15 Essentials you need for the perfect beach vacation packing list.

Beach Vacation Packing List

When it comes to packing for a beach vacation, you don’t have to stress. We have you covered. Though you might think you have to throw countless pieces into your over-stuffed suitcase, there are really only a handful of essentials that you should make sure to have on hand, with little else required. From your new favorite French bikini to chic walking sandals; carryall beach totes, and more, check out 15 essentials you need for the perfect beach vacation packing list.

      ☐ One Piece Swimsuits
      ☐ Sunglasses
      ☐ Wide Brim Hats
      ☐ Shorts
      ☐ Beach Slides
      ☐ Midi Dress
      ☐ Straw Bag
      ☐ After Sun Body Oil
      ☐ A White Tee
      ☐ Bikini
      ☐ Earrings
      ☐ Cooler Bag
      ☐ Portable Waterproof Speaker
      ☐ Classic Button-Down Shirt
      ☐ After-Sun Cooling Gel

Our Picks


Marysia Palm Springs Maillot

Marysia - Palm Springs Maillot
Shop Now at Marysia

Make sure to have at least one maillot on hand, to ensure that you’ll look incredible laying in the sun, but can hit the water in a more active capacity on a whim as well. Bonus points for one that’s chic enough to act as a bodysuit, like this one! 


Warby Parker Taye

Shop Now at Warby Parker

Sunglasses are a must for a beach vacation. Whether you’re watching the waves, reading a book on the sand, or wandering through town, make sure to protect your eyes with the chicest accessory around.


San Diego Hat Company Ultrabraid XL Brim Sun Hat

Shop Now at Nordstrom

For a true dramatic entrance, no matter where you’re headed, make sure to pack an ultra-wide-brimmed hat that will shade your face and, of course, make you feel like a 1950s movie star.


Re/Done The Short

Shop Now at Re/Done

Every beach vacation requires a great pair of denim shorts, for casual days and bikini toppers alike. Opt for a pair of vintage (or vintage-inspired) for that truly lived-in look.


Birkenstock 1774 Arizona Canvas Slides

Shop Now at MyTheresa

For those perfect beach slides that are just as perfect for long walks through town, Birkenstocks are your new best friend. Besides, not only are they a huge trend of the moment, but they’re also insanely comfortable.


Agua by Agua Bendita Palmera Magdalena-Print Cotton Midi Dress

Shop Now at Matches

Floral midi dresses are a true must-have for beach vacations when you’re looking for something that will make you feel pulled together, even if you’re just styling your after-hours look with a pair of Birkenstocks slides.


French Baskets Straw Bag

Shop Now at Etsy

The French beach-goers know it best: there’s nothing quite like a classic oversized straw market bag, on and off the beach. The bigger, the better when it comes to your throw-everything-in-and-go beach vacation special.


Virgin Suncare Baciato Dal Sole

Shop Now at Virgin Suncare

The sun can be incredibly drying and, besides, you want that radiating glow when you’re on a beach vacation, right? Make sure to have Virgin’s botanical body oil on hand at all times, moisturizing your skin as well as helping you to protect against sun damage. What’s more? It smells divine.


Vince Short Sleeve Relaxed Tee

Shop Now at Vince

When in doubt, style it with a white tee. Denim shorts by day, midi skirt by night, over a bathing suit, or tucked into a pair of jeans. It’s important to have this true wardrobe essential on hand at all times, and this super-soft topper is one of the best out there.


Eres Les Essentiels Mouna Triangle Bikini Top & Malou Bikini Briefs

Shop Now at Net-a-Porter

Once you try a French bikini, you will never go back. With over-the-shoulder straps, it offers more support than a halter for those with larger chests, but isn’t too structured and overwhelming like an underwire. Wear it alone on the beach, or peeking out from a button-down or tank and shorts while walking around.


Bea Bongiasca 9-Karat Gold, Silver, and Enamel Earrings

Shop Now at Net-a-Porter

Dress up your look for day or night with colorful enamel jewelry, like Bea Bongiasca’s bright collection. With whimsical shapes and mis-matched rainbow tones, a simple pair of hoops packs quite a punch.


Business & Pleasure The Premium Cooler Bag

Shop Now at Business & Pleasure

For all those cool sodas, fresh snacks, and—yes—frigid six-packs you’re hoping to save from the heat of the beach, a cooler is essential. And with these colorful, stylish coolers, you can sling it over your shoulder like a tote and you’re good to go.


JBL Flip 5 Portable Waterproof Speaker

Shop Now at JBL

Instead of keeping your tunes to yourself by way of a pair of headphones, share them with the group while you’re taking in the sun or splashing around in the ocean. Make sure, however, that you shop for a waterproof speaker to avoid any mid-dance party breakdowns.


AYR The Deep End Shirt

Shop Now at AYR

A crisp, classic button-down is another multi-duty packing essential for any beach vacation. Tie it up over a maillot, let your French bikini top peek through with an open neckline, or tuck it into a denim mini for a walk around the town.


Mario Badescu After Sun Cooling Gel

Shop Now at Amazon

Ok, yes, sometimes you get overzealous in the sun and you don’t want to live to regret it. If you’re feeling a little too hot and tender, make sure you have some after-sun cooling gel or aloe on hand to make sure you don’t crisp up before nightfall.

Pro Tip


Though you might want to throw a few more things in your beach-bound luggage, you really don’t have to. With these essentials, you are set for everything your vacation might have to offer.

All products featured on Viva Cabana are independently selected by our editorial team, and the company may earn commission through affiliate links.