Footwear
  • Miscellaneous items

Whether you’re traveling solo, as a couple, or with the whole family, this guide will help you determine what to pack on a beach vacation.

Beachwear and Accessories

The foundation of any beach wardrobe starts with the essentials:


Pack at least two swimsuits so you have options for different activities. For women, both a bikini and one-piece are recommended. For men, a pair of board shorts and a pair of swim trunks. If partaking in active water sports, rash guards provide sun protection and comfort.

Cover-ups and Beachwear

Cover-ups like kaftans, sarongs, or beach dresses allow you to easily transition to and from the water. Loose-fitting beachwear like shorts, tees, and tanks work for both the beach and casual evenings. Breathable, lightweight fabrics like cotton or linen are best.

Beach Hat

A wide-brim hat offers shade from the intense sun and heat. Baseball caps also provide coverage for the face and neck. Look for hats made from breathable material like straw.


Sunglasses are a beach essential to protect your eyes from glare off the water and sand. Pack an extra pair just in case. Look for lenses with 100% UV protection.

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Beach Bag

A roomy, waterproof beach tote will hold all your essentials in one place. Consider an over-the-shoulder style for hands-free carrying.


From the pool to the beach and everywhere in between, a good pair of sandals is key. Waterproof sport sandals work well for water activities while classic flip flops are great for the beach. Pack what’s most comfortable for walking longer distances.


Bring travel-sized toiletries to save space and weight:

  • Sunscreen – SPF 30 or higher, water resistant formula
  • Aloe vera or after sun gel
  • Baby powder or body powder
  • Travel shampoo and conditioner
  • Soap or body wash
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hair brush or comb
  • Shaving cream
  • Moisturizer or body lotion

Beach Gear and Electronics

Enhance your beach experience with these convenient accessories:

Beach Towels

Pack one towel per person, plus a few extras. Opt for lightweight, quick-drying microfiber material. Bright colors and patterns make them easy to spot.

Beach Blanket

A large beach blanket provides ample space for the whole group. Look for a lightweight blanket that’s sand-resistant and waterproof on the bottom.

Beach Umbrella

A must for keeping cool in the shade. Compact travel umbrellas easily fit in your beach bag.

Waterproof Phone Case

A waterproof case protects your phone from water, sand, and heat while still allowing you to take photos and videos.

Portable Speakers

Set the mood with music. Waterproof Bluetooth speakers can handle the elements while playing tunes poolside or oceanside.

Waterproof Camera

Capture underwater adventures with a waterproof or disposable camera. GoPros and Polaroid-style instant cameras also add fun.

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Beach Toys and Games

Entertain the kids (and kids at heart) with beach balls, frisbees, spikeball sets, bocce ball, kan jam, and more.


The right footwear prevents sore, tired feet:

Water Shoes

Protect feet from hot sand and rocky tidepools with sporty water shoes. These drain water and dry quickly.

Flip Flops

Pack an extra pair or two for wearing in the shower, to/from the pool/beach, or out and about.


Fashionable yet comfortable sandals work well for casual dinners or walks around town.


Good to have for active excursions like boat rides, hikes, or amusement parks where flip flops won’t cut it.

Miscellaneous Items

Don’t forget these small but significant things:

  • Sunglasses strap or floating sunglasses leash
  • Waterproof phone pouch + lanyard
  • Ziplock and trash bags
  • Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes
  • Bandages
  • Travel first aid kit
  • Bug spray
  • Travel tissues
  • Portable battery pack and charger
  • Packing cubes
  • Laundry bag
  • Collapsible water bottle

Final Packing Tips

A few last pieces of advice for stress-free packing:

  • Start with a master packing list so nothing gets left behind
  • Roll clothes to save suitcase space and prevent wrinkling
  • Separate liquids, electronics, and toiletries into plastic bags
  • Pack a light jacket or cover up for cool evenings
  • Bring layers that mix and match for outfit options
  • Wear bulkiest shoes and accessories when traveling
  • Leave a little room to bring home souvenirs!

With smart preparation using this beach packing guide, you’ll have an incredible seaside adventure. The only thing left is to relax under the sun, dip your toes in the water, and make unforgettable memories.

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What To Pack On A Beach Vacation

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