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The Best Summer Vacation Packing List: Free Checklist + Tips (2023)

Posted by Dianne Chen on
Best Summer Vacation Packing List

Your awaited summer trip is just around the corner and as much as you’re excited to hear the waves, feel the sand, and dive into the clear, blue water -- you have to start packing first! Clueless about what to pack? Don’t worry, we got you girl! Keep reading for our free and printable summer vacation packing list. So pick and choose what you like and make do with what you have in your closet.

Before packing, you must know these updates when going to the beach.

⚠️ COVID-19 Update for Beaches

CDC recommends the following for people visiting beaches and pools:

✔️ Stay at home if you are sick or have been in contact with a sick person, i.e. tending to their needs, etc.

✔️Maintain social distancing both in and out of the water from people you don't live with. Stay at least 6 feet away.

✔️Wear a mask when not in the water. Masks should not be worn by children 2 years old and below.

✔️Wash your hands with soap and water whenever possible. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

To learn more about CDC's considerations for public beaches, visit this page.

What to Pack for a Summer Vacation

As promised, here's the only summer trip packing list you'll ever need! You can tweak and customize according to your preference, but this one guarantees you'll have everything you need to make the most out of your summer vacation!

Important Documents

✔️ Driver's License / IDs - Keep in your personal bag or in an easy access place so you can simply get it when needed.

✔️ Passport / Visa - For when you're planning to go beach hunting outside the country.

Travel essentials

✔️ Credit / Debit Cards - For buying souvenirs and other shopping items.

✔️ Cash - For tipping waiters or porters or when using a vending machine.

✔️ Health Insurance Cards - Make sure to have both digital and printed copies.

✔️ Hotel / Airbnb Reservation - Screenshot a copy on your phone or bring a printed copy just in case you run out of battery.

Pro Tip: Be sure to keep all these important documents in one place. Make photocopies of these documents and send your travel info to a trusted friend or family member in case of emergencies.

Clothes for Her

Woman on the beach with large cube

✔️ 2 Casual Tops - Pack a few lightweight, breezy and casual tops that are perfect for warm weather.

✔️ Jeans / Shorts - For your out-of-the-water activities and shopping galore!

✔️ 1 Jacket / Cardigan - Worn at the airport or at night when it gets chilly.

✔️ 1 Pair of Leggings - Can be worn at the airport or when working out.

✔️ 3 Dresses - Pack a maxi dress for taking a walk at the beach, a little black dress for dining out, and a cute sundress for the 'gram!

✔️ 3 Tank Tops - For a comfy and relaxing #OOTD out in the sun. Plus, you can pair it with any bottom!

✔️ 2 Swimsuits - Better bring an extra to wear while waiting for the other one to dry.

✔️ Rashguard - Keeps your skin protected from rashes, sunburn and sun's harmful rays.

✔️ 1 Pair of Harem Pants / Skirt - Comfortable baggy, long pants or skirts can go with any tops for a classic beach getup.

✔️ 2 Cover Ups - Wear over your swimsuit while lounging on the beach.

✔️ 2 Sets of Pajamas - Thin shirts and a soft cotton short will do.

✔️ Workout Clothes - For when you want to squeeze exercise in. Jogging on the beach would be fun!

✔️ 1 Romper - Light colored and flowery ones are sure to make you look fashionable and comfortable under the heat of the sun.

✔️ Bras / Socks / Undies - Don't pack extras, just wash and dry and wear again for the next day.

✔️ 2 to 3 Pairs of Shoes - 1 walking shoes, 1 sandals / flip flops and 1 dressy pair for special nights.

Pro Tip: Use a travel shoe bag for all your beloved pairs to separate them from your clothes. If clothes have their own cubes, shoes should have their own pouch as well, right? Right!

Shoes organized in a travel shoe bag

**Thanks to Megan from The Homes I Have Made for this photo!

Clothes for Him

✔️ 3 Linen Shirts - Very comfy and light especially during the day when it's incredibly warm.

✔️ 2 Tank Tops - Perfect for strolling in the morning or lounging at the beach.

✔️ 3 Button Down Long Sleeve Shirts - Make sure to pack shirts with summer or pastel colors made of thin and light materials. Wear this for dining out or going out at night.

✔️ 2 Pairs of Jeans - Your plain old jeans paired with any top will be just fine.

✔️ 1 Pair of Khaki Pants - Perfect for the summer heat with its comfortable cotton fabric.

✔️ 3 Pairs of Board Shorts - Wear either for swimming or doing daily activities at the beach.

✔️ 1 Swim Shorts - Choose a lightweight, quick-drying, and durable material for a more comfortable swim.

Swim shorts for men with medium cube

**Thanks to Kaycee from Cordially, Kaycee for this photo!

✔️ 2 Sets of Pajamas - Pack a few shirts and a pair of comfy shorts and you'll be just fine.

✔️ Workout Clothes - For when you want to work on that summer bod even while on vacation.

✔️ Socks / Undies - Never lose a pair when you roll them together in their own extra small cube.

✔️ 1 Belt - Optional but bring one for fashion. 

✔️ 3 Pairs of Shoes - Sneakers to wear at the airport, nice shoes for dinner, sandals / flip flops for the beach.


Toiletries for summer vacation packing list

✔️ Shampoo & Conditioner - Give your hair the proper care it deserves after a full day under the sun.

✔️ Bar Soap / Body Wash - Choose a brand that helps moisturize and cleanse your skin from drying under the sun.

✔️ Sunscreen - Just a small one, buy a larger bottle in your destination.

✔️ Face Wipes- Rids your skin of excess oils and dirt after a long day under the sun.

✔️ Lip Balm with SPF - Too much sun exposure can cause chapped lips. Moisten up with a lip balm with SPF.

✔️ Facial Wash - Start your daily skin care routine with a facial wash and give your skin that fresh look even when under the harsh heat of the sun.

✔️ Moisturizer - Keep your skin from looking dry and oily by applying your trusted brand of moisturizer before you seize the day out in the sun.

✔️ Facial Mist - Give your skin a boost of hydration with facial mist before applying moisturizer for better absorption and more radiant looking skin.

✔️ Toothbrush & Toothpaste Pack travel size ones to keep your load light.

✔️ Dental Floss - Don't forget to floss!

✔️ Lotion with SPF - So you can keep your skin moisturized even when under the sun.

✔️ Disposable Razors - Make sure it has a snap-on plastic cover to protect the blades.

✔️ Makeup Kit - Pack in this clear makeup pouch. Make sure to bring a lip balm, primer, foundation, powder, and tinted moisturizer with at least SPF30.

Clear Makeup Pouch

✔️ Feminine Products - Pack your trusted brands of feminine wash, sanitary napkins, tampons, and liners just in case.

✔️ Wide Tooth Comb - Tame your mane to look great in every pic!

✔️ Contacts & Solution - Remember to wash your hands and disinfect first before using your lenses.

✔️ Aloe Vera - Helps soothe and relaxes sunburnt skin.

✔️ Deodorant - Smell your best even at the beach.

✔️ Perfume / Cologne - Smell great, feel great during your entire trip!

✔️ Cotton Swabs / Cotton Balls They're super light and easy to pack so don't forget to bring some.

✔️ Vaseline - All around use to moisturize your face and hands, remove makeup, soothe dry skin, and more!

✔️ Hair Ties - Keeps your hair from going all over the place when washing your face. Also very handy when it's just too windy outside.

Pro Tip: Buy travel size toiletries. If you’re staying in a hotel, you can ditch almost half of your toiletry essentials, such as shampoo, conditioner, and soap. But if you want to stick to your brand, invest in its mini version. Place it in a clear Extra Small Cube to save space and to avoid getting other items sticky and wet.

Hygiene Kit

Hygiene kit for summer vacation

✔️ Mask - Everyone, except children below 2 years old, are required to wear masks in public, yes - even at the beach and restaurants.

✔️ Antibacterial Wipes - Before touching anything, wipe it clean first. Even if it looks clean to you, wipe it still. Prevention is always better than cure.

✔️ Hand Sanitizer - Very handy during transit when washing hands with soap and water is not an option.

✔️ Disposable Plastic Gloves - Wear when cleaning or when touching produce when shopping for food and other items.

✔️ Alcohol Spray - Can be used to disinfect surfaces and door handles before touching them or for keeping hands virus-free especially when outside.

Medicine Kit

First Aid kit in extra small cube

✔️ Prescribed Meds Bring in their original bottles, if possible. If not, label the containers properly.

✔️ Band Aids / Gauze Pads - Different sizes would be useful for all emergencies.

✔️ Hand Sanitizer - Make sure your hands are clean and sanitized before tending somebody's wounds or injury.

✔️ Pain Reliever - Very handy basic medication. Pack Tylenol or Advil to keep the pain at bay.

✔️ Elastic Bandage - Walking or running on the sand is not as simple as walking anywhere else. Just in case someone sprains their ankle or hurt their knee, an elastic bandage can be simply wrapped around the injured joint.

✔️ Ice Packs - Helps relieve a rolled ankle or a black eye from a rogue volleyball to the face, or when it's just too hot on the beach.

✔️ Tweezers - Great for removing splinters on the foot.

✔️ Saline Solution - Perfectly safe for removing sand on the eyes, especially for kids.

✔️ Aloe Vera - Great for treating sunburn.

✔️ Anti-Bug Spray - You can't escape bug bites when you're at the beach, so make sure you apply bug spray all over if you're just planning to lounge on the beach.

✔️ Anti-Itch Cream - For when a bug bite slips past you even after applying bug spray before going to the beach.

✔️ Ear Drops - Especially for kids with sensitive ears. Put a few drops before swimming so they won't complain of not being able to hear clearly because of having water in their ears.

Beach Essentials

Beach essentials in clear cubes

✔️ Sunscreen - Protect your skin from the extreme heat of the sun with a sun block that has SPF 50.

✔️ Sunglasses - Don't go to the beach without a pair!

✔️ Microfiber Beach Towels Quick drying ones are the best to keep you from feeling cold and freezing after getting out of the water.

✔️ Beach Blanket - Definitely a must-have especially when you just want to lay down without getting sand all over you and your things.

✔️ Water Bottle - Drink water, plenty of water!

✔️ Sun Hat - Completes the beach look with your sunglasses and outfit!

✔️ Tote Bag - To put all your beach essentials in.

Pro Tip: Rather than throwing all your beach items into that adorable tote bag you brought, use a few packing cubes to separate your essentials in the bag (and keep everything clean).

Small EzPacking cube for bringing essentials to the beach

That way, you don’t have to worry about things getting wet or sandy! Easily wipe down the cubes with a towel after the beach and use again the next day. Keep your phone in the extra small for sand protection!

✔️ Beach Chairs - Perfect for relaxing and people watching on the beach.

✔️ Beach Toys - Inflatable ball, sand castle making tools, and more.

✔️ Swim Goggles - Invest in a snorkeling set that you can use for all your beach trips.

✔️ Waterproof Phone Bag - If you don't have a waterproof camera, you can use a waterproof phone bag so you can take selfies and photos even when you're in the water.

✔️ Snacks / Food - Prepare healthy snacks and treats like, sandwiches, nuts and fruits that you can take on the beach. Remember to dispose your trash properly.

Snacks for the beach in a small cube

✔️ Umbrella - When the heat is just too much and a hat just won't cut it.

✔️ Small Portable Cooler - To keep your beverages ice cold, the way you like it.

✔️ Garbage Bag / Plastic Bags - Clean as you go! Place your empty bottles and snack wrappers in the garbage bag and find a bin to throw it.

✔️ Portable Lock Box - So you can enjoy swimming and relaxing at the beach without worrying about losing your valuables.

Technology / Entertainment

Technology and toys in clear cubes

**Thanks to Aimee from The Crazy Craft Lady for this photo!

✔️ Waterproof Camera - For some cool underwater photos

✔️ Selfie Stick - To nail that groufie (group selfie) or to have a wider selfie!

✔️ Laptop - To transfer photos / videos from the camera.

✔️ Portable Waterproof Speakers - Press play on that beach playlist you've been saving for days!

✔️ Kindle - If you want to do some reading while relaxing on the beach.

✔️ Cords & Chargers - For all your gadgets. Make sure to keep them in their own cube.

Wires and cords in extra small cube

**Thanks to Wendi from H2O Bungalow for this photo!

Pro Tip: Bring a portable phone charger. Okay, we get it. You’re excited about posting your photos on Instagram, but what if your phone’s battery is half empty? Be a smart traveler, and bring this with you everywhere. Need to buy your own? Check out the best portable phone charger here (the one we like to travel with).  

✔️ Power Strip - You're probably going to post a lot or take a bunch of photos during this summer trip and chances are, you're going to fight over one or two socket to charge your phone. Bring a power strip so everyone can charge at the same time!

✔️ Frisbee - Classic beach must-have!

✔️ Volleyball - You might meet some friends on the beach when you ask them to play with you.

✔️ Deck of Cards / Card Games - When the sun's still too high outside and you just want to relax in your hotel room and have fun.

✔️ Board Games - Perfect for game night when you still have a lot of energy left in you after a fun day under the sun.

✔️ Coloring Books and Crayons - To keep the kids entertained when the sun's still too hot for them to go outside.

Other Necessities

Summer vacation essentials organized in clear packing cubes

✔️ Packing CubesTo easily organize all your travel essentials.

Pro Tip: If you haven’t tried EzPacking cubes, now’s the perfect chance. Use Extra Small Cube for your toiletries and other tinier trinkets. Use a Small Cube to pack your personal essentials, bathing suits, socks, bras and underwear. Use a Medium Cube to pack all your outfits,  cover-ups, jeans and dresses together. The Large Cube is perfect for bulkier items such as sweater, jackets, and pants. 

✔️ Pillows - If you're traveling with the fam or with extra people, avoid paying extra charges at the hotel when you request for extra pillows by bringing your own travel size ones.

✔️ Extra Sheets - If you have sensitive skin and you're too keen with cleanliness, bringing your own bed linen will help you rest comfortably. Don't worry, you can easily pack your extra sheets in a large cube.

✔️ Travel Laundry BagKeep your dirty clothes away from your clean ones by putting them in a separate travel laundry bag. Here's how you can use it in your hotel:

✔️ Disinfecting Wipes - 
For cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and handles before touching them.

✔️ Paper Towels - Pack a travel size one that you can easily slip in your tote bag or purse.

✔️ Napkins - Very handy especially when dining with kids.

✔️ Plastic-ware - Bring your own utensils or disposable plastic-wares to avoid using the ones at the restaurant.

✔️ Accessories - Bring your simple everyday bracelets, earrings, and necklaces while leave all the other pricey jewelries at home. Wear these with your dress when going out. Take them off and organize in a travel jewelry roll when going for a swim.

travel roll jewelry

✔️ Laundry Soap - Rather than packing extras, make it a habit to wash your undies, socks, and other small items of clothing with a laundry soap.

✔️ Food / Snacks - Keep some snacks available in your hotel room in case you get hungry.

✔️ Water / Drinks - Buy from a local grocery store and load up your hotel room with water and drinks to stay hydrated.

✔️ Flashlight - A handy tool just in case you'll experience a power outage.


Now that all the essentials for your summer vacation are listed, all that's left to do is pack. And when packing's all done, all that's left is to enjoy!

Happy summer!  

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