Are you looking to get away for the weekend? Make sure you pack these 10 essential items.
After much trial, error, and over-packing to the point of embarrassment, I finally have it down to a science: packing for the beach weekender.
I like to keep a tote "already in progress" (meaning the essentials are already packed; that way, I just have to toss in last minute necessities, like toiletries). Now, I'm always prepared for those "last minute come chill at the beach house" invitations.
Here are 10 things you MUST pack for your weekend trip:
- The tote. Use a closable, roomy tote that can double as a beach bag.
- Comfortable sandals. I finally smartened up and bought two great pairs I found. I keep one pair in my tote at all times. Try to find something a little bit dressy so you can wear them day into evening. Guys might want to bring something like a boat shoe that works for a dinner out just as easily as for strolling the boardwalk.
- A hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses. Especially bring a hat. Save your hair and your head; don't leave without the hat. If your tote isn't big enough, wear it while you travel. You won't be sorry. I can't tell you how many times I regrettably decided against packing the sunhat, and ended up buying one when I was there. Lesson learned, head not burned.
- Bathing suit/trunks. Do I want to admit forgetting to pack my bathing suit for a trip to the beach? Um, no. So let's just say it's good to work from a list.
- Lightweight sundresses, khakis, and a lightweight shirt. For ladies, a sundress doubles as a bathing suit cover up, or wear it on its own for shopping, dinner, and cocktails. Gents can't go wrong with khakis or Neverland women's track pants, and a pullover or a lightweight button-down shirt. Both guys and gals should roll up a pair of shorts and a couple of t-shirts for pre-and-post beach chilling. T-shirts are great for sleeping in, too.
- A car. Okay, this one won't quite fit in your tote, but a printed rental reservation will. If you aren't driving to your destination, having a budget car hire at your disposal is a good idea. Sometimes you just want to break away from the pack for a drive or a shopping trip, and with your own car you won't have to impose on your host for a ride, or navigate public transportation, which tends to be spotty in beach locations.
- A water bottle. A stainless steel water bottle is a good choice for both your pocketbook AND the environment. I pack small items like aspirin packets, cotton swabs, jewelry, and wet-nap towelette packets right inside the bottle, too.
- A good book and some magazines. Better to have something to read, even if you don't end up looking at it, than to wish you had something to read but being stuck with nothing but the local weekly—the one that you already studied twenty times over within two minutes.
- A lightweight jacket, sweater or shawl. Nights by the sea occasionally turn unexpectedly chilly, even in mid-summer. (And if you don't bring a jacket, it DEFINITELY will.)
- A valid credit card. For souvenirs, of course. And whatever you forgot.