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What to Pack for a Beach Vacation

Wondering what to pack for an upcoming beach vacation? Here's your essential beach vacation packing list, whether you’re traveling for a weekend, a week, or longer.

What to Pack for a Beach Vacation
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Did you know that 62% of people admit they overpack when traveling?* That’s a lot of unworn, unloved items taking up prime real estate in your bag. We’re showing you the most efficient ways to pack your suitcase full of vacation outfits (aside from your undergarments and such) for a warm summer getaway. It just depends on how long you’re staying.

A weekend trip

The bag: A lightweight duffle. It’s only a two-day trip, after all.

The necessities: One of our favorite packing tips is to stick to a cohesive color palette—it makes mixing and matching outfits a breeze. Two swimsuits should suffice—especially if most of your time will be spent on the boardwalk or beach—as well as two pairs of shoes. Comfortable slip-ons are great for walking around, while wedges or heeled sandals are a fun option for dinner. A sundress doesn’t take up much space in your bag and can work double-duty as a beach coverup.

Extended stay

The bag: A hard-shell carry-on in a tropical shade that puts you in the mood for your favorite frozen drink.

What to add: Staying a few more days? Bring along another pair of versatile pants, like light-wash denim, and some sneakers in case you’ve planned any excursions. Two additional tops give variation, which you can mix and match with your three pairs of pants or shorts. White cotton tops are beachy and fit with most any color palette you go for. Also, more swimsuits—because you’ll never regret having extra.

A weeklong getaway

The bag: Ladies, you’re gonna need to check a full-size suitcase. No shame in that—don’t want laundry interrupting your relaxing.

What to add: Now that you have a bit more room in your bag, you can start playing around with more nice-to-have items. A sun hat, for example, and an extra pair of shoes. And if you know you’ll be going out to eat often, a jumpsuit is a great piece to dress up or down. Sixty percent of the people we polled have had to buy clothes while they’re away—often because of unpredictable weather—so pack a lightweight layer or weatherproof item if you have the room.

Packing tips are only one of the things you can find on The Stylist. Keep browsing to see more summer outfit inspiration and tons of style advice. 

*Live Your Style Travel Survey