beach vacation

It doesn’t matter if you’re planning a getaway to some winter sunshine or popping to a local beach for a relaxing day trip: there will always be something you forget to take with you.

Not anymore! Our ultimate beach vacation checklist will make sure you never forget the sunblock again.

Your Beach Vacation Checklist Sorted

Whether you’re nipping away for a quick weekend of sun, sea, and sand, or fancy a two-week vacation somewhere exotic, you’ll need to pack these items for a top trip!


The number one essential, a good sunblock with both UVA and UVB protection is important when you’re at the beach. You’re more exposed to the elements when you’re on the shoreline, so a moisturizing sun lotion will also help to minimize ‘wind burn’ from the ocean breeze.

If you can, try to opt for a waterproof sunscreen to make sure it doesn’t come off as you sweat or when you’re in the sea. Even if you’ve applied an all-day lotion, remember to re-apply whenever you’ve come out of the ocean if you want to avoid the lobster look!

Microfibre Towel

The fluffy bits on a normal towel will catch sand like nobody’s business. You’ll be finding it for days after!

A microfibre towel is much lighter to carry and dries faster, too. You can use it after a dip in the sea and it’ll be dry before your next trip to the waves half an hour later.

Sun Hat

Sitting in the sun all day will cause heat stroke. A good sun hat will help you to reduce the risk of heat stroke and will also protect the delicate skin on your face from UV rays.

It’s up to you whether you choose a wide-brimmed straw hat or a baseball cap. If you’re planning an active day of beach volleyball you’re better off with a peaked cap than a large hat, though!

Beach Shoes

The sand between your toes might feel good to start with, but what about popping to the beach bar or walking in the midday heat to the ocean? Sand heats up very quickly and can be painful to walk on.

A pair of beach shoes will help you to walk on the hot sand, go from beach-to-bar, and even visit a rockpool or two much more safely. Opt for a waterproof rubber material if you’re planning something active, or a simple pair of flipflops that won’t retain sand in the crevices for weeks afterward.

A Good Book (or Three)

Lounging on the beach is a great time to catch up on that reading you’ve been meaning to do. There is something incredibly relaxing about reading in nature, so make sure you pack a good book to take for your quieter beach vacation days.

You can always take an electronic device like a Kindle, but these aren’t waterproof and they aren’t quite as satisfying to turn the page as you sip an exotic cocktail, either!

iPod and Case

If you can’t live without music, invest in a waterproof case for your iPod and make sure it’s loaded with all of your favorite tunes.

You can listen to soothing instrumentals as you watch the sunset, or put on something with a groove to get you in the party spirit for an evening in the local beach bars.

Solar Charger

If you’re taking any technology with you (and, let’s face it, who travels without their phone these days?), you’ll need to be able to charge it. Batteries can run out quickly, though, and there aren’t exactly nearby power points on a beach.

A solar charger will keep your tech juiced without leaving your precious beach spot!

Waterproof Phone Case

This one is a no-brainer: if you’re going to be spending lots of time near water (whether that’s the ocean or a pool), it’s a good idea to get your phone into a watertight case.

A waterproof case will make sure you don’t have any ocean-related accidents, and means you can take your cell into the sea for some Instagram-worthy photos, too!

Secret Money Stash

You don’t want to carry your valuables with you whenever you leave your pitch on the beach, but at the same time, it’s inevitable you need to leave them unattended.

There are lots of secret money stash ideas out there that will protect your small valuables such as your wallet and your phone. Hide them in a sunscreen bottle perhaps, or if wrap them in an unused baby diaper – nobody would touch that!


It’s an obvious one, but so easy to forget! Take stylish swim shorts, bikinis, and swimsuits for every day of your beach vacation.

Bikinis are great for women, as they can double up as underwear when you’re visiting the local town – perfect for traveling light!

Beach Cover-Up

Take a sarong, shorts, a tunic, or a simple t-shirt and light pants to cover up on the beach. You’ll want something to cover up if you’re going to the beach bar, taking a walk in the ocean breeze, or just to give your skin a break from the sunshine.

Stylish Water Bottles

Stay hydrated! Fill a water bottle per person before you head to the beach every day to make sure that you have enough to prevent dehydration. Take extra if you’re planning an active day of beach sports, too.

You could choose a BPA-free hard plastic bottle for easy drinking, or you might want to look at collapsible silicone flasks that pack away really small when they’re not full, to save bag space.

Healthy Snacks

It costs a lot eating out all the time, and you might find yourself some distance from the nearest cafe too. Pack some healthy snacks such as trail mix and whole fruit to keep you going until dinner.


Sand flies and mosquitoes could ruin your luxury beach vacation. Pop some anti-histamines in your bag to stop the horrendous itch from bringing your beach trip to an early end.

Beach Tote

You need something stylish to carry all of this in! A separate beach bag also prevents you from getting sand all over your travel luggage.

Choose a tote with plenty of pockets, and pack it with a couple of ziplock bags to put any wet swimsuits in (or to keep your tech dry!).

Optional Extras to Maximize Beach Vacation Luxury

That’s all of your essential items covered, but if you want to super-luxe your beach vacation, consider adding some of these items too:

  • Beach Games
  • Sand-Proof Mat
  • Sun Shade
  • Cooler Box
  • Aloe Vera Gel
  • Snorkel or Dive Gear

These items will add a bit of extra enjoyment to your beach days as you can play games and enjoy your relaxation time with a bit of added luxury.

Have We Forgotten Anything?

We think that’s a pretty comprehensive beach vacation checklist, but is there anything that you think is missing? Perhaps you’re a seasoned beach-goer and you have a few unusual must-haves for your vacations! Tell us about them in the comments below.

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