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Beach Vacation Packing List

Updated on March 10, 2020
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Katy is a travel enthusiast with a special interest in budget, multi-purpose items that encourage a relaxed travel experience.

Packing List for Beach Vacation

Relax on the beach knowing you have everything you need. Don't be worrying if you forgot sunscreen or don't have all the right clothes. Check out this packing list and get your vacation started right!

I have a Beach Essential List if you're travelling light or going on a short trip. Check out the Bringing Everything List if you have a lot of room in your suitcase or are travelling with a whole family.

Packing list for a beach vacation with the family.
Packing list for a beach vacation with the family.

Beach Essentials List

This is the beach essentials list. If you bring nothing else, make sure you at least have these items:

  1. Swim Suit
  2. Towel
  3. Change of Clothes
  4. Wallet with local currency and ID
  5. Sunscreen

Bringing Everything List

If you want to really be prepared, check out this list and bring along any item you have room for:


  • Swim Suit
  • Cover Up
  • Tops and Tanks
  • Extras Shorts/Skirts
  • Hat
  • Walking Sandals
  • Flip Flops

Beach Gear

  • Beach Tote
  • Towels
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses


  • Books or e-Reader
  • Underwater Camera
  • Sand Toys
  • Cooler
  • Hammock

Personal Items

  • Toiletries
  • Cosmetics
  • Aloe Vera
  • Water Bottle

Packing Clothing for the Beach

Travelling to the beach means less clothing to take! But you'll still want to find versatile pieces the dry quickly.

I try to choose items that wash well or don't need washing at all and that can be dressed up if I end up going out somewhere. Let's go over the basic clothing items you'll need and some considerations.

Swim Suit

Whether it's swim trunks or a bikini your swimming gear is super important. Be picky about fit and comfort in the store before you buy. Then, try it out in a neighborhood pool before you bring it along on your trip. You'll learn how the suit wears, if anything chafes and whether it's going to work out in the sand and sun.

Cover Up

It's really handy to have a cover up along with you at the beach. If the clouds come out or you want to go shopping without going back to change clothes you'll be glad you have a cover up.

Women can find light-weight dresses that work well. Men just need a shirt that looks good with their trunks as long as they're quick drying.

Casual Beach Wear

Pick the rest of your vacation wear based on the activities you have planned. It helps to stick with one color scheme so your shirts can mix and match with your shorts and skirts. Choose items that dry quickly and don't wrinkle.

"Nice" Clothing for Outings

For going out to restaurants at night or those of us who just like to look polished on our travels it's easy to bring a long a few upgrades. You want to make the casual pieces you already have in your bag work in a nicer setting by upgrading accessories.

I bring a few pieces of jewelry and plan to buy statement earrings as a souvenir. That way I can throw on a little bit of bling and dress up my day time outfit.

I also like to have a pair of nice capris length pants or a long skirt for evenings. In some beaches a jacket or light sweater is a good idea.


A hat is a must for any beach packing list. Ball caps certainly get the job done but if you're a woman looking for extra style a sun hat is a great addition.

Of course you'll need sunglasses but take a minute before you reach for your favorite pair. Sand, crowds and tides have been the end of many a pair of sunglasses. Think about bringing a cheap pair or buying them when you get there.


You absolutely need good shoes on a beach trip. Wear a solid pair of walking shoes while travelling and at least have one pair of flip flops in your bag. You'll need something for slipping on when the sand gets hot or you need to rinse off in an outside shower so the flip flops will come in handy.

Beach Entertainment


Nothing beats reading a good book on the beach. You can also load up your e-reader if you expect to go through a lot. Magazines and puzzles are good options too.

Underwater Camera

Sure your phone will do okay for pictures. But do you want to bring that out in the ocean? You can get a disposable water proof camera at a Walgreens or CVS. Drop it back off to develop the pictures. And if you lose it or drop in the water it's no big deal.

Sand Toys

Great for kids but adults can enjoy as well. Build a huge sand castle with sold molds. Or bury your friends with some shovels and a bucket.


If you're driving to the beach, always pack up a cooler. Bring cold snacks like Popsicles or any frozen fruit. Frozen juice packets make an easy treat.


The beach is your perfect chance to use a hammock! It's so relaxing to sway in the breeze and listen to the ocean. Pick a travel or camping hammock so it will be light-weight enough to bring with you. Make sure you have straps long enough to make your setup work.

© 2020 Katy Medium


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