Easy Beach Vacation Packing: Essentials From 14 Experts

What are the travel essentials for a beach holiday? The suitcase packing can seem complicated, wether you're going for a World Tour or a simple beach weekend, especially when you're not used to travel, or don't have much time to prepare.
Easy Beach Vacation Packing: Essentials From 14 Experts

Beach vacation packing essentials made easy

What are the travel essentials for a beach holiday? The  suitcase packing   can seem complicated, wether you're going for a  World Tour   or a simple beach weekend, especially when you're not used to travel, or don't have much time to prepare.

The first step in  preparing to travel   is to  compare prices   to  book hotels   at the best price on comparison websites, then getting the cheapest airline tickets available, and finally going on holiday after having packed the beach essentials... not forgetting to  compare travel insurance   and get  a travel insurance   before leaving to avoid any trouble with  cancelled flight   or other issue at destination!

We asked 14 experts what are they packing tips, and they came up with different and sometimes unexpected ideas,  mens essential   and  womens beach essentials   aren't as simple as a swimsuit, a towel, and an SPF 50, but include other ideas such as a  Bluetooth speaker   for example.

See below their answers, let us know in comments what are your own essentials that haven't been listed.

Which products do you think are essential for your beach holidays? Do you pack several swimsuits, how many, which type, how do you choose them? What do you get before going on holiday and couldn't live without? Or do you simply go with cabin luggage and get what you need at destination?
Picture credit: Photo by Natalya Zaritskaya on Unsplash
Main picture credit: Photo by Elizeu Dias on Unsplash

Kathryn Anderson, Coffee and Mascara: several bathing suits and a carry on

Beach vacations are some of my favorite. They are simple to pack for as there are just a few essentials I bring with me on every beach vacation.

Let’s start with the item of utmost importance, the bathing suit. I bring several with me as I love to take pictures during my vacations and I want to ensure that I have a variety of looks. I typically have a different  bathing suit   for almost every day of my trip. The majority are strapless so I can avoid tan lines, but I always bring one that is sportier for any water-related activities. No one wants a wardrobe malfunction while snorkelling!

Bathing suit

I match my  swimming attire   with coordinating shorts or cover-ups for ease of going to lunch or to-and-from the room to the pool. I also bring several sunglasses and a hat or two with me. I dislike shopping when I need something so I don’t leave anything at home that I know I will need on vacation.

Swimming attire

Another must-have item I bring with me is sunscreen. My face is sensitive so I would never risk using whatever the gift shop is selling. I have my favorites and I always bring these with me. For this reason, I almost always need to check my  baggage   since most sunscreen is larger than 100ml and can’t be in a carry-on.

Natural sunscreen SPF 50

I know a lot of people who swear by cabin luggage, but I don’t need the stress of trying to fit everything into a tiny suitcase, toiletries included, so I forego the  carry-on   in favor of a larger suitcase. Bonus, this means I have extra room for that cute pair of  wedge heels   I can now bring to dress up an evening outfit.

Kathryn Anderson, Freelance Writer, Coffee and Mascara
Kathryn Anderson, Freelance Writer, Coffee and Mascara
Kathryn is a freelance health, wellness and travel writer and blogger whose mission is to inspire people to live their best life through travel and self-care. Based in Vancouver, BC she frequently travels the globe and has visited 21 countries on 5 continents.
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Delilah Hart, Our Travel Mix: never without a towel

I won't travel anywhere without my Sea to Summit DryLite Towel.

Sea to Summit DryLite towel

As a full-time traveller who loves to beach hop, having  a towel   in my bag does take up a lot of space. Not to mention, my bag contains everything I own, so a bulky towel taking up a lot of space in my bag is far from ideal.

Years after travelling to beach destinations, I finally found the perfect towel for travel. This towel takes up a quarter of the space of the microfibre travel towel I was previously carrying. It's super absorbent, quick-drying, and the velcro case prevents it from unfolding in my bag.

Compact microfiber towel

The only downside is the texture - like a shammy cloth rather than  a towel   but it doesn't take long to get used to it, especially if you're just using it to dry yourself off at the beach, rather than using it as an everyday bath towel.

Delilah Hart, Founder, Our Travel Mix
Delilah Hart, Founder, Our Travel Mix
Delilah Hart is a digital nomad and founder for Our Travel Mix, a travel blog aiming to help people travel the world better. She is currently in Laos, making her way through Southeast Asia.

Silke Wolf, Local Insiders: womens beach essentials list

I love to take a nice beach vacation at least once a year and like to add some days on the beach to any other trip that I take.

Here’s my list of things I can’t live without.

I always pack my Kaftans by London fashion label Holland Street for a beach vacation. They are 100% silk and my go-to-choice to dress from breakfast to the beach. They flow beautifully around your body no matter how hot it gets. And they also make you look good and dressed without wearing much. They are perfect for luxury resorts anywhere around the world. I also pack my collection of Eres swimsuits which are timeless classics, too.

Kaftans by London fashion label Holland Street
Eres swimsuits
Bikini and swimwear

In terms of skin care products I love, I always have my Skinceutical  SPF 50   sunscreen for the face and my Roche Posay spray for the body with me. And I never travel without a small beach bag. I love pouches that channel vacation vibes such as this one by Aerin Lauder. I bought one on a vacation in the Hamptons years ago and I always take it with me. It looks great and holds my  womens beach essentials   such as an Avène face spray to keep me cool, a small foldable fan, and not to forget my iPad Mini with my beach reads. And last but not least, I never travel anywhere without my sunglasses and a beautiful sunhat. There’s hardly anything else that I need apart from a pair of Havaianas, a pair of stylish sandals (great if you want to dress up at night), some beautiful summer dresses for dinners under the stars (my favorite part of a beach vacation) and some  fashion jewellery   that adds some extra glamour. There’s hardly anything else that I need. In my experience, I always pack too much.

Skinceutical SPF 50 sunscreen for the face
Roche Posay spray for the body
pouches by Aerin Lauder
Avène face spray
SPF 50 natural sunscreen
beautiful sunhat
Silke Wolf, International Vacation Concierge & Founder, Local Insiders
Silke Wolf, International Vacation Concierge & Founder, Local Insiders
Silke Wolf is an international vacation concierge and founder of Local Insiders, a bespoke travel service that makes you feel like a local wherever you go. Her travel advice has been featured on Business Travel Life, Thrive Global, She Owns It, CEO WORLD Magazine, Nomad Paradise and Travel Awaits.

Patricia Martin, Travel Fam Life Blog: depends on time at destination

When packing for a beach vacation, the amount of time you are spending on the said destination is what is going to determine what to pack as fair as how many bathing suits, or items of clothing. But some items that should be on your packing list are a cute multi purpose cover up, at least 3 sets of bikinis, some  tops and bottoms   that you can easily mix and match, a pair of killer sunglasses. Besides these essentials you Must pack some Havaianas flip flops, they are very comfortable and help when walking on hot sand.

Swimsuits, bikinis tops and bottoms

Couple of floppy hats that match the article of clothing you packed, it can also be a baseball cap to protect your face from the sun. A BB cream with SPF 30 or higher, my favorite is IT Bye Bye foundation with an SPF 50. A Daily Styling Spray for your hair and my favorite is Frizz Ease by John Frieda, this will help your bad hair days and you can also use it after swimming. A good sunscreen, Sun Bum has a great mineral tinted face also.

SPF 50 natural sunscreen

And the last suggestion is a Solar battery pack for your electronic devices.

Patricia Martin, Travel Fam Life Blog
Patricia Martin, Travel Fam Life Blog
Patricia Martin is a travel blogger that currently specializes in writing about family travel in the big state of Texas. She caught the travel bug very early when her family would go on camping trips to the beach with some extended family for 2 weeks at a time in southeast Brazil. She has lived in Texas since 2014, when she met and married her sweetheart.

Kate Sullivan, Secret-Fares.com: beach shoes, swimsuits, cover-up

When helping our clients plan beach vacations, I always suggest packing light but including multi-purpose items to help get the most bang for your buck while keeping your luggage to a minimum.

Never bother packing towels - your hotel will have plenty, and most AirBnbs in beach areas will provide towels and likely a washer/dryer to ensure that you have a good supply available.

Do pack beach shoes - sandals, flip flops, or something else you don't mind getting sand in! You'll regret having only sneakers or street shoes in a heartbeat, and you can expect to pay the tourist tax for flip flops or shower-style sandals to get a pair near the beach.

Rhinestone Flip Flop womens sandals

Don't pack sunscreen - you'll have to check your bag to get around TSA liquids requirements and that can cost you a lot if you're flying economy!

Better to pick up your SPF at your destination. However, don't do this at the airport, hotel, or a beach spot. If possible, search out a Dollar Tree (if at a US beach) or a local drugstore (if abroad) and pick up your sunscreen there to make the most affordable choice.

Do pack only 1-2 swimsuits. In a humid environment like near most beaches, it'll take a day or two for your suit to dry out, so you'll want to alternate between suits if you're in the water every day. However, you don't need a suit for every day of your trip! Wash one out in the sink with regular hand soap or shampoo, hang to dry, and wear the other, then alternate.

Shampoo and body wash

Do pack coverups that can double as sleepwear or even be used for a casual lunch out. Silky caftans for ladies or a windbreaker and light trousers for guys work great for walking down to the beach, then heading to lunch without stopping off for a change.

Don't leave your phone exposed to the sand, wind, and salt water! You can either invest in a  dry bag   especially for phones - you can get these pretty inexpensively on Amazon or eBay - or just pop it into a zip-top food storage bag and seal shut. Trust me, you'll be grateful you did when you see other folks struggling to get sand out of a charging port after dropping their phone, or when they go to take a picture of their friend in the surf and end up hit with a wave that soaks their phone!

Dry bags
Kate Sullivan, Head of Experience, Secret-Fares.com
Kate Sullivan, Head of Experience, Secret-Fares.com

Corné Lamprecht, Freelancer: sunscreen, sunglasses and two bikinis

As a beach enthusiast and a few years back, struggled with skin cancer, I don't settle for less than the following items for my beach holiday. I have a standard tick list for this.

My beach bag will contain the following ‘treasures’. Sun protection lotion. With an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30. It must be suitable to keep out the UVA rays (ultraviolet A, which penetrates the skin deeper as well as penetrate glass, the contributor to any type of skin cancer). It must also keep out the UVB rays (ultraviolet B-rays, that affect the top layer of the skin and also causes skin cancer).

Sun protection lip-ice, with a 30 SPF. A pair of sunglasses that 100% block UV rays. A wide brim sun hat, nice big towel (for comfort). A pair of beach shoes (more multifunctional than flip-flops). At least  two bikinis   and swimwear cover-up.


Why at least two bikinis? One might still be wet from the previous day. I also prefer to take two sets that are different in design, not to get a well-defined tan.

Bikini and swimwear
Corné Lamprecht, Freelancer
Corné Lamprecht, Freelancer
I am from 'Sunny South Africa'! I have a very Adventurous, Creative, Positive & Passionate spirit. I Strive to Leave a Little Sparkle Wherever I Go! I am also known as aka Biker Girl, Gadget Girl, Drummer Girl. Interests that make my life quite interesting.

Katherine Alvernaz, Off the Clock Adventurers: 3 swimsuits and more

For a beach vacation, I pack:

Katherine Alvernaz, Off the Clock Adventurers
Katherine Alvernaz, Off the Clock Adventurers
My name is Katherine Alvernaz, and together with my partner, James Painter, we run an adventure and travel blog, Off the Clock Adventurers.

Jeremy Scott Foster, TravelFreak: 8 tips for family preparation

Being a frequent traveler, with and without children I have picked up these tips the hard way.

Jeremy Scott Foster, CEO, TravelFreak
Jeremy Scott Foster, CEO, TravelFreak
TravelFreak on Twitter
TravelFreak on FaceBook

Simon Hansen, Home Brew Advice: Why You Shouldn’t Forget About Sunscreen

One of the most common things that even the most experienced beach enthusiasts forget about when packing is bringing a bottle of sunscreen, and you can’t blame them. What people don’t realize about this handy product is that it doesn’t just prevent you from ruining your perfect tan, it protects you from harmful UV rays as well.

SPF 50 natural sunscreen

Given that light can penetrate the body more than just direct exposure (it bounces of ice and water as well), I can definitely say that it’s the top item on my priority list. Other than that, I make sure to carry a good book and clothes that I feel comfortable in. I believe that packing and going to the beach should be done as wisely and comfortably as possible.

Simon Hansen, Founder, Blogger, and Homebrew Expert, Home Brew Advice
Simon Hansen, Founder, Blogger, and Homebrew Expert, Home Brew Advice
I’m Simon Hansen and I’m the homebrew expert and founder of Home Brew Advice, a company dedicated to providing quality content on the art of homebrewing and winemaking.

Philip Weiss, PhilipWeiss.org: proper footwear is essential

Having proper footwear on the beach is essential, for safety and stylish reasons.

So when I go to the beach, I swear by my pair of VIFUUR beach shoes, with colors and sizes available in all types of combinations. They are not shoes in the traditional sense and they give you the sensation of walking barefoot, without having to worry about the hot sand.

In my opinion, they might the most comfortable beach shoe ever created. The smooth design make them easy to take on and off which is essential for hot summer days on the beach. The reason they’re so comfortable is the high-quality fabric which allows them to stretch along in accordance with your foot and surface.

Ericdress Best -Selling Beach Slip-On Men's Water Shoe

The sole is made of strong material to help prevent injuries from any potential sharp objects. The grip is also firm, making them great for outdoor water sports and they will dry quick enough so you can still do yoga on the beach the same day!

You can buy them for around $10 on most major online retailers, including Amazon:

VIFUUR Water Sports Shoes Barefoot Quick-Dry Aqua Yoga Socks Slip-on for Men Women Kids
Philip Weiss, Founder, PhilipWeiss.org
Philip Weiss, Founder, PhilipWeiss.org
After realizing the 9 to 5 life wasn't for him, Philip quit his job in the aviation industry and decided to travel the world in his own terms. Currently, he is based between NYC and Cambodia, he is a full-time digital nomad and the founder of his travel blog, PhilipWeiss.org.

Torben Lonne, DIVE.in: multipurpose Crocs shoes

One beach essential for me personally are my pair of Crocs Swiftwater Mesh Sandals, which offer the rugged sole of a hiking boot with a lightweight beach sandal. I love them because they allow me to step on pebbles and climb over rocks without slipping. They also dry really fast, so if I get them wet on the beach, I can still wear them to restaurants and bars near the water, without leaving a wet trail behind.

Ericdress Cut Out Round Toe Crocs Shoes

Overall, I think they are the perfect multipurpose shoe for beach vacations, and I've long abandoned the inconvenient sneakers and sandals concept a long time ago. My footwear stays at the hotel, and I wear my Crocs all day, every day when I'm on a beach vacation anywhere in the world.

Torben Lonne, Chief Editor, DIVE.in
Torben Lonne, Chief Editor, DIVE.in
Torben Lonne is a dad, a scuba diver and an ocean lover who is deeply concerned with how we are treating our oceans. He runs Divein.com with his brother, an online magazine centered on scuba diving and the way divers can make a positive difference for the environment.

Chris Pomaski, Center For Surf Research: mens beach essentials list

As a surfer, I spend quite a bit of time at the beach. There are a few  mens essential   items that I always feel are necessary to have at my side, whether I’m paddling out or spending some time on the shore with friends.

For starters, always have  a swimsuit   available. If you plan on going in the water during colder months, make sure to get yourself a wetsuit as well. No matter what time of year it is, always make sure that you have sunblock. I highly recommend getting both body and face sunblock, as they have different levels of oils and protection to work optimally.

SPF 50 sunblock

Lastly, make sure that you bring  a towel   or blanket with you. There is nothing worse than getting to the beach and realizing that you have to plop down on the sand. I highly recommend bringing a beach-specific blanket that won’t attract sand.

Compact microfiber towel

Of course, there are other things to bring, such as an umbrella, beach chair, cooler, etc., though I think the above three items are the most important by far.

Chris Pomaski, Contributing Author, Center For Surf Research
Chris Pomaski, Contributing Author, Center For Surf Research

Melanie Musson, Outreach 360 Quote: good frisbee and water bottle

I bring just about everything I need, but if I’m renting a beach house, I’ll buy food-related items at the destination so I can make our own breakfasts and lunches. Cereal and milk are easy to pick up for breakfast and bread and lunch meats make easy lunches. Dinners out are part of enjoying a vacation.

Melanie Musson, Managing Editor, Outreach 360 Quote
Melanie Musson, Managing Editor, Outreach 360 Quote
Melanie Musson is a writer for QuickQuote.com. The beach is her favorite vacation destination. She loves spending time by the ocean with her husband and four children.

Keisha Martinez, Tickled Pink Travel Agency: canopy and Bluetooth speaker

In preparing for your trip to the beach, packing can be one of the most stressful task. Here at Tickled Pink Travel Agency, we aim to ensure that our clients are fully prepared. This includes those long yet relaxing beach days.

A must-have for the beach is a vented sun canopy. When I go to the beach, I have found that an umbrella doesn’t quite provide the necessary comfort and protection for my family. A canopy provides much better protection from the sun while also providing more space. I absolutely despise the moments at the beach where the sand gets all over my towel. Investing in a sand-proof blanket is the best thing one could do for the beach to keep the sand away from all your belongings. My family and I love to dance, I assure you that when we head to the beach, we have to take our music along with us. A waterproof  Bluetooth speaker   has helped keep the kids entertained while also managing to leave fully intact.

Bluetooth speakers
Keisha Martinez, Chief Travel Curator + Owner, Tickled Pink Travel Agency
Keisha Martinez, Chief Travel Curator + Owner, Tickled Pink Travel Agency
At Tickled Pink we give our clients the best advice/information available. Every trip consultation provided is rooted in personal experience.
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Tickled Pink Travel Agency on Instagram

Michel Pinson
About the author - Michel Pinson
Michel Pinson is a Travel enthusiast and Content Creator. Merging passion for education and exploration, he iscommitted to sharing knowledge and inspiring others through captivating educational content. Bringing the world closer together by empowering individuals with global expertise and a sense of wanderlust.

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