Beach Travel Pack List: Don’t Forget the Sun Protection

beach travel packing list

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A sunny day just begs to be spent at the beach. Especially a sunny day somewhere in the Greek islands, Australia, or Miami.

The warm weather, the heat of the sun, and the sea breeze are just calling out for you to take a break and enjoy being outside and away from your worries.

However, a nice day out can be ruined if you forget to take some of these beach essentials.


pack sunblock for your beach trip
Better pack sunblock!

This is the most obvious and yet most important item on this list. It should always be in your beach bag and even your everyday bag!

Sunscreen not just protects your skin from a blistering sunburn, it also minimizes skin damage that can lead to discoloration and saggy, leathery skin in the future. 

While the sun gives you much needed Vitamin D, it does also have ultraviolet rays that can penetrate even on a cloudy day, so make sure to include sunscreen as part of your everyday essentials!

Sunscreen can get wiped off your body when you sweat or take a dip in the water, so make sure to always reapply after swimming.

Sun Bum Original Sunscreen

Sun Bum Original SPF 30

There are so many sunscreens available in the market today, but we’re digging this Sun Bum Original SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion. It is moisturizing, hypoallergenic, and best of all, it is vegan AND reef-friendly, so the environment wins!

(Our friends at Outdoor GoYo have a list of more reef-safe sunscreen options you should check out.)

If you do end up getting sunburnt or have skin that is prone to burning make sure to pack an after-sun lotion that can soothe your skin. You can choose to use an aloe vera-based gel or a paw paw cream that is more versatile.

Clothes with UV-Protection

You may not have plans to get in the water and just stay in the shade, but you still need sun protection! If slopping on some sunscreen is not your thing, you might want to consider wearing clothes with UV-Protection.

hurley rashguard

Hurley Rashguard

This Hurley Long-sleeved Rashguard is dry-fit so it keeps you cool while protecting your skin from the sun’s damaging rays.

This is especially great if you are traveling solo and have no one to help you spread sunscreen on your back, which is where the most sunburns often happen!

Sun Hat

packable sun hat

Packable sun hat

Wide-brimmed hats are not just classy cute, but they also do a great job in protecting your scalp, your ears, face, neck. They also help minimize the glare from the harsh sun so you can see so much better.

This cute UV50 Foldable Sunhat comes with a detachable chin strap so it wouldn’t go flying off with a sudden gush of wind. It also has an invisible ponytail hole, so you can still wear the hat comfortably if you prefer to put your hair up on a hot day.


While the sun doesn’t burn your eyes the same way it does to your skin, overexposure to UV rays can lead to eye diseases such as cataracts, eyelid cancer, or age-related macular degeneration, which can cause central vision loss.

Maui Jim Mariana sunglasses

Maui Jim Mariana Sunglasses

That’s why it’s important to also protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses that have UVA and UVB protection. You should also consider getting glasses with polarized lenses that reduce glare.

Beach Tent

Beach tents are a great way to get your own personal space at the beach. You get to have where you can store your belongings and protect it from the elements. 

It can also work as a make-shift change room and a place for you to take cover when it gets too hot or (heaven forbid!) started to rain.

popup beach tent protects from sun

Popup Beach Tent

There are many available beach tents on Amazon, but we’re partial to the pop-up tents that are super easy and quick to set up. Another great thing about this kind of tent is that it folds smalls and is easy to carry from your car to the beach and easy to store.


Along with never forgetting to slap on some sunscreen, you should also remember to keep hydrated when you’re out in the sun. 

While a cold can of soda can feel refreshing when you’ve been baking, it may not be hydrating you as well as plain old water would.

Nuun sport hydration tablets

Nuun Sport Electrolyte Tablets

If you find drinking water boring, you can try using electrolyte tablets. Just plop a tablet into your reusable water bottle, watch it fizz and drink up to rehydrate your body.

You can also bring fruits like sliced watermelon, strawberries, and peaches to snack on. Not only can these satisfy your sweet tooth, but they can also keep your body hydrated.

Sand Repellent Beach Blankets

Don’t you just hate it when three days after you’ve been to the beach and you are still finding sand all over the place?

As much as we love the beach, we don’t love how the sand gets into every nook and cranny. That’s why this amazing product is just revolutionary.

Lagu sand repellant beach towel

Lagu sand repellant beach blanket

Lagu is a beach-friendly blanket that repels sand even when it’s wet. After a day out at the beach, just one shake and all the sand just slides off. Though it’s not as absorbent as a towel, you can also use it to dry yourself after a dip in the water.

It’s lightweight so it’s very easy to travel with, it dries fast, and comes in such cute colors! 

  • Or, try packing a Turkish towel instead – it’s lightweight and quick-drying versus a standard beach towel.

These are the items in our beach packing list. What are the items in yours?

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Written by Brooke

I run the show at Her Packing List and love packing ultralight. In fact, I once traveled for 3 entire weeks with just the contents of a well-packed 12L handbag. When I'm not obsessing over luggage weight, I'm producing episodes of The UnPacking List or just snuggling with my pet rabbit, Sherlock Bunz.

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Gear We Use


Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.

Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.

Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking! – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions


  1. Alouise says

    Great advice for the summer months. I can definitely attest to wearing a hat. I forgot to bring one in Mexico and I had a lovely sunburn on my forehead. After I went and bought an overpriced hat from a market. A little touristy looking but I didn’t want to burn even worse.


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