How to pack for a beach holiday

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Beach holidays are a blast, but packing for them can be challenging. You’ll want to pack light without foregoing the essentials. Making a checklist can streamline the packing process and ensure you don’t forget key items, like sunscreen and swimsuits!

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Pack beach-related accessories

Accessories can improve your outfit and ensure your comfort at the beach! You should pack a beach bag, flip flops, glasses or contact lenses if you need them, sunglasses, and a sun hat.

  •     White sun hats tend to be more effective in protecting you from the sun.
  •     Sunglasses with large lenses work best to shield your eyes.
  •     If you are wearing your sunglasses in the water, consider buying sunglass straps to so you don’t lose them.

Pack swimsuits

Pack at least 2 swimsuits for your trip, but pack more if you think you’ll need them. Pick swimsuits that you make you feel confident. Also, keep in mind any water activities you’ll want to do. A one piece swimsuit might be better for water sports, for example.

  •     If you are packing two-piece swimsuits, choose versatile bottoms and tops that you can mix and match.
A beach trip via A Friend Afar

Pack casual clothing

Think about the clothing you’ll need for your trip. Be sure to check if you’ll have access to a washing machine. You’ll probably want to opt for loose, comfortable clothing—linen and cotton are great for a breezy day at the beach. Casual sandals, like flip flops, are versatile and easy to wash.

  •     Cover ups and sundresses are easy to throw on when going to the hotel or a casual dinner from the beach.
  •     Pack athletic clothes if you plan on working out.

Pack formal attire if you’ll need it

If you’re planning on engaging in fine dining or another formal activity, don’t forget to pack formal clothing as well.

Pack health and beauty items

You should pack your regular health and beauty items, including prescriptions, razors, a toothbrush, and toothpaste. You’ll probably be spending a good deal of time outside, so be sure to pack a lot of sunscreen! An SPF of at least 50 is ideal.

  •     You may want to pack a lip balm with SPF as well—lips can sunburn, too!
  •     Consider packing a first aid kit with bug spray, a thermometer, aloe vera gel for sunburns, and bandages.
  •     Don’t forget tampons or sanitary napkins if you think you might need them. These are especially important if you plan on wearing a swimsuit.

Make sure you’ll have access to beach towels. Beach towels are essential for drying off after a dip in the water or simply lounging on the sand. Resorts or hotels usually provide towels, but if they don’t, you should bring your own.

Pack your travel documents

Pack any identification documents you might need, including passports, print-outs of reservations, and maps or directions. Don’t forget money!

Put your documents in plastic bags to avoid water damage, and email copies to yourself just in case

A beach trip via A Friend Afar

Pack light

If your airline charges a checked baggage fee, it is in your best interest to travel light. Try to pack clothing items that can be mixed and matched, and roll your clothing instead of folding it to save space. Avoid packing duplicate clothing items if possible.

  •     Pack multipurpose items, like a pair of sandals that can be worn at the beach and at a casual restaurant.
  •     Put smaller clothing items, like swimsuits and underwear, in clear, resealable plastic bags for compact storage and easy access.

Pack equipment for beach activities

You might want to snorkel, play volleyball, or boogie board. Think about the activities you’ll want to do during your beach holiday and pack the necessary equipment.

  •     Again, you should check with your resort or hotel to see what equipment they provide.

 Pack goodies for the kids

If you’re traveling with kids, pack an assortment of sand and swim toys to keep them entertained. Floaties, shovels, and buckets are all fun options.

Pack snacks

Healthy snacks, like dried fruits or nuts, are easy to carry and will keep you fueled up during your holiday. Cold drinks are refreshing during a hot day at the beach. Snack boxes and sippy cups are great for little ones. 

If you are traveling by car, you might want to bring a cooler to keep drinks cold and store fruit and other snacks.

Pack extra entertainment items

You might want to read a book on the beach, keep a travel journal, or watch movies on your laptop in the evenings. Think about those extra items that can make your holiday more enjoyable, and pack accordingly.

  •     Bring a camera if you want to take photos, or use the camera on your phone to save room.
  •     Consider downloading books onto a tablet or e-reader to consolidate.

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