Sun Worshipper's Guide on What to Pack for a Beach Vacation
Live Life Outside

Sun Worshipper's Guide on What to Pack for a Beach Vacation

Heading to the beach for vacation can be the ultimate wind down. It’s your opportunity to bask more and stress less, and at Sunski, we believe sun basking is the antidote to modern mania! A little sun worship with your feet in the sand is a pretty ideal way to unplug and live life outside, don’t you think?

Last-minute packing stress can be a real problem, though. Let us help you plan what to pack for a beach vacation (so you don’t have to).

Perched in the sand with towel and umbrella soaking up the sun

Vacation Mode: Activiated!

What to Pack for a Beach Vacation

We curated these beach essentials with the sun lover in mind. With this list of what to pack on a beach vacation, you’ll have everything you need to make the most of your solar rejuvenation.

Sun basking on the beach

Prep for sun-kissed skin and the lull of the ocean waves

Sun Protection

You can increase your longevity under the sun by making sure you’re protected against it. Laying out to roast will leave you with a terrible sunburn, and let’s face it, a full day at the beach with a gnarly sunburn is not the way to go!

Plus, we often leave the beach because we’re starting to get sunburned or we’re too hot. You can avoid that with adequate protection! When deciding what to pack for a beach vacation, these are the sun protection musts.

Day on the beach with hat and sunglasses

Sun protection is one more way to show of your outdoor style!


Surprise! We love sunnies. And while sunglasses are an everyday staple, they’re in their natural habitat on the beach. Keep your eyes shaded so you can revel in the view of that deep ocean blue! Bring along a few pairs of sunglasses, in case one gets lost at sea or buried in your sand castle.

Sunglasses on a beach towel with water and a wide brim hat

One beach favorite Sunski is the Baia, which exudes an elevated sense of style in a classic round frame. For more full coverage and plenty of color options, you can’t go wrong with the uniquely-shaped Miho or the square Puerto.

All of our sunglasses are durable, so when considering what to pack for a beach vacation, you can adventure worry-free with Sunskis! We even curated a collection of beach sunglasses, just for this purpose.

Sunski Baia sunglasses in the sand on beach

The Baia has that effortless, classic beach vibe

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When lathering up on sunscreen, make sure your product is considered reef-safe. Even if you aren’t swimming by reefs, you don’t want to pollute waterways with potentially harmful chemicals!

For a brand that prioritizes the environment in their hygiene products, check out Kinfield and their sun products. They produce clean, effective sunscreens that are powered by plants, so you won’t sacrifice protection when going chemical-free.

Leaning over to smile down at the camera in the sun

A Hat

The sunnies are doing the heavy lifting, but a hat can help keep your face cool and your vision clear. Bonus bits of shade can make all the difference when it comes to feeling comfortable and increasing your outdoor longevity, whether you're hiking along the bluffs or relaxing in the sand. Hats like the Sunburst Hat and Sun Up Hat will be your loyal adventure buddies!

Sitting on a rock on the beach clad in hat and day sling

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Carry in One Load

With all that you’re juggling, you need help transporting the goods. Aside from your luggage, add smaller bags to your list of what to pack for a beach vacation.

Travel Case

Remember our suggestion to bring along a few pairs of sunglasses? A travel case can easily support that by offering three slots for shades. You don’t have to pick just one, especially if you’re going for a beachy look by day and a stylish look by dinner.

Placing a pair of sunglasses in a travel case

Bonus: it can also carry your passport, wallet, and other small travel essentials

Day Pack

When considering what to pack for a beach vacation, a tiny day pack is a top pick. Our favorite is the Sunski Type-1 Fun Sling, which we designed with joyful, laid back adventures in mind. It’s perfect for beach days, because you can toss in some snacks, sunscreen, bottle opener, phone, and your Sunskis.

A day pack sling held up to a cloudy sky

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Tote Bag

A tote bag is a top tier beach buddy, for its durability and stylish edge. With so much space, it can carry any number of beach essentials, from towels to water bottles and all the small items you need for a beach day! Pick up a Sunski Bask More Tote to make the most of your sun worshipping adventure.

Two people napping on the beach on their towel

Make it Easy, Stay Comfy

As you plan what to pack on a beach vacation, consider how you’d like to spend your time by the water. Are you someone who works up an appetite, body surfing or swimming for hours? Do you like to post up for the whole day, or just part of it? To make sure you have all the essentials for your trip, here are a few more items you might want to bring along.

Sitting in the sand with surfboard leaned behind you

Whether your beach time means sandy naps or adrenaline on the water, these packing essentials are for you

Sustainable Beach Towels

Beach towels give beach days a more minimalist approach. Showing up for the day with nothing but your packed up Type-1 Fun sling and a beach towel will no doubt make for an epic day! If your style is lowkey, this is really all you need. It’s useful for drying off, but if you just want to lay down and lap up the sun, beach towels are the perfect answer. So whether or not you plan to swim, a beach towel is a necessity on our list of what to pack for a beach vacation.

Sunglasses on a beach towel near hat and water

For a laid-back retro style, pick up the Cambria

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Brands like Nomadix have towels in several sizes, so you can find what you need for your next beach getaway. Even better, Nomadix towels are made from post-consumer plastic, so you know they care about the planet!

Ice Chest

This may be more feasible if your beach destination is accessible by road trip, but a soft cooler can keep all your snacks and drinks cool for the day and it's easier to cart around. After the temp kicks up a few degrees, you don’t want to sip a sizzling water or a warm beer! Plus, with the ability to pack and preserve cold sandwiches, fruit, and dips, you can re-up your energy midday. No more leaving the beach out of hanger.

Sunset over the ocean with a lone surfer on the water

Voila! Your list of what to pack for a beach vacation. Now, you can focus on the fun part: envisioning yourself on the beach, clad in sustainable swimwear, soaking up the Vitamin D, and recharging your mental battery.

Bask in the glow, relish in the sounds of the waves, and let your stress fade away! If you're heading to Europe, check out our blog on Best Beaches in Europe for Sun Basking.

Meet the Author

madison author bio

Along with writing blogs for Sunski, Madison creates nature books for kids. She grew up with BLM land in her backyard, which fueled her affinity for adventure and epic stories. In her spare time, she enjoys swimming, camping, and reading under the sun.