Many of you have already gone on your winter vacation, but I’m heading out tomorrow. Beach vacation can be the easiest packing experience you will have since you’re likely to spend most of your time on the beach or at the pool in a bathing suit. And let’s be honest, NO ONE notices if you wear the same couple of dresses (or shorts/shirt combo for men) over the course of a week.

Carry On Packing List

Here’s my packing list, and an easy way for you to pack for a week on the beach:

  • Three bikini tops
  • Two bikini bottoms
  • Three cover ups
  • Two dresses for evenings
  • Yoga outfit – shorts, sports bra, tank top
  • One pair of walking shorts
  • 3-in-1 poncho/dress/skirt*
  • Short-sleeve top*
  • Wedge sandals
  • Flat sandals
  • Runners*
  • Leggings*

* indicates I will be wearing this on the plane to save space and because planes are cold!


  • Cross-body purse
  • Belt
  • Sunglasses
  • DSLR camera
  • GoPro camera
  • Necklaces
  • Earrings
  • Make-up (bronzer, mascara, small sample eye-shadow duo)
  • Slippers/socks for the plane

All of that fits into either my carry-on sized bag or my purse. My purse is where I keep all of the important stuff: book, journal, sleep mask and earplugs, Lorezapram so I don’t freak out on the plane, passports, Nexus cards, cameras.

What's in My Purse?

Finally, the biggest issue with carry-on only travel: liquids. Here’s my biggest tip – buy travel-size bottles at the store or pharmacy and then use those to fill with things like sunscreen and lotion. Your hotel will have shampoo, conditioner, and soap so don’t bother bringing them. Here’s what I’m bringing with me in my “liquids” bag.

TSA Approved Liquid Bag

The two equate bottles hold 200mL of sunscreen, almost the full bottle! Face sunscreen and cream, toothpaste, lotion, lip balm, mouth wash, eye drops and eye roller (for that awful airplane air) and hand sanitizer. Save your samples and create a little travel bag that is always ready to take with you on a weekend trip. This little bag is always stocked and ready to go, making packing easy for any trip.

Trust me, you don’t need an outfit for every day you’re on vacation. Even last year, I took a small bag with an outfit for every night and I only wore THREE of the perfectly planned outfits. Save yourself the trouble of waiting for your bag, especially on the return trip when you just want to get back home instead of standing in line forever.

What do you take in your carry-on?