Best Beach Summer Weekend Trip Packing List

Memorial Day Weekend is coming up soon and I’ve been thinking about taking a summer weekend trip to the beach! It’s been over a year since my last beach summer weekend trip! I took a solo trip to Cape May last year and I had far too much fun visiting amazing restaurants and being able to do whatever I wanted on my own schedule.

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I haven’t taken a beach summer weekend trip this year and I’m feeling the need to explore Ocean City and get some of the “touristy” visits in with my husband. As I look back on my past beach weekend trip and start thinking about this year’s beach weekend trip, here are a few things I’ll be taking with me.

Must-Haves for an Amazing Beach Summer Weekend Trip

When preparing for my solo beach weekend trip to Cape May, there were quite a few things I completely forgot to pack. This time, I will not be letting that happen! I am aiming to be much more prepared for the beach this time around by using this beach trip packing list and being far more prepared with the following products!

[beach trip packing list PDF coming soon]

Beach Bag

When I went to Cape May, I realized I had no beach bag; this is definitely one of those beach items not to forget! I ended up taking my New York Library tote bag which is pretty heavy duty but it was super windy one day and I ended up with so much sand in that tote bag!

Mesh Bag | Bright Colors

Mesh Bag | Neutrals & Patterns

Béis also has a new line that has some amazing white mesh bags! I’m seriously considering the white mesh backpack because it looks perfect for general travel and hiking adventures (and wouldn’t blow my budget)! Béis also has a mesh backpack and mesh tote in black, if that’s more your color scheme.

Sunscreen & Aloe Vera

I feel so ashamed that I’m just a handful of years away from being 30 and I’m just now trying to be super on top of SPF. So much bad behavior from my teenage years to now and I probably could’ve avoided a ton of skincare issues if I’d started using sunscreen earlier. But later is better than never! So here are some face sunscreens that I’ve been using and loving recently.

I actually took the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer to my Cape May beach weekend trip and loved it! However, mine was only SPF 30 and I still got quite tan. When I started using the Neutrogena sunscreen for daily life, I also felt like it kept my skin really oily.

Now I’ve updated to the Laneige Hydro UV Defense SPF 50 sunscreen for daily use and I’ve been loving it a lot more! It doesn’t give me any white cast and it dries much less oily than the Neutrogena sunscreen. I’ve been using it for a while now and I’ve been loving it as a daily face sunscreen.

UPDATE: the Laneige Hydro UV Defense SPF 50 started becoming much more oily for me after a few uses. In fact, I started dabbing my face with an oil blotter about fifteen or so minutes after applying the sunscreen because my face would be so shiny! I still enjoy using the sunscreen but I have to remember to tame the shine before continuing with makeup or wearing my glasses.

Neutrogena Sunscreen

For body sunscreen, I will usually buy a big bottle of sunscreen from Target and call it a day. I’m definitely not as picky with my body sunscreen as I am with my face sunscreen but I still try to go with at least an SPF 50. In order to make reapplication as easy as possible, I usually also get a spray sunscreen from Target.

After Sun Care or Sunburn Relief

If you accidentally spent too much time in the sun during your beach summer weekend or forgot to reapply sunscreen, then you’ll need some aloe vera gel to help with any sunburns that might occur. The few times I’ve needed some sunburn relief, I’ve used some generic aloe vera gel from Target.

Visited a boat displayed at a park in Cape May, NJ, during a beach summer weekend trip. | Sincerely Yasmin

Collapsible Beach Coolers

Nothing says “beach weekend trip amateur” like forgetting to bring a cooler to the beach! That’s exactly what happened during my beach summer weekend trip to Cape May. Thankfully, I had an insulated water bottle that kept my water cold but that ran out pretty quickly!

For any future beach summer weekend trips, I definitely need to acquire a cooler for all the snacks and drinks. I’m pretty sure a backpack design will work best because if I’m traveling by myself, I can easily carry a backpack, but if I’m traveling with my husband, we can also share carrying responsibilities!

Igloo Coolers | White & Gray Backpack

Backpack Cooler | Lilac

Insulated Water Bottles

Simple Modern makes the most amazing insulated water bottles! While everyone was off talking about how amazing Yetis were, I was over here just stocking up on Simple Modern water bottles.

I now have a small collection of:

  • one 16 oz. Classic Tumbler
  • one oz. Cruiser Tumbler
  • one 22 oz. Summit Water Bottle

and it’s been far too much fun!

I’ve forgotten one of these water bottles in my car during a hot summer day while I went to work then when I finished my work day and got back to my car, the water was still cold!

Simple Modern | 32oz. Water Bottle
multiple colors & patterns available

My current collection is all pink tumblers and water bottles and I’m really leaning towards getting the amazing muted purple ones! It’s a new color that Simple Modern came with, and I’ve been salivating over them.

It’s important to stay hydrated during any beach summer weekend and these water bottles from Simple Modern make it super easy to 1) personalize a water bottle and 2) stay hydrated and cool.

During a beach summer weekend trip to Cape May - View from the World War II Tower where you can see the beach and even a sunken boat in the distance, with homes in-between | Sincerely Yasmin


Just like it’s important to protect your skin from the sun, it’s also super important to protect your eyes from the sun! Thankfully, sunglasses is one of the few things I actually remembered to bring with me to my beach summer weekend at Cape May.

I have a pair of Kate Spade sunglasses that I got a few years ago that’s a timeless cat-eye sunglasses design that I absolutely love! If you’re worried about losing your sunglasses, I found a similar design on Amazon that’s much less expensive!

Kate Spade | Britton Sunglasses

Black & Brown Sunglasses

Beach Sandals

Going to the beach is a casual affair but that doesn’t mean your shoes have to be boring! Finding a pair of shoes that works with sand but is also dressy enough for dinner and other evening activities can be hard but here are some ideas to help you out.

I took a pair of rock-stud sandals that were perfect for the beach summer weekend because they dried quickly but were still dressy enough for any evening activities! It really simplified my beach trip packing list while giving me options for my outfits.

I’ve linked a similar pair of rock-stud sandals here, plus a few more designs below!

Rock-Stud Sandals

Here are a few more beach sandal designs that I love and would be great for both the beach and any nights out!

Steven Madden | Pearl Stud Sandals

Dolce Vita | Black & Gold Sandals

During a beach summer weekend visit to Cape May, Yasmin is standing in front of some yellow flowers while wearing a jean jacket and white shirt.


I didn’t think to take a hat with me to my beach trip to Cape May and I was constantly worrying about my face and forehead tanning far more than I wanted them to. While I did constantly slather on sunscreen on my face and body, I realized after my trip that I did not go high enough.

So I definitely have these black & white ponytail hats in my cart for my next beach visit and for any future hiking trips.

Black & White Hats | 2-Pack
multiple colors available

Straw Hat with Ribbon
multiple colors available

Beach Towels

I have an amazing soft, neutral beach towel from Target that is perfectly oversized for me! I am not really a fan of the super loud beach towels so I was super excited when I saw that Hearth & Hand had neutral beach towels.

If you prefer to order from Amazon, I found these two brands that sell a very similar design to the Hearth & Hand beach towels. These are available in more colors and patterns, and have some amazing reviews!

Turkish Towel | Multiple Colors

Striped Turkish Towels | 2-Pack

Picture of homes along the boardwalk of Cape May

Beach Chairs

Yet another thing I forgot about! In my inexperience with beach trips (it had been several years since my last beach trip), I forgot to pack a beach chair!

While beach chairs aren’t wholly necessary, I definitely think they’re great to have if you plan to spend the whole day relaxing near the water, especially for my fellow readers!

Wood & Fabric Beach Chair

Neutral Beach Chair

If you prefer to lay on the sand but simply want some back support, there’s also a beach “chair” for you! These come with different reclining options and plenty of space to stretch out on the beach. They also look to fold-up super easily.

While I had so much fun during my Cape May beach trip, there’s definitely a few things I forgot to pack that could’ve improved my trip by so much!

For next time, I’ll be ready with all of the snacks, chairs, and hats!

Did this list help you find some beach essentials for your next beach trip? Let me know if you end up getting one of these and if you like it! I’m super happy with my neutral beach towels and definitely want to try to get a matching beach for my next beach trip.

This is a travel post about
the Best Packing List for a Beach Weekend Trip.

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