Do you ever get into the situation where your beach vacation is booked and you have the dilemma of what to pack? This was me before. Looking at my closet and I want to carry half of the dresses. We all love feeling ready for any dress code, but it’s not exactly fun lugging around an over packed bag, either. After enough practice I think I have come up with what I would call an essential packing list.
There should be absolutely no stress, after all you’re going to the beach and I’m assuming you’re going to relax and de-stress so packing should start that way. My Golden Rule is PACK LIGHT AND PACK BRIGHT. A small carry-on suitcase or a weekend bag should be sufficient. I am heading to Diani Beach, Kenya in 2 days and will stay for 5 days hence this is a good time to share my packing essentials.
KEY TIP: Light and breezy items should dominate your suitcase. No one wants to be hot and uncomfortable while enjoying your sun, sea, sand and piña coladas but please skip the faded and raggedy T-shirts and instead aim for a summery look that’s polished, not dumpy.
Additionally don’t focus all your energy on packing to get there, it is important to spend some time thinking about how you’ll transport wet and sandy items back home. There’s nothing worse than a suitcase full of sand.
What’s Essential? Your swim suit. No beach vacation is complete without a swim suit that flatters you. On my list I have 2 bikinis and 1 tankini but I recommend that you pick something that flaunts your great asset and hides what you prefer hidden :). The most important thing to rock a killer swim suit is confidence, whatever you opt to wear; wear it like you are rolling down the red carpet at the Grammys’.
So here is a list of the 15 “must have” items that you can work with as a base for your packing list:-
- Swim Suit – I like to have at least 3 to allow me to have at least 3 different looks
- Sun Protection – This is a must if you want to keep your youthful skin glowing years to come. I generally prefer the clear oil based rather than cream. But pick one that you like and works best for you. After sun is always a good addition to soothe your skin after hours of sun bathing
- Sun Hat – this works in 2 ways in that it’s an additional sun protector and also complements your cute outfits
- Sunglasses – keep the lines on your brow away by protecting your eyes and looking dashing 🙂
- Cute Dresses – I feel dresses scream beach – pack a few dresses that match your style. Double up as an evening wear, night out or beach cover up while you hanging out with your friends
- Sandals – You will need a pair of sandals to walk to the beach of your not on beach front, or to check out markets, or going to get you drink at your favorite beach bar
Maxi Dress– This is not critical, if doesn’t tickle your fancy, skip it. However this will work well if you opt to visit an attraction that requires covered legs or more coverage than your typical beach wear
- Denim Jacket or Light Cardigan – You may be tempted not to carry a sweater as the beach should ideally be hot but do carry one. Most evenings tend to be rather breezy and if its light it will not add weight to your bag but will come in handy
- Shorts – These are versatile and work well for the beach. I opt for denim as they can be dressed up or dressed down. Cotton shorts would also be ideal as they are breezier 🙂
- Couple of short-Sleeved t-shirts or tanks – this will be your best friend, you can lie around in your hotel with a tank as a cover up or wear it with your shorts or change the maxi into a skirt – their versatility is great
- Beach Tote – you will need a bag to carry your beach read, beach towel, cover up/ sarong, water and snacks for when you are at the beach.
- Sarong or cover up – pack cute cover-ups or sarongs , both to wear on the beach when it gets too hot and to walk along the promenade or beach without too much exposure
- Light Scarf – you will need this to make your dress look dressier, or cover your hair when riding a scooter or open sided car or to wrap your shoulders if need be
- Beach Towel – It’s best to confirm if the hotel, cottage or beach house provides shower and beach towels. This will save the much needed space in your carry on.
- Bright accessories – this will make any outfit look so much nicer, carry a few simple pieces of jewelry that can work for all your clothes.
With these 15 items the stress is gone and packing is easy, breezy and fun. Finally, remember ROLL not fold, this will save you loads of space and minimize wrinkles, bye ironing (101% ME). Additionally unless you want a spoiled phone and electronics pack a waterproof case or bag for your electronics.
Now you are ready to go get sun kissed at your choice of beach. For me I am off t o Diani. Where are you off to? What are your tips?
PS: Apologies for the poor quality of photos – I will redo them soon 🙂