Beaches are at the top of almost everyone’s list when they think of most relaxing places to be. They’re beautiful and breezy, they offer many activities for young and old alike, and they are a great escape from the day-to-day. If you are stressed and cannot afford to take a full week off work, there’s no need for you to give up on a vacation by the beach – just make it a short vacation!

Some people are born to be on the beach, even for small periods of time. All year long, they dream about dipping their toes in bright blue water and frolicking on soft white sand, and they return from their short vacation with sun-kissed skin, positively glowing with beachy bliss.

Of course, When jet-setting off to an impromptu long weekend or short vacation at the beach, the last thing you want is to be stuck pondering over what to bring.

We’ve come up with a list of must-have beach items that you may not have thought of. Use this essential beach packing list to help you pack everything you’ll need for a relaxing short vacation by the beach. Best of all, it can save you money, since packing the right things now will keep you from having to repurchase items once you arrive.

The essential items to pack for a short vacation by the beach

short vacation

Light and breezy items

Light and breezy items should dominate your wardrobe choices. While you want to be comfortable, skip the faded and raggedy T-shirts and instead aim for a summery look that’s casual but polished. And while you’re packing, you may be tempted to focus just on getting there, make sure you also spend some time thinking about how you’ll transport wet and sandy items back home. There’s nothing worse than a suitcase full of sand.

When choosing the type of clothing to bring on your short vacation, to stay cool in the heat, look for light-colored clothing (which naturally repels the sun) made from cotton, linen, rayon or viscose, or hemp. Natural fibers are naturally better at temperature regulation! Another tip is to look for fabric blends: a polyester/cotton blend is less likely to wrinkle than 100% cotton, for example; a blend with stretchy spandex or lycra is even less prone to wrinkles!

Swimsuits (at least 2)

No short vacation by the beach is complete without a swimsuit. Buy more than one so there’s always something dry to wear, and bring them along in your carry-on. For footwear, pack flip-flops, sandals, water shoes, or canvas tennis shoes, depending on the type of beach you’re on.

Sun protection

Load up on sun protection with a strong sunscreen that you can reapply often, even if you’re having just a 2-day short vacation. If you’re traveling to your destination by plane, look into sunscreen towelettes that won’t explode or leak like bottled sunscreen. When you’re lathering up, don’t forget your face. Add SPF lip balm, and wear sunglasses and a sun hat.

A day-to-night versatile dress and a light cardigan

You know what I mean when I say The Dress, don’t you? The Dress is the one that makes you feel adorable, comfortable and free. It’s the dress you can throw on with a pair of sandals and have a complete outfit ready to go, perfect both for a day stroll and for a late-night dinner. It’s the dress you’re gonna want to wear every single day on your beach vacation.

If you don’t have The Dress yet, get shopping! Don’t forget to bring something to cover up with in case of bad weather or sudden rain! Even if you carefully check the weather forecast for your short vacation in advance, it’s always wise to have an option in case of lower temperatures.

Travel Toiletry Organizer

It is essential to bring your toiletry items with you even if you’re having just a short vacation, and an hanging toiletry organizer is perhaps the best solution for every trip. The compartments can help you stay organized, it’s easy to hang up in a hotel bathroom, and it packs up into the perfect size to throw into your suitcase and go!

A beach bag

A good beach bag should be lightweight and roomy, and should be very easy to clean sand out of. There are all types of beach bag out there, some of them also contain an extra cooler in them so you can have that much more cooler space! You want to look for a beach bag that’s specifically made for traveling, so it will fold up neatly for storage and packing.

Travel insurance for a short vacation by the beach

A beach trip can be a costly affair, so have it safe and protected with Travel Insurance. Why ruin your beautiful beach vacation because of minor mishaps that might happen. Travel Insurance allows you to relax, unwind and take all that worry of accidents out of your mind. A vacation is an investment in happiness so stop stressing about uncertainties and make memories that will last a lifetime.