The moment has arrived: your long-awaited beach holiday is finally on the horizon. But before you set off, there's that inevitable packing anxiety. Ensuring you're armed with all the holiday must-haves is crucial for a smooth start. From curating a wardrobe of chic dinner wear and practical beach essentials to plug conundrums and comfortable footwear, we asked our experts to share their tips on packing for your luxury beach getaway.
How to create a packing list for your luxury beach holiday
Creating the ideal holiday checklist is all about preparation. Surprisingly, 46% of Brits start packing roughly a week before their trip but they still forget an average of two items each time they travel, according to a recent survey by M&S Bank. To help you sidestep any unnecessary annoyances, we've sought advice from three of our seasoned travel experts to get you on the right track for packing perfection.
According to Linda Taylor, Personal Travel Expert at Kuoni Metro Centre, start with documenting a packing list. "Begin by jotting down the basics. Whether it's pen and paper, the notes section on your phone or an Excel spreadsheet, find a method that works best for you. Start by thinking about how long you'll be away, what adventures you have in mind, the season you'll be visiting and what you can’t go without."
Faye Gallacher, an Indian Ocean specialist in our Expert Hub, emphasizes the importance of research. "The internet offers a wealth of helpful tips, and apps like Pakr can streamline the process. Social media is also a fantastic resource for travel hacks and savvy suitcase packing."
Bekki Turner, our expert from Kuoni Manchester City Centre, advises exploring what your resort already offers. "Many hotels provide items like toiletries, hairdryers, beach towels, and snorkelling gear, saving you precious space,” she explains. “It’s highly likely one of the Kuoni team has firsthand experience of what to expect at your resort so feel free to ask us questions. Many resorts also offer FAQ pages that cover everything from deciphering dress codes to detailing the electrical sockets you'll find in your room."
How to pack with limited luggage space
Packing in limited luggage space can be a bit of a puzzle – trying to bring everything you need without overdoing it. Bekki shares her go-to tip. “Don’t fold your clothes: roll. This prevents creasing and creates more room.” Linda adds her suggestions. “Packing cubes or compression bags are a great way to save space. And if you prefer to use your own toiletries, bring solids rather than weighty liquid bottles, which also means you’re doing your bit for the environment.”
Faye has these tips for clothing. “Plan your outfits in advance, pack items that are easy to mix and match and make use of the hotel's laundry facilities if needed. And wear any larger items when travelling, like a hoodie or trainers, which are bulky and are comfy on the go. And follow National Geographic’s golden rule of packing: take half the clothes you were planning.”
For holidays in the Maldives, many customers sacrifice a little suitcase space for the unique experience of travelling by seaplane, which typically has a limit of 20kg for checked luggage and 5kg for hand luggage. Linda explains why this shouldn’t be cause for concern. “Even at the most luxurious Maldives resorts, the atmosphere is laid-back and the dress code is generally casual. Think light sundresses, shirts, and shorts – and definitely no high heels. In fact, you may find yourself barefoot the entire holiday with no need for shoes at all.”
What to pack for a stylish and comfortable beach getaway
Being both stylish and comfortable means blending function with a touch of fashion," says Faye. "For daytime beach outings, pair swimwear with breezy cover-ups and slip-on sandals – Crocs are making a comeback; they may not be the prettiest shoe but they're incredibly comfy and waterproof, ideal for walking in the sea.”
Bekki recommends jazzing up a loose dress with accessories. "Statement jewellery, a silk scarf, or a sparkly beach bag will give even the plainest ensemble some personality.”
Planning on enjoying water sports or beach games? “Bring activewear that provides flexibility and support,” says Linda. “Board shorts are great for surfing or paddleboarding, while a rash vest will keep you warm when snorkelling, as well as offering eco-friendly sun protection.”
When transitioning to evening activities like beachside cocktails or sunset strolls, Faye has this advice. “I take a few flowy dresses, linen pants, and lightweight tops – breathable fabrics that will keep you cool and dry quickly in humidity. Add a handy wrap or shawl for cooler evenings.”
“When it comes to dining, check the resort’s dress code,” muses Bekki. “While most hotels ask guests not to don beachwear during dinner, more formal restaurants might request long trousers or closed-toe shoes. So, make sure to check before you finalize your packing.”
Luxury beach holiday packing checklist
Aside from clothing, here are some other items you may want to add to your checklist:
• Travel essentials: Passports, proof of visa (if needed), travel documents, currency, credit cards and boarding pass. We recommend using a zip-closing travel organiser to keep everything in one place.
• For the journey: Comfort is king, so we suggest bringing a travel pillow, eye mask, ear plugs, sanitising wipes, moisturiser, fuzzy socks, healthy snacks, refillable water bottle, lip balm, a change of clothes and pre-download things to watch on your personal device. It’s also worth popping in a few clear plastic bags* and bring any medication you may need.**
• Electronics: Pack your tablet or phone, portable power bank charger, AirPods and a pre-bought local SIM card for accessing WiFi from the get-go. If you’re planning on diving or snorkelling, a Go Pro camera is a good investment. A cable organiser keeps wires all in one place and a universal travel adapter will come in handy in any destination.
• Pool/beach activities: Bring a variety of swimsuits, quick-drying towels, a waterproof phone case and bag, inflatables, water toys, beach games, towel clips and a beach tote for easy beach trips.
• Sun protection: Sun safety is a serious business. Pack cover-ups, high-quality and sea-friendly sunscreen, sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat, hair defense spray and a rash vest for snorkelling.
• Toiletries: Take a first aid kid, travel-sized deodorant, mouthwash and toothpaste to help you feel fresh. Don’t forget grooming items, like a razor, tweezers and small scissors (packed in checked luggage).
• Comfortable footwear: Pack sandals or flip-flops for beach walks and stylish shoes for evening outings.
We hope our expert tips help you prepare for your next escape to sandy shores. Find out more about our beach holidays and get in touch for personalised travel tips and advice from our knowledgeable team.
* The 100ml liquid rule is in the process of changing. Check with the airport you are travelling from to see which rules are in place.
**Please check your airline policy for rules and restrictions
This feature was created on 30th January 2024. The information within this feature is correct to the best of our knowledge. Feature by Heather Flanagan.