Weather you are heading to the exotic beaches of Mexico, Australia, or Thailand, island hopping through the Virgin Islands or Hawaii, or just heading to the US coastline, beach packing is pretty standard across the board! The following packing list should help you get everything you need together for an amazing trip with no “I can’t believe I forgot ….” moments!
- Swim suits: A few of them! Who wants to wear a wet bathing suit multiple days in a row? A few options, like strapless suits for your lazy days on the beach so you won’t get crazy tan lines and more sturdy suits that tie around the neck and wont fall off while you are snorkeling or going on excursions with more movement, will be your best bet. While my favorite swim wear comes from Everything But Water, Target and Aerie have reasonably priced options you can’t beat as well
- Tank tops: Light, breathable tops to keep you cool but give you some sun coverage when you need it
- Shorts: Make sure they will not chafe and are comfortable / easy on / off when wet. If your thighs rub together like mine (*sigh*), longer shorts, like those at Gap, can help prevent the rub when your sticky from the salt water
- Easy on / off rompers or sun dresses: Perfect to wear to the beach or resort pool as a cover up and cute enough to go to a restaurant after
- Athletic leggings / shorts and tops for excursions or workouts: Focus on light, breathable, sweat-wicking, and easy to clean clothes for your zip-line or adventurous tours
- Formal wear: Don’t forget flowy dresses or a cute skirt / top combo for nice dinners and dancing. Heels might be a bit much for the casual beach scene, so wedges, chunky heels, or cute sandals might be the easier to pack, more practical option
- A scarf or light jacket for those cool beach nights (and the plane ride to and from your destination)
- Don’t forget your undies, socks, and bras!
- Water bottle for excursions: I love Swell bottles. They are easy to travel with, keep drinks cold for hours and hours, and are super cute
- Water proof camera (if not your phone with a water proof case)
- Umbrella: For both sun and rain protection
- Floppy sun hat and sunglasses: A MUST. Bring nice sunglasses for pool days and some cheaper, “it’s ok if I lose these” ones to go in the ocean / on excursions with
- Day bag: Pack-able backpack for your sunscreen, poncho, water and snacks, towels, and anything else you may need on excursions
- Sun screen: Make sure you apply often! Don’t forget an oil free version for your face to avoid breakouts
- Waterproof phone carrying case: This will save your phone when you are on bumpy jet boats, in rain, and are surrounded by water
- Hand sanitizer, lip balm with sun screen, water proof make up, lots of aloe just in case of sun burns, and bug spray
- Reading material for the plane or by the pool
- Comfortable walking sandals that can get wet and keep your feet secure from slipping around. My personal favorite are Chaco’s. While they might not be the cutest shoes, they are so comfortable for miles of walking and are easy to clean. Note, black shoes tend to soak up the heat when you are in the pool or at the beach so lighter shoes are better
- Sandals for walking beach
- Sneakers and / or water shoes for adventure tours or a mid-vacay workout (funny right?)
- Wedges or comfy heels for any “nice” nights out
Hopefully this list will take some of the packing stress away and help you have the best time on your beach vacation!
After the heat and humidity of Bangkok, we were not surprised that Chiang Mai was along the same lines. Walking around downtown to check out the various temples was worse than the most humid of days in Houston Texas, so wearing breathable clothes, lots of sun protection, supportive shoes, and keeping hydrated was essential!
On top of gallivanting around town, a huge draw to visiting Chiang Mai are the elephant sanctuaries. The sanctuaries are typically in the mountain areas and there was an unexpected 15 minute hike to get to our location, so sneakers and sweat-wicking active wear was the way to go. Additionally, during monsoon season (May – November), it rains like crazy and gets super muddy, so you will want to ensure you have a plan for packing and washing your clothes after the fact…. Mine was washing everything in the shower afterwards and using the hairdryer to dry things…
With all of that said, below are my recommendations for making the most out of your Chiang Mai packing space:
Chaco Dorra Sandals | NeatPack Foldable Backpack | Forever 21 Floppy Sun Hat | Cheap sunglasses bought in the night markets so if you lose or break them, its OK | a poncho / umbrella | Under Armour UA Fly-By Capri | Coach Messenger with Pop Up Pouch Bag
- Shirts (1 per day): Light, breathable tanks or tees that do not reveal too much. Make sure they can match with lots of prints so, if you buy clothes in Thailand, you can mix and match!
- Maxi skirts or maxi dresses (1 per day): Perfect to wear at temples and they dress up and down so easily! Try and buy ones with slits so you can have a bit more ventilation.
- Athletic capri leggings and top for jungle excursions: Focus on light, breathable, sweat wicking, and easy to clean for your muddy elephant journey or adventure into the jungle.
- Formal wear (number pending your night plans): dresses or nice skirt / top combo. Remember, the night markets are a great way to spend an evening and are very casual so, if you only have two nights, make sure you check out a market for one of them!
- Bathing suit: bring one on the elephant tour and make sure you check out the hotel pool to relax your body after a long day of walking in the heat!
- Buy some elephant pants in the markets. They are the most comfy $5 pants you will ever own. I wore them almost every night!
- Water bottle
- Light scarf: to cover your shoulders at the temples
- Umbrella: for both sun and rain protection
- Hat and sunglasses: A MUST
- Day bag: pack-able backpack recommended to put your shoes in at temples, carry your water and snacks for long days, a change of clothes for after the elephant park, and anything else you may need.
- Sun screen & bug spray: make sure you apply often!
- Purse: A small, zipped (for security reasons), cross-body purse, to carry your personals. Try and make sure it is easy for you to get in and out of when you need to grab your phone or camera quickly to capture your favorite moments of the trip! Also, an easy to clean leather material will help if you maintain it and pick a color that is easy to match with.
- Hand sanitizer
- Tissues / toilet paper: if you want some in the bathrooms…
- Sneakers that can get muddy
- Comfortable walking sandals that are easy to take on and off (at temples)
- Sandals for walking to the spa or pool / hot tub
Featured above & worn on my trip:
DailyShoes Hunter Rainboots | Makeitmint Military Anorak Jacket | Love Lakeside Cashmere Feel Winter Plaid Scarf | Refresh Wynne Combat Lace Up Ankle Bootie | ScarvesMe Solid Ribbed Beanie & PomPom | NeatPack Foldable Backpack | Gap 1969 Boyfriend Jeans | REI Smart Wool Hiking socks | The North Face Venture Rain Jacket
Everything I read while researching online before my cruise indicated that it would be cool on the ship and warm on-land. Warm to the point of tee-shirts and shorts. So I packed light jackets, a few pairs of pants, tee’s, and shorts for excursions. Unfortunately for me, my reading was so chillingly WRONG! It was freezing on the boat and only 40 – 50 degrees on-land. I wore all of my jackets on-top of one another and rocked my warm beanie every day! Thankfully for you, I am here to help you weather your cruise so you are warm and comfy throughout your trip!
Below are my recommendations for a 7-day Alaskan cruise. Overall, layers will be your best friend, so try to pack things that match well with one another.
- Jackets (3): Heavy jacket, layering jacket, water proof jacket
- Shirts (7): Base layer tee’s for layering. Bring a few cute ones for around the cruise ship and some active style shirts for your excursions
- Pants: warm leggings (2 pairs), jeans, shorts (1 pair)
- Formal wear: 2 nights worth of dresses or nice skirt / top combo
- Bathing suit
- Sweat wicking socks for active days (REI has the most comfy hiking socks around for great prices)
- Workout gear: most cruise ships have a full gym so packing a few days of workout clothes for your full sailing days is a great way to defeat the buffet
- Water bottle
- Binoculars & camera
- Gloves, beanie, scarves
- Day bag: packable backpack recommended
- Sun screen & bug spray (if you go on a hike)
- Clutch wallet for your phone and cruise ship id to bring around the boat
- Waterproof shoes or rain boots
- Comfortable walking shoes for excursions: sneakers or hiking boots
- Sandals for walking to the spa or pool / hot tub