What to Pack in a Backpack for a Beach Trip

Manuel antonio - costa rica

Manuel antonio - costa rica

Heading to the beach? We put together a little list of all the little essentials and things to pack into your new travellers backpack ;) I know packing all your needs and clothes into a backpack can seem intimidating at first, but trust me you will love it! A backpack is crazy easy to carry, super comfortable and minimalistic.

1. 3 bathing suits  (mix and match) 

I suggest bringing about 2-3 bathing suits, to alternate between pairs when the other is wet. Zaful has amazing deals on bathing suits. Shipping can take about a month so order in advance!

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2. 2 shorts, 2 dresses (beach and going out), cropped tanks (good for going out)

This is just a general suggestion but you know your style best. Be real with yourself, pack it only if you’re to reach for it when your on vacation. Also, pack light clothes to be able to fit more in your backpack. Tip: roll your clothes in a packing cube, saves space and keeps your stuff organized. Check out these cheap Packing Cubes, they’re AHmazing.  

3. Easy accessible shoes (flip flops) and sandals for going out.

Consider any other activities you will be doing. ie. hiking sandals or running shoes. Especially for trips that are close to jungles or hiking mountains, Teva’s are my go-to shoe. Comfiest and super durable and sturdy shoes. For more city touring (aka lots of walking) Birkenstocks are the best universal shoes!

4. Check the weather!

Rainy – grab a light rain jacket or poncho. You can find ponchos at your local dollar store. For colder weather nights, a light hoodie or sweater will do just the job.

5. Hat of choice 

Cap, a cute floppy hat or even a bucket hat, wherever floats your boat.

4.Sunglasses

We always pack our good pair of sunglasses like our RayBans, but if you are prone to losing or breaking your sunglasses easily, consider packing a cheaper pair.

5.     Plastic/waterproof bag for wet bathing suits or clothes

6.Small travel containers

You can fill them up with shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, aloe vera gel, face wash, - whatever products you use daily. We love the GoToob  travel tubes, easily squeezable, TSA carry-on approved, and super versatile.

7. Aloe Vera gel or After-Sun

Since they usually come in bigger containers in store, fill up one of the smaller travel containers with aloe vera gel.

Lavdara Island - croatia

Lavdara Island - croatia

8. All travel electronics for international trips

Bring an adapter and make sure to check the voltage of the location you are staying at with the device you will be using.

9. Beach Towel

Since most hostels  and hotels offer body towels, you will only need to pack a beach towel. Pack one that’s quick drying and compact. Check out this Sunland-Towel you can order off amazon that’s suuuuuuper convenient. 

10. Sunscreen BABY

Bring a sunscreen of at least 30 SPF. The broads swear by the Coppertone Sport Sunscreen, its waterproof and non-sticky. Gives you a tan. If you’re more into the natural, mineral sunscreens like me (Gabby), check out this sunscreen that I ADORE, Alba Botanical, it smells like a tropical forest… yum.

 11. Emergency Kit

Bring some bandaids, Polysporin, Ibuprofen, Benedryl (allergy Relief), After Bite Cream and any medication you take daily. Upon arrival check where the nearest pharmacy to you, so that you can access in case of emergencies (fingers crossed though nothing happens).

12. Makeup

Keep it minimal, your skin will be glowing after a little sun kick. Waterproof mascara (um hello Covergirl please sponsor us), bronzer (this one smells like coconuts) and a lipstick for the spicy nights out.

 13.Beach bag

Get a bag that can double as your purse while travel or one that can fold up easily into your backpack.

Our go-to bag is a tote, you can use it as a purse while travelling and as a beach bag, the size is perfect. I loooove my Matt and Nat Tote, it’s amazing faux leather, it can fit a laptop, and all the linings are made of 100% recycled bottles.

14. Water Bottle

Best is to bring a water bottle that will keep its cold temperature on the hawwt beach. Some we recommend would be the Swell bottle, Hydroflask or the Klean Kanteen.

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15. Optional: Portable Charger

A Portable Charger becomes super useful, especially if you are spending your whole day at the beach and in the mood for some snazzy photos.


extra tips

  • Wear your comfortable and “heaviest” clothes on the plane that would also come in handy on your trip. Like yoga pants for hiking, or your light hoodie that you could use for those chilly nights, potentially your jean jacket.

  • Bonus: Got room for portable speakers? Bring them if thats your jam.

  • Reader? Bring your current read. I am LOVING Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind right now, it’s the perfect beachside read.

  • If you are staying in a hostel, defos check our post on booking your hostel. You could find some more tips in there as to what to pack, ie. lock, snackies, pillow.

  • Make a lil checklist on your phone prior to packing so that you don’t forget anything




xox The 4 Babes