Packing for a trip can be a little difficult, especially for longer trips.  There are some things that you obviously need to have, such as your ID, money, underwear, etc.  But there are other things that are must have items for every beach vacation.  Here are the items I must have that have a big impact on my trip.


While sun damage affects us all differently, protection from the sun is important for ALL skin tones.  Every day, I use Wexler’s Universal Anti-Aging Moisturizing SPF 28 for my face, even if I don’t plan on being out in the sun.  Any time I know I’ll be out in the sun for extended periods of time, I use Aveeno Active Naturals Protect + Hydrate SPF 70 Lotion for my body.

Insect Repellent

Nothing can distract you more from your beautiful getaway better than the itch left behind from insect bites.  When lounging on the beach, not only do you have to worry about mosquitoes, but sand fleas can also leave tons of itchy bites behind as well.  My favorite insect repellent is 3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent.  It has a high level of DEET, and goes on as a lotion so you don’t miss any spots.

Anti-Itch Cream

In the event that you DO miss a spot, or just forget to re-apply in time, anti-itch cream can provide some relief from any insect bites you get while out and about.  I like Dr. Sheffield’s Anti-Itch Cream.


Must have beach items

Protect your eyes and face with sunglasses and/or a floppy hat.

Not only are they stylish, but sunglasses protect your eyes from UV and HEV rays, which can cause lots of eye issues if left unchecked.  Its important that you choose sunglasses that aren’t just dark, but will also protect your eyes from these rays.  Look for sunglasses that block 100 percent of UV rays and that also absorb most HEV rays.

Beach Blanket

This may be unnecessary if you’re staying at a beach resort that provides beach chairs or cabanas, but if you’re not staying somewhere like that, its much better to have a blanket to lay on than a borrowed towel, or nothing at all.  Try one with a water and mildew resistant material.  This one also folds down so you can conveniently carry it around.

Cleansing Wipes/Anti-bacterial gel

I don’t know about you, but when I travel, I like to go and hang out at  local bars and restaurants.  The downside to that is, some of these beach bars and restaurants do not have the same bathroom standards as your hotel.  It is totally possible to visit one of these restaurant bathrooms to find that they’re out of toilet paper, and sometimes even soap.  For this reason, I ALWAYS travel with a pack of cleansing wipes and anti-bacterial gel or wipes.


Unless you’re staying at an all-inclusive resort, chances are you will find yourself hungry and searching for a nearby restaurant at some point during your stay.  To keep yourself from settling for the closest over-priced, under-seasoned food you can find, I’d recommend carrying snacks with you, such as granola bars, trail mix, or fruit.  You could also stop at a local grocery store when you arrive to pick up water, snacks (and wine!) for your room.

Extra Phone or Travel Plan

You never want to be abroad and not have a way to consistently contact people.  You could purchase a cheap, unlocked phone from Amazon, and use a local Sim card purchased at your destination.  Another option is to purchase a travel plan from your cell phone carrier.  Verizon has a Travel Pass program, which starts at about $10/day to access your current text, talk and data plan.