It’s holiday time again! Then again, when is it NOT holiday time?
Imagine this – you’ve booked your flights to your ideal island where the sun is abundant. Somewhere in the islands in Southeast Asia, Fiji, the Carribean islands or Maldives. You’ve booked all your accommodations. You’ve even planned where to eat at!
But, as you look at your luggage and wardrobe, you find yourself lost.
“What should I pack?” you mumbled to yourself as you wonder…
Having gone on plenty of holidays by the beach under the sun, I’ve more than experience this myself all the time. As such, I’ve decided to be organized once and for all and come up with a list that I can always refer to when I pack for my beach vacation.
I’m sharing this list with you today along with some recommendations I found online, so it can help you pack more easily for your summer break!
THE BEACH ESSENTIALS:
1. Beach mat
What better way to enjoy the holidays than just idling away on soft sand, sipping coconuts and tanning, right? Now you can! Bring your own beach mat to enjoy just that. Nothing complements going to the beach better than chilling under the sun.
Carry this ultra portable foldable beach mat in your backpack as you head out to the beach for a relaxing time under the sun.
Otherwise, you can grab this stylish waterproof picnic mat if you’re afraid of getting it wet.
I’ve had several bad experiences getting sunburnt, including my recent escapades to El Nido and Phuket. Never underestimate the damage that UV rays can inflict on your precious skin, even if it doesn’t seem dangerous at all.
Let’s get rid of unwanted burnt skins with sunscreen today! Many in the market are waterproof, too, making them perfect options for you when you take a dip in the sea.
I’ve used the Banana Boat travel-friendly sunscreen that comes in a small, travel-size bottle as it’s not only convenient but doesn’t wash off when you take a dip in the water.
If you want to apply sunscreen on your face, you can purchase the face and body sunscreen which is just as effective.
3. Aloe vera
And if you unfortunately burned yourself in the sweltering summer heat, aloe vera is definitely your best remedy. Unfortunately, a lot of these bottles come in huge sizes of over 100ml (way above the allowable hand-carry limit for liquids) so you can have a look at some of these travel-sized aloe vera bottles.
Try the Fruit of the Earth aloe vera! It smells great and works like a charm. The soothing texture gently repairs your skin, leaving a cool feeling.
4. Insect repellent
I rarely get bitten by mosquitos, but the companions I’m with always bear the brunt of mosquito bites, especially when we visit tropical places like Boracay or Krabi. You’d want to protect yourself against these itchy bites before you actually get it…
You can get the mosquito repellent (at a steal!) online and save yourself the trouble of looking for it when you reach your holiday destination. Chances are, the prices of the mosquito repellent might be even higher. 😮
The harsh sun rays can definitely harm your eyes, too. Apart from looking cool (don’t we always?), you definitely have to protect your eyes from the bright sunlight.
If you were to go on the streets, you will find plenty of individuals and street-side vendors trying to sell you cheap sunglasses, but why not start your travel prepared by these options equally cheap and stylish options?
Strut the perfect Ray Bans sunglasses as you parade down the beach stylishly. These great sunglasses go from as low as $120!
If you can’t find proper shade to hide from the piercing sun rays, have a permanent shade atop your head! From big, tropical sun hats to cool sports hats, shade your face and head easily.
Multi-purpose sports caps like this Adidas sports cap is not only trendy, it’s really useful. You’ll always stay cool (literally and figuratively) with this cap.
7. Beach footwear
What easier way to stroll around the island other than being barefoot in the sand? If you need some protection for your sole, sandals or flip flops are the way to go! Designed to be the ultimate beach footwear, it’s really common for you to see tourists and even locals sporting a pair.
These casual flat sandals for women lets you roam the islands comfortably and stylishly like never before.
Most people like to dress casually too so they would choose to wear a pair of flip flops as they provide you with the most casual kind of comfort.
8. Aqua shoes
This is something that not many people remember to bring even though they can come in really handy.
These aqua shoes are sometimes required when you sign up for island-hopping tours to protect your feet from stepping on any sharp objects (or even sea animals). I learned my (painful) lessons when I snorkelled in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia, and in Coron, Philippines.
9. Water bottle
Of course! The most important item on the checklist, especially if you’re going to such humid climates. Keep yourself fiercely hydrated under the sun.
Today, there is a huge range of bottles of various shapes, sizes and colors that you can choose from (I was spoilt for choice before settling on the one I have right now).
My favourite brand is Camelbak; I brought the hardy bottle on so many wild adventures and it has served me really well.
Bottles by Nalgene are pretty good too! Choose one that suits you best.
10. Day bag
Your day bag can come in many shapes and sizes!
I, for one, love a good beach bag, like this striped beach bag. You can quickly dump all your beach essentials into one bag.
11. Travel reads
Time seems to slow down on the beach, which is perfect for lazing around. While you’re at it, why not read a book? You have all the time in the world to complete that book that you’ve been wanting to.
My favourite book of all time has to be A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. This timeless piece never fails to get me thinking. Have you read this? Did you like it?
Let’s admit it, who wouldn’t want to look good on their holidays? Find the perfect mix of comfort and fashion today!
There are plenty of great choices to choose from today, so take your pick and ensure that you are always beach-ready!
For men, you can don a pair of Neleus Men’s athletic board shorts.
O’Neill men’s board shorts aren’t bad either! The nice and unique design of these shorts will definitely turn heads as you strut down the beach. In fact, it is decent enough for you to wear while roaming the streets, whether it’s looking for dinner or shopping at a night market.
Ladies, you are even luckier as there are way more choices in the market for bikinis and swimwear. I personally love this white bikini.
2. Tank tops / Singlets
The weather may be blazing, and the best thing you can wear would definitely be an airy tank top. Blend in the crowd and let your hair down with this great range of tank tops for you.
Catch the holiday vibes with this cool men’s beach singlet.
Ladies, I have just the thing for you too. This cute print top is one that would catch eyes too!
3. Beach dresses
For the ladies, this is one of my favourite type of dress to wear. 🙂 I purchased a couple when I was on my Khao Sok birthday trip in October to prepare myself for Phuket and Bintan, and I must admit, not only do they look stylish but they feel great, too!
There are soooo many pretty choices to choose from (and I must admit, it took me a looong while to decide!) but some of my favourites are those from Akery, Mitilly and Lilbetter. What’s your kind of summer dress?
4. Disposable briefs
This is arguably one of my most recommended must-bring item of all time. It’s cheap and saves me the burden of having to constantly wash them, especially in a tropical, warm climate where we tend to sweat a lot.
ELECTRONICS & ACCESSORIES:
1. Action camera
As my friends say, “You can’t ever go on a holiday without a GoPro!” And it’s true. There is no way you can leave on your island-hopping trips without capturing on camera. Remember all your great moments with a snap to preserve your golden memories.
There are plenty of options in the market now, but there are some that do not capture clear photos or videos. So be sure the action camera you choose is able to meet your needs!
2. Waterproof phone covers
The last thing you would want from your holiday is a drowned phone. Things like that happens! Take extra precautions with waterproof phone covers. It’s good enough that it allows you to type, take photos and listen to music while enclosing the phone.
The transparent waterproof phone cover helps you prevent just that by making sure that your phone doesn’t get damaged by water at all.
If you want a brighter phone cover that is a reflection of your personality, you can even consider the colored waterproof phone cover to add a little color to your items. 🙂
3. Offline maps/ maps
Never get lost again. Whenever I want to travel to a new island, city or country, I make it a point to download the offline maps first so that I can easily refer to them when I’m there.
In fact, you can do more than just that! You can pinpoint specific places of interests and add meaningful descriptive text so that you can easily navigate around OFFLINE. Find out how to do that in this post: How To Plan A Route On Google Maps (To Use Offline On The Go)
My favourite app is Maps.me, which is available on the iOS and Android App Store!
4. Offline translating app
Often times, when I travel, especially in countries where many don’t speak English or Mandarin, I tend to have trouble communicating with the locals. Having a nifty translation app in my phone is exceptionally useful! It helped me approach locals who guided me around downtown Krabi once too. phew!
5. Portable charger
Holidays are meant for you to take a break and get offline, but sometimes it’s inevitable that we still need to connect with people. I use my phone often to take pictures, share them with friends and families and post them online, so I always keep a portable charger as backup.
Whether you’re a heavy phone user or not, carry along a portable charger today. I’ve been told by some backpacking friends that the EVA Hard Travel Case Power Bank is a good option for any travel.
6. Travel adapter
The worst that can happen to you is going to another country and find yourself unable to plug all your cables to the powerpoint sockets. It’s happened to me before, so please don’t make the same foolish mistake as me.
I use the Joomleen travel adapter that is like a swiss army travel adapter, making it a convenient carry on, and it hasn’t failed me in over 2 years! Lucky me.
7. Wireless bluetooth speaker
Play that funky music on the beach! I can’t recall the number of times music managed to bring people together and make me feel more upbeat.
My JBL FLIP 3 portable speaker is both waterproof and durable, and it’s still working perfectly after all the trips I’ve been on.If cost is an issue, you could also get a more affordable speaker like that from ZOEE.
1. Vacuum bags
I can’t emphasise what a huge packing tip this is! I tend to shop a lot when I’m overseas, buying gifts, souvenirs and even clothes for friends and family, so making space in my luggage is a constant struggle. With the vacuum bag, I can now shrink the size of my travel luggage, making space for my extra shopping loots!
The SpaceMax Vacuum Storage Saver is one that does the job.
2. Travel-sized bottles
If you are fond of backpacking, there’s always a need to travel small – soaps, shampoos and conditioners included.
So, if you plan to carry your toiletries and any other liquids in your hand carry bags, you can purchase these travel-sized bottles and transfer the liquids in them to make for easy packing. It’s convenient and you won’t need to be on the lookout for small soaps all the time.
These Ikea travel size bottles are my favourite choices. They come in a cute range of colors that spices up your travel life!
3. Travel pouches
Organizing your travel items never got so easy. Imagine this – you have so many bottles of shampoo, soap, conditioner, powder, perfume, …. And the list goes on! It can be quite a nightmare to pack them all.
This Hopsooken travel pouch set makes it so easy for you to organize all your stuff. Now you won’t have to worry about a messy luggage and focus on a happy trip ahead!
4. Safety pouch
If security is of your utmost priority, then this is another must-have. The handy safety pouch can hide all your valuable traveling necessities, from passports to wallet. The best thing is, no one can probably see your valuables.
The Zero Grid neck wallet does just that. Carry all your valuables with you without worries anymore. 😉
5. Travel padlocks
When it comes to your valuables that you keep at hostels, it pays to be extra cautious. Hotels tend to provide a safe with passwords, but on other occasions, you might notice that you’re only given a small locker to put your belongings in.
Secure all your stuff with a travel padlock. I’d recommend you not to use a key padlock as you might misplace your keys along the way, so consider a number padlock instead! Roam the island with a peace of mind knowing that your belongings are safe. 🙂
6. Luggage covers
One of the biggest problems I face while waiting for my luggage on the conveyor belt is identifying my nondescript luggage. Sometimes, there are other similar luggages on the belt that can seemingly trick me into believing that it’s mine.
Get yourself a luggage cover. Not only does it help you to identify your luggage, the luggage cover also acts as an extra security layer to prevent people from opening them. There are a range of designs to suit every preference!
PERSONAL GROOMING NECESSITIES:
1. Body powder
For all those days when you can’t take a proper shower or when you’re in a humid country where you tend to sweat more, you can turn to putting on some body powder!
My all-time favourite powder is the Johnson’s baby powder (and contrary to what the bottle says, it’s not just for kids!!) It produces a really therapeutic effect that soothes. Try it and you’ll know. 🙂
You’ll realise that sweating in humid, tropical islands can be quite a bane. It’s really tough to keep yourself feeling fresh if you constantly walk around a lot.
3. Body soap
When you’re living the tropical life, you’ll find yourself perspiring a lot more. It’s perfectly normal – islands tend to be more humid. Keep yourself feeling fresh all the time by washing your body with great smelling soap.
Hotels and resorts usually provide body soap for guests, but if you are living the backpacking life, then you can try this travel sized body soap by Dove. It smells good and it keeps your body feeling recharged throughout the day.
4. Shampoo & conditioner
It is important to keep yourself looking good (or at least presentable) throughout the day too. You don’t want to be caught with messy, unkempt hair when all you want is smooth, silky and stylish hair.
5. Hair pomades
Hair pomades are made to give that extra shine and luster to your hair so you always look clean and fresh. One of the better products in the market is the Suavecito Pomade Original Hold. Its strong product support and high quality makes it a great choice for any traveller seeking to look good.
6. Hair serum
If you’re tired of huge, frizzy hair like I do whenever you travel, then this is for you.
A fellow backpacker once recommended the Herstyler Argan Oil Hair Serum. I never regretted it ever since! To date, I’ve brought this serum (that comes in handy 60ml bottles) along with me to countries like Maldives and the Philippines conveniently. It’s kept me ready to be in front of the camera all the time.
All I need is to just apply a couple of dabs on my hair and lather it in, and the results can be seen almost instantly. There are plenty of other hair serums on the market that you can choose from, but this is one I’m sticking with!
7. Comb & brush
This is one of the few items that is never leaves my bag – even when I’m not traveling! This inexpensive, cute 2-in-1 travel brush and mirror that I use by Louise Maelys allows me to tidy my hair and keep it looking great wherever I go. It’s so small that when it’s closed, it’s almost the size of my fist. Now that’s compact!
On top of that, the travel brush that I use is so soft that I can even give myself a relaxing head massage with the brush. Try it yourself!
8. Shaving kit
You would want to look your utmost best no matter where you are.
9. Antibacterial wipes
Things can get messy when you’re on your holidays. The weather in these places can get pretty humid and you’ll find yourself sweating a lot, even in Singapore.
Keep your hands and body clean always by wiping them with this GermX antibacterial wipes, keeping you constantly refreshed and rejuvenated.
10. Contact lens, case & solution
If you’re wearing spectacles, then you might want to put on a pair contact lens instead! It’s much more convenient to wear them when you go for your beach holiday, enjoying activities like snorkelling, swimming in the beach and island-hopping.
It seems silly for me to remind you to bring your passport on a holiday, but don’t take this for granted – there are countless of stories where I’ve heard of people forgetting their passport when they leave for the airport.
I suggest that you print out a hard copy photo of your passport details to bring around with you for easy identification while locking your passport in the safe at the hotel/ hostel.
Pump up your passport even more by covering it fine leather with this passport cover. Stylish indeed!
2. Travel documents
It’s important that you never forget things like booking confirmation (for flights, transportation, accommodations and more) when you travel. Ideally, you could download the e-version of these documents, usually in pdf format, in your phone but if you can’t, print them out!
3. Personal medication
From your important medications such as asthma inhalers to good-to-have medications like diarrhoea pills or panadols, it’s important for you to know what you need so that you won’t have as much to worry when you’re in a foreign country.
If you need a proper place to store your travel pills, you can keep them in this neat weekly pill organizer.
4. Credit card
Activate your card’s magnetic stripe for overseas use. This was my lifesaver on several occasions. There are increasingly plenty of shops, including small outlets, that accept international payment services like Mastercard or Visa, and so you might enjoy deals while you’re overseas!
5. Umbrella / Rain coat
Unfortunately, it might rain sometimes in our tropical paradise.
PHEW! That was a mighty long list, and you made it to the end! I’ve put in everything I can think of, based on my personal experiences and hearing from others. I hope you find this list useful.
Pin this for future reference!
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