Are you a last-minute bag stuffer, a game time wardrobe decider, a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants packer? Do you get to your destination, only to be weighed down by a bulky bag filled with things you don’t really need, and missing things you do need? In other words: are you lousy at packing for a beach vacation?

No problem. Beach vacations are meant to be relaxing, but in order to relax to your fullest potential, you need to pack with some care and forethought. Let’s look at how best to pack your bags, in order to maximize your comfort and good vibes.

Overview

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If there is one single, overarching tip that you can take away here, it is this: pack light. Too many people make the mistake of wanting to bring options, just in case. They want to bring clothing options just in case, even though in a given week, you never really switch things up all that much. And they want to bring every conceivable toiletry, even though – and hopefully this is loud enough for the people at the back – wherever you are going, they will have toiletries to buy. Probably for cheaper than you can find at home.

All that said, don’t worry about packing light. Pack a few choice garments (more on that below), a few sun safe accessories, and some toiletries that you just can’t live without. Keep in to one bag, preferably just a carry on, that way you can save time, money and precious exertion!

Clothing

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Be wise about what kind of clothing you bring. You want to pack multi-purpose, functional clothing that handles weather extremes, dries quickly and – importantly – looks good. In other words, you want clothing that was made specifically for travel, like merino wool clothing: visit Unbound Merino to get more info about why clothing matters when you’re packing, especially in hot destinations.

Accessories

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A key component of packing for a beach vacation is ensuring that you stay safe under the hot sun. No one wants to return home looking like a cooked lobster, nor do you want to contend with all the pain, peeling and blistering that goes along with a burn. Pack a sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection, one that explicitly says it is waterproof. Pack a hat to keep the rays off your scalp, and a collapsible water bottle to stay hydrated without taking up too much bag space.

Toiletries

Ask yourself: can I find this, or something similar, abroad? If the answer is “yes”, consider leaving it behind. If the answer is “no”, either because you are brand loyal or just unsure your destination will have this product, bring it. Other than that, be sure to pack your liquids in bottles of under 100ml, if you’re only taking a carry on (which you should).

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It isn’t that hard to pack for a beach vacation, but it does take a little planning and the right clothing for travel. Don’t get caught with a massive duffle full of unnecessary stuff – pack light and pack smart.