Going on a beach vacation is always exciting — and thanks to that excitement, it’s easy to overlook important items or overpack by accident! It’s important, then, to be proactive and put some thought into what you pack. We know that where you’re going is hot though, so let us sweat the small stuff!
We prioritize comfort and practicality when packing for a beach vacation — both to get the most out of our beach days, as well as to avoid having to abandon the beach early to go repurchase items we THOUGHT we brought — and we definitely prefer to do that in a fashionable way when possible (hello, best selling sandals for the beach that suit our style perfectly)! If you’re the same and with us so far, then read on for some helpful suggestions.
- Don’t Forget a Phone Charger
When you envision your ideal beach vacation, your phone likely doesn’t play a major part in the picture — but that doesn’t mean that you won’t want it. So whether it be to recharge your phone in the morning for the day’s beach beats and photos or to recharge your tablet at night for some reading before bed, be sure to put this in an easily accessible bag.
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- Aim for Clothing That’s Functional First and Fashionable Second
When it comes to packing for a beach vacation, comfort should always be your top priority — because while the beach is beautiful to be at, the direct sun sizzling on your skin, hot sand getting gritty in every crevice and water making your hair knottier than ever CAN be uncomfortable if you aren’t prepared.
This means that you’ll want to aim for lightweight, breathable clothing made from natural fabrics like cotton, linen and bamboo. Not only are these materials light and cool to wear when it comes to hot and humid weather, but they’ll also absorb sweat and prevent you from feeling sticky and uncomfortable (a reason that exposing more skin isn’t necessarily better, and one that you should keep in mind as you create outfits to pack!). Even if you opt for a suitcase filled entirely with short shorts and swimsuits, though, you’ll want to make room for at least one sweater or windbreaker (and maybe a pair of sweatpants) for when the evening temperatures dip down. From here, for men’s and women’s travel shoes alike, you’ll want to aim for something easy to clean the sand from and easy to slip on and off — but more on shoes in a later section!
- Think of Food and Drinks
After some swimming and fun in the sun, you’re bound to get hungry. Figure out your food plan prior to leaving if you’re simply doing a one-off beach day, or figure out your all-time favorite beach snacks and drinks if this will be a daily occurrence. If you’re into a little adventure or looking for a more authentic taste of your location, you can also consider getting a better understanding of the area around the beach and exploring the local food and drink to be found there. Just be cautious, as doing this every day will add up quickly! Even for short outings, though, a collapsible cooler with at least some water and light snacks is always recommended.
- You’ll Thank Yourself for Hand Sanitizer/Wet Wipes
Something to clean your hands off with (that isn’t lake or ocean water) is always overlooked but never underappreciated. Before and after you have a bite to eat, if you accidentally come in contact with something unknown from the water or if you need to clean the slate and strip away the sand — there are a ton of reasons why you might want or need it, so make sure you have it.
- Ensure You’ve Got the Stuff to Make a Spot
A towel is the first thing you’ll need for this and, in some cases, the only thing you’ll need. An umbrella is also highly recommended though, especially in places where there will be little or no shade. After all, you want to tan on vacation, not burn. Along with an umbrella, a foldable beach chair can add an extra layer of comfort, keep you out of the sand and make that little spot on the beach feel like your own.
- Set Yourself Up for Success with Suitable Shoes
A comfortable, quality pair of sandals or flip-flops are essential for any beach vacation. They should be easy to slip on and off, should be easy to shake the sand from and should be okay to get wet. If you’re a little more adventurous and know that you may decide to wander the boardwalk, stroll the streets and hit the shops or go out for a bite to eat in the evenings, you may also want to add “fashionable” to the list of features you’re looking for. Who can complain about having to get some cute and comfortable sandals though, right?
- Keep Your Face Safe From the Sun
Sunglasses are a must-have aid for almost any day or environment to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, as well as a must-have accessory for almost any outfit or style. Not only that, but choosing sunglasses can be a lot of fun. Colors, patterns, sizes and shapes can all be catered to your specific style — but if you’re unsure of where to go with them, neutral colors and tortoise shell patterns are as versatile as they are timeless. Brighter colors are always a crowd favorite at the beach though, so never be afraid to have some fun! If you are going on a vacation to enjoy the sun and embrace the rest, consider a large pair that keeps it dark while you close your eyes.
Along with sunglasses, sun hats are an accessory that can add a lot of personality to your outfit, and offer a lot of protection to your skin from the sun. Don’t be afraid to embrace hats, whether it be alone or in combination with sunglasses for maximum coverage!
Pack It All Up Perfectly…
When it comes to packing for a beach vacation, nothing is better than the massive beach bag that you hardly ever get to bust out. A big tote bag like this is a practical accessory for carrying all of your beach essentials, is a fun way to include a pop of color in your beach outfit and lets you showcase where your travels are taking you. If nothing else, opt for a bag that’s at least spacious enough to hold your towel, sunscreen, a change of clothes, a couple of bottles of water and whatever else you may need for a (single) beautiful beach day.