Beach Vacation: Packing Essentials for Men

Summer is right around the corner, and for many of you, that means loading up the surfboard and hitting the beach. When it comes to beach gear, you might already have your surf wax, wetsuit and fins packed. But what about packing the right dress wear for seaside cocktails with friends? Or, what kind of duds do you pack for an impromptu, romantic walk along the coast? If you’re coming up empty on answers, then we’ve got you covered. Here are a few smart packing essentials for men while taking a beach vacation.

Feet First

Shoes can make or break any outfit. They can also make or break a vacation.  To explain, uncomfortable shoes can ruin any future activities if your feet are too sore to walk.  Shoes can also be a conundrum when planning for a beach vacation because packing a pair for every occasion can take up a lot of room in your travel bag.  Solve all of these problems with a classic pair of beach shoes (also called water shoes).  They’re versatile, functional and lightweight, making them perfect for packing. Plus, they pair with anything, including your girlfriend’s closed toe sandals – so you two will cut a dashing pair while soaking up the sun and strolling along the beach.

Bottoms Up

This is perhaps the easiest wardrobe essential for guys taking a beach vacation. Why? Because if you pack the right swim trunks they can double as shorts and still look nice for almost any seafaring occasion.  Pack a solid color swim trunk (black or navy is always classic) that goes with anything.  Also pack a jazzy fun pair with bright tropical flower prints, or bold stripes.  Taking both a neutral and a patterned pair of trunks will set you up for hiking, biking, golfing, swimming and even a night of oysters and Mai Tais at your favorite oceanview eatery.

Top It Off

Your best bet for beach vacation shirts is sticking with collared, loose-fitting, breathable, and wrinkle-free.  Cotton-polyester blends are the best because they dry quickly, and stay impeccable looking even after spending time crammed in a suitcase. Opt for button-front shirts so you can catch a nice breeze while on the beach.

Also, pack a few sleeveless muscle shirts (also known as tank tops), that will pair well with your collared button-front shirt presenting a layered look that is a classic beach style.  Select neutral colors for the collared cover up shirt, and go with bold stripes or prints for the tank tops.  In either scenario, these shirts are ideal for almost any adventure your beach vacation tosses your way.

From the Neck Up

Regardless if you’re a hat guy or not – it’s a good idea to pack one while vacationing at the beach. Hats are a must to protect you from the sun, and they can also make an outstanding fashion statement. For instance, a dapper panama is perfect for the beach. It cuts a dashing look at the beach, it’s breathable, and the wide brim is great for sun protection.  Alternatively, you might want to go with a foldable sun hat such as a boonie for convenient packing.  Ball caps and knit caps are more casual, but depending upon your beach vacation, they could be a perfect topper for your seaside excursions.

While we’re talking about packing essentials for a beach vacation, don’t forget the sunglasses.  You may have a favorite pair – but don’t let that stop you from trying out a different style.  For example, try on a tortoiseshell-framed pair of Ray Bans for the quintessential classy beach vibe.  You may also want to get polarized lenses, as these are best for watersports and they help reduce harsh water glare. If you splurge on a new pair of sunglasses, have the store clerk toss in a neck strap too because you don’t want to lose that sharp new pair of shades while playing beach volleyball.

Other Items to Consider

While not a fashion accessory, don’t forget to pack sunscreen lotion to protect yourself from sunburn or damaging sun exposure.  What’s more, pack lip balm and moisturizer to keep your lips and skin soft and supple after a day of frolicking in the sun.  Of course, you probably have your own ideas about your packing list. Just remember the most important things about packing for a beach vacation: Keep it simple, stay safe, and lastly – have fun!