6 Things to Pack for Your Next Beach Vacation

Beach Vacation Sustainable Packing List

Author: Olivia McKeen
Reading Time: 4 minutes, 30 seconds

Calm turquoise waters. Warm white sand beaches.  And starry nights where every stressor floats away.  There’s nothing like a beach vacation…

And like nowhere else, the beach has a powerful way of inspiring sustainable consumer behavior.  Maybe it’s because we see our impact on the waters and reefs?  Whatever it is, mindful purchases and beach vacations go together like peanut butter and jelly.    

As you countdown the days to your next coastal getaway, we have you covered with this go-to sustainable packing list:

01 | Reef-Safe Sunscreen

If you’re traveling to Hawaii, wait until you are on-island to purchase your sunscreen.  We have a legal ban here on chemical sunscreens, so local options are sure to be reef friendly.  

Outside of Hawaii, we feel you!  It’s tough knowing what to look for and deciphering ingredients labels.  So, we simplified the research.  Try to stick to lotions (instead of sprays) and support brands that are:

  • Free of oxybenzone, homosalate, octocrylene, octinoxate, PABA, and parabens
  • Broad-spectrum
  • Mineral-based
  • Committed to non-nanotized zinc oxide or titanium dioxide

02 | Hybrid Sports Bra

Surfing? Paddleboarding? Yoga or cardio on the beach?  Don’t forget your SOL VAE hybrid sports bra. Inspired by the active Hawaii lifestyle, the hybrid bra is designed to adapt with you on land, water, or anywhere you venture.  And since it’s both a sports bra and swim top in one, it’s perfect for light, carry-on packing.   

Each core style is made with ECONYL fiber from Italy.  This material is regenerated from fishing nets and other discarded materials. Beyond being infinitely recyclable, it’s also OEKO-TEX certified and has 90% less impact than virgin nylon. 

The Hybrid Scoop’s bright blue colors blend beautifully with any water background. Stand-out in pictures with the perfect tropical hybrid top.  Or if bright colors aren’t your thing, opt for the Hybrid Crossback. We intentionally chose bold black to make everyone feel confident and beautiful.  It matches any skin tone, eye color, hair color, or bottom swimsuit/shorts color.   

03 | Quality Beach Towel

It can be tempting to purchase cheap beach towels near your hotel—they’re going to get sandy and wet anyway.  But, a quality beach towel from a responsible brand is a great investment that will last.  We love brands that use natural or recycled textiles.  A few leading certifications to keep an eye out for are OEKO-TEX, GOTS, GRS, and Made Safe.  

Earth Hero, The WMarketplace, or Clear Givings are all great online marketplaces to find a sustainable beach towel. You can ensure the products on these sites are either vetted for sustainability or woman-owned.

04 | Responsible Sunglasses

You’ll want a pair of shades that work well, offer solid sun protection, and are manufactured responsibly.  When it comes to materials, look for sunglasses made of either FSC-certified wood or bio-based acetate made from biodegradable plant sources. 

Acetate is a bioplastic made of plant cellulose from trees.  There is debate on if acetate is actually an environmentally-sound material.  If the brand shares where the acetate comes from and how they process the plant fibers, that’s a great sign to feel good about your purchase.  Overall, it’s better than virgin plastic.      

If you find a pair of biodegradable frames, it’s another step to limit landfill waste.  The plastic shades from sunglasses are said to create more than 6,000 tons a year of waste—or about half the weight of the Eiffel Tower. 

05 | Comfy Sandals (or “slippers” in Hawaii) 

We live in ‘em out here!  Yet if you’re coming out of winter and haven’t worn them in months, there’s nothing more annoying than a blister from your sandals.  Or worse, when they snap while walking around the beach.  Quality and comfort are everything, so consider breaking them in a few weeks ahead of time.  Here are a few recycled sandal materials that many popular brands offer:  

  • Corks
  • Plastic bottles
  • Rubber tires
  • Recycled leather
  • Yoga mats (these are especially cozy)

06 | Reusable Water Bottle (and straw)

A beach hydration must, reusable water bottles are better for the environment and your health.  On our journey to avoid single-use plastics, we learned the amount of oil used to create plastic water bottles could supply 190,000 homes with power for a year—more homes than the entire city of Honolulu.  What’s really crazy… it can take up to 6x the amount of water to make a plastic water bottle compared to what actually ends up inside the bottle.  

On the health side, some things to look for are brands that do not use PET or BPAs, which are said to have lasting impacts.  

Reusable water bottles are also convenient money savers while you live it up at the beach. Instead of purchasing a plastic water bottle continuously at a restaurant or hotel, refill your reusable water bottle countless times.  Just make sure it’s empty before walking through airport security :)  

We love travel, and beach vacations are our speciality.  Check-out our Hybrid Scoop or Hybrid Crossback sports bras as you prepare for your upcoming getaway.  They’ll each have you covered for any beach adventure that comes your way.