The Essential Beach Vacation Packing List (Free Printable)
I love to travel, and with more airlines restricting carry on luggage and charging more for checked bags, I hate to end up with things I don’t need or not have things I want. This beach vacation packing list ensures I remember what I need without overpacking.
In addition to the free printable packing list for beach vacations, I have a few tips for you when you pack. And there are some items you may not think to pack that can make your vacation even better.
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When I travel, I have some items I pack that many others don’t know or think to bring. Each one of these either makes my life easier when I travel or makes me happier, so make sure to read through the explanation of them.
And isn’t vacation all about happiness? Use this beach vacation packing list to make life easier, and enjoy your next vacation even more!
Need more travel tips? Check out other favorite travel tips and hacks at the end of this article.
Strategies to Pack Lighter
When you’re heading out on a beach vacation, generally your goal is comfort and not high fashion. Make sure to read up on the dress code for wherever you plan to stay, but then think about how you plan to spend your days.
When I take a warm weather vacation, I essentially live in my bathing suit during the day. I dress in “real clothes” only for dinner and maybe a show or other entertainment afterwards.
The moral of the story? You need fewer clothes than you think you do, so pack just essential items!
Yes, you absolutely can wear shorts or pants or dresses more than once. No one notices, and truly no one cares.
For a week long beach vacation, I bring three swimsuits, a rash guard (critical in Caribbean climates, especially if I plan to snorkel!), two cover ups, two t-shirts, a pair of shorts, and three sundresses.
That’s it. I rotate amongst them, and if I spill on one sundress, I still have others. I wear my “real clothes” so little though that it’s silly to take an outfit for every day.
Use that same strategy for shoes. On the plane, I tennis shoes, and then I bring one pair of flip flops and another pair – sometimes two – of flat dressy sandals that go with all the evening outfits I have.
Another Tip? Check out where you plan to stay and know what you plan to do there to determine whether you pack my water shoes or not. Some beach destinations or excursions require them while others don’t.
Make sure you look at what amenities the hotel provides, as well. Do they have quality shampoo and conditioner so you can leave yours at home? Awesome!
Do they have a hairdryer that will work for your needs? Do they provide beach towels even if you go off resort? You’re all set there.
Make sure that you bring plenty of reef safe sunscreen for your beach trips. And since those generally come in larger bottles, did you know you can transfer them to TSA approved travel bottles to not have to check a bag?
Use the free printable packing list for beach vacations, and don’t forget about the “extras” and why you need them!
Beach Vacation Packing List Printable
Make sure to click on the image to download the packing checklist.
I carry a beach bag with me that’s generally a canvas bag with a zipper. That holds my day to day items – sunscreen, books, sunglasses, etc.
When I’ll be around water or sand, however, I like to have a water resistant tote that carries my towels and protects everything from splashes, etc. The last thing anyone wants is to have anything ruined.
Bonus? My larger waterproof beach tote rolls up in my suitcase so it doesn’t take up much room. When I suddenly need extra luggage on my trip back, it acts as an extra carry on.
Don’t tell me I’m the only one who’s shopped and OOPS needs more space.
The other similar item I pack if I plan to be on a boat for any reason is a dry bag. This one is completely waterproof and floats if it falls overboard for whatever reason.
Just make sure you seal it properly, as an open bag doesn't keep out water or float for long! I use the 20 liter size, which holds beach towels, cameras, and all the gear I need for a day on the water.
If you plan to travel internationally, make sure you know what type of plugs your resort offers. While many offer the standard US plugs, some do not.
It has USB slots to charge devices plus a spot to plug in another device on top. The best part is that it has prongs to plug into the wall for four different power types – American standard, European, British, and Australian/Chinese.
That means I can use one adapter for all my devices instead of having to purchase multiples. And it saves space in my suitcase!
Usually I travel with my Belkin charger, which has two USB slots and 3 additional plugs. If you don't need an international adapter, I recommend this one.
How do I pack a week's worth of everything into a carry on suitcase with room to spare? I use compression packing cubes.
I LOVE these things. They let me fit so much more into a smaller space with ease.
They're strong and sturdy yet lightweight and really increase the amount of clothing I can get into my suitcase.
Pro tip: I pack one cube that has exactly what I need when I arrive from my cold weather home to warm weather destination that I can easily pull out and change into. This way, I don't have to hunt and dig for what I need!
What would you add to a beach vacation packing list?
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