Ultimate Beach Vacation Packing List (+ Free Checklist)

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Beach Vacation Packing List – Don’t Forget these Items!

Who doesn’t love a beach vacation? Now that you have your whole beach vacation planned, there is only one thing left, packing for it. And if you’re anything like me, you might be scrabbling last minute to get all your stuff in order. That is why I created an ultimate Beach Vacation Packing list to help your trip go smoothly! From the beautiful beaches on the Hawaiin islands like Maui and Kauai to Puerto Rico and Thailand, this beach packing list has you covered!

Beach vacation Packing List

Disclaimer: This guide contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission at no cost to you. Disclosure.

Beach Bag

To start this beach vacation packing list, it only seems right to start with a beach bag! I love these kinds of beach bags with the netting-like design because it allows you to leave most of the sand at the beach with you! It’s lightweight but has a lot of room for all of your things!

But sometimes, you might want a bag that has more coverage. I have both kinds of beach bags myself. This is a super cute beach tote that has pockets and a zipper to keep smaller items from falling out. 

Beach bag with beach items

Quick Dry Towel

Quick-dry towels are a must on any beach trip packing list. I never travel without them – beach or not. They are easy to pack, act as a squeegee, and rarely gather sand. While not your traditional big beach towel, when traveling, I definitely prefer these.

For this beach vacation, you NEED to have one of these in your bag; they are game-changers. These are my favorite quick-dry towels.

Coral-Reef Safe Sunscreen 

Every beach vacation packing list calls for sun protection! I always recommend wearing reef-safe to help protect our already fragile marine life ecosystem. In some places, including Hawaii, reef-safe sunscreen is required! Using coral reef save sunscreen is also a surf essential.

I use both Juice Beauty and Blue Lizzard. They work great on sensitive skin, and I have been using Juice Beauty since 2017. Oh, and don’t forget your SPF lip balm. If you’re anything like me, getting sunspots around your lips is annoying.

For the ladies, if you want a sunscreen that also seconds as some makeup coverage, I love using Bye Bye Foundation, and I find it works as well as my normal sunscreen. Since I have acne-prone skin, many sunscreens make me break out, but this cream foundation does not. I apply it with my hands like a tinted moisturizer.

Juice Beauty Sunscreen in the sand at beach

Waterproof Phone Case

I always add a waterproof phone case to my packing list when my trip involves a beach or lake. I plan on taking lots of photos on my phone, so I can’t have anything happen to it! Even if you don’t plan on taking your phone by the water, the case also helps keep the sand out too!

Underwater Camera

If you love snorkeling, I’d recommend getting a GoPro. I especially use my GoPro for underwater photography. To get even cooler photos, you can also use a dome casing for half under-the-water and half over-the-water shots. I am still using my GoPro Hero 7, and it works fine! I’ve had it since 2018.

Interested in more of my favorite camera gear? See what’s in my camera bag.

Gopro with yellow float handle at beach for beach vacation packing list

Dry Bag

A dry bag is another must for any beach vacation packing list. I’ve gone without one many times, and once I got one, I don’t travel without it to beach destinations. It keeps all your valuables dry whether that be boat activities like kayaking or hanging out by the beach.

This can also be great to use, so you leave your valuables in unsafe places, and you can take them with you instead!

So I’d recommend a dry bag!

Beach items for beach bag vacation

Battery Pack

If you use your phone a lot while traveling or like to take lots of videos, a battery pack is perfect for you! It also comes in handy in unfamiliar places as the last thing you want is not knowing how to get home and your phone dying! This is another travel packing list essential I always have with me!

Small one | larger one

Reusable Water bottle

Unless you are staying at an all-inclusive resort, I also recommend packing a reusable water bottle or mug. I always pack my Lifestraw water bottle no matter where I go, however, any reusable water bottle will work. With hot weather, an insulated water bottle to keep your drinks nice and cool might be a good option as well.

This bottle can be clipped onto bags so that you don’t have to worry about it leaking inside of your bag or having to hold it the entire time!

Travel Sized Wet Brush

If you have long hair, you understand the struggles of wind and ocean water on your hair. I love these mini wet brushes and always bring one on my travels! It was a life-saver in Hawaii because the ocean water there really did a number on my tangles!

Travel sized purple wet brush at beach


Aloe is a natural product that can soothe and protect your skin from the sun! The one that is linked below is easy to pack and uses high-quality, organic ingredients! This is a life-saver after spending hours at the beach! I learned about Maui Vera Aloe gel in Hawaii and really like it.

Beach Sandals

When visiting the beach, you want to make sure your sandals can handle getting wet. Either of the below flip flops are perfect for running underwater to get all the sand off.

For more stylish sandals or these more simple sandals

white beach sandals in the sand

Water shoes

Depending on your destination, you might want to consider adding water shoes to your beach vacation packing list. If you know you will be walking through rocky waters, flip-flops are the worst. Trust me, I know from experience! They float, get stuck, and fall off.

I really like using Teva Sandals for these kinds of situations. I wore them throughout my time in Southeast Asia.

Your ultimate guide for Island Hopping in Thailand! Find out everything you need to know before booking your tour!
Wearing Teva Sandals at Phi Phi Island Thailand

Bathing Suits

Every beach vacation packing list needs the perfect swimsuit! I always make sure to pack at least 2 swimsuits with me!

Here are links to some of my favorites. You can also find some pretty cute beach cover-ups and sarongs on amazon.

Shein Top & Bottom I am wearing below | Cute Cutout One Piece | Cute Bandeau Bikini | Ribbed Checky Two Piece | Bright Color Block One Piece | Cover-up

Woman at beach in bikini at sunrise
Woman sitting at beach in coverup at sunrise

Travel-sized Snorkel Gear

You’d be surprised at how many times I wish I had brought my snorkeling gear. And this travel-sized snorkel gear option is the perfect one to just pop into your bag! When snorkeling in Bali, the gear I was given was…well…very questionable. Now, if I have room to do so, I prefer bringing my own gear!

Get my Beach Packing Checklist

beach packing list pdf

Light-weight shirts

Before or after the beach, it’s nice to have a light-weight shirt to throw on. I’d recommend packing a couple of very lightweight t-shirts and tanktops. For the most part, I basically live in a tank top and they always come in use to throw on over bikinis.

For men, I’d recommend the same.

Sunglasses and Sunhats

You, of course, can’t forget to add sunglasses and a cute hat to your beach vacation packing list!

When packing a sunhat, I find it is best to either wear it on the plane, because it can be hard to pack. If you do decide to pack it, when packing your clothes, leave a hold in the middle and turn the hat upside-down. Then fill the head part with smaller items. Two of my go-to hats are:

Oversized hat | Floppy hat

Beach Sunhat vacation packing list


Bringing books to the beach can be tricky, they can often accumulate sand and even get wet! This is the perfect alternative if you’re looking for a little you time at the beach!  

Kindle now offers a waterproof option which is perfect for beach-goers. 

Other Items to pack on your beach Vacation for Driving Destinations

I wanted to include this section because we are not always flying to the beach! In fact, we just got back from an epic beach vacation in Saint Augustine, FL that we drove to. So, here are some additional items you might want to add to your beach packing list!

Beach Umbrella

If you don’t already have a beach umbrella, take this as a sign to get one! I also didn’t think an umbrella was worth it until I had one.

Not only does the umbrella protect you from the sun if you’re starting to get red, but the temperature is also cooler under the umbrella, and the shade makes it easier to see your phone screens and keep your belongings cooler since they are not baking in the heat.

Plus, the umbrellas are pretty compact in a relatively small bag, making them easy to carry onto the beach. Just make sure you get an umbrella that has the corkscrew base, so you don’t have to dig! 

Beach Cooler

Coolers are a must for bringing snacks to the beach! So, if you’re spending a lot of your time at the beach, you’re going to want something to eat and drink. Both of the coolers listed below are compact and hold a lot of food and drinks, you won’t go hungry with one of these!

Coolers I’d recommend are: Basic Cooler | Premium Cooler

Beach Chairs

Sometimes it is worth investing in a good beach chair and Tommy Bahama has one of my favorites. When visiting the beach, I want to be able to carry everything to my beach spot with ease. This is why the Tommy Bahama backpack beach chairs are always my go-to. Even at a somewhat steep price, the convenience and ease will always be worth it for me! 

Beach Vacation Packing List Wrap-up

This concludes your beach vacation packing list! I hope you have the best time enjoying some vitamin-sea! Have any questions, or did I miss any of your favorite beach items? Let me know in the comments below!

Did you find this beach vacation packing list helpful? I’d appreciate it if you could share it below!

Beach Packing Vacation list
Photo of author

Samantha Oppenheimer

Samantha Oppenheimer (Sam Opp) quit her corporate marketing job in 2018 to travel the world and become a travel writer, blogger and content creator. She loves experiencing authentic travel experiences, photography, and nature. Sam shares helpful travel itineraries, travel tips, budget tips, and travel advice from her personal experiences. You can also find Sam's words featured in large publications including Mirror, Thrillist, and Well + Good.

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