View of the ocean from a beach bar in Thailand.

Do you know this feeling? Your holidays are getting closer, the anticipation is high and yet… You sit here and simply stare into you empty suitcase, and it bleakly stares right back at you. Yeah? Then this ultimate guide to packing for your beach holidays might just be the thing you need!

The secret to stress-free packing before a holiday? It’s all in the planning. And what’s better for planning than a good old checklist? With this travel checklist for beach holidays you are perfectly prepared for your beach holidays anywhere in the world:

The Ultimate Guide to Packing for Beach Holidays

1. Your Travel Wallet

I always try to pack the most important things first. That’s where my travel wallet comes into play. Because when everything goes wrong and your suitcase falls out of the plane over the Atlantic… You at least still have the most important means like money and identification with you so you’re not gonna end up stranded in a foreign country.

Checklist for your Travel Wallet:
  • Passport / ID Card (depending on your destination)
  • Debit & Credit Card
  • Cash (to be safe, always carry some of your own and some of the destination’s currency)
  • Health Insurance Card
  • Driver’s Licence
  • Diving pass
  • Personal Public Transport Ticket or Pass
  • Reservation Confirmations (hotel, car rental, tourism tours, etc.)
  • Plane tickets
  • Visa
  • Vaccination Certification
  • Contact info of the hotel you’re staying at
  • Address book (especially important: emergency contacts!)

Tip: Make copies of your most important documents (e.g. your passport) and send it to your own email address before your departure. This way you still have a copy available online if something gets lost or stolen while traveling.

2. Your Suitcase

OK – it’s time to get down to business. Before you start packing, it’s worth taking some time to choose the right suitcase or backpack for your needs. You don’t want to carry around an unnecessarily large, bulky suitcase. But there also shouldn’t be too little space for your belongings. Also keep in mind you might want to take home some souvenirs or go shopping, so plan a little extra space for that.

Tip: If you have to change to smaller, local airlines during the trip, be sure to check if there are any baggage regulations. Smaller planes often don’t have the same amount of space for luggage.

So, you’ve found the perfect suitcase? Great, let’s get started.

Checklist for your Suitcase:

Essentials

I recommend a selection of light garments that are easy to layer and combine for max space efficiency:

  • Short-sleeved T-shirts for hot weather
  • Long sleeve shirts/blouses for cooler temperatures
  • Thin Cardigans/Sweaters/Hoodies
  • Thin coat or Jeansjacket for bad weather
  • Shorts
  • Long pants, jeans and/or leggings
  • Beach and leisure dresses or skirts
  • Flip flops
  • Closed shoes for activities (e.g. Sneakers)
  • Sandals

Tip: Pack a water- and odor-proof laundry bag to accommodate your dirty clothes. This way the dirty clothes won’t come into contact with the clean ones when you travel and your suitcase/backpack won’t start to smell over time.

Accessories

  • Thin scarf that can also be used as a makeshift seat or shoulder cover
  • Sun hat
  • Belts
  • Small bag or backpack
  • If not provided by the accommodation: Towels for showers and the beach

Intimates

  • Enough underwear for every day
  • Socks
  • Bras or bralettes you’re comfortable wearing
  • Pyjamas
  • Beach wear
  • Bikini Sets/Swimsuits
  • Sarong/wrap dress

Toilet bag

  • Sunscreen
    Important: Choose the right protection factor! If you’re unsure, ask Google or the seller instead of just guessing. Your skin will thank you!
  • After Sun Cream or Gel (best with Aloe Vera)
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hairbrush/Comb
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Soap/Shower gel
  • Facial and body care (Moisturizer, Body Lotion, etc.)
  • Make-up remover or cleaning cloths
  • Cotton pads/swabs
  • Make-up essentials you can’t go without (waterproof make-up is of course recommended on the beach)
  • Razor (and possibly spare blades)
  • Nail scissors and a file
  • Nail polish
  • Tweezers
  • Tampons/Pads
  • Jewellery
  • Condoms

Tip: If you’re on the pill, make sure you pack it in your hand luggage and not in your toilet bag. Because if your luggage gets stuck somewhere or gets lost, you will be without birth control. 

First-aid kit

  • Pills against travel sickness and seasickness (you never know!)
  • Painkillers
  • Tablets against diarrhea
  • Nasal spray
  • Disinfectants
  • Wound cream
  • Band-aid / bandages
  • Fenistil against insect bites

Tip: Personally, I always take my vitamins and dietary supplements with me: Vitamin C & D capsules, barley grass tablets and probiotics (super for the gut flora), Sango coral capsules (for magnesium & calcium supply) and iron tablets.

Electronics

  • travel adapters
  • Camera accessories such as charging cables, batteries and memory cards
  • Charging cable for your smartphone, shaver, e-book reader, iPad, laptop, GoPro etc.

Tip: Expensive or otherwise valuable equipment like cameras, gadgets, e-book readers, laptops, etc. should not be put in your suitcase if possible. Once again, there is always a risk that your luggage will be lost. However, it’s also possible that these items may be stolen or damaged during transport. Remember, suitcases are not handled all too carefully at the airport and on the plane.

Tip 2: Beware if you have Power Banks with you! In some countries there are certain regulations regarding these useful devices. If possible, check with the airline before packing and always put the Power Bank in your hand luggage.

Other

  • Books
  • Diary
  • Writing or painting tools
  • Game cards
  • Sportswear
  • Yoga mat
  • Gifts (Toblerone, Lindt chocolate, etc.)
  • Food (coffee, crackers, etc.)
  • External hard disk
  • Lock (to lock luggage)
  • Diving and snorkeling equipment

Hand luggage

Last, but certainly not least, is your carry-on luggage! Choose the most comfortable one for you: Backpacks, bags or small suitcases are popular options. Just check beforehand that it adheres to the airlines policies if you’re traveling by plane.

And Ladies, good news! Your handbag isn’t considered as hand luggage, which means you can take it with you in addition to your backpack or suitcase. This of course also applies to all gentlemen that are rocking a handbag.

Checklist for your Carry-on Luggage:

  • Travel wallet
  • Keys
  • Sunglasses
  • Reading glasses
  • Lip balm
  • Moisturizing cream for face & hands
  • Mini deodorant
  • Tissues
  • Chewing gum/dextrose
  • Hair bands or clips
  • Notebook & Pen
  • Smartphone & Charger
  • iPod
  • Headphones
  • Important electronic equipment, e.g. laptop, camera, iPad, etc.
  • Power Bank
  • Book or e-book reader
  • Empty water bottle
  • Travel pillow
  • Small snack (apple, nuts, or if you are like me: some chocolate!)

And that’s it! The ultimate packing list for beach holidays.

If you happen to forget something anyways, most of these things can also be bought locally in most countries. So don’t get too stressed out by packing! After all, when it comes to holidays, it’s all about relaxation and fun. 🙂