What to Pack for a Beach Vacation

Relax and unwind by taking a beach vacation. - Nancy Morrish

Relax and unwind by taking a beach vacation. – Nancy Morrish

Planning a beach vacation takes a lot of organization and preparation. Reduce your vacation stress by using this list and checking it twice. When your vacation destination includes sand, water and sun, it’s important to plan ahead and pack well in advance. If traveling with a partner, spouse or children, prepare lists for them as well.

What to Pack in Your Carry-on Bag

You will need some of the following items in your possession to board the plane if air travel is part of your vacation. If your suitcase takes a different route than you do, you will be glad to have these things with you in your carry-on or purse.

  • Government-issued ID (don’t forget passports if your destination is outside the country)
  • Airline ticket information
  • Valuables that you don’t want to risk putting in your suitcase
  • Book or electronic reading device
  • iPod or similar
  • Cell
  • Camera with extra photo memory card
  • Wallet with 1 or 2 credit cards (don’t take credit cards you won’t need)
  • Energy bars or other snacks
  • Prescription medications in original containers
  • Sunglasses and reading glasses
  • Contact lenses and eyeglasses
  • Anti-bacterial wipes
  • Earphones for in-flight movies or music

First Aid Items and Medicines

  • Bug Spray
  • Antibiotic ointment like Polysporin or Neosporin
  • Anti-inflammatory tablets such as Ibuprofen, Motrin or Advil
  • Antacid
  • Constipation or diarrhea relief pills
  • Cold relief items including Airborne, throat lozenges and congestion medication
  • Waterproof band-aids in assorted sizes
  • Hydrocortisone cream for rashes, insect bites, or other skin problems that could arise

Toiletries to Pack fora Beach Vacation

  • Sunscreen, sunscreen and more sunscreen
  • Aloe lotion or baby lotion in case of sunburn (the oil in Vitamin E capsules can be effective relief for sunburn)
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste and floss
  • Deodorant
  • Body lotion
  • Razor and shaving cream
  • Soap or body wash
  • Tampons and panty-liners
  • Hair products including shampoo, conditioner, gel and travel-size hairspray
  • Hairbrush, comb and hair accessories
  • Hair dryer (most hotels will have one already), curling iron or straightener
  • Cosmetics (don’t forget a bronzer to apply to your face for a sun-kissed glow since you will be protecting it with sunscreen)
  • Cotton balls and Q-tips
  • Perfume, fragrance or aftershave
  • Lip balm containing sunscreen
  • Nail clippers, nail file or emery board
  • Contact lens solution


  • 1 pair of jeans or casual pants
  • 1 light jacket
  • 1 light sweater or sweatshirt
  • Several casual shirts
  • Several pairs of shorts
  • 2 or 3 swimsuits
  • Beach sandals
  • Comfortable walking shoes for sightseeing
  • Underwear and socks
  • 1 pair of dress shoes
  • Water-shoes if your destination has a rocky beach area
  • Sunhat or baseball cap
  • Work-out clothing and shoes if you are planning to visit the gym. Most resort fitness rooms require proper footwear for safety reasons

Additional Clothing for Her to Pack for a Beach Vacation

    • 1 Sundress
    • 1 swimsuit cover-up
    • 2 sleeveless tops
    • 1 evening dress
    • Skirts or skorts instead of shorts if preferable
    • 1 light and 1 dark bra (don’t forget a strapless bra if needed)
  • Jewelry and accessories such as belts or scarves
  • Shawl, wrap or pashmina

Additional Clothing for Him to Pack for a Beach Vacation

  • 2 polo or button-down shirts
  • 1 pair long slacks
  • 1 tie (just in case)

Don’t Forget to Pack…

  • Chargers for electronic devices
  • Electrical adapter if needed
  • Beach bag

Convenient Extras to Include for a Beach Destination Vacation

  • Extra sunglasses
  • Books and magazines
  • Guidebook
  • Batteries if needed
  • Underwater camera
  • Rain poncho or umbrella
  • Earplugs
  • Stain removal pen and travel laundry packets for emergencies
  • Corkscrew
  • Small sewing kit
  • Floaties that fold completely flat for packing convenience

Beach Destination Travel Tips

  • Make photocopies, or scan and print copies of your passport, drivers license and medical insurance cards. Take the copies with you and keep them separate from the originals in case you lose your purse or forms of ID.
  • Start saving one-dollar bills several weeks before you leave to use for tipping.
  • Pack assorted zip type bags for a myriad of uses.
  • Insulated mugs are great to have for frozen or cold beverages.
  • Make sure to let family members or friends know where you are going; how long you will be gone; and where they can reach you.

The most important thing to remember….have a wonderful vacation!

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