What to pack for beach holidays

If you want to head off somewhere for some summer sun then it’s likely that you’ll need a good beach holiday packing list to tick off. Whether it’s travel documents or high-factor sun cream, taking everything you need is essential for a fabulous beach-based holiday so that you can whistle your worries away and focus on soaking up the sun and inspiration all around you.

The essentials

The first things to go on your beach holiday packing list should be your passport and health insurance card. Then add printouts of your flight tickets, holiday booking, hotel details, travel insurance and receipts for any extras you have booked such as excursions or a hire car. You should make sure that your passport has at least six months left before it expires and have enough local currency to get you through the first few days – or until you can get to a cashpoint. Check the visa requirements for your destination, and allow enough time for you to apply for them if they are needed.


Any beach holiday packing list is likely to have plenty of space for clothes, but think about what you’ll be doing in the daytime and the evening, and pack accordingly. If you plan to do a lot of sightseeing in the daytime, take a pair of shoes that are comfortable to walk in, as well as light, cotton clothes that will keep you cool and protect you from the sun. Ladies should pack a kaftan to throw on at the beach or pool, while for the evening, dresses take up less space in your suitcase than skirts and trousers. As well as shorts, men should pack trousers made from cotton for the evenings, since it's cooler than man-made material. Finally, consider the country you are visiting and whether you need to cover your legs or head in certain places, such as religious buildings.

For the beach or pool

When deciding what to take to the beach, the item at the top of your list should always be sun cream. If your beach holiday has just begun or the sun is particularly strong, go for a high factor sun cream and apply it every couple of hours – and again if you’ve been in the sea. Always take more sun cream than you think you’ll need.

As for swimwear, two different sets is ideal, as one can be drying while you wear the other, while a great pair of UV-blocking sunglasses and a large sun hat are vital. The trendiest hats for women this summer are almost a metre in diameter! But you don’t need to go that far – just take one that provides shade for your whole face and head.