One of my favorite trips to pack for is a beach vacation.

Besides my eternal love of the sunshine and ocean breeze, I also can’t help but adore the fact that hot weather clothes take up way less space in my luggage.

I get a thrill being able to squeeze in an extra pair of shoes, or a few extra “just in case” dresses or bikinis.

As someone who lives almost only out of a suitcase (okay, two backpacks these days), I’ve become a total packing pro.

In fact, I’m just prepping to pack in a few weeks to head back to Europe for a bit, starting with a beach vacation in Antibes.

So, keep reading for the ultimate beach vacation packing list that will help you pack efficiently and stress-free.

Essential Clothing to Pack for Your Beach Vacation

Swimwear

Ally in Montorosso Cinque Terre Italy April 2022

The most important item you’ll need to pack for the beach is a swimsuit.

If you’re looking for a classic look, a one-piece swimsuit is always a brilliant choice.

Or for a more daring look, try a bikini or a high-waisted swimsuit.

I always pack three to four swimsuits anytime I’m heading to the beach. It’s good to have a variety of styles to choose from depending on your move.

This way, you can switch up your look throughout your trip.

It’s also a good idea to bring a cover-up or two to wear over your swimsuit when you’re not in the water.

CUPSHE Bikini Set

This bikini set strikes the perfect balance of conservative while still letting you get a great tan. It's perfect for a family beach vacation!

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Cover-Ups

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When choosing a cover-up, consider the material, style, and color.

A lightweight cover-up made of cotton or linen is perfect for keeping you cool in the tropical sun.

A kaftan or a maxi dress is also fabulous, and it’s easy to dress up or down for evening plans.

Sulozom Women Swimsuit Cover Up

This adroable cover up dress is perfect for a beach vacation.

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Light Weight Clothing

ALLY-ANTIBES-JUNE-2022

It’s so important to consider the weight of the fabrics you’re packing. You should stick to lightweight fabrics that breathe and ideally don’t wrinkle.

This includes shorts, t-shirts, and sundresses. When packing, don’t forget to consider any activities you may need to dress for on your trip.

Lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton and linen are always a good idea.

Bold colors and patterns can be fun for a beach vacation, but don’t forget to pack some neutral pieces that can be mixed and matched.

Lounge Matching Linen Summer Set

With a relaxed fit, square neck, and solid colors, these two-piece outfits are perfect for your next beach vacation.

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Footwear

Flip Flops

beach flipflops

Flip-flops are a classic beach shoe that is a must when packing for your vacation.

My go-to flip-flops are from Havaianas. They are lightweight, well-made, easy to slip on and off, and come in a variety of colors and designs.

Havaianas Women's Flip Flop Sandal

Havaianas are water friendly, lightweight, durable and extremely comfortable. I've been obsessed with them since my first trip to Brazil in 2007.

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Water Shoes

Ultimate Beach Vacation Packing List: Don't Forget These 22 Essentials

If you plan on going anywhere with stone beaches, or have any water activities like snorkeling, kayaking, or paddle boarding, scheduled, water shoes are a must-have.

They protect your feet from rocks, shells, and other sharp objects in the water.

Ideally, you want water shoes that have a good grip, and made with quick-drying materials such as neoprene or mesh.

Packing Tip: It’s also a good idea to pack a waterproof bag to store your wet shoes and prevent them from getting your other items wet.

ziitop Water Shoes

These water shoes are super light and flexible like socks, making them a free and easy replacement for traditional heavy water shoes!

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Sandals

Beach Sandals

Obviously, if you’re heading to the coast, you’ll need at least one or two pairs of sandals.

Look for sandals that are comfortable, have a good grip, and are made of materials that can withstand sand and water.

I always try to bring either two practical pairs of sandals or one pair of practical and one pair of dressy heeled sandals depending on my destination.

Oliver Cabell Vegan Slides

With an upper made from 35% recycled corn waste and 65% bio-based biodegradable polyurethane, these are stylish slides you can feel great about purchasing!

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Accessories

Sunglasses

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Sunglasses are a must-have accessory you absolutely cannot forget to pack.

Not only do they protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, but they also add a stylish touch to your beach outfit.

When you’re picking out sunglasses, besides being stylish, make sure they have a UV protection rating of 100% to ensure maximum protection for your eyes.

Aviator sunglasses are a classic choice, while oversized frames can add a touch of glamour to your beach outfit.

I always stick to my classic oversized black glasses, but will occasionally pack another more fun pair if I have something that works with my outfits.

Vintage Women Oversized Sunglasses

With UV protection coating these sunglasses are the perfect Celine dupe to bring to the beach this summer.


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Hats

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Hats are another essential accessory for a beach vacation.

They protect your face and scalp from the sun’s harmful rays while also adding a stylish touch to your look.

Wide-brimmed hats are my go-to choose, since they have a fun and glamorous vibe and provide ample shade for your face and neck.

A baseball cap is perfect for a casual day at the beach, while a straw hat can add a touch of sophistication to your outfit.

Womens Travel Foldable Brim Summer Hat

This hat offers high UV UPF sun protection with a full brim,making it perfect for the beach.

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Beach Bag

Beach bag

Whatever you do, pick a bag that is made from a durable, waterproof material so it can withstand the sand and water.

I also love beach bags with multiple compartments and pockets to keep your items organized.

You also want a zipper closure to keep your belongings secure while you’re out and about.

Freie Liebe Beach Bag

This affordable bag is crafted from high quality straw, with lightweight and durable polyester lining and a zipper closure to keep your belongings safe at the beach.

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Toiletries

Sunscreen

sunscreen

Not only does sunscreen protect your skin from harmful UV rays, but it also helps prevent sunburns and skin damage.

When choosing a sunscreen, look for one that’s at least SPF 30 and labeled as “broad-spectrum” to protect against both UVA and UVB rays.

If you’re concerned about the impact of sunscreen on the environment, consider using a reef-safe sunscreen.

They make reef-safe sunscreen without harmful chemicals that can damage coral reefs and marine life.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In SPF 60 Sunscreen

Non-greasy, fast-absorbing, with broad spectrum SPF 60 UVA/UVB protection, this sunscreen is a must-have this summer!

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Insect Repellent

Insect Repellent

Mosquito repellent is a must for your beach vacation in most countries.

Look for a repellent that contains DEET or another EPA-approved ingredient to easily keep bugs at bay.

Or if you prefer a more natural option, like I do, consider using a repellent that contains essential oils like citronella or lemongrass.

Buzz Away Extreme Insect Repellent - DEET Free Spray

This contains citronella, geranium, lemongrass, cedarwood, peppermint, and other oils that helps repel insects and provides the terrific scent our customers love.

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Personal Hygiene Items

Packing Liquids

When it comes to personal hygiene items, it’s so easy to overpack.

Pack only what you need to keep yourself clean and comfortable during your stay. Here are some essential items to remember:

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Soap or body wash
  • Deodorant
  • Razor and shaving cream
  • Face wash
  • Moisturizer
  • Nail file
  • Tweezers
  • Feminine hygiene products (if applicable)
  • Contact lenses and solution (if applicable)

Pack the liquid items in a waterproof toiletry bag to keep them organized and protected from possibly leaking in your luggage.

If you’re flying with carry-on only, make sure all your liquids are quickly accessible to be pulled out at TSA and keep them in an approved clear TSA bag.

TSA Approved Fly Travel Toiletry Bag

Size:8.5" x 7.5"; TSA compliant quart-sized, complies with TSA guidelines for carry on, making traveling and passing through TSA security check without any delay or hassle.

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Miscellaneous

Electronics

beach cell phone photo

While some of you may want to unplug and disconnect during your beach vacation, there are still some electronics that you won’t want to forget.

Double check that you’ve packed your phone charger, camera, and any other devices that you can’t live without.

For me, that includes my laptop, Kindle, GoPro, and portable batteries.

Anker Portable Charger

Compatible with most USB-charged devices, including iPhone 8 / X / XS / XS Max / XR (Lightning cable required), Android smartphones and tablets (including the Nexus 7), and iPads.

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If you plan on spending a lot of time on the beach, it may also be smart to invest in a waterproof phone case or a waterproof speaker.

Oh, and don’t forget to download some music or podcasts ahead of time, so you can enjoy them even if you don’t have internet access.

Peak Design Travel Pouch

Peak Design’s Tech Pouch is a reliable and stylish option for organizing and protecting your tech essentials on the go. I'm obsessed with keeping mine with me everywhere I go!


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Books/Magazines

Woman reading on the beach

There’s nothing like relaxing on the beach with a good book or magazine.

I always like to pack a few options so you have something to read, no matter what my mood.

If you’re an avid reader, like me, investing in an e-reader like a Kindle, so you can bring along multiple books without taking up too much space in your suitcase is a game changer.

Kindle Oasis

Works with Audible - pair with Bluetooth headphones or speakers to switch seamlessly between reading and listening.

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First Aid Kit

FIRST AID KIT FOR TRAVEL

While I hope you won’t need it, it’s always a good idea to pack a small first aid kit for your beach vacation.

I always pack band-aids, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any prescription medications that you may need.

Oh, and if you’re traveling with kids, pack some children’s pain relievers and any other necessary medications.

First Aid Emergency Kit

This kit contains 298 first aid supplies for treating common cuts, scrapes, aches and pains.

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Packing List

What to Pack for Beach Vacation for a Woman

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Ladies, when it comes to packing for a beach vacation, it’s important to pack items that will keep you comfortable, stylish, and protected from the sun. Here are some beach essentials that you don’t want to forget:

  • Swimsuits: Pack at least two swimsuits, so you can alternate between them. Make sure to choose swimsuits that fit you well and flatter your body type.
  • Cover-ups: A cover-up is essential to protect your skin from the sun, especially during the hottest part of the day. Choose a cover-up that is lightweight, breathable, and easy to slip on and off.
  • T-shirts: Pack a few lightweight t-shirts that are comfortable to wear in the heat.
  • Shorts: Pack a few pairs of shorts that are comfortable and breathable.
  • Dresses: Bring a couple dresses with you to wear to dinner and the beach.
  • Nice outfit: Bring one dressier outfit for a dinner or date night out during your vacation.
  • Sunscreen: Don’t forget to pack sunscreen with a high SPF to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
  • Sunglasses: Protect your eyes from the sun with a stylish pair of sunglasses.
  • Hat: A hat is essential to protect your face and scalp from the sun. Choose a wide-brimmed hat that provides plenty of shade.
  • Sandals: Pack comfortable sandals that are easy to slip on and off and can be worn on the beach or around town.
  • Athletic Shoes: If you’re planning on hiking, walking,or hitting the gym pack a pair of these!
  • Beach bag: A beach bag is essential to carry all your beach essentials, such as sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, a cover-up, and a towel.
  • Panties: Obviously, pack whatever you feel is necessary here.
  • Bras: I always like to pack a black bra, nude bra, strapless bra, and at least one sports bra.
  • Socks: Sure, you’ll be at the beach, but bring at least one pair of socks for athletic activities.

What to Pack for Beach Vacation for a Man

Hot guy running on the beach in swim trunks

Guys, when packing for a beach vacation, you need to pack items that are comfortable, stylish, and practical. Here are some essentials that you should pack:

  • Swim trunks: Pack at least two pairs of swim trunks so you can alternate between them. Choose swim trunks that fit you well and are comfortable to wear.
  • T-shirts: Pack a few lightweight t-shirts that are comfortable to wear in the heat.
  • Shorts: Pack a few pairs of shorts that are comfortable and breathable.
  • Nice outfit: Bring one dressier outfit for a dinner or date night out during your vacation.
  • Sunscreen: Don’t forget to pack sunscreen with a high SPF to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
  • Sunglasses: Protect your eyes from the sun with a stylish pair of sunglasses.
  • Hat: A hat is essential to protect your face and scalp from the sun. Choose a wide-brimmed hat that provides plenty of shade.
  • Sandals: Pack comfortable sandals that are easy to slip on and off and can be worn on the beach or around town.
  • Athletic Shoes: If you’re planning on hiking, walking,or hitting the gym pack a pair of these!
  • Socks: Sure, you’ll be at the beach, but bring at least one pair of socks for athletic activities.
  • Underwear: Obviously, pack whatever is appropriate here.
  • Beach bag: A beach bag is essential to carry all your beach essentials, such as sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, a cover-up, and a towel.
Men's 7" Quick-Dry Swimming Trunks

This 7" inseam swim trunk is your next vacation swim essential featuring pockets and quick-dry fabric in a variety of patterns.


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FAQs

How Should I Prepare For a Beach Vacation?

ALLY-PAJE-BEACH-ZANZIBAR

Preparing for a beach vacation involves more than just packing your bags. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you get ready for your trip:

  • Check the weather forecast: Make sure you know what to expect in terms of temperature, precipitation, and wind. This will help you pack appropriately and plan your activities.
  • Research the area: Make a list of the local attractions, restaurants, and shops you want to hit up so you can make the most of your time at the beach.
  • Make reservations: If you plan on dining out or participating in any activities, it’s a good idea to make reservations in advance to avoid disappointment.
  • Protect your skin: Sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses are essential to protect your skin and eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.

How Do I Pack For a 7-Day Beach Vacation?

ALLY-MENTON-JUNE-2022

Packing for a 7-day beach vacation can be a challenge, but with a little planning, you can make sure you have everything you need. Here are some tips:

  • Make a list: Start by making a list of all the items you’ll need, including clothing, toiletries, and beach gear.
  • Pack versatile clothing: Choose clothing items that can be mixed and matched to create different outfits. This will help you pack less and still have plenty of options.
  • Bring beach gear: Don’t forget to pack beach towels, beach chairs, and an umbrella or canopy to provide shade.
  • Consider shipping items: If you’re flying to your destination, consider shipping bulky items like beach chairs and umbrellas ahead of time to avoid extra baggage fees.

What are Some Fun Things to Bring to the Beach?

ALLY-ZANZIBAR-SNORKELING-OCT.-2022

Besides the essentials like sunscreen and towels, there are plenty of fun things you can bring to the beach to make your vacation even more fun. Here are a few ideas:

  • Beach games: Bring along games like cornhole, bocce ball, or frisbee to play on the sand.
  • Books or magazines: Relax and unwind with a good book or magazine.
  • Snacks and drinks: Pack some snacks and drinks to enjoy while you soak up the sun.
  • Waterproof camera: Capture all the fun memories with a waterproof camera.
GoPro HERO 9 Black

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As the Sun Sets…

WHERE TO STAY IN ZANZIBAR - Ally-Nungwi-Beach-Zanzibar-Sunset-Dinner-oct-202

Time to put on sunscreen and my bikini and get to the pool now that this article has me craving a day at the beach.

Thankfully, my yearly summer vacation to the South of France is fast approaching! I can already taste the gelato and feel the rays of sunshine on me as I explore more of the French Riviera’s stunning beaches.

I hope this list helps you make packing for your beach vacation quick and easy.

Let me know in the comments below which beach destination you’re packing for!

 

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