Wondering what to pack for vacation? Well, here is the biggest challenge about a beach packing list: It is likely to vary based on the individual, the destination, and the activities planned. For example, you might wonder what you need to bring to the beach, but if your “beach” involves a hike into the area, no facilities at the site, and some water sports, your packing list will be different from the person who can cross the street from luxury rentals to reach the sand.
Does that mean there cannot be a single, streamlined beach vacation packing list or guide to help travelers choose all of the right things to take to the beach? No, it just means that you will want to think of this as the ultimate beach “primer” list, and not the only packing list to use.
Also, keep in mind that this is intended to be a beach holiday packing list and not just a list for a day at the beach. While it will contain key beach items and things to bring to the beach, it also includes what to pack for a beach vacation or getaway.
Getting Started with a Beach Checklist
One of the smartest ways to ensure you have all that you need and won’t find yourself buying new items you left at home is to make a beach vacation packing list. We recommend that you break it down into four main categories:
- Beach essentials
- Clothing and accessories
- Travel items
The Beach Essentials
So, as you put together your beach vacation packing list think about those things that you will pack that are also be necessary for making the very most of a beach vacation. A good list of basics would include:
- Beach blanket/towel
- Waterproof phone case
- Plenty of sunscreen
- Portable speaker
- Dry/Wet bag
- Beach bag
- Swimwear (includes suit, beach shoes, and so on)
- NOTE: If you choose to stay in a luxury villa or a premium hotel, you will find that items such as beach chairs, umbrellas, and even items like goggles and portable coolers may be made available to you. It is also possible that many of the best beaches have cabanas or beverage services and beach clubs.
Clothing and Accessories
Your best beach vacation packing list is going to depend a great deal on who is participating in the trip. After all, the answer to what to pack for the beach for a solo traveler is radically different than what to pack for the family with kids. A basic list of clothing items would include:
- Two swimsuits for each person
- A swim cover-up or other beach garment
- Underwear and undergarments
- Sundresses or skirts
- Pants or jeans
- One formal outfit (at least one is essential)
- A light jacket or a wrap for a woman
- Workout clothes and sneakers
- Flip flops or water shoes
- NOTE: Some luxury villas and hotels offer workout wear for guests to use free of charge, but don’t count on these items always being present.
This is one of the most difficult issues to address on any packing list, including a beach vacation packing list. This is because no two people need to use the identical list of products. However, use this basic beach packing list for when you are packing for a beach vacation, it is safe to make sure you should bring the following for each person:
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Skin products like lotions, creams, cleansers, and so on
- Several levels of sunblock
- Natural aloe vera gel (in case of sunburn)
- Razors and shaving products
- Haircare products including brushes and combs (You may find that your villa provides the shampoo, conditioner, and other signature products)
- A small First Aid kit as well as a small sewing kit for garment repairs
- Feminine hygiene products
- A spare pair of glasses
- Nail polish and remover
- Q-tips and cotton balls
- Bathroom scissors, nail clippers, and tweezers
- A collection of medications for any mild issues (an anti-diarrhea medication, pain reliever, vitamins, Benadryl, and prescription meds are essential)
- Disinfecting wipes
- Personal packages of tissues
- Stain remover stick
Of course, any beach vacation packing list has those “essentials,” and though your beach checklist may not require them because they are furnished by the luxury vacation rentals you have chosen, we include a full beach packing list here.
- Waterproof case for camera or phone
- Selfie stick
- iPad or laptop
- Power packs for all personal electronics
- Kindle, eReader or books and magazines
- Games for kids
- Paper and pencils
- Adapter for any electronics
- Earbuds or headphones
- Locks for a suitcase
- Travel pillow and blanket
- Extra memory cards for phones and cameras
There are also the “personal” items that everyone must make sure they bring when packing for the beach. For example, a set of emergency documents that include allergy lists, insurance details, emergency contacts, and more. A travel-safe wallet is important, and a reserve of cash kept in a safe place (such as the safe in the private villa) is always wise. Details about credit cards and credit providers is also a good idea. Keep track of your passport or visa information, and always note down the details of what you need to do if you should misplace or lose the passport.
Once you put together what you need to bring on a beach vacation, it is time to pack it up. Savvy travelers will tell you that you will want to try hard to keep things to a minimum amount. Though airlines are continually changing their policies, it is a good idea to make sure you have a backpack or other easy to carry bag along with a legally sized carry-on. You can then check a larger suitcase and keep all of the essentials from your packing list with you at all times.
Use a Plan
When you begin packing for a holiday, remember to make sure to put together an overall plan that emphasizes the light, airy and breezy nature of the setting. You don’t need to wear or bring worn out clothing and you don’t want to wear heavy or bulky items. The best bet when packing for a beach vacation is to keep the words “polished” and yet also “casual” in mind at all times.
It is tough to go on a beach vacation or do any travel and leave behind items you might think of as essential, and even worse to realize you might have forgotten an item you need. The good news is that anyone who opts for a beach holiday in luxury villas Turks and Caicos, St Barts luxury rentals, and other similar properties will usually find many items available when they arrive. From beach chairs or sand shoes to water sports gear and even some electronics, luxury rentals make many of your different beach packing lists items available. These “home” items can be inquired about before you leave, and this can help you keep your beach packing list as short, sweet, and easy to manage while you travel.