Some of these might seem pretty obvious and some might surprise you (and make your life easier). Either way, here’s a roundup of the 10 things I always pack when traveling to a beach destination – for a long weekend or a month-long trip.
- Face wipes (non make-up removing): Sweat, dust, sand – all things that you’re likely to want to wipe off your face (and body) when you don’t have immediate access to a shower after a day at the beach. Time and time again, I take out my face wipes when we’re all in the car after a long hot beach day – and everyone asks for one, even the guys. I bring multiple packs of Yes to Coconuts Face Wipes. They’re refreshing and also smell great. Order them here.
- A good beach bag: This is something people often forget because when packing because it doesn’t really cross your mind to actually pack bags inside of your bag. I’ve had to use my carry on as my beach bag in the past, which gets sandy and wet – not ideal. Bringing a beach bag that is compact and flat to pack to hold your essentials from day-to-day is something you won’t want to forget. I love this one and this one (below).
- Waterproof versions (of anything and everything): A wet bag for your phone, a waterproof camera or go-pro, waterproof sandals, etc. Being on a beach, boat, near a pool = water. Having waterproof versions of anything is always a better alternative. The sandals thing is something I think people often forget. Leather and suede based sandals don’t do well when they get wet – Havaianas are my favorite because they’re super light and easy to pack. I bring these ones (below everywhere.
- Your own beach towel/blanket: I know they can take up a lot of room, but I’ve found bringing a beach towel of your own is worth the extra weight. There have been countless times when we arrived at our destination (hotel, airbnb, etc.) before check-in and ventured off to a nearby beach – all you need is a bikini and something to lay on. Also, excursions from hotels/resorts usually leave pretty early (before the beach-towel stand opens), and we all know bath towels make the worst beach towels. This one is super cute. I also love the circular ones because they typically fit more than one person. The ones that are less like towels and more like sheets (like this one) are great because they’re super lightweight and take up no space at all.
- Mini conditioner and comb: If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time in the pool and ocean – making your hair even knottier and frizzier than normal (mine is on another level). I always pack a mini-conditioner and comb in my beach or pool bag and put a little conditioner in my hair before going in the water. It sounds weird, but when you come out of the water, it’ll be smooth, soft, and hydrated (which keeps it from getting dry, preventing breakage). It’ll be easier to comb out and less of a mess when it air dries. This has been a lifesaver for my hair. This one (below) is great, and this one is a cheaper option.
- Aux cord: For car rides when you can’t understand the radio stations or have no radio reception whatsoever. Even if you’re not planning on being in the car for a long time, good music = good vibes. Plus, they take up like no room at all. Get one here.
7. Hats: Even if you don’t normally wear them: not only is the sun stronger in tropical destinations, but you’re also outdoors for way longer than a typical day. You may say you’re not a hat person until you’re baking in 90 degree heat, without shade for 6-hours straight. Baseball caps are easier to pack (love this one), but a good straw hat will never go to waste on a beach vacation. This one is a little pricey, but really cute and I just came across this one, which I might have to order. 🙂
8. Easy-to-read books (even if you don’t normally read): I’m not a big reader because I can’t sit still for more than 5 minutes at a time, but when I’m most relaxed (on beach vacations), I often wish I had something good and easy to read. Sometimes I wake up a lot earlier than everyone else and having a book to pass time out on the balcony or while sitting on the beach is a welcomed option. You also never know how long you’ll be stuck in an airport – a book saved my sanity when we had a 9-hour delay in Hawaii. The Bucket List book is on my list.
9. More than one pair of sunglasses: Losing or breaking sunglasses sucks, but it happens – especially while traveling. You’re in and out of so many places, not used to your normal routine of putting your sunglasses in a certain spot. I always bring one nicer pair for the days I’m less likely to lose or break them – and also bring a cheaper pair for days like zip lining, boating, and day drinking. I love DIFF eye wear because they’re affordable but also REALLY good quality – I have a few pairs and the below are my favorites (I know it’s difficult to shop online for sunnies, but these look good on everyone).
10. More bikinis than you think you’ll need: I used to count the amount of beach days on the agenda and bring that many bathing suits. By the end of the trip, I was re-wearing bathing suits – which is totally fine – but I wished I had brought a few more. You might wear one in the morning, then want change into a dry one to get lunch or walk around, or use one for a night swim, switch for water sports, etc. I always pack two or three more than I think I’ll need and I usually wear them all – but maybe that’s just me. L Space is my go-to (my favorite style pictured below), but I also wrote a blog post on my 10 favorite swimsuit brands!
If you have any other suggestions / thing to add to the list, leave a comment! 🙂