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If you’re anything like me, you’re always trying to improve your packing game. And by improve I mean avoiding situations where you’re throwing random things in your suitcase at midnight before your 6AM flight and then thinking of everything you forgot during the drive to the airport. Oh wait…that’s only me? Well then. If you’re wondering what to pack for the beach, I’ve rounded up what I consider to be essentials for a beach vacation to Hawaii. Now obviously, since you’ll be flying to Hawaii, you won’t be packing some of these things, but if you’re road tripping to the beach on the mainland, these are good ideas, and you also may want to rent some of these (chairs, umbrellas, coolers, snorkel gear, etc), if it won’t be provided by where you’re staying in Hawaii.
So here’s what you should always pack for a trip to the beach:
Cover Up. My motto is always pack more of these than you think you’ll need. It’s probably what you’ll be wearing most of the time. I’ve been particularly into kimonos lately. Some of my favorites are from Jaxsea but I also picked up this romper on my last trip and I LOVE IT!
Hat. Yeah, the first day you’re there you’ll be all about soaking up the sun, but trust me, after a little too much sun you’ll be all about the shade. I like a big sun hat but you can’t beat a good ol’ ball cap either.
Sunglasses. I live in Ray Bans, but sometimes you just want to pack a cheap pair for the beach.
Beach Bag. You’ve got to have something to haul your gear around in. I like a big bag with plenty of room but you’ll also want something that packs up small.
Sunscreen. This is the one thing you shouldn’t leave home without. Depending on where you’re going, sunscreen can be very expensive and your choices limited. Stock up at home. This is my favorite lately for laying around the pool, but if I’m going to be in the ocean, I’ve been wearing this because it’s reef safe.
Aloe Vera. Whew, trust me. You’ll end up needing this and when you do, you won’t want to have to make a trip to the store to get it. This lotion is soooo much better than any gel brand I’ve ever used.
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Bug Spray. Depending on where you’re going, you’ll definitely want this. You won’t have a problem with mosquitoes on 99% of beaches in Hawaii, but if you’re going to the Caribbean, you might also want to pack armbands.
Yeti. I’m in LOVE with my Yeti tumbler. I fill it with ice and water in the morning and 12 hours later there’s still ice in it. This is the #1 thing I recommend taking on a beach vacation.
Lifeproof Case. I never go to the beach without one of these on my phone. You can use your phone as an underwater camera at depths of up to 30 feet and even if you don’t plan on submerging your phone, it adds a little extra insurance against sand and drops.
Water Shoes. If you’ll be doing any hiking or water related activities that are going to require sturdy footwear, pack a pair of Keens. A lot of beaches or snorkeling spots in Hawaii have a rocky entry so these can be helpful.
GoPro. If you’re looking for a waterproof camera that shoots solid video and takes good photos, a GoPro is a must.
Kindle/Book. If you’re like me, a beach vacation usually means hours of reading a day. Either pack an e-reader or plenty of paperbacks.
Beach Chairs. These fold up Tommy Bahama chairs with a built in cooler are LIFE. Most condos/vacation rentals have them available for your use, and if not, make renting them one of your first stops.
Umbrella. The Hawaiian sun is INTENSE. And most beaches don’t have a lot of shade, so if you’ll be out in the sun a lot, consider renting an umbrella or buying one at Costco. This one is my favorite.
Cooler. Obviously, YETI Coolers are king, but Whaler’s General Stores sell a collapsible cooler with island specific prints that’s one of my favorite souvenirs.
Towels. Most likely your hotel or condo will provide beach towels, but I like mine extra large and fluffy. Costco has Hawaiian print ones that I LOVE.
Snorkel Set. If you’re an avid snorkeler, you may want to bring your own set from home.
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