The Ultimate Beach Vacation Packing Checklist

by Emese Graham
beach vacation packing checklist

Far be it from us to send you on an epic sun holiday without first sharing our beach vacation packing essentials checklist! We’ve had our fair share of mildew mishaps, wardrobe woes, and sunburn debacles. But all of our adventures just make us better equipped to help you have your best beach break yet.

Here’s how travel experts pack for a beach holiday

how to pack for a beach holiday

(Psst… Want to keep this beach packing list handy? Save our beach vacation packing checklist to your phone.)

Sun Safety Packing Essentials

The look you’re going for is sun-kissed, not sun-dried raisin. Pack these essentials to stay comfortable in the heat.

  • Waterproof Sunscreen (Going to Hawaii? Pay attention to the label – some ingredients are banned to protect coral reefs)
  • Sunglasses
  • Shady Hat
  • Aloe Vera (In some destinations, including Jamaica, you can buy real aloe vera leaves right on the beach!)
  • Reusable Water Bottle (Check drinking water advisories first)

Sand-Free Packing Essentials

You can take a girl out of the beach, but you can’t… keep shaking all the beach out of her clothes for weeks afterward! Pack these essentials to keep sand where it should be.

  • 2 Beach Towels (Your hotel might provide these for you)
  • Rinseable Sandals
  • Sand Brush (A large paintbrush will do the trick)

Swimming Packing Essentials

Whether you’re just dipping your toes or diving, kayaking, floating, and splashing to your heart’s content, pack these essentials to keep H20 from becoming H2oh-no!

  • Waterproof Phone/Camera Case
  • Laundry Soap Bar (A little scrub a dub at the end of the day can keep your swimsuits from smelling like seaweed)
  • Water Shoes (A must for pebble beaches, like Croatia’s)

Expert Traveller Tip: “When packing for a hot and humid sun destination, and travelling from a cold and dry destination (like Alberta) make sure to keep your suitcase weight well under the allowance as you will gain weight on your return from your clothes and items soaking up the humidity!” ~Marissa Walsh of Calgary

Comfort Packing Essentials

Naps in the sun are number one on our to-do list, too. Pack these essentials to stay fresh, moisturized, and free of aches and pains.

  • Chapstick
  • Body and Face Lotion (Bring lots!)
  • Shampoo and Conditioner (Bring lots!)
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Bug Spray
  • Beach Pillow (Inflatable or terrycloth)

Entertainment Packing Essentials

Pack these essentials to keep the whole family entertained!

  • Portable Charger
  • Books
  • Headphones (To listen to the perfect beach playlist)
  • Deck of Cards
  • Snorkelling Gear (Unless you don’t mind overpaying in resort boutiques)
  • Floaties
  • Frisbee

Style Packing Essentials

Oh, this old thing? Pack these essentials to go from beach to patio like a pro.

  • Slip-on Outfit
  • “Wet Bag” (For keeping damp swimsuits away from your dry clothes)
  • Beach Bag
  • Hairbrush, Comb, Hair Ties, Bobby Pins
  • Waterproof Makeup
  • Compact Mirror
  • Stain Remover

Must-Have Pack Essentials

When packing for any trip, these go without saying. But we’re going to say them anyway.

  • Passport and Travel Documents
  • Wallet
  • Face mask (Psst! Need the latest information on COVID-19 travel regulations? Check out our Traveller Resource Hub and travel map)
  • Contacts / Glasses
  • Comfy Travelling Clothes
  • Pyjamas and Underwear
  • Deodorant
  • Soap / Body Wash
  • Shaving Kit
  • Period Products 
  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste
  • Antinauseant, Antihistamines, Painkillers, and Prescriptions

All packed and nowhere to go? Our Travel Experts can help you wave hello to your new favourite sunny destination! You can also browse today’s hot deals and get more sun for less. 

Talking to a Travel Expert couldn’t be easier.

We offer travel consultations in-person, by phone, email, online chat, video chat, and our 24/7 Customer Care line. Whatever works for you!