NORDSTROM ANNIVERSARY SALE OPEN TO EVERYONE!! (Grab Bestsellers and Reader Faves Before They’re Gone!)  SHOP NOW

Support TFG by using the links in our articles to shop. We receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) so we can continue to create helpful free content. We earn from qualifying purchases made to the featured retailers. Thank you, we appreciate your support!


Headed to the beach? Leave that heavy oversized towel at home! They’re huge, thick, and take up way too much valuable space in your bag. Don’t overpack for a beach vacation. We’ve got the best beach towels for travel and they’ll hardly take up any space. Take a look!


Best Beach Towels for Travel



Table Of Contents




Sea to Summit DryLite Towel


Travel Towels


Everyone should own a travel towel. They’re super small and ultra-functional. If you have to pack a towel, this is by far the lightest option.

There are various styles but the ones that make the best beach towels are thin microfiber fabrics like  Sea to Summit DryLite Towel that are similar to cleaning shammies.


Travel Towels are one of my must haves, read this post to find out why they should be on your packing list too!




Cacala Cotton Pestemal Turkish Bath Towel


Turkish Towels


A popular and fashionable alternative to travel styles are Turkish towels. They’re not as small as the travel-size towels but they are compact and ultra-chic. I love the colors offered and you can use them for the spas, poolside, or for beach vacations.

Because of their popularity, prices can vary for Turkish towels but I bought mine at a reasonable rate on Amazon. These are definitely some of the best beach towels to use in place of oversized standard types.


Turkish Towels are one so versatile for travel, these are TFG’s readers most recommended picks!




Handy Mat with Strap


Straw Mat


Many times popular beach vacation destinations sell straw or plastic mats in local shops. Around $5, they’re light and easy to carry around plus the sand comes right off so you don’t have to worry about getting it all over your hotel room. You can leave them behind or donate them to another traveler when you leave back home or onto your next destination.


Packing cubes provide the perfect solution to protect your clothing from dirty towels.




Scarf Soft Sheer Style




A superb beach towel alternative for travelers on long trips or those with mixed itineraries is to use a scarf. I’m not talking about an expensive silk or wool scarf but a synthetic or cotton one will do just fine if all you plan to do is sunbathe.

We know scarves have endless uses and they’ll forever be one of the most important travel essentials for female travelers making them one of the best beach towels for their versatility. Choose the right fabric and you can use it to lay on the sand without it getting destroyed!




Hibiscus Flower Swimsuit Sarong




Female travelers love their sarongs and you can read about their endless uses in this post. One of the more popular options is to use them on the beach. They’re light, colorful, and versatile. What more could you want?

Pick one up as a souvenir or get one in advance with a versatile design so it can blend in with the rest of your travel wardrobe.


You’ll want to look your best when you travel! Read my travel tips to Pack Light Stylishly!




Mandala Round Beach Throw


Mandala Round Beach Throw


I’m currently loving a Mandala round beach throw as a bohemian chic alternative to a sarong. This would work better for a vacation than long trip but it can also double up as a blanket on the beach or plane. This is one of the cutest and best beach towels of the season!




California Souvenir Dish Towel


Souvenir Towels


If all else fails and you absolutely must have your beach towel, why not buy one at your destination? It will make a fun souvenir and you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Who doesn’t love an excuse to shop!




Luxury Hotel & Spa Bath Towel Turkish Cotton


Hotel Towels


First thing’s first: find out if your hotel offers beach towels. If they do, leave yours at home and take advantage of this amenity. While you’re at it, also find out if they offer blow dryers, irons, and toiletries so you can leave those things at home too!

Remember, the key to being a smart traveler is to being well-informed.



Best Beach Towel Product Comparison Chart


[wpsm_comparison_table id=”208″ class=”center-table-align”]




Compass Rose Travel Packing Cubes


How to Pack Beach Towels


The best beach towels are ones that fold flat to pack in your carry-on. You can learn to pack carry-on only using packing cubes.


Learn our hacks with packing cubes in the video above!


I put together a five-part YouTube series showing you the different methods to use packing cubes. If you use this specific packing strategy, they also can compress your belongings. This is the secret to traveling carry-on only!



What do you think are the best beach towels for travel? Tell us in the comments!


For more beach travel essentials, please read:






Hope you liked this post on the best beach towels for travel. Please share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!