Our Essential Beach Packing List

61/365 Having a flexible life is awesome. Our pet sitting gig rules. Going to set sail after they come home too! #365days69/365 This water is a tease. I'm afraid of growing a third arm if I go in. #365days

We’ve come a long way, baby! After celebrating our 2 year “on the road” anniversary, it is really amazing to see how much we have grown. Experiences, mistakes, and general blunders have given us an invaluable database of knowledge – especially when it comes to packing.

Our most recent trip has us spending a month in the jungles and beaches of Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico. Besides the fact that Latin America feels like home, Shaun and I were a little more prepared about what to expect when it came to wearing clothes. What happened was a new minimalism that really caught us off guard. After packing for Latin America last time, we had to take into consideration we were going to be in the Andes. For our European packing list, we had to pack for the cold. This time? All relaxation and all beaches.

On to our choices:

beach packing list

Erica Essentials

8 pairs of underwear (Learned from Latin America that 3 is NOT enough)
2 bras
1 sports bra
2 bathing suits
2 pairs shorts
1 pair jeans (I like jeans and will continue to pack them)
1 skirt
3 tank tops
1 shirt
1 pair Sanuk Women’s Yoga Mat Flip Flop
1 pair hiking shoes
1 pair tieks (For a nice night out.)
1 hoodie (Nice buses are COLD)
3 pairs socks

beach packing list

Scant Shaun

4 pairs boxers (3 Ex-Officio)
3 Shirts
1 Button Down shirt
1 pair trunks
2 pairs shorts
1 pair jeans
1 hat
4 pairs socks
1 belt
1 pair flip flops
1 pair skate shoes (Don’t ask.)

Not Pictured:

Erica’s Hat and Sunglasses
2 Ponchos
1 Umbrella
2 Rain Covers for backpacks
2 Headlamps
First Aid Kit
Pocket Knife
Ginger Candy (for Shaun’s seasickness – we have yet to try it out)
1 Waterbottle
1 Texas State Flag Drink Koozie
1 Burning Man koozy
1 Journal
2 Sea to Summit Lightweight Dry Sack
(20L and 2L)
2 Travel Towels
Bug Repellent

Tech Bag: (25L Dakine Burnside Backpack)

1 15″ MacBook Pro
1 HP Envy 14 (14″)
Nikon D300S 12.3MP DX-Format CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Body Only)
18-50mm lens
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras
2 batteries
1 battery charger
1 Go Pro Hero 1
GoPro HERO3: Black Edition
XShot 2.0 Camera Extender for Most Cameras XS2379-F
2 iPhone 4S
Kindle Keyboard 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 6″ E Ink Display

After throwing our clothes and gear into our bags, we stumbled upon a VERY good problem to have. My Deuter Fox 40L and Shaun’s Deuter ACT lite 65+10L were just WAY too much. Shaun’s clothes were swimming in an almost entirely empty backpack and mine wasn’t nearly packed tight enough. We had reached the “promised land” of packing.

….Now to figure out how to make our technology day pack NOT the heaviest thing we are carrying around.

You live and learn, right? I’m curious to see where we will be in 2 more years.

(Side note: Shaun’s sees us in a private jet with rolling suitcases. I applaud him for thinking big.)



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27 Responses to “Our Essential Beach Packing List”

  1. Hannah @ Getting Stamped April 10, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    First things first, is that a cubs hat I see?!?!? NOOOOO, big Milwaukee Brewers fan here! We can discuss this at TBEX!

    Love the list, we are still deciding what to bring and I know I will overpack and that’s fine with me….I will just donate it on the road! What do you all have in your fist aid kit? I think ours is too large right now…I know we have to work on the clothes for sure, but we are going to South America after Central America and not sure the temp in Sept/Oct there….so we kind of have to pack for a few seasons…which sucks!

    • Erica April 16, 2013 at 9:59 am #

      Yes. Yes it is. Not really baseball fans but Shaun has been a Cubs fan since he was a wee kid. It was the name of his T-Ball team! 😛

      We just bought a pre-packaged one. We added more bandaids, more immodium, more ibuprofen… and then it has the essentials. It is super small. Everything you need can be bought on the road. Keep in mind you can also buy clothes on the road too!

  2. Bethany April 10, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    You guys are truly packing geniuses. Seriously – that is incredible how light you’ve packed – you’re inspiring me!

    • Erica April 16, 2013 at 9:59 am #

      😀 I take pride in my packing!

  3. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures April 11, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    I love that your man dreams big!

    • Erica April 16, 2013 at 10:00 am #

      You have to! And why not – we’ve already achieved one!

  4. OCDemon April 12, 2013 at 9:48 pm #

    Don’t feel bad packing jeans. It’s the dumb fault of the travel gear industry and their steadfast refusal to make a truly travel-worthy pair of jeans. Maybe someday though…

    • Erica April 16, 2013 at 10:00 am #

      YES! Seriously man. I love the way they look and feel. It just sucks to wash them.

  5. Emily in Chile April 15, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    It’s always amazing how much less you have to pack for a warm climate and relaxed atmosphere, isn’t it? Yet another great thing about heading for the beach!

    • Erica April 16, 2013 at 10:01 am #

      YAY for relaxation! I need to do this more often.

  6. Ayngelina April 15, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    I don`t pack much but I have learned to pack a lot of underwear. I don`t mind wearing the same shirt 3 days in a row but you can`t do that with everything.

    • Erica April 16, 2013 at 10:01 am #

      YES. That is one thing I keep making MORE of.

  7. Alex April 15, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

    I feel you on the heavy equipment. Honestly I see now way around it… other than hiring a permanent sherpa.

    • Erica April 16, 2013 at 10:02 am #

      Yeah, I’m a cheap a-hole. That isn’t going to happen. I’m just waiting for someone to make an amazing travel tech bag. I haven’t found one yet.

  8. Abby April 16, 2013 at 1:22 am #

    Last time I backpacked, I had zero technological anything with me… I must agree — when in doubt, pack more underwear.

    • Erica April 16, 2013 at 10:02 am #

      Now I can’t imagine traveling without my tech gear. I love to capture things.

  9. Pete April 16, 2013 at 3:12 am #

    That is definitely one perk of having a home base in that you can swap out cold climate clothes for warm climate. We are hauling everything and because so are limited in our options. And we feel your pain about the tech bag and it just keeps getting heavier…

    • Erica April 16, 2013 at 10:03 am #

      That is one reason I love it. I enjoy having a place to call my own – with my own little cave I can retreat to. At least I figured out that much!

  10. Kimmy @ AfterGlobe April 17, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    I love the lists on what to pack. Helps me get my list smaller and think of things I might have never thought of.

    • Erica April 28, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

      If you ever need any advice, feel free to hit me up! 😀

  11. Jemma April 18, 2013 at 7:38 am #

    Happy 2nd “on the road” anniversary. I’ll also be packing soon for my beach vacation next week… 🙂 I should be making my list of essentials now like the ones you’ve posted above…

    • Erica April 28, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

      Thanks Jemma! We procrastinated pretty badly and didn’t pack until the night before. After a few weeks on the road we’re starting to realize we should have brought certain things lol.

  12. Ray @StingyTraveller April 18, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

    Way to stick to the essentials! Great list and advice for packing.

    • Erica April 28, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

      Thanks Ray! I’m all about minimalist travel.

  13. Sebastian @ Off-The-Path.com April 24, 2013 at 8:51 am #

    Great list and definitely helps to pack less… I always carry too much when traveling!

  14. ashree April 26, 2013 at 3:25 am #

    Love your list! Pack less the better for beach, definitely. Good post!

    • Erica April 28, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

      TOTALLY. You can always wash clothes!

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