Beach Vacation Packing Tips from a Shoe Diva

Beach Vacation Packing Tips from a Shoe Diva

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Beach Vacation Packing Tips

I just returned from a vacation to the Iberostar Paraiso Grand. It was number 29. I have a few other trips to beaches under my belt as well. I could probably pack in my sleep. 

I have learned through trial and lots of error what you need to pack and what you can leave at home. I promise that you will find some helpful tips here. If you don’t find any helpful tips, well, maybe you should consider a camping vacation instead. (I crack myself up).

The Most Important Item You Need

Before you even think about what to pack for your beach vacation, make sure you have a good suitcase!

I have used and discarded many suitcases. But I think I have found my holy grail suitcase.

The name of the brand is TravelPro. The line is the Max Lite 5. It is awesome!!! (imagine “awesome” said in that sing-song voice).

The first piece I acquired was a carry on. The love affair was on! I was ready for a full-size bag after that first trip. My budget was not.

The first time I attempted to purchase a full-size suitcase was a year ago. They had a special on the Today Show’s Steals and Deals and I ordered it. It took too long to arrive and I had to cancel it. That made me sad.

The suitcase I had was not that old. It was purchased after much research and it worked ok but it didn’t roll easily. It required two hands to push it. It was like it had a mind of its own.

After I missed out on the Today Show deal it became hard to justify buying a new case at full price when the one I had worked good enough.

It always had a wonky zipper though.

Then it happened. The universe intervened.

On my last trip to the Iberostar Paraiso Grand the zipper separated. It happened when they picked it up to take it for check out. That provided me with an excellent excuse, errr, reason, to get a new suitcase.

And I knew just which one I wanted.

The TravelPro Maxlite 5.

This thing is a beast! It holds everything I can put in it. Then I can slide my travel bag over the handle and PUSH IT WITH ONE FINGER! I kid you not. It glides through the airport, including the garage.

I chose the 29″ Azure Blue.

A Great Travel Bag

A bag to carry through the airport is essential.

I love mine. It doesn’t have a label, but it is very similar to this Baggallini.

It has a padded pocket for my ipad, my
Dre Headphones (can you say crying baby?) my makeup bag and my jewelry case. I keep all my valuable jewelry with me at all times.
There should be pockets for your phone and passport. Don’t forget a pen!
There should be a pocket for a Kindle or magazine too.
Another awesome travel accessory I always take with me is a collapsible water bottle.

Many airports have places where you can fill them. I’m not talking water fountains either. Do you think this germaphobe is going to use those unsanitary things? I don’t think so! 

Using these saves me from buying overpriced airport water, and does my part to save the environment too.

Clothing Vacation Packing List


If you’re going to the beach you need swimsuits. I personally take one for each day. I’m just that kind of girl. I want to look different every day. I take mostly bikinis. Yes, this hot mama still wears bikinis. I think I’ll know when I should stop. But I’m not there yet. I also take a couple of one pieces.

I need variety. You may not need that much variety. You need more than one though. It can take a day or two for them to dry. There is nothing worse than putting on a damp, cold clammy swimsuit.

I have gotten a lot of my suits from Victoria Secrets. I also have gotten some from Venus. I really have liked the suits I’ve gotten from Everything But Water. I also like Target swimwear.

Swimsuit Cover-ups

I take about half as many cover-ups as suits. I need to conserve space somewhere ya know!

I get these from all over the place. For little whiffs of fabric they can be surprisingly expensive. I even have a couple that I have sewn myself. There was one from Victoria Secrets that I liked but was pricey and I took a good look at it and decided I could make it myself. So I did!

Evening Attire

I like to dress up. And I do mean DRESS UP! Dresses, shoes, jewelry. Fancy dresses. You may not need dresses as fancy as mine, but you do need clothes to wear to dinner.

I take a dress for each night. I work at home now, so I rarely really get to dress up anymore. I take cocktail style dresses.


I take a different pair of shoes for each night. I have a stupid number of pairs of shoes. When we were putting our house on the market my realtor suggested I hide some of my shoes and then distribute the rest throughout the bedrooms. True story.

When we moved last year I had a closet system installed. I had a special area for my shoes. The angels sing every time I go in there.

Shoe closet

I have more than what’s pictured here because my boots are on the sides of the closet. But adding those pictures would just be obnoxious.

You also need flip flops. I usually take about as many flippies as cover-ups. And I use the term flips flops loosely. That basically means any sandal without a strap around the back.

Day Clothes

I take shorts and t-shirts for wearing to breakfast. Four for a week. I don’t like to wear my swimsuit and cover-up to breakfast, but that’s just me. Even if you do, it’s a good idea to take at least a couple pairs of shorts in case you do a non-beach/pool day.

My last trip I wasn’t feeling well one day. I wanted to lay by the beach but not get into a swimsuit. i was glad I had some day clothes for this.


When it’s the cooler months you will want to take a hoodie for day and a wrap for evening. It doesn’t always get cold enough to need them. However, once when I went to Mexico in January they were having what was quite a cold snap for them. I had neither a hoodie, nor a wrap. I spent one dreary day shopping at the hotel shops for something that would work for both. I got something that was passable. It was a large white scarf.

Sleep Clothes

Whatever you sleep in.
You may want a robe too if your hotel does not provide them.


Y’all know what I’m talking about.

That’s all the clothes you need. So now, you are ready to go, right?

Not quite.

Toiletries Vacation Packing List

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Any other hair products you use
    • Bring more stuff, not less. Your hair behaves differently in different climates.
  • Special face wash if needed
  • All of your lotions and potions.
  • Body soap if you are sensitive. Sometimes hotels have soaps that have a lot of fragrance in them.
  • Body wash disc – I discovered these Olay Body Wash Discs. I love these things. They eliminate the need for a bath puff. It lasts multiple trips.
  •  Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Awesome toiletries bag with lots of nice, sectioned compartments for everything


Don’t scrimp. Bring lots. Bring the kind that you like because then you will be more likely to use it. Bring a high SPF. Nothing ruins a vacation worse than a sunburn. Well, almost nothing. A medical emergency trumps a sunburn.
My favorite type of Sunscreen is  Neutrogena  Ultrasheer Dry-Touch. It is not sticky the way some of them can be

Medical Kit for Vacation

Take these things with you so you don’t have to buy them at inflated prices in the hotel gift shop.
  • Acetaminophen and/or Ibuprofen (I take both because I like options)
  • Diphenhydramine for allergic reactions
  • Immodium
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Bandaids
  • Oscillococcinum for that “I’m starting to feel like I’m getting a cold or flu” feeling.
  • Antacid
  • Electrolyte Powder – they always recommend drinking Gatorade but these are not sugar laden and are easy to pack. I actually drink them all day long because of the amount of sweating that occurs at the beach.
  • Probiotics – to take daily to help keep your bacteria in balance.


  • Electronic Gadget Charger
  • Phone tripod – for selfies in the pool or bathtub
  • Reading material
  • Headphones or earbuds – no one wants to listen to your music on the beach
  • Hats
  • Work out gear (if you’re that kind of person)
  •  Strip charger if you have a lot of things to charge for more than one person.
Beach Vacation Packing Tips

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Your list is very on point with things I bring, but I will definitely look at your list when I pack, so thank you for the extras I didn’t think of. Travel Pro luggage is very good. Highly recommend. Love the new organization with photos and the blog. Thanks for all the work you put into it.

    1. You’re welcome! It’s a labor of love.

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