How to pack for a beach break


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At the end of this month I am heading back to Menorca for the second time this year. And for the 5th time in 3 years. So I have become pretty experienced in how to pack lightly for a beach type holiday. I now only take ever hand luggage for any length beach holiday. Here are my tips on how to pack for a beach break.

image of the beach - destination for pack for a beach break

Start with the right bag

Take something too big and you will be forever over packing. I got a cabin zero bag last year and I LOVE it. Take a look at the one I own here.

It is big enough for me to pack for a slightly longer trip, but not too large that I over pack. It has a few compartments inside, so I can find things easily and straps to tightening it up and make a bit smaller.

I find it so much easier walking through the airport with a back pack rather than a wheelie suitcase. Plus, when travelling with hand luggage only, if the flight is very full they will often taken hard cases off you at gate resulting in that annoying wait at baggage reclaim when you arrive. With a soft case, they never take it off you.

Items to make packing easier

I was given a wash and wear laundry bag as a gift, and it is one of the most useful things I take when travelling. If you haven’t seen one have a look here.

It saves on space, keeps things tidy, plus is so much better for the environment than using a plastic carrier bag for your washing.

Now – toiletries. This is the part I find hardest when trying to pack for a beach break. But I decant my toiletries into smaller bottles. I much prefer this to buying new travel sized toiletries each time I fly. This is from both a cost and an environmental perspective. If you’re looking for some good products, I love these silicone bottles. The colours help me remember which one is which!


Even when trying to mimimise how much I pack for a beach break, there is one thing I can’t do with out -a good book. I am of the old fashioned, probably slightly annoying, breed that just can’t get on with reading digitally. Plus, gadgets, water and I would most likely not end well. On my last trip to Menorca I read the amazing ‘Everything I know about Love’ by Dolly Alderton. It was funny, relatable and I just couldn’t put it down. If you are looking for a good beach read, this is the one for you. Get your copy here:

image of book, necessary to pack for a beach break

The other bit of entertainment I don’t go anywhere without is my portable speaker. So small it fits in any hand luggage.  While not the most powerful speaker in the world, it is good enough for by the pool, getting ready for dinner and drinks in the evening. It was the price that really swayed me, I don’t like to take anything away that is too pricey! The one I have is a mini pop up one- just like this one.

Clothes to pack for a beach break

Shoes – I tend to take one or two pairs of sandals, depending how long I am away, and then a pair of flip flops for the beach. My shoes are usually a pair of Menorcan sandals. I’m not going to link any here, because in my opinion none can be as good as the traditional ones bought on the island.

I am going in a few weeks if anyone wants me to pick them up some! Only €20!

They are super comfy, so if I am going into a town for a day or doing some sightseeing, they are more than comfortable for a day of this. As well, as looking good in the evening. My newest pair are silver and I am in love!

image of Menorcan sandals, I always pack for a beach break

Dresses – I find two or three dresses for evenings, plus something to throw on when having lunch on the beach, is more than enough.

Shorts – I like to take one pair of shorts than can be dressed up or down for day to evening.

Harem trousers – One pair of loose fitting trousers. These are usually one of the pairs I picked up when travelling around Asia and Africa. But useful if the evening is slightly cooler or to protect from the mosquitos!

Two tops – I make sure these go with my shorts and trousers. Bang, there are 4 outfits right there!

Jumper – Just in case there is a cooler evening. I wear this on the plane though, because sometimes flights do get pretty chilly!

Swimwear – My biggest tip is to take swimwear with different coverage. I found that if I happen to get slightly burnt in one area, its good to have a costume that covers a different part of you to protect from further burn! I take 2 bikinis and a swimming costume. One to wear, one will be drying and a spare.

Everything else

Towel – These take up a lot of room in hand luggage, but are also an essential. I invested in a micro towel, like this one. Its useful both for beach breaks, but also when I am backpacking – again space is an issue!

A light scarf – I generally travel with a light pashmina type scarf. Again, if its cold on the plane it’s useful. And it comes in handy if the evening is slightly cooler, when you are away.

Hat – A sun hat is imperative. I wear mine on the plane, both to save space and to save the shape of the  hat! Place on top of the cabin zero bag in the overhead locker.

Passport – It always travels in my Aspinal passport holder. It keeps all my other documents neat and tidy and it means I don’t lose it amongst my hand luggage.

Bag – The only bag I take, aside from my luggage bag of course, is my Havaianas Mini Bag. Its neon pink, so I don’t lose it. It has a hand strap, so I don’t lose it. It’s the perfect size for keys, card and phone. Plus, while not waterproof, it does keep the worst off at the beach.

All the other little bits – adaptor, mosquito repellant bracelets (as beautiful as they look), suncream. I use piz buin because its about the only one I am not allergic too, and they do a 100ml version for hand luggage. Phone charger, a hair bandana and some cheap tassel earrings for livening my outfit up in the evening.

Image of three essentials to pack for a beach break

So there you have it. A full list of what to pack for a beach break. What is your must pack list when you pack for a beach break?

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image of how to pack for a beach trip


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rachelonrouteRachel August 6, 2018 - 10:39 am

I usually travel with hand luggage only too, but I’ve found some great new ideas here. I love he wash me wear me bag, thats such a good idea! I totally agree about having a book as well – I keep hearing how good Kindles are but I cant quite get myself to give up on the real thing!

Charlie - Where Charlie Wanders August 6, 2018 - 1:10 pm

Honestly it is the best present I have ever been given – so useful! For me, and I know not everyone is the same, but I love having a traditional book to read!

Gerard Hughes August 7, 2018 - 7:26 am

Have recently waded into the packing cubes world and I’m really impressed, despite being skeptical. And I’m only in the middle of packing – haven’t even been on a trip with them! I also annoyingly always carry a physical book and my kindle. Just in case, you know.

Charlie - Where Charlie Wanders August 7, 2018 - 7:32 am

Oh that’s interesting. I have often thought about investing in some, but like you am skeptical. Thought they might be more useful when backpacking though.

And it’s always good to have back ups!


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