Packing for a beach holiday is can be a pretty stressful part of your vacation. No matter how hard you try, there’s always one more thing that just has to go in. But with our simple guide to beach holiday packing, you can make sure you have everything you need without breaking your luggage – or your back.
The first thing you should do when packing for a beach holiday is make a list. Not only will it focus the mind into thinking about what you actually need, but it will make sure nothing is forgotten and there’s no need for a last-minute dash to the airport shop.
First on the list should be your essential documents. So your passport and a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), plus printouts of your flight tickets, holiday booking, hotel details, travel insurance and receipts for any extras you have booked such as excursions or a hire car. Take copies of everything in case they’re lost or stolen, and make sure that your passport has at least six months left before it expires.
Any beach packing list is likely to suggest plenty of clothes, but if you’re going somewhere sunny and warm, you won’t need quite as many as you think. Two different sets of swimwear is ideal as one can be drying while you wear the other, while a good pair of flip-flops or sliders is vital to stop your feet burning on the sand.
Think about what you’ll be doing in the daytime and the evening, and pack accordingly. Throwing random pieces of clothing into your suitcase will only result in a pile of unused items and overloaded luggage. And remember, if there’s a choice between comfort and style, go for comfort. Your best heels aren’t great on the beach and will only give you blisters when walking around later on.
It goes without saying that you’ll need a great pair of UV-blocking sunglasses. Since sunglasses have a habit of getting lost in the sand or trodden on, take an extra pair to ensure you’re never without. Also pack a good sunhat, but if you prefer a larger style that might be crushed in your case, consider buying one when you get to your resort.
When it comes to jewellery and watches, you may not want to take your most expensive items as you’ll spend most of your holiday worrying about them. Instead, take your everyday jewellery and watch, plus a couple of nice pieces for the evening.
By now, your beach holiday packing list will be getting long and space tight in your case, so think about which toiletries you want to take and how much you actually need. With big, bulky items like shampoo and conditioner, pour what you need into smaller containers and consider buying a travel-sized can of deodorant and tube of toothpaste. However, don’t skimp on the sun cream and after-sun. If you’re going somewhere hot, it’s likely you’ll need more than you think.
You should also pack a first-aid kit, including plasters, painkillers, tweezers, indigestion tablets, antiseptic cream, cotton wool, bandages, anti-histamines for insect bites, travel-sickness tablets, plus a few safety pins and a pair of scissors. And, if you take regular medication, make sure you have more than enough for the length of your holiday, as well as a copy of your prescription and a letter from your GP explaining why you need to take it.
With any luck, you’ll be spending many hours soaking up the sun on the beach, so you’ll need a few things to entertain you. If you read plenty of books, download enough for your holiday onto an e-reader to save space and weight in your suitcase. If music, movies or box-sets are more your thing, download them all before you leave as hotel Wi-Fi can be slow and expensive. Whatever gadgets you take, remember to take chargers for them all, as well as plug adaptors to ensure your batteries always stay full.