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What to Pack for a Jersey Shore Vacation: 28 Essentials

SmarterTravel

A week at the beach should be relaxing—so don’t let packing for it stress you out. As someone who’s been vacationing at the Jersey Shore all her life, I’ve got packing for the beach down to a science. Here’s what to pack for a Jersey Shore vacation.

What to Pack for the Jersey Shore: The Suitcase

  • Travelpro Maxlite 3: This lightweight 22-inch suitcase is just big enough to hold all your shorts and tank tops, but not so big that you can’t fit several of them into your trunk when packing for the whole family.

What to Pack for the Jersey Shore: The Beach Bag

  • Aruba Mesh Beach Tote: This cleverly designed bag has an insulated compartment on the bottom to keep your drinks cool, plus plenty of room left up top for towels, sunscreen, and other beach necessities. There’s even a waterproof case for your cell phone.

What to Pack for the Jersey Shore: Shoes

  • Flip-flops: You can’t go to the beach without your favorite pair.
  • Tennis shoes: Though you can easily spend an entire Jersey Shore vacation in sandals, you’ll want some sturdier options if you’ll be jogging on the boardwalk or playing a round of golf.
  • Water shoes: These are useful if you expect to be sailing, kayaking, or doing other watersports.

What to Pack for the Jersey Shore: The Jacket

  • Waterproof jacket: You’ll want a lightweight windbreaker for breezy evenings on the beach and also for the occasional rainy day. The North Face offers waterproof options for men and women.

What to Pack for the Jersey Shore: Clothing

  • Shorts: Bring multiple pairs of shorts, preferably in light colors to keep you cool in the sun.
  • T-shirts: Again, lighter colors are best for days on the boardwalk or the mini-golf course.
  • Tank tops: Tanks are standard attire on boardwalks up and down the Jersey Shore.
  • Long pants: Bring one pair of jeans or linen pants to wear out to dinner or for cooler evenings on the boardwalk.
  • Bathing suits: You’ll want at least two swimsuits since you’ll likely be hitting the beach every day. If you’re planning on swimming in the ocean, consider one of these active swimsuits that will stand up to the waves.
  • Back from Bali Sarong: This sarong comes in nearly a dozen colors and makes an attractive beach cover-up. It’s hand-crafted by women artisans in Bali.
  • Casual dress: Women might want to pack a casual dress or two for evenings out.

What to Pack for the Jersey Shore: Toiletries

  • Shampoo: Many people rent a house instead of staying in a hotel for their Jersey Shore vacation, which gives you more space but often means no free bottles of shampoo and conditioner.
  • Sun Bum Conditioner Spray: This three-in-one formula conditions and detangles your hair, and protects your scalp from the sun.
  • Sunblock: A family-size bottle of sunscreen will keep the whole gang protected from the sun all week long.
  • Lip balm with SPF: Don’t forget to sun-proof your lips, too.
  • Aloe gel: Missed a spot with the sunblock? This aloe gel is soothing on sunburned skin.

What to Pack for the Jersey Shore: The Purse

  • Dakine Jo Jo Crossbody Bag: This casual crossbody comes in multiple patterns and is just large enough to hold essentials like a water bottle and phone as you stroll along the boardwalk.

What to Pack for the Jersey Shore: Gadgets

  • Solar charger: Take advantage of the summer sun to keep your phone charged all day long.
  • Portable Bluetooth speaker: Any day at the beach is better with a few tunes. This small Bluetooth speaker is easy to pack, and the battery lasts up to 12 hours.
  • Kindle Paperwhite: Instead of packing a pile of books to read on the beach, load up your Kindle. It’s designed not to have a glare even in bright sunlight.

What to Pack for the Jersey Shore: Accessories

  • Sun hat: Shield your face from the sun when reading on the beach or playing golf.
  • Sunglasses: The bigger your sunglasses, the better to protect your eyes from sun glare off the sand and the sea.
  • Reusable water bottle: You’ll want to stay well hydrated while sunbathing, so fill up one or more of these reusable bottles and stick them in your cooler.

What to Pack for the Jersey Shore (That I Didn’t)

  • Beach towel: Whether or not you need to pack beach towels depends on whether your hotel or vacation rental offers them for guest use; many do. If yours doesn’t, consider this microfiber towel that dries quickly and folds up small for easy packing.
  • Beach chairs: As with towels, many vacation rentals and hotels have beach chairs and umbrellas available for guest use. You can also rent them at some beaches.
  • Joyin Toys: I don’t normally visit the beach with children, but families will want to pack plenty of pails, shovels, and other beach toys. This 20-piece set has all the essentials.

What Not to Pack for the Jersey Shore

  • Jewelry and dressy clothes: A Jersey Shore vacation is all about relaxing in your bathing suit and flip-flops all day. Most restaurants are casual even in the evenings, so there’s no need to pack anything formal or valuable.

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Follow Sarah Schlichter on Twitter @TravelEditor for more travel tips and inspiration.

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