Beach Vacation Packing List & Tips

Beach Vacation Packing List and Tips
** Click on each item to shop! **

I was so excited to receive a reader request for my beach vacation packing ideas and tips! Whether you have a winter escape or a spring break trip planned, I hope you can find some pieces and tips that are helpful for you! We don't have any beach vacations planned so far this year, so I will be living through you vicariously! This post is SO LONG and has so many shopping picks, so bear with me!

Here are some of my best packing tips and must-haves for a beach/tropical vacation...

Choose a color scheme
When I pack for any destination, I like to look up photos of the location (Instagram geotags & Pinterest!) and make a mental mood board. I probably think about this more than the average girl since I'm always thinking about blog and Instagram photos, but I like to pack a general color scheme that will compliment the location and photograph well. Blogging/Instagram goddess Aimee Song talks about this in her book, Capture Your Style. So imagine and look up what colors are going to look beautiful with the scenery where you're headed! For a beachy or tropical location, I love white, cream, any shade of blue, dusty rosey pinks, floral and palm prints, red, and of course...always black. Sticking with a color scheme on your trip will look great in photos, help with mixing and matching, and also simplify how many accessories and jewelry you need to bring. 

Pack dresses & rompers that can be dressed up or down
This was the first tip I thought of when brainstorming for this post! There is nothing easier to throw on than a chic dress. Ideal dresses for a beach trip are ones that can be thrown on with a straw hat and slide sandals for a swimsuit coverup or breakfast/lunch/sightseeing, but can also be dressed up with statement earrings, heeled sandals, and a clutch for dinner. Dress styles to look for... effortless maxi dresses, lightweight off-the-shoulder dresses, and anything with embroidery or tassels (so beachy!).

Bring a wide-brim straw hat!
Not only do they instantly cover messy/wet/dirty hair, but they're oh-so-chic and protect your face from the sun! My advice would be to wear yours on the plane, but if you don't want to do that, you can also stuff the dome of the hat with other items and place it at the very bottom of your suitcase so the brim of that hat doesn't get bent.

A mix of swimsuit styles keeps things fresh
I love to have both bikinis and one-pieces in my rotation because some days you may be feelin' a bikini, and other days you may want to show off some leg and cover the tummy. With bikinis, I love when I can purchase two tops that go with one bottom - then I'm basically getting two different bikinis while only buying 3 pieces. Tip: one-piece swimsuits are super flattering in pictures!   

Anything off-the-shoulder is gold

Nothing feels more beachy than showing off your sunkissed shoulders. The good news is that off-the-shoulder everything is going to be huge again this year, and there are already a lot of options online. Look for lightweight fabrics and simple prints!

Be strategic with your beauty packing
The good news is that you can probably pair down your makeup and hair routines on a vacation like this. Plan hairstyles that will look polished but won't require a full-blown blow-out or curl every night. Braids, messy buns, and a half up 'do are all easy. A dry texture spray or salt spray are so nice to have for the pool or beach, but also make sure you bring products that will product your hair color like a leave-in spray, good conditioner, or purple shampoo (if you're blonde). I recently purchased this argan oil moisturizer, which is also a gradual self tanner and I think it would be perfect for a beach vaca! It smells really good, is very moisturizing, and will augment your tan. Makeup-wise, bring products with bronze and peach tones. I love this bronze serum and use it alone to tan and smooth out the skin, and also add to my foundation (to add a subtle bronze glow). A glowy bronzer and tinted lip gloss would also be perfect. Sunscreen is obviously a must, but also don't forget about a lip balm with SPF!

Other items on my packing list...
-Cutoff denim shorts can be dressed up with a cute top, sandals and a hat for sightseeing or a meal, and also worn as a coverup. You can plan multiple outfits around one piece!
-A chic beach bag that doubles as your carry-on tote
-A book you've been wanting to read (this and this are on my list)
-Delicate gold jewelry to layer effortlessly
-Comfy but cute flat sandals, as well as heeled sandals or wedges (to dress up your dresses & rompers for dinner)
-Obviously...a pair or two of chic, oversized sunglasses (no makeup, no problem)

One Piece Swimsuits

Bikinis (organized by set)

Shorts & Other Clothing



I hope this post helps you with any shopping, outfit planning, and packing for upcoming trips! Would you be interested in packing posts for different types of vacations? Some ideas that came to mind were ski trip, city/site-seeing, desert/scenic, or even some specific cities (like LA & NYC). Let me know if you'd like to see that in the future!

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xo, Jacy