The Ultimate Packing List for an International Beach Destination

Viva Wyndham Tangerine

In one week I will be soaking up the sun in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic! Being half-Dominican and having visited before, I know what to expect but I still have to prepare myself mentally and organizationally before we leave.

We are taking a red eye out of LAX to Miami before hopping over to the island to spend 7 wonderful days in the sun. With that in mind, I looked through many sites online and on Pintrest trying to find the right packing list for my trip. I have special circumstances with the red eye (which I HATE!! I can never sleep on planes…) and I couldn’t find a single list that I could use in its entirety, so I am out to create my own and share it with the interwebs.

The first thing to think about when you’re booking an international trip is to make sure your passport is current. Remember that it could take up to 6 weeks to get a passport once you fill out the paperwork and turn it in. Since I procrastinated was slow to change my last name on everything once Cole and I got married (2 years ago….), I had to make sure I booked our trip under my maiden name since I haven’t updated my passport yet. I have to remember to go through the security checkpoints at the airport with my passport instead of my ID, since my ID is in my married name and my passport is still in my maiden name, as is my ticket. As long as your name matches on ticket & passport, you’re good to go. Also, make sure your passport will be current for the full length of your trip. You don’t want to get stuck in customs on your way back home!!

Once you have your passport in hand, you can relax until the week before your trip (which is where I’m at right now!!). Now’s the fun part…planning what to pack for your vacation!

First thing’s first…. the carry-on for the red-eye. Since we’re going to a beach destination, I will be packing my beach tote with a few red eye essentials. I will be wearing comfy clothes (leggings and a loose shirt) and flip-flops for overnight, but I don’t want to get to the resort all frumpy!

Red Eye Carry-on Packing List

  1. beach tote (to pack essentials into)
  2. iPad w/ pre-downloaded Netflix movies & TV shows
  3. headphones
  4. reading material (I’m reading The Handmaid’s Tale)
  5. change of clothes for the next day
  6. socks (for security checkpoints. I hate walking around the airport in my bare feet… EEK!!)
  7. eye mask
  8. hair brush
  9. soft blanket & neck pillow
  10. facial wipes
  11. glasses
  12. snacks
  13. anti-bacterial wipes & hand sanitizer
  14. quart-size ziplock baggie with the following:
    • 3 oz. toothpaste and toothbrush
    • Advil
    • contact case & 3 oz. eye solution
    • ZzzQuil (if you’re like me and have trouble sleeping on planes)

I also bought an awesome satchel-style camera case on Amazon. It’s big enough to throw my wallet and passport into so I don’t have to worry about the 2 bag policy and I can still have my DSLR with me.

Satchel Camera BagThis way I’ll always have my camera with me when I’m out and about! You can find it here.

And now for the pièce de résistance…

The Ultimate Beach Destination Packing List


  1. underwear (7 – 9 pairs)
  2. socks (3 – 4 pairs)
  3. bras (2 regular & 1 strapless)
  4. tank tops (4 – 5)
  5. t-shirts (2 – 3)
  6. shorts (4 – 5)
  7. workout clothes for hiking (3 sets)
  8. leggings (2)
  9. pants (2)
  10. pair of jeans
  11. sundresses (1 – 2)
  12. maxi dresses (2 – 3)
  13. cardigan
  14. sleep shirt & shorts


  1. flip flops (2)
  2. casual wedges
  3. tennis shoes

Toiletry Kit

  1. contacts and glasses w/ cases
  2. facial wash
  3. facial moisturizer w/ SPF
  4. perfume
  5. shaving supplies
  6. toothbrush/toothpaste
  7. shampoo & conditioner
  8. dry shampoo
  9. deodorant ( a MUST-HAVE for humid climates!!)
  10. hair brush
  11. blow dryer
  12. hair ties & bobby pins
  13. feminine products

Beach Essentials

  1. sun hat
  2. sunglasses
  3. bikinis (2)
  4. one-piece swimsuit
  5. sunscreen
  6. beach tote


  1. wristlet purse
  2. fanny pack (for hiking and/or exploring)
  3. umbrella
  4. phone & iWatch chargers
  5. iPad & charger
  6. DSLR camera & charger
  7. extra memory card

Don’t forget to notify your bank that you’ll be leaving the country. You don’t want them to unexpectedly put a hold on your card! It’s a HUGE pain to try and call them when you’re not in the U.S. and not in the same time-zone!! Also throw cash in small bills in your wallet. Upon entering Dominican Republic, you have to pay $10 per traveler for a tourist card before they can release you at customs.

Small bills are also good to have to tip your housekeeper and the bar staff at the resort. If you take care of them, they’ll take REALLY good care of you!

3 thoughts on “The Ultimate Packing List for an International Beach Destination

Add yours

  1. Hi Monica!! I really like your blog !! I am very impressed with your packing lists and your travel tips.. Although I have not traveled to a resort, I thought of a few items you may want to consider including in your list: eye drops ( for irriated or dry eyes), make-up to include make-remover, hair spray, and lip balm ( the sun can chap lips!). I hope you do not mind my suggestions. May I ask please: 3 bathing suits: why do you choose 3? Of course, they do not take up much space!!
    I look forward to reading your blog!! Have a wonderful, fantastic time. I wish you restful sleep during your flight.
    Love you!! Liz


    1. Hi Liz! Those are great additions to the list. There’s always room for improvement. You’re right, the sun can chap lips, that’s a good one! I included facial wipes to my carry on list but I guess I forgot to put it on the other… I didn’t put makeup only because I haven’t been wearing much lately so it slipped my mind. Humidity doesn’t react well to makeup either, it can run easily but waterproof eyeliner and mascara with a little lipstick go a long way! 3 bathing suits because yes, they don’t take up much space in your suitcase and if you’re at the beach everyday, you gotta have some options!!
      I’m so glad you too the time to read it! There are more posts other than this one if you want to take a gander…. but there will be many more to come!
      Love you too!!


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