Your UK holiday packing list: what to pack for your staycation this summer

Your UK holiday packing list: what to pack for your staycation this summer

With so much uncertainty around holidaying abroad this year and rules and regulations changing at the drop of a hat, many people are looking for the freedom of a family holiday or break away from everyday life with a staycation in the UK this summer. With so many wonderful places to explore, and as beach-lovers here at Bridie & Bert, we decided take a look at travel essentials for a UK holiday packing list: what to pack for your staycation this summer.

Holiday Essentials Packing Checklist for UK staycation

No matter what type of holiday you’ve decided to embark on for your UK staycation, there are always the basic holiday essentials to remember, no matter what the weather forecast. Now if, like me, you love to make a holiday packing checklist, here’s one to get you started:

  1. Clothes – pack for all eventualities; tops, trousers, leggings, dresses, shorts, underwear and socks
  2. A cosy extra layer – jumper, cardigan or warm top for chilly days and the evenings
  3. A coat or light jacket
  4. Comfortable shoes and a good pair of wellies
  5. Sleepwear – think staying cool and keeping warm
  6. Bathroom essentials – if you’re looking to save space in your suitcase you can purchase travel-sized shampoo, conditioner and shower gel in supermarkets 
  7. Phone & charger – so you can capture lots of memories
  8. A beach towel – the bigger the better!
  9. Beachwear swimming costumes, cover-ups, and don’t forget the sun cream!
  10. A good book
  11. Hairbands and a hairbrush – preparation for any hot or windy days
  12. Sunglasses
  13. A stylish day bag or backpack, perfect for carrying the necessities for a day at the beach
  14. A reusable water bottle – it’s so important to stay hydrated!

I always think it’s funny how we suddenly start changing our clothes 2 or 3 times a day when we go on holiday, which we never do at home – why is that? Before you know it, we’re sitting on our suitcases to try and zip them shut! Planning out each day in advance is a good way to help you cut down what you ‘need’ to take. It gives you a chance to decide whether you really need to take a pair of jeans, 3 evening dresses, 5 pairs of shoes and 4 swimming costumes just in case.

Now this is by no means an exhaustive list, but if you’re looking for a basic holiday essentials packing list, this should certainly be enough for you to enjoy your time away. 

Wet weather essentials 

No one wants wet weather to ruin their holiday, and with the UK weather being so unpredictable (just look at this wind and rain we’ve been having in July), packing a few simple extras can ensure you still get to enjoy your time outside.

An umbrella

Individual or family sized, if you’re not planning any major outdoor activities, a simple umbrella should be suffice. To save space, why not pick up a smaller travel sized one to slip into your bag.

A raincoat

A light waterproof will certainly take up less space in your suitcase, especially if you opt for a mac in a sac which is definitely a more compact option. These are great for lighter showers, but for heavy rain, particularly if you enjoy taking long walks across the clifftops or strolling along the beach come rain or shine, popping a proper waterproof coat in the car is a more comfortable option. 


Trusty wellies are perfect for muddy walks, digging holes on the beach or wading through rock pools. You can also get some wonderful, unique designs nowadays to add a splash of style to your wardrobe.

Building sandcastles is the perfect beach activity for all to enjoy
Building sandcastles is the perfect beach activity for all to enjoy

UK beach day essentials

Even if you’ve settled on staying in a spot a little more inland, it’s always nice to plan a day out at the beach. At Bridie & Bert, we love the simple pleasure of sitting by the sea, so to help you avoid having to carry a giant suitcase with you, here’s our perfect UK beach holiday packing list.


We may have moved away from setting up windbreakers and tents, but you can’t go wrong with a good beach towel. Easy to carry and less bulky, setting up your spot on the sand is the perfect way to start your day. So, choose a towel that’s warm and cosy to wrap yourself up in and also comfortable to sit on. You might have a specific towel you like to use on the beach that you don’t mind getting sandy, but over time, and after numerous trips through the washing machine, they can start to lose their softness. We’d recommend choosing a double sided towel for extra warmth, plus they feel really luxurious. 

It’s also worth considering the size of your towel. Too often we’ve come out of the sea and attempted to straighten out our towel without covering it in sand…and failed! Because of this, we decided to include these brilliant jumbo sized towels in our collection. They’re easily big enough for two, but it’s always nice to have one to yourself with space to pop your picnic basket, books and beach paraphernalia. Plenty of room for two on this jumbo sized beach towel

Plenty of room for two on this jumbo sized beach towel

A warm beach dress or hooded top

Whilst we love nothing more than soaking up the sun, it’s no secret that the weather in the UK can turn in the blink of an eye, so taking along something warm to wear over the top of any swimwear is ideal.

One of our favourite options has to be the long hooded tops in our collection. They’re made of a soft, stretch towelling (so super comfortable) that matches our double-sided towels, and are really quite useful for just throwing on over the top of your swimwear. It keeps off the chilly breeze but also protects from the sun if you need to give your skin a little break from its rays.

These tops are also great at swimming pools if you’re heading there for the day, or after a bath to keep your little people warm. Being so useful on and off the beach means you can save on packing and take less towels – the advantages of such a simple garment!

Our beach dresses and hooded tops come in sizes for children, teenagers and adults, so you can all have fun in matching outfits. If you prefer wearing things with more of a feminine shape, we also have beach tunics. The knee-length designs are gathered just under the bust and have a flattering v-neckline. Pretty and practical!

Matching beach tunics and long hooded tops are a great addition to your beach packing checklist

Matching beach tunics and long hooded tops are a great addition to your beach packing checklist

Bucket and Spade

If you’re heading off on a family getaway, no matter how old your children may be, you can’t go wrong with a bucket and spade. Building sandcastles and digging holes is all part of the fun, for us as well as them!

I remember times spent discovering that the wet sand was the best for building solid, sturdier castles, or spending hours trying to dig a river from the shoreline to fill a freshly dug hole or create a moat. I almost forgot the best part; burying each other in the sand.

If you’re looking for more easy activities to do on your day out, why not take along a football or bat and ball to play with on the sand or in the sea. It’s amazing how long a game of catch can last while bobbing around in the ocean.

first day on the beach

Do you remember your first day at the beach?

A good book

Perhaps it’s the relaxing sound of the waves against the shore, but there really is nothing quite like reading a book on the beach. Some people end up reading a lot more on their holidays, and before you know it you’ve read half the book already and it’s time for lunch! Need book inspiration? Here are the top summer beach reads for 2024.


I’ve always loved exploring rock pools at the beach, and these little butterfly nets are great to take along for an afternoon activity. Spend a few hours taking a closer look at hermit crabs, trying to catch the little fish that swim at the water’s edge, or fishing through the knots of seaweed to see what you can discover.

It’s easy enough to pick up a couple of these cheap nets in the local seaside shops, a great way to support the small, local businesses. You’ll find the nets usually tucked next to the giant floats and lilos on display. Here you’ll also find buckets and spades, bats and balls, and the most important part; the ice creams. No day at the beach is complete without one.

Sun cream

Even if it’s a cloudy day, it’s really important to wear sun cream when you’re outside. Choose a sun cream that protects you from UVA and UVB rays, and the higher SPF the better. Also remember to reapply every couple of hours, especially after you’ve been swimming.

The simple pleasures of exploring rock pools together

Lip balm

Exposure to the elements often causes chapped lips, and having a little tin of lip balm is just a lifesaver. Here’s the best SPF lip balms on the shelves this summer.

Dog-friendly beach trip essentials

Finally, here’s some tips for all you dog owners…

One of the best things about taking a UK staycation for your summer holiday is having the opportunity to take along your dog. They will absolutely love spending time with you exploring new places and heading into the sea, and there are plenty of dog-friendly beaches out there. Just make sure you check the rules before heading out to the beach, especially as some areas change their rules regarding dogs on beaches during peak periods and off-season.

Once you’ve found the perfect beach to take your dog to, don’t forget to pack these holiday essentials:

  • Poo bags (and plenty of them)
  • Water – they may well try and drink from the sea before realising it’s salt water, so make sure you pack some fresh water for them (as well as for yourself)
  • Water bowl or bottle – you can easily pick up a compact travel water bowl in any pet shop
  • Beach toys – beaches are perfect for ‘go fetch’ games
  • Sun umbrella – it’s not good for dogs, or you, to get too hot. A parasol can create just the right amount of shade for your pet pooch
  • Treats (it’s their holiday too!)

We can’t wait to be able to jump on a plane without any worry and explore new places, but for now, we do hope you enjoy your UK staycation, wherever you’ve decided to go. Safe travels everyone!