Planning a last-minute beach holiday – here is what to pack

Summer may be nearing an end but there are still plenty of beautiful locations across the world to enjoy some late summer sunshine at a time of the year when most people are heading back to school or the office. For those lucky enough to be planning a last-minute beach holiday to catch the final rays of sun, it can be a challenge to know what to pack. The summer stock is clearing out of stores and the temperatures are more changeable in the off-peak seasons.  It can be easy to get carried away and pack dozens of different outfits to take with you on your trip. However, it is possible to pack everything needed with just cabin luggage and a handful of carefully chosen items. 


Key to fitting everything needed for a beach vacation into a small 4 wheel suitcase is to carefully plan outfits in advance. Consider a capsule wardrobe when packing and be sure to bring basics such as a t-shirt, cotton blouse, dress and jean shorts in black, white or blue tones which can all be easily interchanged to create an endless number of outfit options. Then add a couple of statement maxi dresses or fun with the accessories. 


Linen is a great natural fabric to pack for the beach. It is breathable, light weigh and effortless. A linen set of shirt and wide leg trousers or shorts in white or black will make for a simple and chic outfit suitable to wear from city to beach. These items can be worn together or as separates. A light pair of trousers are ideal while taking a break from the sun either lazing in the shade with a book or enjoying air conditioning at a local café. Similarly, an oversized linen shirt in blue or while will look great as a cover up over a bikini. Linen is prone to creasing but don’t worry this gives the outfit a relaxed and laid-back vibe which will be perfect by the beach. When packing, roll linen items when packing to avoid excessive creasing.

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Pack the most flattering and comfortable bikinis swimsuits, as they are the ones which are most likely to be worn while away, rather than packing everything “just in case”. Bring a selection or sarongs, these can easily be worn as a skirt or a wrapped as a dress and pair with with a statement pair of earrings for the transition to lunch at the beach bar. 


When taking cabin luggage only, it is best to choose dresses over separates as an outfit is instantly complete with just one item of clothing. They are also very versatile will work had in your beach holiday wardrobe, dressed down over a bikini and flip flops during the day or with a glitzy clutch in the evening. When staying in a hotel, there is always the question of what to wear to breakfast when not quite ready for the day yet. A comfortable dress or floaty kaftan is ideal, for a stylish and covered up look. 


As the peak of summer has passed the evenings may be cooler so a light jumper may be required. This will be very useful while travelling too as aeroplanes can often be very cool. 


An oversized sun hat is essential for lounging by the pool. A couple of pairs of sunglasses, a classic pair and a statement pair which can easily change up the feel of an outfit. Take some simple pieces of jewellery that can be easily worn with several outfits along with a couple of colourful statement pieces to add interest to simple outfits. A crossbody bag, a beach bag, and a simple clutch in a neutral raffia will look great in the evening.

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Flip-flops are a beach essential as well as a comfortable pair of sandals or smart white trainers for walking if that is on the itinerary. Take a pair of gladiator sandals for the evening but don’t bother with heels. Most beach resorts are located in hilly locations that make it difficult to walk in heels.