What to Pack for a Week at the Beach





IMG_4631Ah, packing. Everyone’s favorite part of vacation. Sometimes I really enjoy it, especially if I’ve bought a few pieces specifically for the trip. I think it goes along with the anticipation of the trip and all the promise a sexy dress or crisp white jeans hold. It can be very exciting.

It can also be very daunting and stressful, especially if you are packing for a trip lasting more than two weeks and across a couple different climates like Courtney and Jared were. Also, going home for the holidays can be a complete disaster and usually ends up with me huddling in the corner somewhere wanting to call the trip off. Like many, I am a notorious over-packer and I like to have options for wherever I’m going and whatever I’m doing.

But, for our Greece trip we promised we would only bring backpacks and I was forced to pack light. I wanted to pass along a few of my tips because I’m always looking for help in these situations. What do you really need for a week? One at the beach for that matter. For me, the most important key was to keep a neutral and monochromatic color palette because it makes pieces easier to mix and match. A bright pop of color would have worked well here (maybe pink? maybe a neon?) but I’m happy I brought what I did. It includes:


  • Two swimsuit cover-ups: one from J.Crew’s resort collection over this past winter and one from a boutique here in Bern. I also wore the pink one with denim shorts on our ferry from Santorini to Paros and later that evening to dinner. When it comes in a pretty pattern and a modest length, the swimsuit cover-up can be your most versatile piece.


  • Three tops: I was definitely going for a beachy vibe and kept everything flowy and neutral. Again, it might be fun to add a bright color here if that’s more your vibe.


  • One long-sleeve shirt: a chambray shirt is your best friend, and not just for vacation. I am partial to the Keeper Chambray from J.Crew, but if you find one you love, go for it (good news: it’s on sale right now!). I wear mine at least once a week and find that it goes with everything. When you wear it that often I definitely think it’s worth the price. I brought this to dinner each night and also wore it just lounging around the hotel in the late afternoon. It’s a definite must for me.


  • One dress: I actually didn’t get a chance to wear this ASOS dress because each night was so low-key and I don’t really wear dresses that often; but if you do, then you might want to bring an extra one, especially if you like to wear a casual dress during the day.


  • Three pairs of shorts: As I mentioned, I’m more of a separates gal, so I wanted a few options here. Denim shorts were great given how laid back the week was, and I brought a pair of black shorts as a dressy alternative (these are also on super sale!). The chambray shorts on the end were for the beach and were really comfortable all week, though they are pilling where the backpack rubbed against them on our hike (probably could have hit those with an iron…).


  • Two pairs of pants: The lighter wash denim were for the flights and the white jeans were for P. Diddy’s White Party.


  • Three pairs of shoes: This is honestly the hardest part of packing because I always think I will need more shoes than I really do, and they take up so much space in the bag! Truly though, I only needed these three shoes and I never felt like I was missing anything.


  • One hat: This item was another essential as it helped keep the sun off my face on the beach and masked greasy second-day hair. This one is from a department store in Switzerland, but you can find similar ones all over the place. I also like the wider brimmed floppy hats, but I’m not sure they really suit my face.









Not pictured are two swimsuits and a handful of unmentionables. I also go super light on the makeup for beach vacations and most of the time don’t even bother with it. This time I brought concealer, blush, and mascara, plus a little bit of lip balm.

This was the perfect amount of clothing for me and what I liked best was that everything truly went together. Every short and pant could match with every top and I think that’s key when you’re only bringing a few pieces. I’m sure I will be referencing this list in the future, especially considering our upcoming Bali trip and our desire to pack light for that as well. Do you have any other tips or tricks for packing?

I also didn’t include entertainment that I brought along, such as a deck of playing cards, a deck of UNO cards, Banangrams, a book and my ipod. Those went in a separate carry-on bag that also doubled as our beach bag for the week. Double duty!

Also, in case you missed it, you can read about our time in Santorini and in Paros.


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