Let’s be honest, there’s nothing better than going on a beach vacation!
Sun, sea, and sand can be the antidote for many things; whether that be a stressful week at work or you’re facing some big changes in your life.
When it comes to beaches, you’ve got endless options and it all depends on what you’re looking for. Are you planning to hit the waves? Or are you simply looking to relax and sunbathe?
Whether you’re looking to jet away to somewhere topical or you’d prefer a quiet escape to somewhere with cooler temperatures, the world has so many beaches to choose from.
The question is, what do you pack?
Well, if you’re wondering what to pack for a beach vacation then don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!
Through our own experience, we’ve come up with the ultimate beach vacation packing list so you don’t have to.
Without further ado, let’s get started…
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Now, you’ve got a good idea of some of the destinations on offer it’s time to jump into your beach vacation packing list.
Putting together a list of your beach vacation packing essentials isn't easy which is why I’m here to help!
To make this beach packing list easier to digest, I’ve split this section up into five parts:
Then afterward, I’ll go through some of the other items that might come in handy if you’re packing for a beach vacation, as well as some top tips!
First of all, when we’re heading to the beach the first thought often on our minds is fun!
Whether you’re traveling as a couple, with friends or family, or with little ones, there’s no better way to spend a beach holiday than by having fun!
For this reason, no beach vacation travel packing list is complete without these items…
This men's beach vacation packing list has everything you need for the ultimate vacation!
Of course, the amount you pack will differ depending on how long your trip is, but this is for a typical 2-week beach packing list.
This packing list for females has everything you’ll need for a hassle-free vacation.
Aside from a couple of clothing differences, this 2-week beach vacation packing list includes a lot of the same things…
Your packing list for a beach vacation in summer is always going to be pretty standard, especially when it comes to footwear.
Here are a few of the options I’d recommend if you’re heading to the beach…
If you’re wondering what to pack for the beach then there are a couple of things that you should always keep in your beach bag. Here are a few ideas…
If you’re packing for a one or two-week beach vacation, then it’s likely you’ll be staying in a hotel or a resort.
Large hotels often have laundry facilities but it’s often a per-item piercing model so the cost can quickly add up! Many of them offer dry cleaning too, which is again expensive.
To avoid these charges, I’d recommend packing enough for your trip which if you’re only away for 1-2 weeks then you won’t have any issues doing this!
However, if you’re traveling long-term through countries such as Southeast Asia or Australia you’ll find that many towns and cities offer laundromats.
Not only that, but hostels often have places where you can wash your clothes, as do campsites if you’re road-tripping through a country!
Although this isn’t one of the most popular things to pack for the beach, it’s extremely handy!
Here are some of the things that you should include in your first aid kit for your beach vacation checklist…
If you don’t yet own a travel first aid kit, then here’s a good option to buy.
It contains the majority of what you need and you can then just add in any other items you want to take with you.
Plus, it’s small enough to tuck away in your backpack and not take up much space.
For the ultimate packing list, there are a few toiletries that you’ll want to pack!
Now, It’s likely that you’ll need to withdraw cash at some point during your trip!
If you’re heading to a popular beach area then you probably won’t have any issues withdrawing cash because there tends to be a lot of ATMs in tourist destinations.
However, if you’re heading somewhere that’s a bit more remote then you may want to sort the money situation out in advance!
Either way, the one thing you’ll want to keep in mind is bank withdrawal fees.
You’ll find plenty of ATMs across the world that charge withdrawal fees, or currency conversion fees but it all depends on where you’re visiting.
Just double-check the ATM screen before you proceed because it will tell you if there’s a withdrawal charge.
I’d also recommend taking more than one card.
In fact, we always take four with us; two live in my wallet, one lives in my big rucksack, and one lives in Cazzy’s big rucksack or day bag.
We’ve tried plenty of travel cards over the years, but our favorites are Monzo and Reovlut!
They’re UK-based cards, so you’d have to check if they’re available in your country of origin.
Both these travel cards allow you to withdraw money just like any debit card, and they can be used in normal transactions.
The best part about using Monzo and Revolut is that they can be used in any country and you won’t be charged currency conversion fees!
Both of them allow a certain amount of free ATM withdrawals each month, and they don’t cost anything to open either. All you need to do is download the app and enter your details.
Once the cards have been activated, you can use them as you travel across the world!
Just make sure you select the ‘pay in local currency’ option as you’ll get the best exchange rate.
If you want to learn more about these travel cards, then we’ve already written a comparison article 'Monzo Vs Revolut’ on our website.
When putting together your travel list for a beach vacation, make sure you don’t forget your important documents.
Here are the things that you need to pack…
Although your health and safety isn’t something you often think about when planning a beach vacation, it’s vital!
There are so many factors out there that can ruin a trip, which isn’t what you want - especially after looking forward to it for so long.
So let’s go through some of the things you’ll want to look out for so you can stay safe at the beach!
This is probably the main health issue that can have a negative impact on your trip, and unfortunately, it’s very common.
I can guarantee that the majority of people reading this have been sunburnt at least once in their lifetime, and it’s not a pretty experience.
If you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the sun, then make sure you wear plenty of sunscreen (preferably 30 or 50 SPF) and top it up throughout the day.
Many people choose to use ‘tanning oils’ like carrot oil which often has little or no SPF. It’s used to tan quickly, but can have dire consequences if you’re out in the sun for a long time so avoid it at all costs!
Another thing you’ll want to watch out for during your beach trip is strong currents!
Now, this will depend on where you choose to visit as some beaches are more notorious for this than others.
For example, Hanakapiai Beach in Hawaii, Playa Zipolite in Mexico, and Fraser Island are all known for their dangerous rip tides and currents.
We all love a good swim and a snorkel whilst at the beach, but make sure you do your research before you visit. Some beaches even have a flag system, where a ‘red flag’ means rough conditions and that swimming isn’t recommended.
Many of the popular beaches will have stationed lifeguards, but others don’t and that can be a real problem if you get into trouble.
Next up on this list is dehydration, which can be a silent killer!
Typically, it’s recommended that adults consume at least two liters of water a day, with this increasing if you’re planning to exercise a lot or spend time in the heat.
If you’re spending a day on the beach and it's hot, then you’re naturally going to lose fluids through sweat. To combat this it’s important to drink more water!
Signs of dehydration include extreme thirst, dark-colored urine, fatigue, and needing to go to the toilet less, so they are all things to look out for.
You can find out more information about dehydration here, as I’m definitely not an expert and it’s good to be clued in on these things!
This isn’t often something that many people think of, but it’s important to consider the water pollution in your area before you head into the sea.
Pollution and contaminants can enter the sea via trash or chemicals that are dumped into the ocean, and you can get extremely sick from swimming in waters like this.
Chowpatty Beach in Mumbai has this reputation and is considered to be one of the most polluted beaches in the world.
With debris from salvaged ships and contaminated water from dumped disposal waste, this isn’t a place that you want to swim.
Beaches like this tend to be few and far between but it’s always best to do a bit of research first.
The last thing to consider for your beach vacation is the wildlife that can be found in the sea! The majority of beaches don’t offer any issues like this, but some do.
You’ll find plenty of beaches that are home to various species of jellyfish. Some are completely harmless, but others like the box jellyfish need to be avoided as their sting can kill.
If you’re heading to destinations like Florida or South Africa, then you’ll want to be mindful of great white sharks. In fact, Gansbaai in South Africa is known as the ‘Great White Capital of the World’.
You’ve also got that threat in Australia, but that’s added to by other dangerous creatures including saltwater crocodiles and venomous snakes. Cape Tribulation is even home to the dangerous cassowary bird as they roam the beach!
Now that we’ve come up with the ultimate beach vacation travel checklist it’s important to note some of the things that you don’t need to pack…
There are plenty of essentials for a beach vacation that you can pack, but here are some other items that you might not have thought of…
Here are some final travel tips to help you put together a beach vacation travel packing list…
Sunscreen is one of the most important things that you can pack on your beach vacation and there are a variety of brands to choose from!
However, it’s always best to go for a reef-safe sunscreen especially if you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the water. Normal sunscreen can damage coral reefs, and have a negative impact on the marine life that lives there.
Here’s some more information on reef-friendly sunscreen…
One of our top travel tips is to always have comfortable walking shoes with you; whether that be trainers, shoes, or boots.
For the beach, the footwear that you’ll mainly be wearing includes sandals and flip-flops, as these are often the most convenient.
Just make sure you keep a more sturdy pair in your bag in case you need to do a lot of walking! Although this sounds like a hassle, it can be a lifesaver!
If you’re looking to stay cool in the sun then you’ll want to go for light-colored clothing as they will reflect most of the heat that falls on them. Whereas, black and dark colors absorb the heat so it can make you feel quite uncomfortable!
I’d also recommend going for lightweight clothing (preferably made of cotton) as this will also help to keep you cool.
Before you head to the beach it’s always best to check the weather forecast. It may not be completely reliable but it will give you a good idea of what to take, and whether a BBQ is a good idea!
You could always check the weather forecast before you jet off on holiday too, as this will give you a good idea of what to pack.
This is the number one thing to remember when spending time at the beach! If you’re prone to sunburn then firstly, you’ll want to slather yourself in SPF 50 sunscreen.
You might also want to take a beach kimono with you or lightweight pants so you can cover up for part of the day. Even better, if you’re in a position to take a beach umbrella with you!
This is one of our top packing tips if you're planning a beach vacation.
As you’ve probably guessed by now, putting together a beach trip packing list isn’t easy!
First of all, you have to decide which part of the world you’re visiting, and when. Then, you can come up with a list of things to pack for a beach vacation.
You’ll also have to consider what type of activities you plan to do, whether that be sunbathing, surfing, or watersports!
Hopefully, this guide has given you a good idea of the required travel necessities for a beach vacation. Along with some extras, that you might not have even thought about.
If you’ve found this travel packing list helpful, then we’ve got packing lists for plenty of awesome destinations including Europe, Thailand, and Mexico…
We've also put together an in-depth cruise packing list which may be handy to look at!
For help planning the rest of your beach vacation adventure, here are some other guides you might find useful:
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