19-item packing checklist for summer, vacation, & beach trips

Going on a trip during summer vacation is always exciting. It can also be stressful, especially when you have no idea what to pack in your suitcases. After all, it’s important to take only necessary items not to exceed the weight limit. Maybe you don’t want any stress before the trip starts. You should go through the 19-item packing checklist for summer, vacation, and beach trips. If necessary, you can even print it to be sure that you have everything you need.

Vacation packing list

1. Travel bags

travel bag on wheels

Whether you make a road trip within your state or on an international vacation in another country, you will need a travel bag. Maybe your vacation lasts longer than a weekend. You should consider a lightweight and versatile suitcase that will fit all your indispensable belongings. 

The most practical option is to choose a rolling suitcase, especially if you carry a lot of stuff. You wouldn’t want to get back pain after lifting heavy luggage. If your means of transport that will get you to a desirable destination is a plane, a Coolife suitcase will be a perfect companion for you. It has a strong plastic shell will resist mechanical damage during luggage transportation.

If you won’t be out of home for more than a few days, the most convenient way for you to transport your items is a duffel bag. It is lightweight and easy to carry on your shoulders. There is also a possibility of getting a duffel bag with two small wheels on one side, making transportation even easier.

2. Backpack

backpack

Whether you need a suitcase or not, a backpack is indispensable during travel. Consider where to put travel documents, food, or other essential items. They should always be within quick access in case you need them. 

If the journey to Hawaii awaits you, a bulky backpack is not something you would want to take to a beach resort. Therefore, it’s better to have a relatively small but accommodating backpack that will be easy to carry whenever you want. Maybe your case scenario is hiking through wild parts of Alaska. You’ll need a spacious backpack with room for all the essential items.

3. First Aid Kit

first aid kit

Sometimes a first aid kit is not something we consider taking on a trip. We naively believe that no sickness or injuries will come to us when we want to rest and enjoy the time. Regardless of how frequently you get sick or how dangerous your destination is, this is a necessity everyone should have.

Every first aid kit should have:

  • pain relievers
  • diarrhea pills
  • bandages
  • adhesives
  • antibacterial gel
  • sunburn relief
  • insect repellent
  • and other medicine.

If you have a prescribed treatment, you should also take the prescription documents. You might be asked to show them while crossing the border.

Maybe you feel overwhelmed by the list of medicines you should have in your first aid kit. You can choose an alternative method to get it quickly and easily. To make your life less challenging, people have already come up with a kit that you can buy and have everything you’ll need at your disposal. A good choice for you is the Be Smart Get Prepared first aid kit. Add it to your luggage. At the end of the day, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

4. Toiletries

toiletry bag

Self-care products are indispensable on any trip. Do this before moving to the toiletry packing list. Remember you don’t have to put a large bottle of shampoo or any other product into your suitcase. Each product’s small alternatives will be sufficient to last for no more than a two-week trip. If you plan to make a longer RV trip, it is better to stock up on large bottles. 

In any other case, you wouldn’t want to overload yourself with unnecessary large items. You need:

  • shampoo
  • a hairbrush
  • face wash
  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste
  • deodorant
  • and sunscreen.

Add feminine hygiene and make-up products to that list if you’re female. 

You might need to take a small extra bag for other less significant but important toiletries. Include:

  • perfume
  • mirror
  • clothes detergent
  • shaving kit
  • toilet paper
  • sewing lit
  • nail clippers
  • and tweezers.

You can also put a small cosmetic bag in your carry-on luggage so you’ll always have the most necessary items.

5. Technology

laptop

It’s hard to imagine our lives without a smartphone or laptop these days. It’s not that we are addicted to technology; rather, it makes our lives easier and more comfortable. Imagine getting lost in the middle of Mexico without knowing the language or the way back to your hotel room. This situation is not only unfortunate but dangerous as well. 

That’s why it’s always necessary to have a fully charged smartphone to help you resolve any unfortunate situation. In addition to your smartphone, make sure you have:

  • a wristwatch
  • headphones
  • and a charger for each item.

You should also take a power bank on any trip in case your phone dies. A good choice is the CONXWAN portable charger that will charge the battery level to a maximum within an hour.

6. Documents

travel document organizer

If you don’t want your trip to end before it even starts, you should gather all the necessary documents that you’ll need for your trip. First of all, you should put your passport inside your backpack in a place where it’ll be safe. Having a special passport holder is good to protect it from any possible damage during transportation.

You’ll also need:

  • travel insurance
  • a driving license
  • a list of emergency contacts
  • and printed travel tickets if necessary.

You can buy a special travel document organizer to keep all your documents safe and in order. Life gets much easier if you know that all the important documents are in one secure place. Remember that you’ll also need to have credit cards and cash in the event of different types of payment. Make sure they’re in a safe place to avoid being robbed.

7. Clothing

socks

Your clothing should match the place you’re going to. If your vacation takes place in Iceland, it’s better to take something warmer than a pair of shorts. After all, you probably don’t want to turn into an ice cube. Even if you go to Italy for your summer vacation, you should take at least one warm piece of clothing in case of unexpected weather changes

The basic list of clothing you’d need on your trip includes:

  • a few t-shirts
  • pants
  • underwear
  • long-sleeved shirts
  • socks
  • sleepwear
  • dresses
  • skirts
  • and comfortable shoes.

Before packing your luggage, check what is appropriate to wear in the country you’re going to. In some countries, it is not only forbidden to wear too many revealing clothes but also regulated by law. For women, remember to bring the right amount of bras.

comfortable shoes

If you don’t know how to stuff all your clothing into a suitcase, you can use RoomiPro compression bags. These don’t need you to use a vacuum cleaner to suck out the air. You can just put in the clothes and zip the bag. Then all you need to do is to roll the bag with clothes, and all the air will get out. These bags will significantly simplify your packing.

8. Accessories

gucci belt

You won’t die without accessories, but they can still make your travel more comfortable and enjoyable. They can also enhance the coolness of your outfit if you participate in any festival. From accessories, you can take:

  • sunglasses
  • hats
  • scarves
  • belts
  • and purses

You’ll make good use of them in hot countries.

If your destination is Europe or any other place where it can rain, don’t forget to take an umbrella or raincoat. Remember that it’s better not to stuff your suitcase with too many accessories. You won’t need a lot of them for a short vacation trip.

9. Entertainment

books

Being on the road is not always that exciting, especially when you haven’t arrived at your destination yet. Looking out of the window can also become boring if you constantly see the same landscapes. That’s why you should consider ways to entertain yourself on the road. 

If you have a companion, the deck of cards or travel games will keep you busy and make you enjoy your time fully. For single travelers, a book or a magazine is the best choice to spend time productively. You can also take a language guide and learn a few basic phrases while you wait. It will come in handy and make you confident in any possible situation.

10. Food

cashew bars

No matter where you go, food and water are things you must have so as not to starve during a tiring journey. There is frequently the option to dine in a restaurant or purchase food at the airport or bus station. However, there’s no guarantee that you’d be able to do that. You should pack:

  • some sandwiches
  • fruits
  • energy bars
  • dry fruits
  • and nuts.

Keep in mind that some food can go bad without a refrigerator, especially when it is hot outside. 

If you plan to go camping while visiting Yellowstone, you’ll need bigger food supplies. Good energy bars won’t be excessive. However, it’s much better to take a little portable kitchen and already sorted food packages with food. Backpacker’s Pantry is an example of good, high-protein camping food that will keep you satisfied for a long time.

beach packing list

Some people prefer to spend their holidays going on an exciting around-the-world journey. Others choose to visit the most popular places in the state, like Las Vegas, New York, or San Francisco. For small families, it is a pleasure to take their kids to see Disney World. It’s no matter how expensive it might be. 

Then there is the other type of person who is sick of working and chooses to lie on the beach, swim, and tan most of their vacation time. If you are one of them, check out this beach packing list so you’ll be sure you’ll take everything you need.

1. Swimsuit

swimsuit

There won’t be any swimming without a swimsuit. It’s better to bring more than one swimsuit on a beach vacation. Ensure they fit your body and won’t unzip underwater during active movements. It is also good to have a swimsuit cover-up that you can wear after getting out of the water. It’ll make your body dry off quicker, and you won’t struggle with getting into your clothes.

2. Towel

set of towels

After swimming, you’ll need a towel to dry off your body and hair. You can buy a Chavish beach towel designed especially for this type of relaxation. It is made of cotton velour that instantly absorbs moisture

This towel is perfect for those who like going into the water multiple times and hate that regular towels get wet quickly. That won’t happen with towels specifically made for the beach. You’ll also get to enjoy a beautiful aesthetic design.

3. Sunscreen

sunscreen

Make sure to protect your skin against the sun whenever you go. UV radiation does not only make the skin age faster but can also cause skin cancer. If you don’t use any protection from the sun, you might also get burned. Add sunscreen to your beach packing list to avoid spending the rest of your vacation time in the cabin.

You also should know that different sunscreens give various levels of protection. If you have sensitive skin, you should also find a suitable product for it. Dermatologists recommend eltaMD sunscreen. After using it, you won’t notice any undesirable skin irritation. 

You can also buy a reef-safe sunscreen that won’t be good for your skin but for water plants and animals. It’s been proven that some sun protection products contain toxic ingredients for the environment. If you want to have an eco-safe vacation, it’s good to buy reef-safe sunscreen.

4. Sunglasses

Protecting your eyes is as important as protecting your skin. Long-term unprotected exposure to the sun and UV radiation can cause:

  • cataracts
  • eye cancer
  • or macular degeneration.

If you lie on a Costa Rica beach all day long without sunglasses, this trip will become a nightmare after you return home. So it’s better to rest safely and always have sunglasses in your purse. You can also buy those with chains to avoid losing them in the water.

5. Water shoes

water shoes

You should also consider purchasing water shoes for safe swimming. Whether at Cancun Beach in Mexico or relaxing on Florida’s coast, rocks and shells are common in any body of water. You can buy a special water shoe to prevent yourself from getting injured. They dry fast and do not collect sand. You can use them not only for beach vacations but for walking and hiking as well.

6. Waterproof smartphone case

waterproof iphone case

If you like taking pictures everywhere, doing it in the water might also come to your mind. Even if you are extremely careful, there’s no guarantee that the next wave won’t knock you off your feet. If that happens, consider your phone already lost in the depths or damaged.

The Joto waterproof case will protect your phone not only from water but from the sand as well. It also does not worsen the quality of photos. You’d be able to enjoy high-quality images without risking damaging your phone. There’s also the option of purchasing a float strap for your device in case you accidentally lose your grip on the water. You have nothing to worry about if your phone has a waterproof case and a float strap.

7. Portable charger

portable charger

You know how important it is to have a charger wherever you go. If you’ve been out in the sun for a long time, you may have then realized that your phone is dead. Sunny days and hot temperatures have the power to drain the batteries of smartphones. That is unfortunate to experience while you’re out of a hotel without access to sockets. To avoid this situation, always have a portable charger in your bag.

8. Sun hat

sun hat

Like any other protection from the sun, hats are necessary when you come to the beach. If you don’t cover your head while exposed to direct rays of the sun, you’re at risk of sunstroke. Not to mention how damaging the sun is to any type of hair. The hair gets dry and weakened after being in the sun for half a day. If you take a hat with you on a beach, you’ll not only shield your head from the damaging sun but also look beautiful and stylish.

9. Dry bags

dry bag

When constantly in contact with the water, you must have a bag to keep important items dry. HEETA dry bags come in different sizes. It allows you to protect your electronics and separate wet clothes from other stuff you have. Those bags are not only waterproof but also enduring. It will take an effort to tear them, which means that your items are doubly secured.

10. Cooling towel

cooling towel

Even if you come to tan and no extreme heat can scare you, it’s still important to keep in mind that our bodies are not limitless. Extreme heat can raise your body temperature and cause overheating. For it not to happen, bring a cooling towel to the beach. You can cover your shoulders with it and enjoy the day when it’s too hot. After all, you didn’t come near the sea to suffer. That’s why creating the most comfortable and chilling environment for yourself is important. A cooling towel can help with that.

Do not leave your home without doing this.

When you’ve already packed all the items on the list for your journey, only one thing is left for you to do. You should ensure that your home is safe and sound while you’re away. Before leaving the house, do those ultimate steps. 

Turn devices off

First of all, check that all electronic devices are turned off. One of the dangerous situations that often happens is when people forget to unplug their appliances. It leads to a high utility bill in the best case scenario and a fire in the worst. To avoid that, make sure that no device is operating. 

If being overwhelmed with packing made you less cautious, check your washing machine and dishwasher to see if they are empty. They’d develop a stench overnight if clothes or utensils were in them. Imagine what will happen to them when you go on an around-the-world cruise for more than two weeks. After returning, you’ll need to try cleaning up all that mess.

Let your neighbors know you’re away.

To prevent any possible robbery, you should also ensure that your house has good protection. Your trustworthy neighbors should know you are away. Close all the windows and lock the doors. You should also pull the curtains. Then you can set the alarm system and hope for the best. 

Throw out old food

Last but not least, empty your refrigerator of food that spoils over time. You should also take out the garbage so it won’t stink while away. If you have plants at home, water them before leaving. If some of them can’t last without water for a long time, consider asking your close friends or neighbors to come and water them once in a while. 

You can also set an automatic email responder so that people won’t be offended if you don’t answer them. After doing all that, you can safely leave the house. Enjoy your vacation!

FAQ

How should I pack for a 12-day vacation?

Packing for a 12-day vacation is no different from one that’s 2 days long. You have to scale up to have the necessary clothing and accessories. You’ll probably also need a bigger bag.

Is it better to roll or fold clothes in a suitcase?

We’re fans of rolling clothes because it tends to save space. Air is squeezed out, and you’ll be able to fit more in the space. It can be great for avoiding wrinkles, assuming you’ve done it properly.

How do you pack a suitcase like a pro?

The first step is to get the right suitcase. Secondly, we love rolling our clothes. It’s better than folding, and you can squeeze more in there.

What should I pack in my suitcase first?

Anything soft should go in first. In the middle, you’ll put anything that can potentially break. At the top, you’ll once again include a soft layer.