Heading to the beach this summer? If you’re flying to your destination, you may be sticking with just a carry on bag. Carry ons are convenient; you won’t spend time waiting for checked baggage or worry about losing your luggage. However, fitting everything you need for a trip to the beach in the overhead bin can be a challenge.
Follow these steps to pack for a trip to the beach in your carry on bag.
1. Rent Beach Accessories
Depending on your destination, you can likely skip packing beach items like chairs, umbrellas and toys. Instead, have your travel agent book accommodations that include these accessories or rent them from a local shop. In many beach communities, rental shops will deliver chairs, wagons, shade structures and toys for the kids to your accommodations before you arrive.
2. Pack Strategically
First, consider what bag you’ll be packing in. A bag with soft sides will be able to accommodate unusually-shaped items. Rolled towels and clothing stack neatly in hard shell suitcases. You may also want to consider trading your usual personal item (a large purse, briefcase or backpack) for an insulated soft cooler.
Packing cubes or plastic bags are great for minimizing the amount of space your clothes and towels take up. Plus, you can stick dirty clothes and wet bathing suits in them for the flight home.
Keep the number of shoes you pack to a minimum. Most beachgoers only need three or four pairs: flip flops, sneakers or another pair of sturdy shoes, and a pair of sandals for dinner and sightseeing. Wear the heaviest pair on the plane to save space in your bag. Skip other bulky accessories as well. A hat, two pairs of sunglasses and a few pieces of jewelry are more than enough for most beach vacations.
3. Wait to Purchase Liquids
The TSA’s restrictions on liquids in carry on luggage affect beachgoers more than sightseers or business travelers. This is because you’ll need large quantities of sunscreen, as well as bug repellant and aloe. To fit your entire beach packing list in a carry on bag, bring small amounts of these liquids. Wait to buy larger quantities of sunscreen in your destination. You’ll likely pass a drugstore on your way to the beach, where you can stock up on everything you’ll need for your trip!