nerja balcon de europa view

The Ultimate Beach Trip Packing List (+25 Things You Can’t Forget)

Heading to a beach holiday soon but unsure about what to pack?

In this blog, I’m going to tell you all the essential things you must take with you whether you go on a day trip to the beach or to a resort holiday abroad. 

This beach trip packing list will not only save you money but make you feel confident you have everything you need so you can enjoy and relax.

beach trip packing list

This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and purchase something, I receive a small commission of the price at no extra cost to you. This helps me keep the content up to date and make other improvements to the blog.

The Ultimate Beach Trip Packing List

Sun protection

This is an unforgettable item you must pack for your trip. Although anyone loves a good amount of vitamin D, you need to be careful with the sun too.

Before your trip, make sure you get a high SPF sunscreen. This will also save you money from buying an expensive one at the resort or beach area.

My favourite sun cream is Hawaiian Tropic as it feels super smooth, it hydrates and protects your skin, and smells just like a holiday. 

Hand sanitiser

Nowadays, taking hand sanitiser everywhere is the new form. 

When buying one, it’s very important to get a good one with the right amount of alcohol to kill the bacteria but also one that is good for your skin.

Using it all the time can sometimes cause irritation on the skin, especially on sensitive skin. When taking hand sanitiser to the beach, don’t forget to put it somewhere away from the sun.

Water bottle 

There’s nothing more important than keeping hydrated when you’re at the beach. 

Get a reusable water bottle to fill at home and bring it to the beach. The reusable water bottles are environmentally friendly and will save you money too. My favourite water bottle is from Chilly’s which keeps your water cold for 24 hours.

If you’re concerned about the space in your bag or suitcase, you may want to check a reusable bottle that you can fold once it’s empty. They’re very handy.

First aid kit

It’s always good to be prepared in case of a small injury or pain. This is even more essential when you travel with kids.

A basic and good first aid kit should include a variety of plasters of different sizes and shapes, bandages, tweezers, scissors, skin rash cream, antiseptic cream, mosquito spray, and painkillers such as paracetamol, distilled water for cleaning wounds, tape and sterile eye dressings.

Quick-dry travel tower

A good beach tower does make the difference when you go to the beach. Just think about the time you spend sunbathing, no matter how old you are, everyone wants to feel comfortable when laid down.

A quick-dry tower is great because it doesn’t take long to dry. Who doesn’t hate a wet tower? 

Waterproof phone case

A waterproof phone case doesn’t only protect your phone from the water but sand too. It’s extremely useful and it’ll give you peace of mind.

Waterproof camera

If you love pictures, but you don’t want to risk taking your expensive DSLR camera with you, then a waterproof camera is your best solution. 

They’re resistant to the water so you don’t have to worry about getting them wet and you can take amazing pictures under the water.

If you’re going to a tropical destination, the chances are that beaches have crystal blue water, so you can see what’s underneath.

Hair conditioner

I’m sure you don’t forget to use sunscreen, but hair conditioner is a different matter. You’re probably conscious about your skin and how the sun rays can damage your skin if you don’t use SPF cream.

However, you overlook your hair, just like I’ve done many times. Your hair can be damaged too, so it’s important to use a hair protector before going to the beach. 

Cooler bag

A cooler bag is a must for a full day on the beach. If you’re taking food and drinks with you, you need a good cool bag to keep your things chilled.

There are plenty of cooler bags out there, but you want one which will be resistant and keep things cold for hours.

Beach dress

The best way to dress for the beach is casual, comfortable, and of course, beautiful. There’s nothing worse than an ugly dress you don’t feel comfortable wearing.

My favourite beach dresses are those that are short, light and a bit wide but not too much either. Beach cover-ups are great too, just make sure you don’t wear them for too long or you may end up with weird tan lines!

However, if you’re planning to go to a nice beach club or restaurant at night, you want to consider other types of beach dresses such as classy or bohemian maxi or midi dresses.

torremolinos beach club

Beach umbrella

Going to the beach with your family? Then I’m sure that there will be someone who doesn’t like sunbathing and prefers to stay in the shade.

This beach umbrella is resistant, big, easy to pack and light to take with you without hassle.


How many times have you wished you packed a brush with you? The salt in the sea makes your hair go wavy, curly or just full of knots.

If you want to leave the beach with a better hairstyle, take a mini brush with you.

Swim goggles

Anyone who loves going under the water knows how red your eyes can be from snorkelling without them. 


For a full day of fun at the beach, floats are great! Whether you plan to sunbathe in one of them or play with friends and family.

Although you can always buy some at a shop near the beach, you’ll get charged double because of the location or how touristy it is.

Therefore, the best thing to do is to get one in the supermarket, or even better online.

Lip balm

Lips can get very dry or even chapped from the sun and heat, so what’s when a lip balm becomes so handy.

It also protects them against harmful sun rays.

Slip-on water shoes

There are so many times I wish I bought some slip-on water shoes. Walking on rocky beaches is a real pain, but you can easily avoid the discomfort and pain by using slip-on water shoes.

My biggest advice is to check the type of beach you’ll be visiting, and what the sand is like so you know whether you need to wear slip-on water shoes or not.

Beach bag 

When it comes to beach bags, the options are endless, so I totally get you if you don’t know which one to buy.

Generally, you want a big beach bag where you can put all the bits and bobs in – a reading book, sunscreen, mirror, snacks, etc.


This can be an essential thing to take with you on a beach holiday, although you probably won’t wear them at the beach, you’ll wear them when driving or maybe walking on the promenade. 

It’s really important you invest in a good pair of sunglasses as cheap ones won’t protect your eyes from the sun’s rays and will likely break at some point.

After sun

It’s sometimes inevitable to get a bit burnt, even if you’ve applied sunscreen many times. You may not get any pain from sunburn on the day, but you’ll get it the day after for sure.

It can be painful and uncomfortable, and a great way to alleviate this is by using a good aftersun. The best after suns are those that include aloe vera.

Picnic set

If you’re all about saving some money and preparing a beach picnic, you absolutely need a set of cutlery and glasses to use.

These are environmentally friendly and will save you money from buying plastic cups and plates every time you plan to go to the beach or mountain too.

Mosquito repellent 

Mosquitos love warm and tropical destinations. There’s nothing more annoying than an itchy feeling all over your body. 

This is an essential item you must pack as a good mosquito repellent will help you avoid mosquito bites. So better to spend a couple of extra pounds than get bites and regret buying a cheap one. 


It’s obvious that you need to pack a swimsuit, or bikini if you prefer. However, make sure you pack more than one or two. 

Although they often don’t break, they can break, especially if you’re planning to jump from cliffs or visit rocky beaches.

Even if you aren’t, it’s good to have more than two so you can wash them and let them dry.


A hat is a perfect addition to a beach outfit, but it’s also great for those who want to protect their face skin or take a break from the sun’s rays.

If you’re worried about squeezing your hat or sombrero in your suitcase, they’re easy to wear. But you’ll also love to know that there are some easy to fold and stylish hats available.

Malagueta beach

Headphones or portable speaker

Whether you listen to music, a podcast or a webinar, you want to have your headphones on hand. I personally prefer headphones to a portable speaker, but a portable speaker can be great if you’re at the beach with a group of friends.

Beach safe

You shouldn’t take valuables to the beach, however, there are some valuables that you must take – things like your phone and a small purse in case you buy something at one of the beach bars. In this case, getting a beach safe can be a good idea.

Beach chair

Not everyone likes lying on the towel and sunbathing all day! A beach chair is great to change position or eat (forget about sand in your sandwich).

There are many different types of beach chairs, however, my favourite beach chair is comfortable and includes a drink rest.

What to bring to the beach for fun

  • Sand toys
  • Football
  • Kite
  • Cards
  • Frisbee
  • Beach volleyball

What should I bring for a day at the beach?

For a day at the beach, you don’t need to pack all the items I mentioned above. A beach day trip essentials include:

What should you not forget to pack for a beach vacation?

Some of these are items you may not have considered taking with you, however, they can be extremely useful and essential in certain situations.

  • Spare swimwear
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Suncream
  • Aftersun 
  • First aid kit 
  • Medication
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Cutlery set

Tips for a beach vacation 

  • If you’re travelling to a beach resort, check what the room has and the services and food included in the price. You don’t want to pack unnecessary stuff!
  • Always take a travel first aid kit, especially for those remote beaches! You never know if you’ll need it, and they’re perfect to cure a small cut or injury before going to the hospital – if needed.
  • Are you on a budget? Instead of eating in beach bars and restaurants, prepare some sandwiches and take some snacks to the beach.
  • Stay in an apartment with a fully-equipped kitchen. This way you can do some shopping at the supermarket and cook your own food. A great way to save money!
  • Research what type of beach you’ll be visiting (i.e. is it sandy or rocky?) this will help you pack. For example, if you’re visiting a rocky beach, you’ll need to pack slip-on water shoes.
  • Last but not least, don’t forget to buy travel insurance. You never know what can happen on holiday. This is the best way to have peace of mind and avoid paying lots of money for expensive unexpected situations.
nerja balcon de europa view

If you have any questions or you want advice on a specific location, reach me at or @creina.diary on Instagram.

Which of these items do you think it’s a must when going on a beach vacation? Let me know in the comments.

Safe adventures!

Cristina xx

P.S. Liked this post? Save it for later!

Pin this beach trip packing list for later

beach trip packing list
beach packing list

Are you looking for beach destinations in Europe? Have a look at these travel guides:

Similar Posts


  1. A quick dry towel is a change I need to make! Those classic towels can get to wet and heavy to carry around.

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      I agree with you! I can’t stand a wet and heavy towel.

  2. I love a packing list! I like how you mention a beach chair. I often forget one and regret it as soon as my toes hit the sand!

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      I am glad the beach packing list is helpful for you 🙂

  3. Love this list! I recently started using one like it before I go to beaches ,but I never added bug repellant. As someone who is VERY prone to mozzie bites, I’ll have to add it to my list.

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      Thank you, Nina!! I always need mosquito repellant, they really like me.

  4. A good packing list for a beach trip. I love the quick drying towels, so much easier to take with you. They don’t get as heavy as other towels. A lot of the items I also bring with us for a beach trip. Slip on water shoes are also a must. A friend of my son walked into glass the last time we where on the beach, she didn’t see it in the water.

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      I am very happy to hear you find it useful. Oh no!! Walking on the beach without shoes isn’t always safe. Especially when you’re on the water, you can’t see what’s under.

  5. A great list of things to pack for the beach. We always seem to leave something behind so a check list would help. Hair conditioner is a great idea I have never thought of. But my wimpy feet never forget water shoes even on sandy beaches.

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      Thank you, Linda!

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      I’m glad you like it!

  6. This is a really extensive beach packing list you’ve put together. I’ve only recently started bringing a speaker with me and a very large umbrella/tent to chill in. Great reminder about the mosquito repellent!

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      I’m happy to hear it’s helpful! 🙂

  7. Wow I honestly never thought of hair conditioner before going to the beach! Definitely gonna pay a little more attention to hair care now before heading out to the waters !

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      I didn’t use to think about it either until a friend told me!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *