You’re travelling from a cooler destination during spring or fall, to a warmer destination and you’re not sure what to bring. What to pack for a 5 day beach trip?

You don’t need a lot – in fact, I’d only pack what you need in a carry on bag. The trick is to pack items that you can mix and match, so stick to a simple colour palette. White, navy, and neutrals can easily be mixed and matched.

Erin Nadler of Better Styled recently came to my home, and rummaged through my closets to help me scale down my wardrobe. Stay tuned to see how our visit went in an upcoming piece for The Toronto Star, written by Brandie Weikle.

I had tons of clothing that either didn’t work with my style, didn’t fit properly, and were simply outdated. I didn’t realize how freeing it would be to ditch clothing from my closet! I ended up having three bags of clothing to donate.

After our visit, I felt lighter, and more organized. It felt great to declutter my closet, also making it easier to put outfits together quickly, as well as pack for a 5 day beach trip! Here is a list of what to pack for a 5 day beach trip, which can fit in a carry on bag.

What to Pack for a 5 Day Beach Trip

For the Flights:

1 Jean + 1 top + 1 knit sweater

Flat sandals or shoes

1 jacket + scarf

1 necklace

1 purse, sunglasses and hat

I’d suggest travelling in a comfortable skinny jean, a knit v-neck tee or a light blouse, and a knit sweater to wear on top. Wear your jacket and a scarf, along with a pair of flat sandals or ballerina flats. Throw on an airy, summery scarf along with a necklace. I’d bring sunglasses and hat with you so you don’t have to pack them in your carry on. I’d wear the same outfit going home.

To Pack:

2 bermuda shorts

2 tops

1 light cardigan

1 large knit sweater

2 maxi dresses

1 pair of wedge sandals

2 bathing suits with cover ups

1 pair of flip flops

1 necklaces

Pj’s and undergarments

The bermuda shorts, you can dress up or down with either flat sandals, or wedge sandals, and mix and match all three tops. Add the knit sweater, or light cardigan. Maxi dresses can be worn during the day with flats, or in the evening with wedge sandals, along with the cardigan or knit sweater for evenings by the ocean. You can also wear the jeans with either top, along with the sweater. Accessorize with the scarf and necklaces.

What to pack for a 5 day beach trip


Clothing I packed:

Navy and white striped linen top

White and navy linen top

Off-white tank and tee

Off-white linen cardigan

White jeans

Light brown bermuda shorts

Blue and white striped linen shorts

Black maxi dress

Patterned maxi dress

Khaki large-knit sweater

White and navy striped knit sweater

Wedge sandals

Flat sandals


What do you find most challenging about packing for a short trip?




Maria Lianos-Carbone is the author of “Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year”, and publisher of, a leading lifestyle blog for women.


  1. These are great tips. I always forget to bring a cardigan. It may be hot in the afternoon, but it becomes breezy at night.

  2. Elizabeth O. Reply

    This is an awesome list. We’re heading to the beach this weekend and hopefully, I don’t forget something.

  3. What a great list. Is it bad to admit I have no Bermuda sorts? I just feel like they don’t go with my short legs! (Also why I don’t own a maxi). I do love the idea to bring a light sweater or cardigan. I ways forget how cold it can get at night

    • I’m positive that the right length of shorts can suit any body type. Try a pair!

  4. What I find most challenging is realizing that it’s not going to be a longer trip! LOL. I’ll be heading to Miami in a couple of weeks for my birthday for 5 days, and I’m only bringing a carry on. Wish me luck 🙂

  5. That is a really great list. I know quite a few people who have never been to the beach and would have no idea what to pack.

  6. I love your packing list for the beach! I think you took everything necessary and nothing that you are not gonna need it. Greetings

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