What to Pack For a One Week Beach Vacation
All-inclusive beach vacations are not the ideal trip for many people as you pretty much lay on the beach and eat and drink as much as you want. Even though I don’t drink, every once in a while I love this type of vacation. Other than scoping out the best beach chair or deciding which beverage to drink next, there is no real thinking involved. Book and pay for the trip and everything else is taken care of. Pretty much hassle free. The hardest part if figuring out what to pack for a one week beach vacation.
In two weeks I’ll be travelling to Punta Cana for a one week all-inclusive destination wedding and have already started packing. Working full time shift work at a place you don’t love so much makes an upcoming trip to anywhere so much more exciting!
Some sites to look for all-inclusive trips include:
Short trips (one week or less) usually involves one destination and is fairly quick. If you’re like me and don’t want to pay for check-in luggage or you just want to start packing smarter, here is what you need to know to pack for a one week beach vacation.
Before You Start, Check the Forecast and Itinerary.
All of the all-inclusives that I’ve been to have been beach front which means it’s either going to be hot or rainy. Even if you know it’s going to be raining, bringing an umbrella is not necessary. Most resorts have umbrellas for you to use if you require it. If you’re at a resort for a wedding, obviously you’ll want to pack a few nicer clothing pieces. And, if you plan on going on excursions that including hiking or 4-wheeling, you’ll want to pack appropriately.
If you book with a travel agent, a checked in bag is typically included but confirm this detail. Personally, I like to only bring carry on luggage because I have this fear that my baggage won’t make it to my destination. If you have to check in a luggage, make sure to stuff an outfit into your carry on just in case. Carry on bags are typically 40-45L.
I bought an Osprey 40L Farpoint backpack 5 years ago and have never looked back.
This pack opens like a suitcase and is bright green on the inside which makes it easier to pack and find things.
This bag comes in S/M and S/L for specific for people of varied height, is comfortable to wear and very spacious, and the straps can be folded neatly away.
Another great affordable option is the slightly larger Hynes Eagle 45L pack.
This bag also opens up like luggage and has multiple compartments including a shoes, laptop and organizer pockets.
What Clothes to Bring for a One Week Beach Vacation
As mentioned earlier, for an all-inclusive beach vacation you’re either going to expect warm or rainy/warm weather. This ‘should’ make it fairly easy to pack.
I say this with a grain of salt because I usually want to pack everything! I have this love/hate relationship with packing and I’ve been on my fair share of vacations but I can never get the packing down to a tee. My partner packs the morning of or the evening prior just before going to sleep. I envy that about him. I’m typically done packing a few days before but I daily change my mind and swap out clothes until the very last minute.
So after reading that I envy how my partner can pack so quick and efficient, why would anyone listen to my advice on what to pack? It’s up to you. You can alter this anyway you want as this is just a template/reminder of what to pack for a beach trip.
I have a specific way of packing things mainly because I want to pack light but isn’t the best way. As long as you know the base of what to bring, ie tanktops, the hardest part is deciding which of the many tanktops you bring. As major consumers, we have so many options.
How I Pack (I don’t recommend this unless you like making lists)
Whatever type and length of trip I go on, I always make a packing list…or 5. First, I start off with a list of how many items of each clothing I think I should bring. Then, I write specific items that I want to pack (eg. blue dress, black shorts, purple nike tank top, etc). I then narrow the list down by seeing which clothes I’ll wear for each day. I try to make sure that my clothes are versatile and that I wear them at least 2-3 times each and if they don’t fall under this catergory, they are weeded out. The heaviest/bulkiest pieces to wear on the plane. I will also swap a few items with clothes that I am willing to part with at the end of the trip so that my bag is lighter on the way back. The last thing I write on my list are the toiletries and electronics.
I think I just like making lists and crossing things off (I’ve already started a rough draft of my Christmas wish list!)
By the end, I’ll have reworked my list at least 3 times before coming to a final list. Even after all the planning and the light packing, I still end up not wearing a few items by the end of the trip. But, sometimes it is better to overpack than underpack. Contrary to that, if you forget anything, the resort probably sells it.
What You Should Actually Pack for a One Week Beach Vacation
Packing for a one week beach vacation can be stressful. So what if you end up bringing way too much the first time. But that’s okay because like I just wrote, sometimes it’s better to overpack than underpack. Whatever you plan to pack get yourself some packing cubes. My entire family uses them including my parents. Things are easier neatly organized and easier to find AND it saves so much space.
- 7 underwear
- 1 pajamas (I usually bring a ratty t-shirt that I usually leave behind by the end of the trip)
- 2 bras, 1 sportsbra (you’re going to be wearing a bathing suit pretty much everyday so you don’t need to bring more!)
- 2 socks (you won’t have much use for these as you’ll probably be in flipflops all day but if you planning on working out or wearing runners on the plane, you’ll need a few)
- 2-3 summer dresses (it’s always fun to dress up in the evening for dinner)
- 2 tank tops
- 2 shorts
- 2-3 bathing suits (easy to rinse off in the evening and have them ready for the next day- I just bought 3 suits from cupshe.com)
- flip flops
- runners (optional – I have a pair that are ready to be thrown out so I’ll be bringing those and tossing then out at the end of the trip)
- 1 set of workout clothes (optional)
- shoes (I like to bring my Toms because they’re so lightweight and easy to pack)
- beach hat
- 1 pants (I love harem pants. They’re light and flowy and super comfy
In addition to the above, you’ll need an in-flight outfit – light pants, long sleeve shirt with a t-shirt underneath
Toiletries (make sure your items are within the 100ml limit if you plan on carry-on only)
The majority of these items can be bought at the gift shop at the resort if you accidently forget them.
- toothbrush and toothpaste/floss
- cotton swabs
- very basic makeup (you’ll be sweating it off so what’s the point)
- aloe gel (being in the sun for an entire week, you may need to pack this for you or a friend especially if you burn easily)
- facial cleanser and moisturizer (the sun and water will dry you out)
- nail file/clippers/tweezers
- small first-aid kit (should include bandaids, tylenol, polysporin, gravol, alcohol swabs)
- contact solution
- hair straightener (optional – if you’re hair gets crazy frizzy, either put it up or bring a hair straightener. I never bring mine because I’m on the beach to relax and it’s just extra weight in the luggage)
- hair ties
- Soap/Shampoo/Conditioner (resorts provide these usually but if you’re particular then make sure not to forget these)
- feminine hygiene products (I highly recommend a menstrual cup!)
- camera, memory card
- electronics charger
- voltage adapter
- copies of passport/identification/insurance/emergency contacts
- laptop/tablet ( I prefer to stay disconnected when I’m on this type of vacation)
Carry On (includes the miscellaneous items)
- all medication
- cell phone
- credit card/cash
- lip balm
- passport/ID/insurance cards
- hand sanitizer ( I was on a catamaran and the washroom area ran out of tissue and sanitizer)
- travel pillow
- change of clothes (having your luggage gone missing or not making it to your destination is the worst. Be prepared)
- vinyassa scarf (works as a scarf, cardigan, towel, blanket – I HIGHLY recommend this for every trip as one resort ran out of clean towels)
There are many blog posts regarding packing lists for different occassions. You just have to find one that works for you. Whether you are a minimalist vs the type that does not wear the same outfit twice, or a gym rat vs beach bum, you can alter whatever checklist that suits your needs. I tend to be more on the minimal, carry-on only, workout in the morning type person.
What are your travel musts?
Don’t let packing stress you out before your one week beach vacation! You will most likely find yourself wanting to go on more beach vacations and will have plenty of opportunity to refine your packing skills!
If you prefer colder destinations, check out my blog post of what I packed for my 9-day trip to Iceland here.