32 of the best travel tips for your next beach holiday

 Woman walking to plane with suitcase, sunscreen in shape of sun on woman's shoulder and woman applying sunscreen spray.
Credit: Getty Images

We all love a sunny break, but these travel tips for your next beach holiday will make sure you get your sun, sea and sand hit without any pesky inconveniences.

When we’re spending extra time in the sun and heat or even the water, there are certain things our bodies can react to that we might not think of. And then come the destination strifes of bugs, weather changes and navigating the local transport options.

So, from thinking about your SPF options to not forgetting your mosquito repellent, these are the travel tips that will make your next beach holiday that much more enjoyable.

32 of the best travel tips for your next beach holiday

Choose the right sunscreen

woman applying sunscreen to face
woman applying sunscreen to face

We all know sunscreen is one of the most important things to pack for a beach break, but it’s also important to take the right type of sunscreen. Think about the weather and the activities you have planned so you can decide whether you need a very high SPF or something water-resistant. Also choose the best one for your skin type - whether you need the best sunscreen for oily skin, sensitive skin or something else.


w&h's best sunscreen picks

Product shot of Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 30, one of the best sunscreens for oily skin
Product shot of Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 30, one of the best sunscreens for oily skin

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 30

RRP: £35

This sweat and water-resistant formula from Supergoop! is ideal for long beach days. Lightweight with a velvety smooth finish, there's a reason why this is a cult product. Oh, and it's reef-safe too.

CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion SPF 50
CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion SPF 50

CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion SPF 50

RRP: £17

If you're looking for something from a dermatologist-recommended brand that offers protection and deep moisturisation, look no further than CeraVe. This particular product is super reasonable, features essential ceramides and is non-comedogenic, so it works for both oily and dry skin types.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios UVMune 400 SPF50+ Oil Control Fluid, one of the best sunscreens for oily skin
La Roche-Posay Anthelios UVMune 400 SPF50+ Oil Control Fluid, one of the best sunscreens for oily skin

La Roche-Posay Anthelios UVMune 400 SPF50+ Oil Control Fluid

RRP: £20

Quite simply, this is one of the best La Roche-Posay products ever. This sunscreen offers high protection, a lightweight and mattifying finish and leaves no white cast.

Take a silk hair tie

woman looking at sea
woman looking at sea

Having long beachy waves for a beach break is all well and good, but with hot weather and presumably lots of swimming, most of us spend a lot of our vacation time with our hair up. Using a silk hair tie will not only prevent snagging to keep your hair healthier and shinier, but will also make for less kinks so its easy to take down and go - without restyling.

Pack a tote bag

woman walking down to beach
woman walking down to beach

A tote bag can be indispensable on any holiday, but especially a beach break. Easy to pack and fit into a pocket or crossbody bag, they’re great for taking on a day out into the town to see the local knick-knack shops but make for a perfect beach bag too - as they can be shaken out and popped in the washing machine.

Make yourself a medical kit

small pouch of pill packets
small pouch of pill packets

Whether it’s a pesky bug bite, a bout of food poisoning or a headache from being out in the sun, most of us will probably have had to hit the local pharmacy at some point or other in the past. Save yourself the hassle by taking a little medical kit from home that contains everything you think you’ll need for any medical mishaps.

Don’t forget aftersun

woman applying lotion to arm
woman applying lotion to arm

While we might be pretty diligent with applying sunscreen, many of us might forget that finishing the day with some sort of aftersun treatment is important too. Having our skin exposed out in the sun for long periods of time when it’s not used to it can lead to damage or dryness, so soothing it with a nourishing moisturiser is a great idea.

Pool sandals are a must

woman wearing flip flops next to pool
woman wearing flip flops next to pool

If you’re going on a beach holiday that also involves a pool, make sure to pack a pair of sandals for the pool too. Not only can it be a bit off-putting to walk around the wet pool area barefoot, but it can also cause dangerous falls. And if the weather’s really hot, the ground could be too hot to tackle without shoes.

Plan your swimwear

woman wearing swimsuit showering outside
woman wearing swimsuit showering outside

Avoid over- or even under-packing by planning out your swimwear for your holiday. Make sure to think about where you’ll be going each day, what the weather will be like and the activities that you have planned too so that you can be sure to wear the most appropriate swimwear for each day.

Pack a bottle of travel wash

clothes on side of bath
clothes on side of bath

We’ve all been there when the outfits or swimwear you planned didn’t quite work out after a little spill here or there, so taking a little bottle of travel wash along with you on a beach holiday can be really useful. A little scrub in the sink and you should be good to go!

Don’t forget mosquito repellent

woman spraying spray on arm
woman spraying spray on arm

It might not be the most glamorous of skincare products, but mosquito repellent can help you from spending your time away from red, itchy or even swollen body parts. If you’re not a fan of strong-smelling DEET, try and find a more natural product - especially if bug activity in the area you’re going to isn’t too bad.

Take multiple SPF products

woman spraying on sunscreen
woman spraying on sunscreen

With hours out in the sun during a beach holiday, sunscreen is a must - but don’t think you have to stick to one type of product. Taking lots of different types of SPF products can make it more convenient for you to reapply throughout the day - take a spray to top up your body, a stick for the face or even a separate lip balm.

Tinted moisturiser can do wonders

woman applying lotion to face
woman applying lotion to face

Spending a couple of days at the beach might mean your face catches the sun a bit. Take advantage of your natural colour and skip the heavy makeup for your evenings - opt instead for a light-tinted moisturiser that will give you a finished look while letting your skin shine through.

Take a hair mask with you

woman running fingers through curly hair
woman running fingers through curly hair

All of the sun, sand and salt water on a beach holiday can leave your hair looking and feeling a little worse for wear. Take a hair mask with you to use your beach time wisely - slather your hair in the thick, nourishing mask and wrap it up in a bun before washing it out in your post-beach shower.

Pack a pair of cheap sunglasses

person holding sunglasses over pool
person holding sunglasses over pool

We’ve all heard those painful stories of someone wearing a new pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses in the sea only to lose them in the water when a wave hits. Avoid this by taking a pair of cheaper sunglasses with you for those ventures out into the water. Wear them in the pool too to prevent water and chlorine marks on your more expensive pairs.

Don’t forget hair serum

woman applying serum to hair
woman applying serum to hair

Time in the salty sea, exposure to sun and heat and extra humidity can leave our hair behaving a little differently from how it might act when we’re at home. Take a small bottle of hair serum to keep it tamed for your evening plans and give locks a touch of nourishment during your downtime.

Take a light jumper

woman sitting on the beach wearing a jumper
woman sitting on the beach wearing a jumper

While we all like to take advantage of wearing our sunniest wardrobe staples on a beach holiday, evenings do not always guarantee the same warm weather you might experience in the daytime - and there’s always the chance for a cloudy day here and there. Take a light jumper along with you so you’re not caught unaware.

Keep up your water intake

woman pouring glass of water
woman pouring glass of water

Long days in the sun mean that we’re likely to forget about keeping up with our usual water intake, but exposure to the heat and all that extra sweating will also mean that our bodies need even more hydration than we’re used to - so make sure to keep up that drinking.

Pack some electrolytes

person pouring powder sachet into glass of water
person pouring powder sachet into glass of water

Not only will time in the heat and sun mean that we need more water, but beach holidays can often mean drinking more alcohol and eating different foods - that may leave us with a funny tummy. Keep some electrolytes on hand to rehydrate if you’re in need at any time during your holiday.

Take a mini toiletry bag for the beach

toiletry bag
toiletry bag

Beach bags are often pretty big and full of all types of bits and pieces, so pack a small toiletry bag to take with you and keep all your smaller bits in one convenient place. Your sunscreen, lip balm, hair tie, money, important cards and even an emergency plaster are great to go in here.

Aqua shoes can be super helpful

woman wearing aqua shoes at beach
woman wearing aqua shoes at beach

If you’re heading to a stony beach but don’t want to miss out on going in the sea, take a pair of aqua shoes with you to keep your feet comfortable and make it more feasible to make it out into water.

Take a pack of playing cards

friends playing cards on the beach
friends playing cards on the beach

For long days sitting around with friends, a packet of playing cards can be great to have on hand for those lulls in conversation. You can now even get waterproof ones, which are great for taking on holiday. Just make sure to wait until the beach breeze dies down.

Don’t forget a hydrating face mask

woman in towel applying lotion to neck
woman in towel applying lotion to neck

Extra exposure to the sun and heat can leave our skin feeling pretty dry - especially if we’re drinking more alcohol than usual or forgetting to keep up with our usual water intake. Take a hydrating face mask to apply in the evening when you’re getting ready for bed and revive your skin for the next day.

Skip the perfume

hand holding spray
hand holding spray

Not only can being out in the heat and sun change the impression of your perfume scent, but wearing fragranced products can also help you be more attractive to bugs. Save your favourite summer perfumes for your evening dinners - just check you won’t be sitting out where the mosquitos are first.

Avoid skincare actives

woman applying face cream in mirror
woman applying face cream in mirror

If you’re heading somewhere particularly sunny and hot, certain skincare actives can be a bit harsh on your skin and even lead to scarring, burning or hyperpigmentation. Try and avoid ingredients like vitamin C, retinol and AHAs and any other exfoliants - stick to your best hyaluronic acid serums instead to keep your skin hydrated while you’re away.

Take a spare razor

woman shaving
woman shaving

Most of us do our all-important beauty prep before we head out on our hols, but depending on your rate of hair regrowth, you might find yourself needing to top up while you’re away. Packing a razor with you can make it easier to quickly get to any pesky regrowth without having to worry about getting hold of one while you’re away.

Check airport transfer options

woman with suitcase walking towards plane
woman with suitcase walking towards plane

Beach holidays can often mean a lot of luggage, which means you don’t want to be caught out at the airport with no way to get to your accommodation easily. Check out the airport transfer options before you go and maybe even get something booked to help things run smoothly.

Check the weather before you book

pool and palm trees with sunset in background
pool and palm trees with sunset in background

There are many destinations around the world that we look to for sunny, hot weather for beach weather, but not all of those destinations have year-round beachy weather. When you’re booking, check where and when is good to go so that you’re not caught out unexpectedly.

Take a Citronella candle

candle on balcony
candle on balcony

Whether on a garden or balcony, we all want to take advantage of mild holiday evenings outside. But if you’re going somewhere where the mosquito activity is high or there are generally known to be a lot of bugs, pack a citronella candle to help keep them away when you want to sit out in the evenings.

Pop on some sunscreen before you land

woman looking out of plane window
woman looking out of plane window

While we might turn up to the airport wearing our hats and flip flops ready to hit the beach, many of us often forget that the strong sun is right outside of the airport as soon as we land on the other side. Take a small sunscreen bottle, spray or stick on plane with you to pop on right before you land to keep you protected.

Don’t forget a hat

woman wearing hat and sunglasses on beach
woman wearing hat and sunglasses on beach

Swimwear, sandals and summery clothes are always at the forefront of our minds when we’re packing for our beach holidays, but don’t forget about protecting your head too. Take a hat for those days when you’ll be spending a lot of time in the direct sunlight.

Use a mesh insert in your beach bag

beach bag on beach
beach bag on beach

While packing for the beach is always exciting, unpacking that bag when you get back to your accommodation is not always so fun. Get hold of a mesh bag to line your beach bag so that easily shake out all of the sun without having to clean each object individually.

Check the wind forecast

sunscreen in shape of sun on woman's shoulder
sunscreen in shape of sun on woman's shoulder

Most of will check the daily temperature while we’re away and even look out for cloud cover or the occasional shower, but don’t forget to check the wind forecast too. Strong winds can make it feel not too hot and stop you wearing sunblock - and you don’t want to get sunburnt without realising!

Check the mosquito activity

person spraying spray on arm
person spraying spray on arm

While some people might think that you only have to look out for mosquitoes in tropical countries, they can actually be around in most beach destinations, including the ones in Europe. So before you head off, check the mosquito activity for when you’re going and plan outfits and repellent accordingly.