I LOVE short beach vacations! Especially surprise ones. My husband just informed me we’re going on a 5 day all inclusive trip to Jamaica, and we’re leaving in just 3 days. Excited couldn’t begin to describe how I feel right now. But I need to figure out quickly what to pack for a 5 day beach vacation.
How do you decide what to pack on short notice? It’s best if you have a list. But I don’t, so I decided to make one here, and have it ready for pacing before we leave.
This list is for a short beach vacation at an all-inclusive resort. These resorts offer many of the things you’d normally need to take with you:
- beach towels
- beach chairs
What To Pack For A 5 Day Beach Vacation
I have a trick that works every time, even if I don’t have a list. Well, this actually helps me make a list! I start with my head, and go down to my toes, thinking what I need. It’s pretty simple, really.
So, here is my list for a 5 day beach vacation:
- hair tie (I like it simple and wear my hair in a ponytail most of the time)
- shampoo and conditioner (for a quick trip like this, I get a 2-in-1: I don’t need to get fancy with too many bottles)
- toothbrush, toothpaste and floss
- a multi-purpose moisturizing lotion (this way I don’t need to carry several with me)
- lip balm
- a small jar of coconut oil with lavender essential oil, in case we get sunburn. This is a must for beach vacations! It’s not fun to be miserable with a sunburn!
- Advil (in case I get a headache) and allergy medicine (in case I’m allergic to something while traveling). If you have daily prescriptions, make sure oyu pack those. I’m lucky enough not to take anything on daily basis.
- 2 swimsuits
- sunscreen lotion. Honestly, I don’t use any: most sunscreens are packed with chemicals I don’t want on my skin. Instead, I plan my suntanning sessions early in the morning (8 to 10) and late afternoon (4 to 6), when the sun is not burning. It works beautifully.
- enough undergarments for the 5 days
- 5 – 7 tops (I usually get some tee shirts, a couple dressier blouses and a long sleeve)
- 2 pairs of shorts
- 1 summer skirt
- 1 pair of jeans
- a light sweater for the cooler nights
- a couple dresses ( we love going out at night, and I like to dress up just a little bit)
- shoes (a pair of flip flops for the beach, a pair of dressy sandals and a pair of comfy shoes, which I usually wear on the plane)
- 5-7 pairs of socks
- a book to read
- my journal & a pen
- small pack wipes (these will come in handy many times)
- a reusable water bottle (I like having my own bottle everywhere I go)
- laptop (this is optional; if you get attached to your laptop it’s best to leave it home. You’re on vacation to enjoy the beach, not to spend hours on your laptop. You can do that at home, without paying for a hotel 😉
- phone charger
- small backpack or a beach bag
- ID (driver license is enough if you travel nationally, but don’t forget your passport if you’re going overseas)
- cash – this is important! Ask me how I know: some day I might share what we had to do while on a trip in the virgin Islands without any cash on hand!
Everything on the list above easily fits into a carry-on bag: no need to wait in long lines to get your luggage, or worse yet, spend your vacation waiting for your lost luggage to arrive.
Of course, your list might be a bit different than mine, but the above is a good starter. Add things you must have, but remember not to bring your entire toiletries collection, or your whole wardrobe. Travel light and enjoy the difference from your every day life.
Other things you might want to pack
These are definitely optional, but many might find them necessary:
- waterproof phone case (this is optional: you’ll only need this if you take your phone to the beach, which I don’t)
- underwater digital camera – if you plan to do some snorkeling, this might come in handy. Otherwise, most phones take great pictures these days
- slip-on water shoes – depending on the beach you’ll be visiting, these might be necessary. Search before you go and bring these with you, rather than be surprised and have to buy them at your destination. They’ll be expensive!
- a deck of cards, so you can kill some time if it happens to rain
Things You Don’t Need To Pack For a Short Beach Vacation
There are things you can leave at home when going on vacation, and you won’t miss them.
Makeup – you really don’t need makeup at the beach. You’ll be glowing from being sun kissed and relaxed. Give your face a breather, and enjoy the freedom of natural beauty.
High heels – I guess high heels might be important to some, but for me, they are a definite no-no at the beach. They take up too much space in my luggage, and are too pretentious.
Too many clothes – truth be told, you may not need much if you stay on the beach. The hotel provides the towel and you’ll more than likely wear your swimming suit and not much else.
Work – leave work at home if you can help it. you’re on vacation after all. I know this might not be possible for everyone. Since we are both self employed, we can never go on vacation and not check email and phone messages. But we try to keep it to a minimum (checking in twice a day only)
Anything else that might get in the way of relaxing and recharging.
I hope my list of things to pack for a short beach vacation will help you quickly and efficiently pack up, so you are ready to enjoy yourself by the beach.