36 beach holiday essentials, whether you're headed to Goa or Greece
BRB, booking tickets
There are two types of vacationers. The Excel sheet junkies who capture every last detail of their holiday on Google spreadsheets, hunt down the best travel insurance and arrive at the airport with enough time to nap in the lounge. Then come Tardy Tinas, who turn the Uber around twice because they’ve forgotten their keys/passport/wallet/ favourite pair of sunglasses. Since these dramatically different personalities are doomed to vacation together, the one interest they have in common, luckily, is cobbling together the best beach holiday outfits… though their definition of ‘best’ might differ.
Organised Omaira has one bag dedicated to every manner of sun protection known to human kind. While Tardy Tina carried enough swimsuits to clothe the entire Miss Universe 2023 contingent, but left her SPF at home. You either are a Tardy Tina, or have flirted with a vacation meltdown because of one.
To ensure your best-laid plans aren’t tested to their limits, we’ve scoured the internet for stylish holiday outfits — from body-flattering swimsuits and roomy beach bags to Instagram-friendly hats and the right shoes to help you glide over hot sand. And, our preferred heavy-lifting sunscreens to toss into your luggage. Because prevention is better than a lobster-red burn.
To shop for your favourite beach holiday outfits, click the prices mentioned under the images.
36 holiday beach outfits for every kind of budget
Thanks to the bright shock of cobalt, this sophisticated silhouette will remain a hot favourite in your swimwear arsenal for years.
One swimsuit, many ways. This upper half of this monokini can be wrapped in myriad ways, depending on your creativity. Curvy girls be warned, this one doesn't come with cups in case that's a prerequisite for you.
Anything can be your fashion ramp if you want it to be, including your surfboard, thanks to this colour-blocked beauty.
Whether you're hitting the beach for a game of volleyball or just prefer to keep your butt in incognito mode, these surf shorts from Decathalon are up to the challenge.
For curvy girls who prefer a little extra support and coverage, this two-piece from Fancy Pants pulls double duty.
For those days when you're carrying a little extra water weight but don't need 30 people reminding you, this tummy control silhouette will keep all your secrets.
Parfait specialises in helping curvy girls feel comfortable in their skin, and this blush pink number is no exception.
We're suckers for co-ords (they're the lazy girl's fashion uniform), so you can imagine how quickly we added to cart when we saw this beach-friendly set from Fancy Pants.
We've learnt this lesson the hard way: if you're spending your days snorkelling, a rash guard is the only saviour standing between you and beet-red skin.
This chiffon shrug from The Loom is a resortwear champion who will magically make your luggage lighter. It works as a beach cover-up for day and a party-friendly throw over your LBD.
Accessorise this cover-up with a bottomless sangria and that book you've been meaning to read for months.
Channel serious 'millionaire heiress inherits mansion in Madagascar' vibes in this block print cotton kimono.
If you haven't already caught on to the multipurpose magic of wrap dresses — they suit almost all body types, they work for hitting the beach and the bar, they'll gladly accommodate your post-lunch pizza baby without the threat of suffocation — then consider this a strong start.
Beaches and cotton kaftans go together like cheese and well, nearly everything. You can't go wrong with cheese, or with this comfy wrapper.
We may have something of a Birkenstock cult going at Tweak, and the waterproof Eva which works for beaches, dusty city streets, and the Indian monsoon is our main deity.
The beach is the only acceptable public place for adults to walk around in flip-flops. We said what we said.
You're either a Jibbitz person or not. Either way, the natural habitat of these Crocs is the beach.
The cushioned footbed on these elegant sandals makes it even easier to hit the streets on your holiday, and take in the sights.
At 85% off, it's almost criminal not to snatch up these UV-protected wayfarers from Aislin.
The godfathers of UV-protected sunglasses did well with this modern take on the classic tortoiseshell, and the acetate frame is significantly lighter on the nose than a traditional metal one.
If your style often outstretches your budget, then Opium offers you a happy compromise. The brand delivers polarised sunglasses that don't skimp on street cred, like this butterfly-shaped pair.
This flattering shape transcends all trends and while the brand offers this style in five different colours, we're partial to burnt amber.
Even if you weren't on a Roman Holiday, Audrey Hepburn would be proud.
The cheery orange of this classic cap puts us in a sunshine state of mind.
What we love most about this H&M hat is that it offers a blank canvas for your DIY skills to fly. Wrap a velvet ribbon around the base, loop a scarf over it, or test drive your embroidery skills to give it a personal twist.
A bold floral print turns this classic snapback into a resortwear favourite.
If this tassled shopper doesn't scream sunsets at a villa in Bali, we don't know what does.
Upcycled from plastic waste by artisans who wove this by hand, this bag packs more than you can give it credit for.
If Excel is your happy place, this is the beach tote for you. Water-repellent, cushioned lining to protect the contents inside, and multiple pockets and compartments including two just for water bottles. Can you feel your palms itching to get a hold of it?
Handmade from recycled plastic in the Chettinadu region in Tamil Nadu, this durable shopper will earn you major eco-friendly points.
If you plan to practice your beach bumming skills, you'll need a good quality outdoor mat to ensure sand doesn't magically infiltrate all your belongings. Trust us, it's impossible to get out.
Featuring a water repellent underside and handles for ease of transport, this picnic mat comfortably fits four adults. And all their snacks.
No shopping list to help you prepare for a beach holiday is complete without an army of sunscreens, and this one wins our vote for ease of application.
The oxybenzone-free formula makes this one reef-safe, and it works particularly well on oily, acne-prone skin.