Beach Vacation Capsule Wardrobe and Packing Tips

Travel Style

beach vacation capsule wardrobe guide

Despite the fact that my wardrobe is basically part of my family, I’m committed to not over-packing. Especially for family vacations when I’m busy worrying about a million other things, including making sure that we’ve packed everything that my son needs for a week at the beach. I love doing this for myself and teaching my clients how to do this so that packing for vacation (and using what is already in your wardrobe!) becomes fun and effortless, instead of being nightmare fuel leading up to your vacation.

I’m kicking off a new Travel Style Tips mini-series here on my blog with a packing guide to a beach vacation. Of course, I’m thinking about a trip to the beach as someone with a young child, but this applies even if you don’t have kids because:

– Don’t limit your ability to say YES to things based on what you’ve brought with you, or having to scramble to go out and over-spend on something you don’t need. Bring a variety of swimsuits so you can give yourself the option to try surfing or jump off the diving board without worrying about a wardrobe malfunction, and for the rest of your clothes, focus on comfort that can easily be dressed up for a nice evening walk on the beach or grabbing a drink.

-When it comes to both swimsuits and the rest of your clothes, bring a variety of necklines and coverage so you can protect any areas that get a little too much sun. Nothing worse than having sunburnt shoulders and only having thin straps to work with for an entire week!!

I just followed all of these tips for a couple recent trips, and guarantee this will work for a 7-10 day trip to the beach.

Pack with a Color Palette

Packing with a color palette allows you to:

a) Mix and match
b) Bring fewer pieces
c) Reduce decision fatigue (everything goes!)

Currently, my favorite color palette to use when packing for myself. I used these color combos for when I packed for Southern California and for the Outer Banks, NC.

After you’ve chosen your color palette, follow that to select and pack these essentials. (This is also available as a handy checklist so you can refer to it while you’re packing!)

Pack with a Color Palette

  1. Bring an outerwear piece you can wear on your travel day
    1. A light jacket or sweater is a great layering piece that you can wear when you’re traveling (whether it’s a road trip or you’re getting on a plane), to help with temperature and climate changes
    2. By wearing your layering piece on your travel day, it won’t take up space in your suitcase

2. Think about what you will actually be doing and pack for those activities, aka Beach vacay as a mom with a young kiddo

  1. Definitely back 2-3 bathing suits (one bikini, one one piece, and one that guarantees no wardrobe malfunctions while playing with the kiddo in the pool or kayaking/surfing)
    1. Swim suits with different coverage helps with sun protection – if you get sunburned, you can wear a different suit to mix up those tan lines
  2. One coverup
  3. Hat and sunnies (sun protection!)
  4. A comfy outfit for when you’re relaxing inside (comfy pants and a lightweight sweatshirt for when the AC is on full blast)
  5. Dinner date outfit (I love a cute sundress that shows off my bod)
  6. 2-3 shorts
  7. 4 tops
    1. Rule of “have many types of coverage” definitely applies to your tops too!)
  8. One pair of pants to be worn traveling
  9. Light jacket also worn traveling (cropped denim jacket, please!)
  10. Sandals that can be worn casually or out
  11. Sandals that can be worn to the beach or pool
  12. Sneakers for outdoor activities
  13. A dress that can be casual or elevated

Don’t forget to download this checklist so you can easily pack for your next trip to the beach or somewhere with a gorgeous pool.

If you need a little extra help shopping for or packing for a vacation, reach out! Email me or send me a DM on Instagram.

Taking another type of vacation?

I have packing guides and checklists for all kinds of trips. Check out the other posts in this series!

view masterclasses

If you’re not yet ready to invest in a long partnership, but still want to pursue building your own authentic style, then check out my two best-selling masterclasses today. 





STYLE Translation. 


Guiding Change with