The Ultimate Beach Trip Packing Checklist

When preparing for a beach vacation, packing can seem straightforward at first glance. Grab some suits, some flip-flops, some tees, a Hawaiian shirt, and you’re all set – right?

Yes and no. You could pack that way for a beach vacation … and come home looking like a lobster. Or you might freeze on a windy and chilly stretch of sand, or never be allowed into any establishment fancier than the Hawaiian shaved-ice cart.

Fact is, you have to plan out your packing for a beach vacation the same way you’d plan out any other travel packing. And these tips and the accompanying checklist will help ensure you're well-prepared for your beach getaway.

Beach Vacation Packing Checklist

You can download our Beach Vacation Packing Checklist by clicking the button below. The accessible interactive PDF can be digitally checked off using any device or easily printed for your use.

Pack for extremes

The beach can be an extreme place, with weather conditions ranging from scorching sun to unexpected rain showers or chilly winds. To prepare for these variations, it's essential to pack strategically.

While all your packing doesn’t have to be focused on super-hot or super-gloomy days, you need to at least think about them when you’re packing.

Consider bringing items like a lightweight umbrella to shield yourself from rain or intense sun rays. Don't forget to include a pair of versatile pants and a light jacket for cooler evenings or windy days.

Grab one of those fun little hand-held water-misting fans. If you’re able, pack a small cooler. Pack something that’s a bit dressy for a nice night out.

Also read: How Travel Protection Can Help when Bad-Weather Hits

Pack for stuff that might happen

If you’re headed to mosquito country, pack insect repellent. Pack industrial-strength sunscreen. Learn what goes on first – the sunscreen or the bug stuff. (For the record: repellent over sunscreen.)

Also, pack something to relieve stings and burns, like aloe gel.

Also read: The 6 Top Travel Emergencies and How To Deal With Them

Pack for fun

If you’re keeping things compact, pack inflatables … but wait until you’re there to inflate them.

While you’re at it, pack a beach bag to carry all your stuff. And pack an extra bag in your suitcase in case there are wet or sandy items you want to isolate from your other things.

Beach toys don’t have to be complex. A tennis ball or a Frisbee are enough to guarantee a good time plunging through the surf.

Pack travel protection

No matter what beach you choose, a beach vacation can be more enjoyable when it’s covered by the travel insurance and assistance services offered by Generali Global Assistance.

Especially on a beach vacation, you should consider coverage for medical emergencies and trip cancellation and interruption. Get a quote today.

Beach vacation packing list

Pack in your luggage

  • Activewear
  • Athletic/walking shoes
  • Beach bag
  • Beach towel
  • Beach toys
  • Casual shirts
  • Contact lenses/solution
  • Copies of important papers
  • Emergency contact info (family, friends, travel insurance, banks, credit-card companies)
  • Extra bag (for the trip home)
  • Hygiene products
  • First-aid kit (bandages, antihistamine, etc)
  • Flashlight(s)
  • Haircare items
  • Handheld fan
  • Hats
  • Insect repellent
  • Jackets
  • Laundry items
  • Moisturizer
  • Over-the-counter pain relief
  • Pants
  • PJs
  • Rain gear
  • Sandals
  • Shorts
  • Snorkel and mask
  • Socks
  • Sunscreen
  • Sweaters
  • Swim goggles
  • Swimsuits (at least two)
  • T-shirts
  • Toiletry bag
  • Undergarments

Also read: 10 Beach Safety Tips for Your Summer Vacation

Pack in your carry-on

  • Blanket and pillow
  • Boarding passes
  • Camera
  • Cash
  • Cell phone
  • Changes of clothes (2)
  • Chargers (including a power bank)
  • Chewing gum
  • Computer or tablet
  • Copies of prescriptions
  • Credit/debit cards
  • Eye mask /earplugs
  • Food
  • Headphones
  • IDs
  • Insurance cards
  • Jewelry and other valuables (keep it simple)
  • Lip balm
  • Medications
  • Reading material
  • Shoes
  • Water bottle


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