If you're anything like me, you're always stressing about what to bring to the beach. The anxiety kicks in when you start questioning yourself: Did I pack everything I'll need for this trip?
It's become such a big hassle in my life I've decided to write this beach vacation packing list to help with both myself and all y'all out there that are stressing about what to bring to a beach vacation.
First thing first: to make packing for the beach even easier, you should use packing cubes. Packing cubes keep your bag organized and help you fit more into your luggage.
Packing cubes are great no matter what trip you are going on. Packing for a beach vacation is similar to packing for a cruise but even simpler!
Now that we've got you covered on organization, let's get to the real question: what do you bring on a trip to the beach?
Packing List for Beach Vacation: What to bring?
The most important things you need to bring to the beach are listed below. These items include your beach clothes, regular accessories, toiletries, and beach necessities. Refer to this packing list so you leave nothing behind!
Clothes and Beachwear
- Swim Cover-ups
- Tank tops
- Workout/active clothes
- Jacket for nighttime
- Travel day clothes
Accessories and Shoes
- Beach bag
- Flip flops
- Water shoes
- Dress shoes
- Phone charger
- Travel pillow
- Laundry bag
Toiletries & Safety Items
- Body wash
- Face wash
- Shaving cream
- Mouth wash
- Hair ties
- Feminine hygiene products
- Makeup remover
- Covid tests
- First aid kit
- Hand sanitizer
- Bug spray
- Face tissues
- Disinfectant wipes
- Passport (if traveling abroad)
- Visas (if required)
- Boarding passes (if flying)
- Hotel/hostel reservations
- ID (for drinking!!)
- Activity confirmations (tours, water sports, activities, dinner reservations - if any)
- Credit cards and cash
- Insurance information
Things to Take to the Beach
- Beach bag
- Water bottle
- Portable charger
- Beach balls
- Water floaties
- Dry bag
- Beach umbrella
- Beach chair
Must-brings to pack for a beach vacation
If you forget to bring anything to the beach, there's almost always a beach shop where you can grab what you need. But, beachside stores tend to be pricey, so remember these important things!
Remember to apply your lotion regularly and generously. You can buy more sunscreen but you can't buy youth - okay, that's debatable. But you definitely don't want a bad sunburn on your first day at the beach. Keep your vacay about pleasure, not pain!
The other essential for the beach is water. Bring a reusable water bottle, and make sure you drink throughout the day to stay hydrated. Cocktails are great, but water is essential - if you want to make it to the end of the night :)
Hat and Sunglasses
Keeping the sun out of your beautiful face and pretty eyes is important. Hats prevent sunstroke and are a great way to spice up your beach look. Win, win. If you wear sunglasses, apply sunscreen evenly over the rest of your face, so you don't get a funny raccoon tan.
Whether you bring a book, music, games, or some beach toys or balls, It's nice to have a backup plan to stay entertained for a whole day on the beach.
Here's a great day-to-day quick reference list you can use each morning before you head out to the surf and the sand.
10 things you should always have when going to the beach:
- Games, music, or other entertainment
- Beach bag
- Keys to the hotel or hostel
- Swimsuit coverup/shirt
How to Pack for a 7-Day Beach Trip?
Spending a whole week at the beach? Lucky you! Packing for a seven-day beach trip is easy, especially if you're willing to re-wear your beach outfits several times.
Assuming you won't be doing any laundry on your beach vacation, bring 3-4 swimsuits and rotate through them. After you wear one suit, rinse, hang it up to dry, shake out any sand, and it will be ready for you to wear again in a few days.
This same principle applies if you spend more than seven days at the beach. You can wear your swimsuits every few days. So, you'll need to pack more non-beachwear like underwear and clothes, unless you plan on re-wearing or washing those too.
You won't need more than one outfit for each day of your trip. You'll probably only wear regular clothes at night once you've left the beach.
Do I Need to Bring a Beach Towel on Vacation?
One of the most important things to have at the beach is a towel! But, sometimes, you won't need to pack one. If you're staying at a beachside hotel or resort, there is a 99% chance they will provide towels for you to use during your stay.
Saving precious space in your suitcase is important. Check with your hotel before you pack to find out whether you need to pack a beach towel.
If you're staying in a hostel, bring your own beach towel. You may want to pack two towels, one for showering and one for swimming, and you don't want to have to dry off after a shower with a salty towel.
If you need to pack a beach towel, get a small, compact one like the Rainleaf Microfiber Towel. The towel comes in six sizes and ten colors.
Where to Buy Clothes for a Beach Vacation?
Beach clothes are fun to wear. It's nice to wear colors and patterns we wouldn't always be comfortable wearing in other settings. But that also means you might have to get clothes specifically for your beach vacation.
Tommy Bahama is a great option for beach clothing. They cater to men and women. You'll find they have everything from swimsuits, shirts, shorts, dresses, and accessories. If you're looking for beach furniture like chairs and umbrellas, you can find those too.
Time for the Beach!
Now that you're packed, it's time to hit the beach! But first, plan the perfect trip with Pilot!