How to Pack the Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe for Travel – Beach Edition

Planning a weekend (or longer) beach getaway?  Here is How to Pack the Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe for Travel – Beach Edition

Start here if you are new to the Capsule Wardrobe concept

Black Sandals flip flopsShoes: 

  • 1 pair of flip flops or beach sandals
  • 1 pair of sport sandals or water shoes
  • 1 pair of dress sandals, heels, flats or wedges for the flight or fancier activities

Must Have Accessories – Hat and sun glasses

Dresses (optional):

  • 1 or 2 casual, comfy sun dress to wear on the plane or dressed up for a nice event/meal.  Maxi dress is a great option for day or night activities near the water.

Skirts/shorts: 

  • 1 pair of light weight shorts that can be worn as a swim suit cover-up, or sport activity such as volleyball, yoga, or hiking.
  • 1 skirt that can double as a cover-up over bikini, or paired with a blouse for non-beach-side activities
Island straw hat

Hat and UV blocking shirt

Tops: 

  • 1 natural fiber tunic style shirt that can be worn with shorts or as swim suit cover-up
  • 1 UV blocking short or long sleeve (rash guard) shirt for snorkeling or extra skin protection out on the water or hiking
  • 2 tee shirts (cotton or natural fiber blend)

Bikini for Beach PackingSwim Suits: 

Pack at least 2 swim suits – be sure to rinse and hang your suit after wearing so you always have a clean, dry suit ready to change into.

Lingerie:

Wear a pair, then pack additional pair of panties based on the number of day of your trip.   Panties do not take up much space, and you can wash to reduce the number packed.  Wear one, then pack 2 bras (I usually include 1 convertible bra for strapless, halter, or X back for more outfit options).  Swim suits can perform double duty as bras (including strapless bra substitute) and panties to reduce packing.

Pants (optional):

  • 1 pair of pants or jeans for flight or night time activities (where it might get a little chilly by the water)
  • 1 pair of cotton, linen or other natural fiber loose pants

Extras:  A light cardigan/long sleeve shirt for travel or cooler nights on the water, colorful scarf, and sleep shirt/pajamas.

How to Pack the Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe for Travel – Beach EditionAdditional considerations – Know your hot/cold tolerances!

I find California, Hawaii, and most beaches in the US to be too cold, especially at night, and require pants and sweatshirt.  Beaches closer to the equator (Mexico, Caribbean, and any beach between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn latitudes) are comfortable year round to me, while many people would find these too hot.

How to Pack the Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe for Travel

Many times while traveling, things do not go as planned and my trip is extended (cancelled flights, opportunity to stay longer, whatever).  My first reaction was to add a couple new items to my wardrobe (yay, excuse to go shopping), then I learned the secret to extend my original wardrobe for another week (or more). I discovered how to pack the ultimate capsule wardrobe for the most mix and match options with a limited amount of luggage.  A little preparation while packing can give you loads of outfit combinations during your travels!

I spent many years traveling for work, and many more years traveling for fun.  Here are a few of my top packing tips to build the ultimate travel capsule wardrobe.
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