We are fast moving to fall, and many of us are putting the hazy days of summer behind us. However there’s still time to squeeze a summer break into your busy schedule and spend some well-deserved down time at the shore.

Packing for a beach vacation shouldn’t take too much brain power; you need surprisingly few pieces in your luggage, provided you pack wisely. If you’re heading on a last minute beach vacation (or two) before the weather turns cooler then here are some of the essentials you need to add to your suitcase or holdall right now:

Be Prepared

If you take regular weekend trips to the shore then why not considering having a ‘Go Bag’ at the bottom of your closet and keeping it stocked at all times. This is a simple bag with all your most important beach essentials washed, packed and ready to go.

Choose a canvas bag if you’re looking for something lightweight and portable. Canvas holdalls are flexible and most are also deceptively roomy. You could even choose an oversized canvas backpack if your style leans towards a more sporty aesthetic, but the holdall has a more classic and timeless appeal. Here are some of our favourites:

If you prefer to focus on fashion rather than function then look for an oversized leather holdall with a convenient shoulder strap. The other benefit of choosing leather over canvas is that it is more durable, and the finest quality bags will last a lifetime, making them ultimately a more cost-effective solution, despite the higher initial outlay.

Get Ahead With a Hat 

One of the most important things anyone can pack for a beach vacation is a hat to protect their head from the heat of the sun, and their hair from dryness and sun damage. But you don’t need just any ordinary hat. To really up your style credentials, leave your old frayed baseball cap at home and opt for a hip, tropical straw hat instead. Choose from these great options:

This is the kind of hat that will immediately elevate any outfit and make it look stylish and fashion-forward. It also offers all round coverage of your head and helps to keep the sun from your neck and ears at the same time.

Choose a hat in a classic neutral shade (such as white, beige or rich tan) that will match with everything. That way, you only need to pack one and can save vital luggage space for other essentials.

If you’re flying to reach your destination then consider wearing your hat as you travel: this will inject added cool to your airport style, and will also prevent your hat from becoming squashed and damaged in your suitcase.

Pack Your Jeans

Most men think that they won’t need their jeans when they’re travelling for a beach getaway, then almost immediately regret not packing them as soon as they reach their destination!

Whilst you most certainly won’t need your jeans on the beach (your favourite denim and sand is definitely not a good combo) they will come in handy for cooler nights at the bar, sightseeing trips, and returning to the airport when you’ve simply had enough of wearing shorts!

There’s no need to invest in new denim here, or overthink about which pair to pack. Simply toss your favourite jeans into your holdall, or regret it later!

Choose a Super Soft Beach Towel

Not necessarily the most fashion focused item on the list, no beach vacation would be complete without a super soft, and preferably oversized, beach towel. Choose a distinctive pattern or design that will stand out from the crowd and mark out your spot on the beach with ease.

Your towel is an easy way to reflect your personality and inject colour into your beach look without having to wear vibrant shades that may not suit your mood, or your skin tone. We can’t resist these options;

If you regularly spent time by the shore then consider your towel an essential investment piece. It should be absorbent enough wrap round you as you emerge from the sea, lightweight so that it dries quickly in the sun, and soft enough that you can spend the afternoon lounging and dozing on it like a king!

Relax in Simple Rubber Flip Flops

You can never have too many pairs of simple rubber flip flops: their lightweight, easy to wear, and when you’re on a beach vacation there’s nowhere you can’t wear them! From the beach to the bar, everyone wears their Havaianas when they’re by the shore.

When it comes to choosing the right flip flops the answer is simple: Havaianas can’t be beaten when it comes to comfort, durability and price. If you’re not a beach bum then you can wear these for year after year without them ever losing their shape. If you wear them on the coast every weekend then why not invest in several pairs? They’re available in a rainbow of colours:

Of course, you’ll need more than simple thong sandals for a full week at the beach, but a good rule of thumb is to wear your heavier sneakers or deck shoes, and then simply chuck and couple of pairs of Havaianas in your luggage. You won’t need anything else!

Add One Vibrant Detail

The key to the quick getaway is minimalist packing, meaning that you are usually restricted to the classics and the essentials. However, in order to up your fashion credentials, you should add at least one vibrant detail to each outfit.This could be sunglasses with vibrant frames, a tee with an eye-catching slogan, or an unexpected accessory in a distinctive stand-out pattern.

Scott Disick is the master of pulling off this look, and the fashion-forward star always adds at least one patterned or colourful piece to his quintessentially preppy outfits. We particularly love his leopard print loafers, which elevate an otherwise workaday beach outfit.

By packing just one or two pieces that will really help you stand out from the crowd (whilst simultaneously being practical and wearable essentials for your trip) you can immediately inject a high fashion feel into every holiday outfit you put together.

Slap On the Sunscreen

Finally, it goes without saying that no beach bag would be complete without a bottle of high coverage sun screen. Choosing the highest factor possible, particularly if you have fair skin or if your skin hasn’t been exposed to the sun very much this summer.

Choosing the right sun screen for you is the very personal choice, and will depend on your skin tone, your sun tolerance, and the kinds of activities you will be enjoying on your vacation. But here are some of the lotions we have tried and tested:

Many people mistakenly believe that they won’t get a tan if they are wearing sunscreen, so they avoid wearing it at all. Not only is this a myth, it is a myth that could lead to skin cancer! You will still tan when you are wearing sunscreen, you just won’t burn your skin.

You should also find that your tan appears more evenly and will last longer when you return home, as it developed over a longer period of time: so its a win on every level!

Conclusion 

Packing for a beach vacation is a breeze. It requires minimal effort, you don’t need to take loads of gear, and provided you have a couple of pairs of swim shorts and some clean tees, you’ll be ready to enjoy a whole weekend of sun, sea and sand without any problems at all.

But by packing the essentials on this list, as well as the obvious beach essentials no man would travel without, you can elevate an ordinary beach outfit into something fashion-forward, fun, and easy to wear. Why not make the most of the last days of summer, and hit the shore this weekend?