You’ve booked your flight, perused top hotels and vacation rentals, and made sure your passport hasn’t expired (right?).
The beach is right around the corner. Next up: figuring out what to pack.
A tropical vacation is an excellent way to relax and bond with your friends and family, but there’s nothing that puts a damper on a holiday than forgetting to pack something important.
Enter this definitive beach vacation packing list.
We've curated the packing list essentials so you’ll be well equipped (but not overpacked).
Your Beach Vacation Packing List [+ Printable Checklist]
The gear you need to pack for your beach holiday will change slightly depending on the climate of your destination. If you're going on a tropical beach vacation like Turks and Caicos, pack lighter, humidity-resistant clothing.
If you're headed to a cooler beach destination like Tofino, on Canada's West Coast, choose warmer clothing options for those cool nights and unexpected rain storms.
Warm Weather Must-Haves
When it comes to a tropical vacation, you want to pack light layers and you want to pack for adventure!
- Swimwear - UV rash guard, bathing suit, beach shorts, etc.
- Swimwear cover-ups
- Light long-sleeves or lightweight sweater - Avoid heat exhaustion and sunburn
- Microfibre towel - You will need a towel that dries fast
- Wet bag - For swimwear and towel
- Flip-flops - Make sure they're sturdy and non-slip
- Double-wall water bottles - Keep your drink cold throughout the day
- Reef-safe sunscreen
- Sun hat or cap
- Beach bag
- Camera and extra memory cards - So you won't run out of storage any time soon
- Lightweight power banks for your smartphone and camera
- Extra batteries so you can just switch instead of charging
- Waterproof/dust-proof phone or camera cases or pouches
- Dust plugs - to keep sand out of your gadget ports
- Travel adapter
- Multi-outlet power strip and extension cords - really handy so you won’t be bothered by inconveniently-placed outlets
- Chargers and cables
- Headphones/bluetooth speaker
Optional Beach Gear
Many of these items can be purchased or rented at your destination, but many well-hersed travellers prefer to use their own toys and gear (or forgo some of these items).
- Toys for playing in the sand - If you’re traveling with kids. Cheap, simple plastic toys can easily be bought on location.
- Beach towel
- Snorkelling gear - Depends on your tropical destination, as packing this may take up too much space in your luggage.
- Water shoes
- Underwater camera
- Books or eReader
For Inland Activities
- Mosquito/insect repellant - Especially useful when hiking or other outdoor activities
- Hiking boots or activity-friendly footwear
- Light and waterproof jacket - Not just for rain but waterfall, river or stream adventures. Water shoes optional.
- Sturdy and comfortable walking shoes - Leave the shoes and sandals for short walks to and around the beach. If you know you’ll be under the sun, wear closed shoes to avoid burning your feet
Stressing out about what to bring to your tropical vacation? Check out these necessities and extras that you don't want to leave at home.
- Drivers license - Especially if you’re renting a car
- Cruise documentation
- Luggage tags
- Vaccine details/certifications (if needed) - Visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention or the Government of Canada’s Travel Vaccination page for the necessary travel advice.
- Credit card/bank contacts
- Flight or train tickets
- Transportation/Hotel reservation confirmations
- Excursion documentation
- Medical and travel insurance
- Cash/ATM/Credit card
- Itinerary/ maps/ guidebooks
- House keys
- Eye mask
- Travel pillow
- Any prescription medications, vitamins, or allergy pills you may need
- Flight Elixir, of course!
Clothes and Accessories
- Wrinkle-free pants/jeans/joggers
- Formal clothes - Depends on the activities you planned
- Sneakers - Great to use at the airport or walking around the city
- Heels or dress shoes - For upscale restaurants, events or places
- Laundry kit
- Laundry bag
- Small flashlight
Here are some travel-sized toiletries you’ll need. Be sure to check what your hotel or resort provides before packing these items.
You can also buy some of these at the location, but you’ll save more if you bring your own.
- Lip balm
- Dental floss
- Facial cleanser
- Sanitary products - Napkins, tampons, etc.
- First aid
- Shaving supplies
- Makeup and makeup remover
- All-around wipes