What to Pack for a Beach Holiday


Holiday season is upon us, and while many lucky ones have already had a few swims, others (myself included) are still eagerly awaiting the moment we'll be able to get to the beach. Swimming and summer are inseparable in my mind. Ever since I was born, I was lucky enough to be able to visit the place where my father's from, and where the beach was only a 15-minute drive away. As soon as school was over, we would pack our overflowing suitcases, trying our hardest to fit everything in the poor car and we'd be off. If there's one word to describe those summers, it would be "carefree", a word which, unfortunately, I can't use that often nowadays. But I was. All the other children were, too. We would play all day, swim all day, eat ice-cream all day, and when we had to study (why wouldn't they leave us alone for the summer?! Damn their homework!), we would study without the stress that usually accompanied this activity.

I think that many of us each summer, have this deep desire to return to the holidays of our childhood and in particular regain some of that insouciance that defined it. We seek out endless days of fun and relaxation, treats in all their forms, long reads that we're too stressed to start in the bleak winter months. It's no wonder that so many people from all over the world travel to places like the Mediterranean islands to spend their precious holidays. The weather, atmosphere and attitudes on these areas welcome this "summer mindset" we've been craving. 

Many of us, however, and I know this from my experience, get unnecessarily worried before travelling when we face the one task that can make our holidays a much bigger hassle than it should be, and that is packing. Since I have packed hundreds of times for summer holidays on the beach, I thought I'd give you my tips to perhaps make it less stressful for you. 


  1. Know where you're going. It seems obvious, but you won't have the same needs if you're going to a Greek island or a metropolitan city. 

  2. Figure out what you'll be doing there. How will you be spending your days? Will you be staying at the beach or by the pool most of the day? Or will you be out and about, visiting museums and landmarks?

  3. Plan your outfits according to your activities. Since you now know what you'll be doing, you can bring things to fit those situations. 

  4. Make a list of the items you're definitely going to need with you.

  5. Take a good and hard look at your wardrobe and decide which are the items you always end up wearing in the summer months and on holidays. That pair of high heels you always think you'll get so much use out of on your holiday dancing the night away in? Are their soles scuffed? Well, if not I think you've got your answer. I know I always end up wearing my most comfortable flats or at least mid-heeled sandals. Be brave and take them out of your suitcase; they'd probably just take up space.

  6. Once you've got a good idea of what you usually end up wearing on holiday, use that as a blueprint of sorts. Stay with what you know has worked for you in the past. If you find something missing, get it, but it's important to shop for your holidays only after you've done your homework. In my experience when I haven't, I end up buying things I already had loads of while missing vital holiday pieces I hadn't realised I needed.

  7. Divide and arrange all of them into outfits. Think of the duration of your holiday and always have your specific needs in mind. Only you know if you get cold more than others and need to pack another light jacket. No lists will tell you that!

  8. It's important to make sure that all the clothes you chose or most of them, can co-ordinate. Pick out a colour palette and if one item doesn't seem to fit in at all, consider taking it off. I usually stick to neutrals as much as possible with the addition of some colourful items. However, prints are trickier. If you can't live without your prints, a colour palette is imperative. If they stay within the same palette, then the margin for error will presumably be slimmer. 

  9. Leave some space in your suitcase for things you'll buy at your destination. You will end up finding something you love there, and you'll be beating yourself over not having the extra space in your luggage. And if you're unsure of getting that extra top with you, I say, leave it, and if you end up needing a strappy top, you can probably find one at your holiday destination. Most places have shops of some kind. The item you'll end up with will carry much more memories and experience than just another top you'll end up buying, rushed, from Zara. 



Frilled Top: Zara | Black Strap Top: Mango | Top with Ruffle Sleeve: Zara | Shirt with Embroidery: Zara |

Light colours are the best for driving off the sun. For a more evening appropriate look, I like having a black spaghetti top. It goes with everything and can be quite versatile. Usually, you'll need about double tops from bottoms. As I've said, if you've planned your outfits, each top could work great with every short or skirt you're bringing.


| Striped Off-shoulder Dress: Zara | Maxi Linen Dress: Uterque | Red Off-shoulder Dress: Mango | Denim Dress: Zara| Midi Striped Dress: Zara | Bow Sleeve Dress: Zara | Red Crossover Dress: Zara | Poplin Dress: Zara |

If you like dresses, then let them do the heavy work for you. You won't have to think about tops and bottoms and colour coordination. Everything will get so much easier. 


| Bandeau Playsuit: Asos | Strappy Jumpsuit: Zara | Printed Short Jumpsuit: Mango | Embroidered Playsuit : Missguided |

If you're like me, though, and have experienced the summer breezes in all their force, then you know that while wearing a dress is the perfect solution to holiday dressing, having to flash your bum and knickers to everyone walking behind you, isn't ideal. You'd probably be much better of, bringing lots of jumpsuits. I particularly love them because they let me eat my ice-cream without having to have the other hand glued to my sides, grabbing my dress as if my life depended on it. Chocolate-ice-cream-stain crisis, averted!


| White Denim Shorts: Mango | Check Shorts: Mango | Striped Linen Shorts: Mango | Denim Shorts: Zara |

Need I say more? They're the epitome of summer dressing for a reason. They go with everything, can be dressed up or down and they can even be worn under your summer frocks or kaftans if you're worried about the breeze and for some reason don't like jumpsuits (to each their own).


| Slides: Birkenstock | Block-heeled Sandals: Uterque | Wedge Espadrilles: Castaner | Jute Slides: Uterque |

 From leisurely walks to dancing at cocktail bars, get a pair to match your style and needs. If you're like me and value comfort more than anything else, get a pair of Birkenstocks. They were the best decision I ever made. I don't care if they're basic, or if they're going out of vogue; for me, they're here to stay! And you know my love for espadrillesThey're the shoe of the summer, and they'll probably see me through many occasions. I'll be sure to grab a pair with a bit of a height and double it up as a heel too.

Some Last Tips:

  • Don't forget to bring as many bikinis and/or swimsuits as you can! The islands are blessed with beautiful beaches, and you'll most probably be spending most of your time by the sea.
  • Sunglasses and hats are vital if you want to be protected from the sun. So is a good suncream!
  • With a pair of statement earrings, you can immediately transform any outfit and take it from day to night.
  • You can make sure to keep a smaller bag in your beach or day bag in case you are invited to a summer party out of the blue. Hasn't happened to me, but I've heard it does happen...
  • A well-made kaftan can double up as a dress or a top. It will save you valuable space in your wardrobe if you replace with it some dresses.
  • This one is particular for the Greek islands, but I'm sure it can be applied to many others: It can get very windy and, on occasion, if we're lucky enough the temperature might fall in the evening. In any case, always bring some sort of jacket! We don't want you getting cold during your holiday!
That's it then. I swear I'm done! It's been a rather long one, but I hope it will help some of you, who might be preparing for your holidays. 
See you on an island!

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