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Minimalist Packing for Beach Vacation

There’s nothing like the ultimate relaxation you get from tanning on the beach with a good book in hand. However, the stress from packing is less than ideal, to say the least.

Regardless, a vacation should be a smooth, de-stressing experience from start to end. Whether it’s before, during, or after it, you should have a smile on your face and nothing on your mind.

The key to the perfect packing technique is simplicity.

That’s why we created an all-you-need guide on minimalist packing for beach vacation time.

So, before you start worrying about what you might forget, let’s go over all the necessities you’ll need and some pro tips to make the most out of your bags.

Minimalist Packing for Beach Vacation: The Ideal Bag

You never know how much a bag can affect your travel experience until you’re actually on the road. That’s why picking the luggage that suits your needs beforehand is crucial. 

There are different types of bags you might take on your trip. But, which one is perfect for you, and how can you make it minimalistic? Let’s find out.

Casual Bag

If you’re traveling locally for a short amount of time, a small casual bag like a backpack, tote bag, or even a fanny pack is your best pet.

They have just enough space to last you for a few days. Plus, they’re easy to carry around and highly available. Everyone has at least one backpack somewhere around the house.

What’s even better about them is that they usually have different sections. This will go a long way when you’re trying to stay organized.

Duffel Bag

This might not be a popular opinion, but duffel bags are super underrated. They’re also the pinnacle of minimalism when you think about it.

If you’ll be needing extra space but don’t plan on moving around a lot, duffel bags are a great option. They simply force you to pack only the essentials.

The only downside here is that they’re not the most portable options.

Wheeled Bag

Wheeled luggage is the most common of all three simply because of its capacity and convenience.

They’re the hardest to keep minimal, though. It’ll often be tempting to get a larger size and overpack, but if you stick to the guide, it should be fine.

On the plus size, they’ll save your back and shoulder from struggling with a backpack or a duffel bag.

Minimalist Packing Tips

Now that you’ve decided on which bag you’ll be packing, it’s time to go over preparation tips.

Here are some ways to keep your luggage light and make the process a little less overwhelming:


Try preplanning your outfits for the trip. If you’re trying to save space, there’s nothing wrong with using the same piece for different outfits. One pair of jeans/shorts should get you covered for 2-3 days.

Since you’ll be spending most of your time on the beach, prioritize casual and light clothing. Limit your options to anything you don’t mind getting sand on. It might also be better to go for light-colored clothing since you’ll reflect the sunlight by wearing it.

To boost your selection, try wearing layers on the traveling day itself. This way, you’ll have more options to mix and match later on!

Compress Your Clothing

Compressing your clothing is a simple process that saves you a great amount of space. All you need is a good vacuum bag for clothes.

Since you’re packing for the beach, you’ll be majorly getting swimsuits and summer clothing. Those small pieces can be compressed into one or two bags at most.

So, compressing your bulkiest items is always a great thing to do before you start packing.

Do the Skivvy Roll

The skivvy roll means folding clothes and stuffing them inside a sock. It sounds weird, but it can save a ton of space. It works very well for packing in a backpack or a small duffel.

You do this by laying down the items by size. Fold up the sleeves and legs till you have a rectangle to work with, then roll it all up tightly. Get a clean elastic sock and wrap it around the roll. Cover up the side with the other pair.

It’ll take a bit of time to master, but you’ll be surprised how you can fit an entire outfit in one sock roll!

Make a List and Stick to It

Even if you’re not traveling for a long time, packing can be a hectic mess. You’ll constantly worry about forgetting something. Odds are, this stress will eventually lead to actually leaving something important behind.

Plus, you’ll constantly fall into the trap of overpacking, which is very counterproductive when you’re looking for minimalistic solutions.

To avoid this, start with a conclusive list of the basics only. As you go, try to stick to it as much as possible.

Lucky for you, we’ve already made a list of the essentials. Take it one step at a time, and you’ll realize you’re done much sooner than expected!

What to Put On Your Minimalist Beach Vacation Packing List?

So, you’re prepared to start packing. What do you need to include?

The basics are things you definitely cannot leave your house without. This covers your medication, toiletries, change of clothes, and phone.

Health Items

The number one thing you need to think about is medication. After all, you don’t want to ruin your vacation with an asthma attack!

Here’s a reminder of some medications you might need to pack with you.

  • Inhaler
  • Topical ointments
  • Insulin (with ice packs)
  • Pills


Most hotels provide toiletries like shampoo, soap, and conditioner. However, if you’re not staying in one, make sure to include them in the list.

Remember that it’s better to travel light than carry a bar of soap back and forth. Worst-case scenario, you’ll need to visit the closest drug store and pick up a few items while you’re there.

  • Razor
  • Hairbrush 
  • Chapstick
  • Moisturizer
  • Deodorant 
  • Hand sanitizer

Before you get overwhelmed by the space they might take up, consider investing in a travel-friendly kit for your toiletries.

Sun Protection 

The sun’s ultraviolet rays can be intense and leave permanent and serious damage to your skin.

To keep your skin safe and healthy, and wrinkle-free, pack some sun protection:

  • Sunblock (SPF 50
  • Sunglasses
  • Headwear
  • Aloe vera


Try keeping the electronics you take with you at a minimum. You want to enjoy the beauty of the ocean and not worry about social media.

However, to make sure you can get a hold of your family or friends throughout your trip, you can’t forget these essentials:

  • Cellphone
  • Cell Phone charger
  • Portable charger (just in case)
  • Waterproof phone case


It’s always tempting to pack “just-in-case” items. However, to keep your bag light, you’ll have to pick the must-haves only.

  • Bathing suit
  • Pajamas
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Tank tops
  • Shorts or pants
  • Cover-ups
  • Flip-flops
  • Sandals
  • A sweater or blanket for chilly nights

Leisure Items

Those are not really basics, but they can make your trip a little more fun.

A beach vacation is already amazing, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t accessories that can make it even better!

The best thing about it is that most of them can easily fit into a small section of a purse or carry-on.

Here are a few small objects to consider:

  • A book (or kindle)
  • Play cards
  • Headphones/Mini Speakers
  • Inflatable beach ball

What to Pack In Your Carry-On?

If you’ll be traveling internationally, you’ll probably check a bag. So, what should you prioritize in your carry-on? The necessities.

For starters, put all your important travel documents such as your passport, ticket, and ID. Keep them in a front pocket for easier access.

If you’ll have a bottled drink to go, read the guidelines on what you’re allowed to take with you on board.

The next thing you should pack is extra cash, in case you find yourself short. You never know how much you’ll be spending or what might happen. Just make sure to hide it in different pockets.

Lastly, pick one outfit to put in your carry-on. Sometimes, checked bags get lost and might take a few days to retrieve.

Even something as simple as an extra t-shirt can save you in a pinch. After all, no one likes to be stranded wearing the same outfit for multiple days on end!

Final Thoughts

Just because packing for a trip can be overwhelming doesn’t mean that has to be the case every time.

While some people like to prepare for every possible scenario, it might be better to not overthink it. From choosing the ideal bag to zipping up your carry-on, it could all be a smooth sail if you know what to pack.

In most cases, the basics will get you covered, especially with a fail-proof guide. All you really need is a few toiletries, a change of clothing, some sunscreen, and a pair of dazzling flip-flops.

So, get started on the minimalist packing for beach vacation and holidays, and brace yourself for a big splash!

Written by Staff

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