Ten Items to Pack for the Perfect Beach Vacation

I'm a NYC-based entertainment lawyer with a passion for travel, so much so that I started a travel-focused Instagram account (@the_vacationista) to chronicle my adventures and share packing tips. I am points-obsessed and creatively use miles and points with different hotel chains, airlines and credit cards to plan amazing vacations that are cost-efficient. Today, I booked a last-minute flight to Portugal, round trip, first class, and in lay flat seats! I redeemed a combination of Chase points and Delta miles and spent $800 cash. Admittedly, $800 isn’t inexpensive, but the itinerary is currently priced over $8500, so comparatively it's a steal! I love a good beach vacay, and this summer I'm planning trips to the Hamptons, South Carolina, and Nevis/St. Kitts...I can't wait! I love to pack efficiently to get all of my favorite things in one neatly-organized spot. I recently went to Turks and Caicos, where I was able to bring all of the following items that made my stay even better. Here's what I SwearBy for the ultimate beach getaway....

Antonello Medium Capriccioli Zig Zag Tote

Antonello makes my favorite beach bags which are both functional and chic. Large enough to fit an iPad, book, sunblock, and other beach essentials, this bag also doubles as my carry-on bag for flights. Although pricey, I’ve had this bag for years, and it has held up remarkably well, despite being exposed to the elements! For those who like a bigger tote at night, this works too.

Illesteva Allen Ace Acetate & Metal Round Sunglasses

Whenever I wear these Illesteva sunnies in my Insta posts, I always get TONS of comments about them. They are very lightweight, yet sturdy, and the rose gold/white tortoise combo is unique and universally flattering.

Poupette St Barth Women's Mini Sasha Dress

I own this Poupette St. Barth Sasha coverup in 3 colors — no joke. It is super flattering and can easily be thrown over a swimsuit to look chic at a beachside restaurant or on a water-side stroll on the beach.

Gorjana Super Star Necklace in Gold

I don’t love to travel in nice jewelry, particularly if I’m sitting on a beach. This Gorjana necklace is adorable and always comes with me on every trip!

Supergoop Anti-oxidant Infused Sunscreen Mist with Vitamin C Spray - Travel Size

I hate checking a bag when I fly, but the liquid restrictions for carry-on luggage make packing for a beach vacation quite challenging! Luckily, Supergoop! makes travel-sized spray sunblock that fits the 3 oz. rule. This sunblock works for all skin types, offers maximum coverage, and doesn’t leave an oily residue.

Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream

I have naturally curly hair that I generally blowout straight, EXCEPT on beach trips. I love the travel-sized Moroccan Oil Defining Cream to keep my curls defined and avoid frizz. I just wash and go, but you also can use a diffuser with this amazing product. As a bonus, it smells amazing!

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

I love to read on my Kindle on the beach. While I generally gravitate towards more serious books in the historical fiction genre, I use my beach time for more “fun reads.” This is a great, easy read and the newest book by the author of Big Little Lies, which dives into the lives of 9 people who embark on a wellness retreat together and what ensues on their vacation.

Away Bigger Carry-On Suitcase

I’m obsessed with my Away carry-on! I can go on and on about its unique features, but in a nutshell: (1) it has a removable charger with multiple USB ports to charge devices on the go. You also can use the charger apart from the suitcase, which is great if your devices lose power on the beach (which is inevitable when you ramp up the brightness); (2) the bag is extremely durable and the pink is beachy and fun (and easy to find at baggage claim!); (3) the suitcase keeps you easily organized with two separate compartments — one that compresses clothing and another that is perfect for shoes and toiletries; and (4) Away has a 100-day return policy and will even take back the bag if it’s been used (so no harm in giving it a try!).

Gonex Compression Packing Cubes Set

I love these Gonex compression packing cubes. They have changed my life and help me stay organized if I decide to live out of my suitcase and not to unpack my bag during my trip. They have a double zip to compress the items inside.

Photo credit: @the_vacationista

Coolibar UPF 50+ Women's Novara Wide Brim Hat

I always bring my Coolibar hat to the beach or pool. It actually has SPF protection and keeps my face out of the sun. This hat allows me to double down on protecting my skin, without compromising style.

I’m Julie, aka the Vacationista, an entertainment lawyer by weekday and a travel expert and lifestyle enthusiast by weekend. I am points-obsessed and creatively use miles/points with different hotel chains, airlines and credit cards to plan amazing vacations that are cost-efficient. I love a good beach vacay and I travel so often that I believe in packing smart...I'm all about the tips and tricks to efficiently bring your must-haves on vacation without compromising space, beauty and comfort.