This time of year is arguably the best time to travel if you’re craving a beach vacation. Crowds are smaller. Airfare and hotels tend to be cheaper. And, most of all, you’re more likely to appreciate a beach vacation after leaving a cold and dreary winter climate. But when it comes to packing for your beach vacation, you might experience a bit of amnesia in regard to what you actually need to pack. Fear not; here's a list of beach essentials to take with you.
Don’t hide under blacks and greys on your beach vacation. Take your vivid, summer clothes out of the closet so you don’t look like you brought your gloomy winter weather along with you to the beach. Shorts and shirts in fun prints, warm colors, and thin fabrics will help you get into the spirit. If you don’t really have anything beachy, consider purchasing a few staples that you can mix and match during your trip. You might also want to pack multiple bathing suits Packing swim separates that you can mix and match prevents a feeling of boredom wearing the same swimsuit each day of your trip.
Leaving 20-degree temps in the middle of a snowstorm while wearing shorts and a tank top in preparation for your sunny and warm destination is neither smart nor safe. Dress in layers so you can easily take off the heavier items and be ready for the beach when you arrive. After all, many flights land before the hotel will let you check-in, so you’ll want to be prepared to at least enjoy the beach while you wait for your room. Wearing a cardigan over a tank top or a swimsuit under your jeans are both great options to make sure you get the most of your vacation as soon as you land. And a long swimsuit cover-up is handy for throwing on as you head from the beach to the hotel, as well.
You might be physically in your happy place at the beach, but to where do you want your mind drifting? Beaches are great for reconnecting with nature and with yourself, away from the daily stresses of life. While you’re there, do you envision simply staring at the waves all day (which is totally acceptable, by the way), reading a book, flipping through gossip magazines, or catching up on sleep? Or are you a more active person who prefers to throw around a frisbee or go surfing? Whatever your go-to happy place requires, make sure you’re prepared with a book, magazines, tablet, or simply some sunscreen so you can close your eyes and listen to the waves without worrying about getting a sunburn.
If you’ve ever been to a public beach, you know how difficult it can be to recognize your towel among a sea of other beach towels. Make sure yours is easily recognizable by having it personalized. Your personalized beach towel can either be monogrammed with your initials or have a special symbol on it that will help you recognize that it is yours. One in a bright color or unique pattern makes it even more identifiable. You can even get beach towels that have UV protection in case you’ve had enough of the sun and want to cover up a bit.
You’ll want something to transport your beach essentials from the hotel to the beach. It should be big enough to carry items like bottled water, snacks, a towel, reading materials, some money, keys, and your ID. It should also be compact enough that you can easily fold it and pack it into your luggage. As an added bonus and for extra security, you can also have it monogrammed so you can easily identify it on the beach and recognize that it’s yours.
A good thing about packing for a beach getaway is that summer clothes take up a lot less space in a suitcase than do winter clothes. That means you can pack as many clothes as you can fit. Don’t forget to pack an extra swimsuit or two, as you’ll want one to slip into while the other one dries. Also, be sure to keep in mind what type of shoes you’ll want to wear. It might just be a nice pair of flip-flops if you don’t plan on going out at all. Or you might need a pair of nicer sandals or water shoes. Mentally walk through everything you plan to do on your vacation, then plan on what to pack.