20 Things you need to Pack for a Beach Vacation

20 Things you need to Pack for a Beach Vacation


Guest Post by John Adams 

Beach vacations are awesome! If you have never done them before, you are certainly in for a treat. Whether you’re booked for a resort, check in at a nearby hotel, rent a beach shack, or stay at a friend’s beach house, you should bring along all the essentials to make the best of this trip. The theme for beach gear is usually fun and casual, unless the vacation is connected to a destination wedding. Living on the beach is a whole new experience, so you won’t be needing stuff typically required for traveling. On the contrary, you will be taking along a couple of items that are not necessary at other destinations.

Here’s the comprehensive list of items that will complete your beach vacation and guarantee maximum comfort:

1.    Beach-wear

The clothes you pack for your beach vacation should be light and care-free. Soft and breathable fabrics like cotton and linen work best with the beach weather. Polyester swimwear is the norm and chiffon cover-ups look classy. Pack all your best swimsuits, several tees, tank-tops, shorts, a few sun dresses, short flannel skirts, and pajamas for the night. Do not bother to bring anything formal or ‘leather’ to the beach. If you want to add a bit of bling to your beach look, go for big, colorful, bright, and lightweight jewelry/accessories; opt for plastic rather than metallic. Pack a light jacket or shawl for when it gets windy or chilly after sunset.

2.    Shoes

When you’re going to spend most of your day on the beach, you will want to walk barefoot on the sandy shores. You should carry footwear that is easy to put on and off throughout the day. Given the moist and warm atmosphere, pack shoes that are light and airy. Flip-flops are ideal in every way and their thick sole gives a soothing touch to the underside of our feet. You can also go for flat rubber/plastic slippers or wear sandals if you prefer shoes that grip the foot.

3.    Sunglasses and Hats

strolling on a white sand beach on the indian ocean

The long hours of sunshine are good for getting on your tan, but the sun glare can be a bit too much on the eyes. Do not forget to bring your favorite pair of sunglasses and keep a backup one as well. Sunglasses will add an element of chic to your look and allow you to get some people watching in without looking creepy. If you want to look fabulous on the beach, your summer hats will do the trick; where else do you wear them anyway?

4.    Sunscreen

Sunscreen should probably on the top of your checklist! Yes even if you are black, so consider it a friendly reminder. You don’t want to get sun burned on your first day and spend rest of the vacation indoors till your complexion gets back to normal. Buy sunscreen with maximum SPF to protect yourself from harmful UV rays and not end up looking like a gigantic lobster. You should also get an SPF lip-balm or chap-stick to preserve those rich and luscious lips of yours.

5.    Dry Deodorant

Beaches can get pretty hot and humid during daylight hours, so dry alcohol-free deodorant will play the part of your best friend. Alcohol based aerosols disintegrate quickly due to the heat and reek, mixed with sweat. Dry deodorants control sweat and keep you smelling fresh throughout the day.

6.    Beach Towels and Blanket

You should bring along at least one beach blanket to lounge and relax on the sands, and maybe even have an impromptu picnic with your partner/companions. A few towels are a must have to dry off and sit upon while hanging out on the beach.

7.    Travel Pillow

Always bring a travel pillow to accommodate yourself whenever you crave a nap or wish to rest. A beach vacation entails you to spend a night on the beach at some point, thus you should make it count. The cool sand and sound of the waves embody tranquility, but a comfortable blanket and pillow will help you sleep even better.

8.    Portable First-aid Kit

Adding a small first-aid kit to your vacation luggage is always useful, and rewarding in the event of an unexpected personal injury. You never know when you’ll need a Band-Aid to seal a cut, skin ointment to nurse a rash/bruise, or an aspirin when your head feels heavy after an epic beach episode.

9.    Reusable Water Bottles

One should never run out of clean drinking water. Buying disposable water bottles from beach vendors is not just expensive, but also bad for the environment, as it leads to littering of the land and sea. Carry reusable water bottles and get them re-filled free of charge.

10. Water-proof Makeup

If you are going to wear make-up on the beach, keep it light and go for water-proof products. The water and air moisture are likely to mess up your face otherwise.

11. Hairbands and Scrunchies

Humid weather and the perpetual sea breeze might not sit well with longer hair. You can use a fancy hair band that will accessorize your outfit and keep the hair out of your face. The other option is to tie your hair in a ponytail or braid, so nothing stops you from having fun.

12. Foldable Chair

If you’re not as young and energetic as you used to be, carrying a portable folding chair everywhere is recommended. You can sit back and take a break any time you need.

13. Beach Umbrella

You’re not going to be in the mood for sunbathing all day or every day, so your beach umbrella will provide you shelter and shade from the smoldering sun. You can just sip your favorite cocktail and enjoy the view.

14. Water-proof casings for your gadgets

You can’t have a vacation on a beach that doesn’t include lots of water based activities, so you will need to keep your precious gadgets in check. If your smartphone wasn’t made water-proof, a water-proof case should be its life jacket.

15. Books and magazines

No beach vacation is complete without some catching up on some intense  thrillers you had not gotten around to reading. Throwing in some magazines and other light reads does not  hurt either.

16. Snorkeling Gear

Snorkeling in Wasini Island

If you’re an adventurer who is eager to dive into the world under the sea, pack your snorkeling gear and look forward to making some new marine friends. If you are a surfer, you may rent a board from the local supplier, as packing your own might be a problem.

17. Power Bank

It would be a bummer if your phone or digital camera battery died while the beach party was in full swing. Carry a power bank or two to keep your electronics charged during outdoor escapades.

18. Wipes/Napkins

One can never store enough wipes and napkins in their hand-carry bag. Cleanliness and hygiene is very important to stay healthy for the entire vacation period. Keep a pocket sanitizer on you as well at all times.

19. Insect Repellent

If your beach vacation is happening in a tropical region, you may encounter a few unfriendly bug species during your stay. Most insects thrive in the warm weather and moisture at the seashore. An insect repellent will prove to be your life savior.

20. Backpack

Forget about fancy totes and clutches for containing your basic beach day items. What you need is a backpack that you can easily wear on your shoulders and move around with. The backpack will keep your hands free and will store a lot more stuff than the average handbag. Choose a backpack with multiple compartments and side pockets to hold water bottles.

Read more beach-related articles Swahili Beach Resort: The Top Place to Stay on Kenya’s Famous Diani Beach 

Diani Beach: Top 10 Reasons To Visit Kenya’s Prime Travel Destination

Author Bio

John Adams is a lifestyle and travel blogger who loves sharing his personal opinions and experiences. He is a true foodie, reserving a special place for desserts in his heart. He encourages readers to take risks and live the life of their dreams.












  1. January 3, 2022 / 10:52 pm

    This is a great list of things to pack for the beach! After an especially sunny day on a beach trip I had in Mexico, I’ve started bringing aloe vera-based After Sun gel as well 🙂

    • January 4, 2022 / 2:07 pm

      Great tip Erika, aloe is great for sunburns and soothing exposures in general

  2. January 3, 2022 / 11:21 pm

    This is such a great guide, you didn’t miss a thing! My last beach vacation somebody got hurt on a water raft and it would have been so nice to have a first aid kit with us but I didn’t think about it – I’ll save this post as a checklist for my next trip! Thanks 🙂

    • January 4, 2022 / 2:05 pm

      I also had not considered this prior to researching this post 🙂

  3. January 4, 2022 / 2:48 am

    These are all definitely great ideas (especially on the dry deodorant + waterproof casing!!).

  4. January 4, 2022 / 3:56 am

    I always have plenty of hair ties with me. That nice ocean breeze does a number on my hair, haha! And right now we have kids who come with us, but I think it would be so nice to just sit on the beach with a book!

  5. January 4, 2022 / 4:10 am

    I’m glad that you included sunscreen. I guess that is the main thing (apart from swimwear) that I always bring to the beach. I just find it hard to find ones that are reef safe/non polluting that also work on sensitive skin.

    I love the sunhats you have too. 🙂

    • January 4, 2022 / 2:04 pm

      Yea it’s important to do some research on eco-friendly brands

  6. Elena
    January 4, 2022 / 7:12 am

    I never thought about taking insect repellent with me on vacation, but it’s indeed a life saver. Good one! I will save this list for my next trip

    • January 4, 2022 / 2:03 pm

      Oh yea depending on where you go, mosquitoes can be vicious 🙂

  7. January 5, 2022 / 6:44 am

    Such a great list, very helpful for multiple holidays.

  8. January 5, 2022 / 7:09 pm

    Man, I don’t even know when my last beach vacay was. I tend to get too irritable when sat on a beach for more than an hour, but I plan on working hard this new year – by the end, I’ll probably need it!

    • January 5, 2022 / 8:55 pm

      that’s hilarious but surprisingly the beach really isn’t for everyone 🙂

  9. January 5, 2022 / 8:09 pm

    These are such good reminders for any day at the beach! I will definitely be adding a few of them to my travel checklist. I love using a waterproof backpack to keep all my beach essentials in during the day and also keep them separated in my luggage while I travel.

    • January 5, 2022 / 8:55 pm

      I’ve never been a backpack kind of person but love a nice basket of sorts at the beach

  10. Erin from Pina Travels
    January 5, 2022 / 9:33 pm

    Great tips! I agree that a portable first aid kit is so important. You never know when you’ll have a bad blister that you need to bandage, or another small injury. It’s always handy to have stuff on hand to avoid needing to go to the pharmacy or a doctor.

  11. January 5, 2022 / 10:45 pm

    I always think I know exactly what to pack until it actually comes time to pack. It is so useful to have a list like this!

  12. January 6, 2022 / 12:25 am

    I’m always looking for new hats! The 2 you show are really cute!

  13. January 6, 2022 / 10:43 pm

    The perfect beach packing list! We love your Instagram, too!!

  14. January 9, 2022 / 1:58 am

    This is a great list! One of my favorite things to bring to the beach is a portable speaker. I love listening to music on the beach with friends.

  15. January 9, 2022 / 9:00 am

    This is such a great packing list for a beach vacation. Thanks to covid, it has been a long time since I’ve seen a beach, so this refresher is handy! Thanks for the great guide!

  16. January 9, 2022 / 10:58 am

    Such a great list – I’m a big fan of bringing my kindle along for a beach trip!

  17. January 10, 2022 / 2:11 am

    This list really has got everything! Thank you for the comprehensive list. Will definitely use it to pack for my next trip. Thank you for sharing!

  18. January 10, 2022 / 3:19 am

    Definitely some good suggestions. My power bank is one thing I can’t live without now, and a good book never goes a miss

  19. January 10, 2022 / 4:08 am

    I love a relaxing beach holiday & you’ve included all the important things in your packing guide. It’s so good to have a list because there’s always something that get’s forgotten.

  20. January 10, 2022 / 6:59 am

    A great round-up of things to pack for a beach holiday. The tip about a first-aid kit is so important – I stepped on a sea urchin years ago in Greece and was so glad I had my first-aid kit with me that day!

    • January 10, 2022 / 8:44 pm

      Glad to hear that. Tbh I had never considered a first aid kit on any trip prior to researching this post

  21. January 10, 2022 / 1:32 pm

    Great list! I’m glad you put sunscreen and a hat on your list, sun protection is essential.

  22. Tiffany Smith
    January 10, 2022 / 4:36 pm

    As long as I have a good book and sunscreen, I am happy!

  23. Nina
    January 12, 2022 / 1:37 pm

    Deodorant is such a good idea! I’m always sweaty at the beach but have never thought to bring it with me.

  24. Cristina
    January 12, 2022 / 2:55 pm

    I love this list! I always take a good book or magazine with me.

  25. January 13, 2022 / 2:56 am

    The power bank is one of my recent essentials. With all the electronics we carry around nowadays (phone, portable speaker, camera, laptop, drone), having a backup battery bank is key. Would hate for my speaker to die on the beach!

  26. Shafinah
    March 29, 2022 / 4:06 pm

    i never remember repellent and 100% regret it always after ????

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