We are finally in June, and the weather is heating up which means it’s officially summer time baby! My favorite season! Currently, I am in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and decided I would share how I packed. I’m a beach fanatic. I have spent countless days and weeks at the beach every summer and am confident to say I have perfected my packing methods. No under or over packing here. To create the ultimate beach vacation packing list there are a few questions to ask yourself.
- How many days am I going to be gone?
This seems so obvious that you’re probably like duh Emily. But hear me out. This is what gives you your max outfits, so you don’t end up bringing your whole closet with you. So I am going to be away from Saturday- Sunday. I should be packing no more than 9 outfits.
TIP: If you are someone who has a tendency to over pack, make sure you’re picking pieces that can go with multiple outfits so you can mix and match!
Now that you have the max amount of outfits, you have to get super specific with what you’ll need for what days. If you just start packing things now, you’ll end up with 100 items because you just can’t decide or say “I don’t know how I’ll want to dress in the moment.”
- What days will I be doing what?
I am driving, so that’s 2 full travel days and 7 full vacation days. Knowing my family, we’ll probably go to the beach every other day, so I’ll need at least 4 bathing suits. In normal circumstances, I would probably pack the same amount of “out to dinner’ outfits, but times are different so I’m only gonna pack 2 or 3 as we won’t be going to very many places. Because I am gone 8 nights, I’ll pack three pairs of pajamas (pretty standard for me for a week away).
- 2 travel days
- 2 to 3 outfits
- 3 pairs of pajamas
- 4 bathing suits
TIP: to maximize comfort when picking pajamas, I ALWAY pack a pair of long pants, a pair of shorts, a long sleeve, a tank and tshirt. No matter the season or climate. Because this particular trip is to the beach, I’m gonna pack an extra pair of shorts or a nightgown. You never know if there is going to be a chilly night or the home/hotel you’re staying in is hot or cold so this is a good way to be prepared.
- Is there a washer or dryer?
In my case yes. When this is the case, I bring the number of outfits to half the amount of days. So an 8 day trip to the beach? I’m going to bring 4 outfits. Since we have a washer and dryer, I can do a load of laundry, I’m going to pack shorts and tops that can match with multiple things so I can always have a “new” outfit. My travel outfits are not included in this count! Sometime’s I will pack an extra short/skirt/top if I really want it.
If you’re going to the beach and won’t have a washer/dryer that’s ok! In this case, I would say to pack an outfit per day, or based on what your family does. If you know your family will only go out 3 times then pack 4 outfits just in case. If you know y’all will go out every night… then pack for that!
This one can be hard but I’m going to give you staple shoes so you can have the perfect fit for every occasion.
- Cheap pair of flip flops
I like old navy flip flops, so I usually bring or wear my white or black so they go with everything (for short runs to a convenient store or whatever) and wear these babies to the beach. I usually end up losing one somewhere along the way which is why I like the cheap ones.
I usually bring a neutral (nude, white or black) color sandal to have as an option when we go out to dinner or wherever. It’s nice to have an open toed shoe that can go with anything you brought along! Still easy and convenient as the flip flop but this just dresses up your outfit a bit.
- Small sneaker (vans, converse etc)
I love these types of sneakers. I think they are so comfortable and always a go to shoe choice for a boardwalk night or exploring town. It still goes cute with my outfits that I picked, yet keep my feet comfortable for the longer walking period. I have two pairs, white and black and usually bring the colored pair that goes along with the majority of my outfits picked out.
- Running shoe
This one is totally optional. If you are someone who works out when on vacation then this is a good choice for you. I personally go for walks on the beach alot and usually prefer to wear sneakers like these for more support on the ankles. If this item seems unnecessary for you on your trip then no need to pack it!
I like to bring 1 for everyday that I’ll be going to the beach. I love swimmies so this is definitely the hardest part of packing for me. With longer trips, and when there is a washer and dryer, I do try to limit bathing suit options to 4 or 5 suits.
The sun is strong and the skin is fragile. In the beginning of the summer I burn more frequently and my scalp always burns no matter what.
I recommend bringing two. A higher number and a lower number sunscreen. I have had some sun already so I’ll personally be bringing 15 and 30. Whether it is lotion or spray is totally your preference. I also bring a mini 3rd sunscreen that is 50 for my face.
You need a hat. I always bring a baseball cap to help protect my scalp and shield my face. This year I got some new hats so I’ll be packing my bucket hat and a floppy hat for these. I am loving the floppy hat to put on later in the day when my shoulders and chest start to turn red! For some reason, if I burn, that’s where I’m going to burn first.
You really only need one pair here, but if you’re like me and own some fancy ones then I suggest you bring two. I have my nicer ones for when we go out to shops and dinner and always keep a cheap pair in my beach bag. One’s I don’t care if I lose, scratch or step on since they’re like $10 from Target.
I hope these tips help you formulate your perfect beach vacation packing list. If you still feel lost I’ve attached a FREE pdf of the Ultimate Packing List for you to use. Just print out, cross off what does not apply to you and use! Happy beach bumming:)