What to Pack for the Beach


When I was younger, I would pack my entire closet to take with me on vacation to the beach.. I’d have a new swimsuit for each day, enough clothes to wear for a month & more sandals than I even had a chance to wear.  After years of lugging a 50+ lb suitcase through the airport, I’ve learned my lesson.  It took some time, but I think I’ve finally wrapped my head around the mentality of “less is more” so here is a minimalist’s packing guide for a trip to the beach! Just in case you’re having a hard time sitting on & zipping up your suitcase.. like I used to.

what to pack for the beach2

The main idea is to pack lots of neutrals that can mix and match + a couple dresses + a few key accessories.. My goal here was to keep it light and make it possible for you to get everything packed in one carry-on size bag or to share a suitcase with your husband to minimize the number of bags you have!  Here’s a little explanation for why I chose the items above. updated 4/2018

  1. breezy tee | I picked a white pocket tee because I love white in the summer & it is so versatile. It can go with any of the bottoms you’re packing & its simplicity makes it that much more chic.
  2. tank | This is an easy piece to take that will break up a completely neutral wardrobe.. I love this blush color of course, but olive green or light blue would be pretty too!
  3. trendy top | I specify trendy here because it doesn’t necessarily have to be an off the shoulder like this, even though I LOVE them!  Adding this piece to your bag will keep your outfits from being too boring & when you look back at the pictures in a few decades you can say to your kids, “oh that ___ was so IN back then!” haha.
  4. long sleeve | I’m usually always chilly from a day in the sun & the air conditioning on high at most places in the evening, so I always bring along a long sleeve top for such occasions.
  5. boyfriend shorts | The boyfriend shorts I got last summer are a favorite of mine.. I love how effortless they look with the breezy tee, sneakers & a top knot!
  6. white shorts | White shorts always make a fresh tan look even more pretty so they are a necessity.. plus they go with everything.  White on white is also super chic!
  7. swimsuit | You can never go wrong with a red one piece.  Obviously I’ll be taking a couple more with me, but I’m maxing out at three-one wet, one dry & one in the wash.
  8. cover-up | One of these is enough. Just make sure to lay it out or throw it in the dryer (on low!) at the end of the day so it’s dry for the next.
  9. jumpsuit | The lightweight fabric of this jumpsuit is perfect for an evening stroll on the beach and I LOVE the wide leg!
  10. black maxi | This is beach must have.  For a casual dinner on the bay, or a late brunch, you can throw this on to be ready in a flash.
  11. t-shirt dress | Dresses are one of the easiest (and lightest) things to pack for vacation, so having another shorter option is always a good idea.  I like the classic grey and the loose fit to stay nice and comfortable in the heat.
  12. linen pants | I grabbed a black pair at Old Navy last year, but I’m loving this green!  Any color will work, stripes would be fun too, but this is the epitome of beachwear.
  13. beach tote |  This can double as your purse on the plane, so pack an extra outfit and swimsuit in this just in case your bag gets lost if you check it!
  14. sneaker | I’ve sang their praises a thousand times over so I don’t need to explain why you need them, but a big tip I have is to wear them on your flights so they don’t take up precious space in your suitcase!
  15. straw hat | Accessories can easily work as your “third piece” on hot days when an extra layer is the last thing you’d want to put on.  Add a bracelet or two, a pair of stud earrings, and a cute necklace in your bag & you’ll be set for the week.
  16. sandal | I like these sandals for two reasons; they’re comfy and they can be easily dressed up or down.  You can wear these to walk around the city all day without getting sore feet, but also to dinner with the maxi in the evening.


Obviously I left out the bare essentials like PJ’s & underthings, but here’s your reminder just in case!  I hope this was helpful if you are headed somewhere warm anytime soon– or hey, it could even double as a start to your summer capsule wardrobe!


4 thoughts on “What to Pack for the Beach

  1. I like to use packers so my clothes stay organized in my suitcase & dresser after I arrive. Unpacking is simple too & my clothes don’t come in contact with the drawers in the rental. I always bring at least two suits & a couple tank tops for bike riding plus socks for gym shoes.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s