After the longest winter ever (thanks COVID) we are all ready to soak up the sun in paradise. If you’re like me, your summer or vacation clothes may have been donated or are in a box somewhere that you can’t recall. So if you need a refresher of what you need to pack for a beach vacation, I have got you covered.
While this list will focus primarily on clothing, you definitely can’t forget the essentials like your standard (travel approved) toiletries and of course sunscreen!
1. A Trusty Bikini
If you’re going to the beach, you gotta have a bikini. I love this black two-piece, bandeau one from Zaful. They make it in multiple colors as well. The Zaful bikinis are cute and affordable. They are pretty good quality for the price and I love that they come in a set. I hate having to separately find and buy two pieces for one swimsuit. My only complaint is that they take quite a bit (usually two weeks) after ordering for them to arrive. So order this one in advance.
2. A Trendy One-Piece Bathing Suit
Next on the beach packing list is a trendy, one-piece. I remember when one-pieces were not the most desirable piece of swimwear. However, in 2021, they are all the rage. They are stylish and modest and the summer essentials you need to add to your wardrobe. I personally love this Karla Colletto one piece. While that one is a bit on the pricier side, it’s super cute, comfortable, and flattering. If you’re looking for something more affordable, this one from Amazon is a nice option as well.
3. A Beachy Cover Up
If you’re going to walking around in a bathing suit, it’s best to have a cover-up to wear over top of it as you are going to and from the beach. It’s even good to have for a beach bar, pool party, etc. Even better, it doubles as a pillow when you’re laying out. This Lilly Pulitzer cover-up is the one I have and was loving for my beach trip I took to Key West. It’s adorable, I love that it ties in the front, making it easy to take on and off.
4. A Collapsable Beach Bag
The next thing on the beach packing list is a collapsable beach bag. I have made the mistake too many times of being stuck with my designer tote at the beach because I didn’t bring an alternative bag. Then I am worried about my bag and it’s full of sand. That’s why I bought this bag, specifically for that purpose. Obviously, the bag is cute as can be, but it’s also extremely practical. I got it on Amazon with 1-day shipping for 32 bucks, and worth every penny. The bag is extremely durable and built with quality and it collapses so it can fit in your suitcase. Also, the size is perfect! You can fit towels in there, snacks, drinks, you name it. You don’t just have to reserve it for the beach either, it’s great for the farmers market, a picnic or trip to the pool.
5. Denim Shorts
While you may be in the water most of the time, you will need non-swimwear attire as well. Start with a good pair of denim shorts. I personally love these paper-bag denim shorts. I’ve been loving the paper-bag shorts recently. They are a little classier than your typical jean shorts, easy to fit, extremely comfortable, and super flattering.
6. White Denim Shorts
Another beach essential you have to be sure to pack for your trip are white denim shorts. And for the same reasons I mentioned above, the paper-bag trend supports my recommendation here. These AMUR shorts are my absolute favorite and a classic wardrobe staple that will stand the test of time. Worth every penny, these shorts really can take an outfit from zero to hero.
7. A Linen Top
Nothing screams the summer and beach-like linen. One of my favorite materials, it makes for an elegant piece that will keep you cool throughout the hottest weather. This striped linen top is perfect for the occasion (plus it goes great tucked into both of the above shorts)
8. A Stylish Tee
I absolutely love this cool, ruffled neck blouse from Shopbop. The nude color is perfect for spring, summer, and the beach and the material will keep you cool all day long. While this is my personal favorite, any nude, styled tee should definitely be on the beach packing list.
9. A Beachy Jumpsuit
This Billabong jumpsuit, is one that I have been basically living in. I brought it to the beach and it has been featured multiple times now on my Instagram. It’s so cute, comfy and cool—perfect for spring and summer and extremely flattering.
10. A Strappy, Lightweight Dress
Despite the somewhat disappointing reviews, I absolutely love this Billabong dress. It’s gives off the surfer vibes and was literally made for the beach. Be warned, it is a bit sheer so it’s ideal for wearing overtop a bathing suit or with a cardigan on top.
11. A Cool Cardigan
While you’re probably looking forward to the warm weather, the ocean breeze can also be a little chilly so you want to bring layers for after the sun goes down. This one is perfect to throw on at night or even keep in your bag for when you need it (it’s lightweight and transportable) and you will find yourself wearing it all the time in the spring and summer.
12. Comfy Stylish Flip Flops
I am all about packing as few shoes as possible when traveling. Shoes often take up the most room so it’s best to limit the number of them that you put in your bag. But luckily, this pair takes up such little space that it’s an easy addition. It goes without saying that you need flip-flops for the beach. I personally love these Foundations Gloss flip-flops. They have multiple colors but I have the nude ones.
13. A Nicer Pair of Sandals
While I personally would love to live in flip-flops while near the beach, we can’t forget a nicer pair of sandals for when you are wanting to dress up a bit more. These heel sandals are a must-have! They pair great with all of the items I mentioned above, they have a small heel to them but are insanely comfortable too.
14. A Small Shoulder Bag
Finally, on the beach packing list for 2021, you need an easy-to-carry shoulder bag for walking around or exploring. I have this J. Crew straw over-the-shoulder bag. For $44, it’s very affordable and you can get it on Amazon! The colors mesh well with all of the above items and the straw material gives it a beachy feel. The bag is perfect for a phone and a small wallet.
Disclaimer: While this post is not sponsored in any way (I chose and paid for any of the products or services featured), I do make a small commission on some of the affiliate links above. If you chose to purchase any of the items through the links, I appreciate your support in that way.