How to Pack Lightly on Your Beach Holidays

Going on a beach holiday is the first thing many of us will be doing once travel restrictions are lifted worldwide. After months of working from home and being cooped up, there are few places like the beach where you can really embrace nature. Whether you want to swim, practice water sports, or just soak up the sun – it’s the best destination there is! But before you shoot off to your nearest beach, you’ll need to think about what to take with you to make your trip comfortable and fun. 

In this post, we’ll take a look at how to pack lightly for your beach adventures. With our list, you’ll have everything you need without any of the extra fluff. Let’s check it out! 

Get the right bag

The first part of packing lightly for your beach holidays is taking the right bag with you. Obviously, if you’re spending a week in Spain or Greece, you’re probably going to need a suitcase or a backpack to take all of your belongings with you. However, when it comes to going to the beach itself, you won’t want to lug that with you.

Instead, look at a backpack or a duffel bag. A backpack is a good option because you can fit lots in it, and they’re usually quite hardy. Some even have clever pockets at the sides where you can put water bottles or equipment like cameras and books. Then, you can leave the main body for snacks, swimsuits, or towels.

A duffel bag may not have so many clever compartments, but it’s cheap to buy and it can be molded into pretty much any shape. They’re perfect for taking the bare minimum of beach essentials – ie a towel, sunscreen, and a swimsuit.

Hoping to do some water sports? Stand-up paddleboarders, surfers, even swimmers should look at getting a dry bag. This is like a backpack but it’s made from a water-resistant material that will keep your belongings safe and dry. This is especially good if you’re traveling solo, or your travel companions want to hit the water with you. No need to leave stuff on the beach and risk it being stolen! 

Use a microfibre towel

One of the most important things you’ll take to the beach is your towel. Beach towels are great for throwing down and lying on for the day. However, when it comes to packing them at the end of the day, they can actually be quite a pain. First of all, they’re very big. Not only that, if you’ve been lying on them all day after swimming in the sea, they’ll be quite damp and sandy. 

It’s best to use a microfiber towel instead. These towels will dry you off instantly while remaining dry themselves. They’re indispensable to have in your travel armory, as they take up such a small amount of space in your backpack or duffel. 

Drink from a reusable water bottle

Staying hydrated at the beach is really important. And no, taking in salty water by accident while you’re swimming won’t help! In fact, going for a swim will trick you into thinking you’re hydrating when you’re not. This can be dangerous – at best you’ll end up groggy and headache the next day, at worst a lack of hydration can make sunstroke even worse (so make sure you pack sunscreen as well). 

Taking multiple plastic water bottles is not only annoying to carry, but it’s bad for the environment too. Especially if you don’t dispose of them properly. Get reusable water to benefit both yourself and the environment. There’s the added bonus that leak-proof bottles are better for keeping your water cooler for longer too. Refreshing! 

Only take the essentials

It’s easy to say only take the essentials to the beach, but what are they? Well, we’d say the things you absolutely can’t travel without are:

  • Bag
  • Swimsuit
  • Sunscreen
  • Towel microfibre is preferable)
  • Snacks and drinks (if you can’t buy them at the beach) 

These four things should be in everyone’s bag. Obviously, there are some extras that you may need too – such as a stand up paddleboard or surfboard for those who are doing water sports; a camera or phone to take photos, or perhaps something as simple as a book so you can kick back and relax. 

Remember – always be safe around water, and that’s true if you take your dog to the beach with you. You should seriously consider bringing a PFD for your dog, even if it adds a little bit to your gear. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.

What we’d suggest avoiding is taking lots of big, heavy, and cumbersome things that you’re not sure you’ll lose. The chances are, if you’re not sure you’ll use something, you’re not going to miss it if you don’t have it. 

Take ultralight and easy to transport equipment

Last but not least is your equipment. It’s best if you can take ultralight equipment where possible. If you’re into stand up paddleboarding, trade your hard board for an inflatable SUP. Though more space effective than a hardboard, it will lose none of the stability on the water. iSUPs are perfect for all skill levels, especially if you’re paddling on flat water. 

You can even get a purpose-built backpack for an inflatable SUP. Just remember that you’ll need to blow it up when you arrive at the beach. This can be done in less than 10 minutes with a manually operated pump – or if you’re feeling lazy, you can get a pump that plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter too! 

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