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Beach Vacation Packing List: 50+ Things to Bring on Your Next Trip

beach vacation packing list

There are few things that I love more than a getaway to a beach destination. Relaxing in a lounge chair while listening to the waves is honestly just hard to beat. With prime beach time just around the corner, I thought I’d put together my tried-and-true list of oceanside essentials. AKA: your all-inclusive beach vacation packing list!

Whether you’re headed to the Bahamas, Miami, the Maldives, St. Barths, Hawaii—or somewhere else warm and sunny—my beach packing list will have you covered.

This guide includes all of the staples, like swimsuits, cover-ups, denim shorts, and of course sunscreen, but I’m also sharing photos and links to just about everything I brought with me on recent trips to beachy locales.

I formatted this as a bullet-pointed packing list so it’s easy to sort through. The key is to refer to this list as you prepare for your trip, checking things off as you go. (You can copy and paste the below into the “notes” section of your phone so that you can reference it easily.)

Beach Vacation Packing List


Holy Grails

Monday Swimwear Corsica Bathing Suit

straw tote bag Beach Vacation Packing List
Paris Milano straw tote

If you haven’t already done so, be sure to check out the full list of things I always pack in my carry-on.

Swimsuits

I know that I probably don’t need to remind you to pack swimsuits for your beach trip, but I still wanted to share some of my favorites as of late.

I always shop from a variety of stores when searching for swimwear, but some of my go-to retailers include Lily Pulitzer, Anthropologie, Abercrombie and Fitch, ASOS (they have tons of big boob-friendly options), Nordstrom, and Revolve. I’m also a big fan of Summersalt and Monday Swimwear.

Whether you’re a one-piece gal or you prefer to rock a bikini, there’s sure to be something you love in this roundup…

Vevina Scoop One Piece

Cover-Ups

There are so many cute cover-up options out there these days—and at various price points. Between pant cover-ups, skirts, dresses, and shorts, you can really showcase your personality with these pieces.

It also helps that cover-ups are generally lightweight (aka easy to pack) so you can tote along several options. Bringing plenty to choose from will help you switch your look up throughout your trip.

If you’re going with shorts or a skirt as your cover-up, it’s easy to slip a t-shirt or tank on top so you’re ready to go from the beach to the bar.

what to pack for a beach vacation
what to pack for a beach vacation

Denim Shorts

I’m admittedly not the biggest fan of denim shorts, but the one time I do wear them on repeat is when I’m on a beach vacation. They’re practical, easy to slip into, and they go with pretty much everything. I also like that they can be worn as a cover up/to the beach but also work for going out afterwards.

Plus, if you’re wearing a one-piece swimsuit, throwing denim shorts on can essentially transform your bathing suit into a bodysuit. This is a major win in my book because I like to pack pieces that have more than one use.

If you’re not keen on denim, you could always opt for paper bag shorts or linen shorts. Both of these options are equally (if not more) comfy. Plus, they’re breathable, which will help keep you cool despite the sunny and potentially humid weather.

what to pack for a beach vacation
what to pack for a beach vacation

Sun Dresses

Of course no beach getaway would be complete without some cute sun dresses. While you can certainly double up your cover-up dresses for nighttime wear, I think it’s nice to pack a few options that are specifically for wearing off of the beach. After a long day near the ocean, your cover-ups can get kind of…..sweaty, sandy, musty, etc.

Sun dresses are perfect for wearing to grab a morning cup of coffee in the beach town you’re visiting, as well as for dinners or happy hours. Fabrics like linen and cotton are two practical choices for summer wear. I also like eyelet prints and t-shirt dresses for more casual hangs.

what to pack for beach vacation
What to pack for a beach vacation

A Straw Bag

A straw bag might as well be considered as the ultimate beach accessory. I feel like as soon as spring hits (and vacation season gets closer), you start to see them everywhere—and for good reason.

They not only fit the vibe of a beach outing, but they’re also nice to bring with you so you can stash all your essentials inside.

You can store things like extra sunscreen, lip balm, snacks, sunglasses, and a water bottle (because staying hydrated is key) in your straw bag. Totes are ideal for long days spent in the sand—you can even find packable/foldable options—while small clutches and handbags are best for going out afterwards.

Similar to swimsuits, I’d be shocked if you didn’t already have sandals on your beach packing list. Still, I know it can be a challenge to find some that actually fit well, last more than one season, and that are comfortable for all day wear.

In my opinion, the best sandals to wear to the beach are those that are easy to slip on and off. For that reason, I’d avoid anything with straps, buckles, or ties since those can get annoying to deal with both on and off the sand.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you likely know that I’m big on sun protection. You will never see me at the beach without a sun hat and sunglasses on (as well as a ton of sunscreen.) Aside from getting a pesky sunburn, I don’t want to run my risks with skin cancer. Plus, I’d really prefer to avoid as many wrinkles and dark spots as possible.

With all that being said, sunglasses and hats serve as both practical and chic accessories for a beach day. Tip: Opt for hats that have a wide brim so you optimize your coverage.

what to pack for a beach vacation
what to pack for a beach vacation

Looking for some more beach vacation outfit inspo? Here are a handful of photos from recent trips that can help you figure out what pieces to pair together. Whatever you land on, remember to pack a variety of pieces that you can mix and match (which will optimize the space you have in your luggage!)

what to pack for a beach vacation

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Beach Vacation Packing List
 

5 Comments

  • Jeanne Nott
    February 21, 2019 at 12:07 am

    I think I recognized the hallway of the Beverly Hills hotel in one if the photos. Isn’t that a wonderful hotel? We stayed there one Christmas a few years ago.

    I so love your articles. Have you ever been to The Stanley hotel in Estes Park?

    Love, Aunt Jeanne

    Reply
    • Lindsay Silberman
      February 21, 2019 at 12:17 am

      It looks exactly like the Beverly Hills Hotel but it’s actually in Palm Beach, Florida! I’ve never been to the Stanley!

      Reply
  • Jenni Weinacht
    March 19, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    Amazing style all around and you sold me on the Madewell tie-front top. Just bought it through your link — thanks!

    Reply
  • Kelly
    March 21, 2020 at 2:27 pm

    Where’d you find the straw sun visor in your ultimate packing list (not the “ridiculous” one)?

    Reply

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