Beach Trip Packing List – The New Essentials Packing List

This has been an unusual year, to say the least, and I’m lucky to have traveled at all. We all adapted to this pandemic situation and we do our best to be safe at home, at work, and while we travel. I never wrote a packing list post until now but I planned a beach trip recently and I noticed some significant changes to my usual packing list.

First, road trip essentials

Are you ready to travel again? It’s a personal decision but the important thing is to be responsible, protect yourself, and respect others. If you plan a trip to another country, make sure to be up to date with the applying rules in the destination country.

What we need to do is simple, wear a mask especially inside, wash our hands frequently, use hand sanitizer and disinfect objects we use frequently like the phone and keys.

All ready for a beach day

The things you need to bring with you (for any trip) are below.


First things, first. I know you don’t want to leave home without these items:

  • Passport, ID, driver’s licence
  • Credit card and some cash
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Travel insurance – check your travel insurance conditions. Not all policies cover quarantine caused by COVID policies and you don’t want to risk being stuck somewhere and having to pay to stay indoors

Things you’ll need on your road-trip

  • Hand sanitizer, a medium bottle for your car, and also small bottles for each bag you are carrying. Have them in an easy to access place so you won’t need to get everything else out of the bag to reach it. Hand sanitizer is not as effective as washing your hands with soap but it’s the next best thing.
  • Masks – pack enough masks for your trip. It will be less expensive to buy them from home. If you choose reusable masks, wash them every night.
  • You will also need small plastic bags to store them. If you use a plastic bag for a used mask, throw the plastic bag, don’t use it with a clean mask. Use compostable bags to store your masks, we’re producing too much plastic waste already.
  • Wet wipes/Alcohol wipes. Buy some wet wipes packs with alcohol, they’re useful in every situation. Use them to clean small areas or objects like your phone.
  • Reusable water bottle. You can fill it with tap water if it’s safe on your destination or just buy a large container and fill your bottle a few times. Less residue and a smaller chance of contamination. Choose a thermo-bottle to keep your water cold on a hot day.
  • Snacks – you always need a snack on a long road trip. Pack bananas or washed fresh fruit, biscuits, or granola bars for an energy boost.
  • Medicine –  my usual contains ibuprofen, aspirin, paracetamol, and something for the stomach, plus a few bandages, just in case.
The thermo-bottle also works for a cold beer if you’re a little far from the beach bar

Post-COVID Beach Trip Packing List

During these social-distancing times, our beach trip packing list has a few important new items. The first thing we bought for our beach trip was a set of two beach chairs. We wanted to avoid sitting on used beach mattresses and a bit farther from everybody else

Beach chairs – these beach chairs are easy to carry and they have multiple pockets to store the beach towel, sunscreen, or phone. They also have these little pillows if you like to doze off on the beach.

Setting up for a day at the beach

Beach Umbrella – if you plan to spend a few hours or a full day at the beach, don’t forget the umbrella. You’ll need that shade after the first couple of hours.

Beach towel – I was offered this beautiful Tesalate beach towel for two. What I love about it is that it dries quickly, it’s easy to pack and doesn’t carry sand away.

My Tesalate beach towel

Beach trip packing list

Now, getting back to the basic things to wear or bring with you at the beach:

  • Sunscreen – choose something with a light texture and at least 30 SPF (I use 50 SPF these days)
  • Sunglasses – I can’t really go anywhere without them
  • Bathing suit – I always pack 2 bathing suits, to avoid having to wear one that’s still wet
  • Swim goggles
  • Something to read – I like nothing better than spending the hot hours under the beach umbrella, with my feet in the sand and reading a good book
  • Shorts and tank tops – keep it simple at the beach
  • Sunhat – don’t spend too much time in the sun without a cap or a hat
  • Sarong/scarf – you can use a large scarf as a dress on the beach or as a shawl or scarf in the evenings if it gets cold or windy.
  • Beach bag – you’ll need a large one to pack everything you need for a day at the beach
  • Flip-flops
You’re all ready to spend a beautiful day at the beach!

Off-beach essentials

For the rest, you know best what you like to wear. Here’s a small list of the things you’ll need when you actually leave the beach:

  • Sandals
  • A dress
  • Light long-sleeve blouse
  • A small bag
  • Underwear
  • Sleeping clothes
  • Toiletries

Don’t overpack! I like to spread out everything on the bed before packing and choose things I can mix and match and a few accessories.

Disclosure: Some of the above may be affiliate links. This means that if you click on a link and make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. However, I only recommend companies, activities, or products that I use myself.

What other items do you need on your beach trips? Tell me in the comments below.

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