7 Must-Haves for your Beach Vacation

I love to travel.  I got my first passport when I was two years old and I’ve never looked back.  

I get my love of travelling from my father – he used to take us all on a trip every year, whether near or far.  And when I had my corporate gig, I travelled so much for work that I became the female version of George Clooney in the movie “Up in the Air”.  I also did a ton of personal travel on my own.  I have an intrepid spirit and wanderlust in my soul.

But I’ve never been one of those people who could just throw a few things in a rucksack and go off on my merry way to the nearest all-inclusive resort.  A great trip, for me, takes planning.  Lots of planning.  And now that I have a toddler, it takes even more planning.  I still cringe at the memory of my daughter’s first flight.  I actually find the planning helps to quell any pre-trip anxiety that I might have.

I have just such an anxiety-producing trip coming up – a fabulous trip to Mexico at a swanky resort with my mother, my daughter and my husband.  Sun, sand, and bathing suits!  Yikes.  This will require many outfits.  And the showing of skin.  Did I mention the bathing suits??

So the planning has already started in earnest.  What to pack??

Sun, Here We Come!

Here’s my list of must-haves for a beach vacation:

  1. At least 2 or 3 bathing suits that you feel wonderful in and that are comfortable.  The most important thing for me personally is that “the girls” are properly supported.  I’m going to give this suit from the Gabi Fresh for Swim Sexy collection a try this year.  My favourite suits usually come from Miracle Suit but they take forever to dry, so I thought I’d give something else a shot.  Keep you posted on the results!
  2. A few beautiful cover ups that look great by the pool and could also do double duty at the restaurant or cafe.  I love a great tunic (which can be paired with some shorts or capris for après pool) but a cute dress, sarong or palazzo pants would work as well.
  3. Some chunky costume jewellery that you don’t mind getting wet or losing.  Some chandelier earrings or a wrap bracelet would suit the beach-y vibe perfectly.  Or you could just pick something up at the playa while you’re there to fit in with the local vibe.
  4. The perfect beach bag.  I’m always on the search for this, kinda like the perfect pair of jeans.  It has to be big enough to fit all the necessities (magazines, SPF, a beach read, a bottle of water, etc) but not too big that you feel like you are a sherpa.  It also must have long enough straps & be waterproof.  Oh, and did I mention it must be fabulous?  Not a lot to ask.
  5. A packable hat.  I’m one of those people who does not like to get a lot of sun (especially on my face), so I go for a hat with a wide brim –  it speaks to my dramatic nature and basically ensures that I bring my own shade wherever I go.  I love Eric Javits hats – they pack beautifully and have an SPF of 50+.  And did I mention that they are fabulous?
  6. Some great sunglasses, preferably Polarized.  It was on a trip to Hawaii where I understood the importance of Polarized sunglasses.  Everything just looked so much clearer and sharper and I squinted less.  It actually felt like I was on some mind-altering drug.  I enjoy picking up a new pair at duty-free when I travel, it is just one of my things.
  7. Comfy sandals that also look great and go with lots of different outfits.  My feet are big (a size 13 US) and so my shoes take up quite a lot of room in my suitcase.  For purely practical purposes, I can’t bring more than a couple of pairs.  So I pack something that I can wear to the pool/beach that will also work for sight-seeing (usually these Birkenstocks – they’re waterproof!)  and something to wear out at night.

Add in a few cute sundresses, some SPF & the perfect travelling companion, and voila, the start to a great holiday!  What do you find essential to your beach getaway?  

Need some help packing for your next vacay?  I’m here to help!  Check out my “Leaving on a Jet Plane” shopping service.


    • Laura

      Thanks Dana! I have a couple of different styles and they’ve lasted for years.


  1. Wow, thank you for the packing list. I always resist planning my wardrobe for trips because I want the freedom to ‘choose’ so I throw far more into the suitcase than necessary but I can really see how having a plan will be so much better leaving room in my suitcase for all the important things that I want to bring home (like olive oil and mustard!). Sexy suits BTW.


  2. It’s been years and years since I’ve been on a beach vacation, but you made me want to book a trip right now!

    I realized how much of a travel bug I had once I had spent a semester in Germany while I was in college … now I don’t travel as much as I want to — the downsides of a job with not much vacation time — but it makes every trip that much more special.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>