How to Pack for a Beach Vacation

Hi, my name is Andy, and I’m an overpacker. Like a serious, holy cow, why is my suitcase so heavy overpacker. And when the hubs surprised me at Christmas with the news that we were going to Maui, my wheels started turning and never stopped! All I could think about was, “What am I going to wear? What am I going to need? How much should I take?” I googled, and read other blogs and scoured Pinterest for ideas. So I’m sharing with you what I packed, and what I actually ended up needing and wearing. Read on for more tips and packing suggestions for a beach vacay.

(This post contains affiliate links, and I receive a small commission when my stylish readers click and shop those links or my Stitch Fix referral code. Thank you for reading, and for supporting my blog!)

I joked before I left that the hubs literally threw some shorts, shirts, swimsuit, undies and shoes into his suitcase and called it done. I tend to think “outfits” when I pack, so I laid everything out on my bed with coordinating pieces to help me think the whole packing thing through.

Here’s a few more packing tips:

  • Make a list of the activities you have planned for each day. That will help you think about what you’ll need. Write down your outfits next to the activity, and check it off when you’ve packed it. Try to mix and match as much as you can, and don’t forget about what you’ll wear on your travel days.
  • Make a list of accessories and miscellaneous items you’ll need. Separate your list by carry-on and checked bag, if you intend to check your bag through. Check those items off as you pack them. Be sure to include a day’s worth of clothing and toiletries in your carry-on, just in case you need them!
  • Take advantage of packing helps like packing cubes, shoe bags, and individual jewelry bags. The more you can organize your items the better! This will really help you when you arrive at your hotel and begin your unpacking. 

What You Will and Won’t Need on Maui

Maui has a very laid back and casual vibe, but there are still nice restaurants and things to do that will require more than flip-flops and a swimsuit. I found that almost all the tourists got into the Hawaii spirit and sported florals and tropical prints. Have fun with it! 

DO BRING A HAT – The sun was intense and it was quite breezy when we visited. Definitely bring a hat, but I highly recommend that you avoid an extra wide brimmed hat, unless you want to chase it up and down the beach! I got so tickled at a young newlywed girl who was obviously trying to take a cute selfie for instagram. Her hat flew around the beach like it had wings! 

DO BRING SUNSCREEN, OR BUY IT WHEN YOU ARRIVE – You WILL need sunscreen and lip protection, and the resort advised that we try to cover as much as we could, and to use coral protective sunscreen. Hawaii is so protective and vigilant about protecting their natural beauty, as a guest I felt like it was my duty to respect that. 

DON’T BRING TOO MANY PAIRS OF CROPS OR ANKLE PANTS – I packed three pairs of ankle pants that never even left my suitcase. I ended up wearing my bermuda shorts, or the denim crops I wore on the plane. Simplify your suitcase, and lighten the load!

Tip: If you’re taking a light jacket, wear it on the plane. For our travel days, I wore my white denim jacket, so I wouldn’t have to pack it, with my denim crops and a comfy top. I also wore slip on sneakers for the airport. 

Tip: Be sure to wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off in the security line at the airport. These Converse sneakers are so comfortable, I also wore them when we toured the pineapple plantation and distillery. 

Tip: Carry a lightweight crossbody bag or backpack, in addition to your carry-on. Being hands free is everything!

Tip: Have tip money handy. I used a specific pocket in my crossbody, so I could quickly tip everyone that worked so hard to make our stay enjoyable and comfortable.

My Maui Wardrobe – What I Wore

These are the items I wore:

  • Denim crops
  • Denim Bermuda shorts
  • White Denim jacket
  • Striped tee shirt
  • Light blue cold shoulder top
  • Lightweight sweater for evening
  • Old Navy jersey knit dress
  • Wisp Maxi dress (from Stitch Fix)
  • Floral shift dress
  • Floral romper jumpsuit
  • Swimsuit and cover-up
  • Sandals
  • Converse Sneakers
  • Lilly Pulitzer popover top (for travel days)

We went exploring each morning, after drinking gallons of delicious Hawaiian coffee. Bermuda shorts, a comfy tee and my sneakers were perfect for exploring the island.

White Denim jacket striped shirt and bermuda shorts

Shop White Jackets Here:

Shop Striped Tees Here:

I love Old Navy knit dresses, they’re inexpensive and super comfy. I wore this dress the day we walked around the resort. Keep your eyes peeled, I’m sure they will start adding more of these dresses to their inventory soon! I could literally live in them every single day. I styled this dress with a pair of Mia brand sandals I got from Stitch Fix awhile back.

Old Navy swing dress

I chose this floral dress for our welcome dinner. Loose and flowey, it was just perfect for the beautiful sunset dinner on the beach. I received this Show Me Your Mumu dress from Stitch Fix several years ago. I was so happy to be able to take it to Hawaii! Isn’t it pretty?

Show Me Your Mumu dress

Shop Floral Dresses Here:

My Wisp maxi dress from Stitch Fix just makes me happy. I’ve always loved Stitch Fix, and now they’ve upped their game by adding a “Shop Your Looks” and “Shop More Colors” feature. I received this dress in a different color in my August Fix last year. I loved it so much I snatched it up when this style became available to shop. It feels like it was made for a beach vacay. 

Wisp Maxi Dress

Shop Maxi Dresses Here:

Finally, my favorite outfit of the trip! I wore this beautiful floral romper I ordered from Tee for the Soul. I love it for several important reasons. It has pockets! And it’s ladies room friendly! It’s just so pretty. I’m not sure if it’s still available there, but just in case, I shopped for you, and you can shop some similar rompers below.

Floral jumpsuit

We had so much fun! I hope my travel and packing tips will help you when you get to take a beach vacay. Have you ever been to Hawaii? I’d love to hear all about it! I want to go back, and would love to know where you went, and if you loved it as much as I did. Thanks for stopping by!

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