Ultimate Packing List for Your Beach Holiday 

Packing for a beach holiday is hard / annoying / time consuming / or… gets you excited for the big trip, right?!

Or maybe a mixture of all of the above.

You never quite have what you want in your case until you want it when you’re there. That perfect dress? Sitting in the wardrobe at home. That top? In the left draw, second one down. AT HOME. So annoying.

Packing List for Your beach holiday

I’m just back from a week’s beach holiday in Antigua so I thought I’d use my recent experience to make sure you have everything you need for your beach holiday, so you don’t waste a second wishing you’d bought that magical item from home. Feel good, look good, have fun, right?

So, here are the circumstances you need to pack for, with my suggestions…

Packing List for Your Beach Holiday

Something to wear on the beach

I totally think good swimwear is worth investing in. My swimsuit was £50 from Jasper Conran at Debenhams, a little expensive, but I feel good in it so it’s made me happier when I’ve travelled with people I may normally be self conscious around. I also have a swimsuit from Accessorize – more for lounging poolside than actually doing any swimming in.

Packing Guide to beach holiday

I do find swimsuits quite oppressive though – they push your boobs down and go up your bum – and they’re annoying for the toilet. Neither is a good look or particularly comfortable. So I also have the bikini above. The top is from H&M and the bottoms are from Sears, in the US. When it comes to bikini bottoms I’m all about the full pant. Comfy, keeps your belly in and just more practical too.

Something for water sports

You might want to bring shorts and a t-shirt specifically for water sports – it gets hot and you’re more likely to burn when you’re out on the water. I also find wearing shorts a little comfier when you’ve got to be active. Helps knowing that it doesn’t matter if your swimsuit is up your bum, because no one can see.

St James Club Float Fit Class

I have a little pair of fabric shorts I bought from ASOS years ago, and then a few tshirts from Monki. Don’t get the shorts too baggy or it’ll defeat the purpose, and you don’t need any kind of tailoring either, and definitely no denim or jersey. 

Your bathroom bag

Shampoo, best quality conditioner, razor, shave cream, perfume, bug spray, nail varnish for top ups, deodorant, hair brush, hair ties, Kirby grips, hair serum, vitamins… anything else?

How about a little something special for your holiday? Like this pleasure stimulator. “Combining out of this world suction sensations with powerful vibrations, Obii is ready to spoil you with breathtaking blended orgasms.” I mean, sounds fun for a night in on your holidays hey? Something a bit different… 

I like to put it all in one of these see through bags so I can see what I’m looking for. Well, maybe not that last one. 

READ MORE: Packing List for Babies

Something to stop you frying in the sun

First day of the Antigua trip it rained, so we got cocky when the sun came out on the second and didn’t pay nearly as much attention to applying the sun cream as we should’ve done. Burnt.

From then on UltraSun was my best friend and I was reapplying religiously. I have the 30SPF Face, the body and a night protecting serum too. I’m 32, gotta start looking after my skin haven’t I / we?

Take sun cream, and use it.

Ultra Sun John Lewis

£28 each //  John Lewis

(same price as Superdrug)

Strapless bra

I bought this bra from Debenhams and it’s the best strapless bra ever so here it is for you to look at too. I pretty much ended up wearing it all week as I burned my shoulders on the first day and so it was nice to not have to have the straps on them.

Something to go to from beach to meals in 

Packing list for a beach holiday

My choice? Dresses. I have two light and breezy ones from Vietnam, which I understand are no use to you if you’re looking to shop, and then this tye dye one above from Topshop, last year, sorry again. These are so comfy and easy to wear, I’d recommend you take three for the week.

They don’t really get dirty – just crispy and heavy from the salt water. Also, you want your photos to look a bit different, don’t you?

Something to go on excursions in 

You can’t lie on the beach allll week… can you?

If you’re joining one of the excursions you’ll no doubt be offered, you want to be comfortable. You could be scaling a mountain, going ATV driving or cruising round an island in a jeep. Either way I’d recommend packing some light fabric trousers or linen shorts to keep cool, and comfy. And a few tshirts to choose from too.

Packing list for a beach holiday

I have some trousers from ASOS that have travelled half way round the world with me, don’t take up much space in the suitcase and been worn at many an opportunity – you can see them in the video above. A new addition to my holiday wardrobe, I love these stripey shorts from Matalan for exactly this reason too (above).

Something for when you burn your shoulders

It’s kinda inevitable – although it shouldn’t be. Prove me wrong. I’d recommend bringing a light tshirt or two to wear on the beach to protect your skin. This also helps if you want to sit out to tan your legs but you don’t want the sun to touch your tender skin underneath.


One and a half times the days, in knickers 

Take 50% more pairs of knickers than the amount of days you have. If you’re wearing them in the day and then come back to shower you’ll want another pair for the evening. I ran out in Antigua – had to go all backpacker on the situation and wash some in the sink.

Cool beach bag

Get a funky bag to take your stuff down to the beach. A big one. You know you’re going to want to carry water, books, magazines, towels etc. Get it all in.

I’d recommend going for either the glitziest or brightest you can find, or just totally OTT. It’s also a good idea to take some sort of insert for your electronics to keep them away from anything wet.


Loads of sunglasses

Oh I LOVE a good pair of sunglasses. I took at least 5 pairs to Antigua. My prescriptions – new Quiksilvers from Specsavers (love them). My classy Ray Bans. My crazy ones from Forever 21. And some beauts from Primark.

If you’re planning on faffing about with any sort of boats or water activity on your summer holiday you’re going to want to take some cheapy sunglasses to have in the water. They start at £3 in Primark!

I feel like these models look really weird in these sunnies – are they super imposed? – but I just wanted to point out that Forever21 have a great selection for cheap.

A hat

I can’t get on with hats. I was all excited about getting one for Antigua but then I burned my forehead on the first day and it hurt to wear. And then I decided I looked silly in it and definitely shouldn’t wear it again.

In the forest in St Kitts

I did like the one I had in St Kitts last year, above. But, I think hats are great on other people.


Something dressy for the evenings 

It’s nice to get a bit dressed up for the evening right?

I kept it simple with some black and white wide leg trews from Matalan, which I could wear with a colourful top to mix it up. That’s done for at least three nights. And then I also brought two dresses – a black light one and a crochet white one – and have a cool long skirt that I can wear with a few different tops too.

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Foot wear

I kind of over packed when it came to foot wear for my beach holiday. I had some Havaiana flip flops, some sliders, some Mallorcan sliders, some espadrilles and then a pair of trainers too – for any closed toe activities.

It was more than enough.

Topshop have got some awesome footwear in right now, check them out…

Something cool to sleep in 

Just some little shorts / vest pyjamas will do the job, right? Or, save on the packing and just sleep naked. Less effort and more chilled right?

Of course, if it’s a girlie holiday and you’re all in the same room you might want to take a little something…

Something in case it rains

I’d recommend taking some kind of windbreaker that folds up small so you can stuff it in your bag. Seeing as it was a chilly May day when I left England my padded French Connection jacket from TKMaxx suited just fine. I like knowing that I’ll be warm when I get back and not have to brave the cold in flip flops and all my clothes – yeah I did that in London one December and ended up with a chest infection. Silly.

So yeah, take some sort of back up plan in case the weather changes.

Good quality suitcase to put it all in

I used one from Matalan for Antigua – £60, nice and so bright I could pull it right off the luggage carousel as soon as it came round. Saving those valuable seconds you know are oh so important at the airport. For my next beach holiday, to Greece, I’m going to take this pink one from Revelation.

Make sure you don’t fill the thing before – you need space for souvenirs and the local tipple, right?


Phone, charger, camera, charger, Kindle, charger – make sure you bring your plug adaptor too. Check you have all batteries and memory cards too. Here’s a cool bag you can put all of those things in…


Holidays are kind of the only time I read magazines any more – I used to be obsessed. This trip I’ve read Stylist and Wanderlust, that we picked up for free at the airport. I bought two Harry Potters to read but unfortunately haven’t even turned the first page on them.

The best books I’ve read recently are…

Fresh clothes for the plane 

I guess it depends how far away your beach holiday is, but if it’s anything further than Greece, I like to have new clothes to go home in, especially if it’s an overnight flight. Just a pair of leggings and long tshirt / dress – doesn’t really take up much space but totally worth it. Alternatively you could get your hotel to wash the ones you came in. Here are my final few recommendations…


Your beach holiday packing list to refresh

Something to go to from beach to meals in

Something to lie on the beach in / something to swim in

Something to go on excursions in

Some knickers


Fresh clothes for the plane

Something for The Evenings

Something cool to sleep in

Something in case it rains

Shoes for walking

Something for when you burn your shoulders

Something to stop you frying in the sun

Beach cover up

Bathroom bag

Good quality suitcase to put it all in


Beach bag

Awesome sunglasses

Cheapos for the water


A hat


And that should be EVERYTHING you need for your beach holiday.


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beach holiday packing guide


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