Fashion Travel Stories

How (And What) To Pack For Your Beach Vacation

I’m usually guilty of over packing. Whether for a vacation, a thirty minute drive, or a trip to the zoo, I can’t help it: I’m a chronic sufferer of the “What If’s.” I like to be prepared for every scenario, and so, I over pack…

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that we went on vacation to Hawaii. When I was happily packing for that trip, I started to imagine myself lugging around overweight suitcases (half of the contents I would never touch!), a loaded down backpack, two kids, a bag of souvenirs… My shoulders ached just thinking about it, and I was like, “No way!” I needed to change my bad habit immediately!

What To Pack For Your Beach Vacation
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Plan Before You Pack

So I got down to business and asked myself: what do I plan on doing on my vacation? What are my basic necessities? I easily built my wardrobe and planned my daily outfits, by changing my approach, and asking those important questions. And guess what? I ended up using everything I brought, and had tons of outfit options!

If you’re concerned with over packing and want the extra room in your suitcase (you know, for souvenirs and shopping spoils), I’ve created a packing list to help guide you in your wardrobe choices. This list is intended for a ten day trip, with one visit to the laundry somewhere in the middle of your trip. If you’re NOT interested in doing laundry on your vacation, then consider your wardrobe habits and needs:

  • Do you need to start every day with a freshly laundered top?
  • Do you wear the heck out of your shorts? Can they stand up on their own by the end of the day?
  • Do you prefer not to wear dresses or skirts on vacation?

Take these questions into consideration and adjust the amount of clothing you’ll be packing accordingly. Use this list to help ensure you pack what you need and will actually wear, and not what you think you might need. Have fun planning and packing!

Swimsuits, Swimwear & Bathing Suits - NORDSTROM

Beach Vacation Basic Packing List (10 Day Trip)

Travel Outfit*
Pair of jeans
Cotton shirt
Pair of slip on travel shoes (if you don’t want to wear your sandals or flip flops)

4 pairs of shorts
1 maxi dress (black, chic, good for a fancy evening out, too)
1 dress (maxi or not)
6 tops (I like silk or polyester because they wash and air dry in only a few hours)
1 cardigan
1 pair neutral, go-with-anything sandals
1 pair flip flops (sand)
1 pair hiking/excursion sandals (if you’ll be doing that kind of thing)
1 cross body purse
1 mini wallet (to keep your ID, credit cards, cash and insurance cards in)
1 sun hat
2 bathing suits (one dries while the other is ready to wear)
Suit cover-up (pashmina’s are awesome to use since they double up as a blanket on the plane too)

1 Watch
1 pair of Sunglasses
1 Full set of jewelry (matching earrings, necklace and bracelets)


*Optional – you can easily wear one of your planned vacation outfits and save room in your bag!

Beach Vacation Packing List

Now, are you the kind of person who wishes someone else would do the packing for you? Well, I can’t help you with that, but I CAN help you with your packing list! Download my free packing list by clicking the button below, and take one step out of your travel planning!

I Want This List!

This packing list includes everything I’ve mentioned above, and also includes check lists for your toiletry, makeup bag, and other travel essentials. Take the stress out of what to bring on your trip and travel easier with this list! Have a great time on your vacation – oh, and make sure to come back and let me know if this list worked for you! Enjoy!

How (And What) To Pack For Your Beach Vacation - Plus Free Printable

4 thoughts on “How (And What) To Pack For Your Beach Vacation”

    1. Hahahaha! Oh my gosh, that is the exact reason why I had to quit winging the packing thing! It’s never a good way to start a vacay when you’re worried about where to get what you need and having to take the time out of vacation activities to go to the store!

  1. I always know what to pack but not how to pack, so thanks for your tips! My fiance and I are getting married in a few months and we are visiting our Cape Cod summer rental next year. It’s our first vacation as husband and wife, I am so excited!

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