The Only Beach Vacation Packing List You Need | From Goa to Tulum and Everywhere in Between

I’m a beach bum through and through. I’ve been traveling for 10 years and have spent time on beaches from Spain to Turkey, Greece to India, Bali to Tulum – you name it! I love a beach vacation, I love boho chic clothing, and I am a very practical packer; packing light so I can shop! This is the ultimate beach vacation packing list.

I wanted to put ONE beach packing list out there that just covered you regardless of what beach you choose to go to. I will cover clothing, accessories, toiletries, electronics, misc… if you follow this list, you’ll be well prepared and dressed to impress. 

Make sure to bookmark this one!

The Only Beach Vacation Packing List You Need

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Read for the ultimate beach vacation packing list!

I am going to make this a 7-day trip as most holidays tend to be. If you are going for two weeks you can do one of two things: either multiple the clothing by two OR if you think you can do laundry at an Airbnb, hotel, or even cheap guesthouses will have it, then still just take this much and do laundry.

Let’s start with clothing you need for a beach holiday

4 dresses

Dresses are the easiest thing to pack for a beach vacation. I recommend taking two that are dressier and fitted and two that are loose and breezy. You’ll have options for all kinds of activities. I love lulu’s for dress shopping as they carry a lot of my favorite brands. I also shop on Free People, Anthropologie, and SaboSkirt for beach dresses. Here are some favorites.

2 pairs of jean shorts

I like to take a pair of white shorts and a pair of jean shorts. I love classic high-waisted Levi’s. AMO Denim is also fantastic! Don’t buy them too tight – it always looks best if they are bit loose at the waist then you don’t have to worry about getting bloated and feeling like they are too snug. I tend to size up in shorts.

2 pairs of loose trousers

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These are from Indian Summer

I always take loose, light pants to throw on. Think PJ pants but cute! I love linen pants, cropped flares, and light cotton trousers. You can wear these at the beach with bikini, out to lunch with a crop top, or relaxing at the hotel with a tee shirt. I also wear things like this on planes. Here are some super cute ones.

3 T-Shirts

Great for mixing and matching with shorts and pants or to wear on a plane or around the hotel. A simple cute tee shirt makes all the difference. I love the ones from Free People “bandana” shirts with my favorite bands on them and the “Social Project” tees as well.

3 Tank Tops

I’m a big fan of classic tanks to throw on and love the FP “washed seamless crop” that comes in 10 colors. I have three of them (purple, green, and reddish) and they are so thick you don’t need a bra (and don’t have to worry if they are see-through) but they are sturdy enough to feel comfortable in them. No worrying something will fall out! They cut at the nice place at the waist so go well with high-waisted pants without showing your belly.

3 Bikinis

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Can’t forget the bikinis! I have a whole post on my favorites but I’ll link some here, too.

2 Swimsuit Coverups

I think two is enough but you could take a third in case they get really sandy and you don’t want to wash them. I prefer light ones I can pull over that don’t have big thick bell sleeves or anything too hot. Think about the fabrics and would you’ll be comfortable in.

1 light jacket / button-up

I love a linen button-up for a beach vacation.

1 activewear

If you want to do yoga or hike, take at least one set of yoga clothing like Stronger, Lilybod, or just whatever you have!

PJ’s

Even if you sleep naked, have PJ’s in case room service comes up or you need to get the door for your Uber Eats!

10+ undies & a couple of bras

Take way more undies than you think you need. Beach vacays always mean tons of showering and you’ll want a fresh pair each time. Lately, I’ve been loving the basic thong from Everlane. Comfortable, long-lasting, eco-friendly, and they take up next to no space.

Next up, accessories, shoes & bags to pack for the beach

Sun Hat

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Floppy hats for the win. They work and they are cute AF.

Baseball Hat

I don’t go anywhere without a baseball hat. They look cool, they cover your messy hair, and they keep the sun off. Why not?

Polarized Ray-Bans

I love the Clubmasters and the Wayfarers in black and brown. Classic and go with anything.

Tesalate Towel

This towel is sand-resistant and lightweight. It takes up virtually no space. You can use the code “hippieinheels15” to get 15% off your order.

Beach Tote

It’s hard to travel with a big cute beach basket but at least take a tote with you so you aren’t throwing your stuff into a hotel laundry bag or old CVS shopping bag to run down to the beach.

Sarong

I have so many from India but you can buy sarongs everywhere and they DO come in handy constantly.

Madewell mini-tote purse

For a daily purse, I love my mini-tote from Madewell. I have the light tan but they have awesome shades. It’s my go-to.

Cotton Head-Scarf

I love cute little scarves to add to my ponytail or messy bun when I’m on the beach or even to wrap around like a headband to keep my baby hair off my sun-screened sticky face.

Toiletries for a beach vacation

I always take the same little set up for toiletries for skin and hair for the beach. I’ll link them here. I’ve been using these products for years!

Misc and Electronics for a beach vacation

Camera

I’ve used my Panasonic Lumix for years now!

Kindle

The All-new Paperwhite is what makes vacation and laying out in the sun oh-so-perfect.

Portable Battery

Don’t worry about your phone dying – keep a portable battery with you.

For Destination-Specific Packing Lists

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About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Hippie in Heels, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Hippie in Heels has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.

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