Most people hit the beach for 3-7 days when they get to go. Sometimes it’s a weekend trip or sometimes you’re lucky enough to rent a house for an entire week. Instead of dreading that last-minute packing frenzy, here is our SB Beach Vacation Packing List, which allows you to be done packing a full day in advance, all in one suitcase. Impossible? No, ma’am, it’s not!

Beach vacation packing list

The key to a beach vacation packing list is to include multi-purpose items and resist the urge to overpack!

If you plan your wardrobe out in advance, you are far less likely to overpack or forget a key wardrobe item behind. Preferably, try on the items you would like to pack two weeks in advance. If it’s for Spring Break, just consider this your seasonal “what fits” time that we all have to go through. Try on your white jeans, white tees,  dresses, skirts, bathing suit and coverups. Look them over carefully and make sure that white tee doesn’t need to be replaced (it likely does!).

If you need to purchase anything, you’ve got two weeks. If you are down to only three days out … far better than three hours out!

Before we go into actual outfits, remember these travel necessities, but also know a drugstore is never far away:

  • Travel size toiletries
  • Stain remover wipes
  • Feminine hygiene needs
  • Cosmetics/skincare
  • Medicines if needed
  • Download, borrow or buy a good beach book
  • Consider leaving sunscreen and magazine purchases for the beach

Two days before your trip, we got a packing list from Tina Adams Wardrobe Consulting:

  • Stick to mostly neutrals. You can add a pop of color with jewelry or a pashmina.
  • Use versatile pieces that serve double duty, like a tunic that is a coverup by day and a going-out top with white jeans by night.
  • Leave high maintenance pieces at home, like silk tops that need to be ironed.
  • And here’s a biggie: no more than 3 pairs of shoes. They are heavy and take up way too much space in your suitcase.

Beach Vacation Packing List

So here’s what goes in the suitcase:

  • 2 swimsuits, and if they are 2-pieces, make sure the bottoms coordinate with the tops so you have even more options
  • 2 tunics and/or 2 sundresses (to total 2) that will serve as coverups by day and going out pieces by night
  • 3-7 pairs panties and 2-3 bras, depending on washer/dryer availability
  • PJ’s
  • 2-3 pairs of gym shorts (if you plan to work out), depending on washer/dryer availability (remember, you can rinse in the sink!)
  • 2 t-shirts and 3 tank tops
  • 2 going out tops, like a sparkly tank and a linen camp shirt
  • One pair of shorts, preferably white
  • One fun skirt, preferably white
  • White jeans
  • Light sweater or jacket
  • Pashmina
  • 1 pair flip flops
  • 1 pair trainers or athleisure shoes + socks
  • 1 pair wedges
  • A colorful statement necklace
  • Gold hoop earrings
  • A floppy hat that folds in your suitcase
  • Toiletries & incidentals (Make travel-size toiletries from drug store containers.)
  • Make sure to pack electronic chargers.
  • Assume a hairdryer is at your hotel/rental house, but you may want to check!

Beach Wear

Beachwear essentials

Here are just a few of our favorite current beachwear essentials for your beach vacation packing list. These on-trend Mod Star sunnies from Quay (top left) are $60, this versatile Michael Stars Coverup Caftan (top middle) is $148, these easy-to-style white slides (top right) are $100, this beach-appropriate boho bag (bottom left) is $121, the Bon Voyage floppy hat (bottom middle) is $96 and this ultra-flattering J.Crew one piece (bottom right) is $98. Images: J.Crew/Anthropologie/Revolve/Quay

Day and Evening Looks

Colorful beachwear and accessories to enhance a beach vacation packing list

Take advantage of your tropical surroundings and opt for something fun and vibrant on your evening out! Here we went for a sweet pink motif. The fedora with pink ribbon (top left) is $150, this bright pink tank (top middle) is $68, the pink tassel earrings (top right) is $55, this Sweet Sunset scarf (middle left) is $22, the floral embroidered clutch (bottom left) is $68, these Steve Madden wedges (bottom middle) are $80 and this textured white stripe skirt (bottom right) is $118. Images: Anthropologie/Revolve

The only other bag you’ll need is a tote. Here’s what goes in it:

  • Your book
  • Travel snacks
  • Sunglasses in case
  • A clutch for evening, and inside your clutch goes your wallet
  • You may want to pack your pashmina in your tote as well, for a cool flight.



For more travel tips, and vacation ideas, check out all our travel articles HERE.