Heading to a sunny beach for a few days is a great way to let the stress melt away as you take a break from work and the hassles of daily life. Make sure you have the best time possible by packing wisely. Here's a look at five commonly forgotten, but very useful items to bring with you, as well as five things you're better off leaving at home.

Items to Pack

1. More than one bathing suit: When you're at a beach resort, you're going to spend most of your time lounging in the sand and playing in the surf. Your bathing suit may not have enough time to dry between uses, and putting on a wet suit is never fun. If you bring two or more suits, you can take one off, change for dinner, and then put a fresh, dry one on before heading back out on the beach for the evening.

2. A light jacket: Many people forget to bring a jacket to the beach. After all, they're headed to a tropical location! However, nights can get chilly in some places once the sun goes down, especially if your skin is damp from swimming. Bring a casual, neutral-colored jacket so it matches everything well.

3. A basic first aid kit: While the resort is likely to have one, you might not want to run to the front desk every time you need a bandage or some ibuprofen. Pack a basic first aid kid with antibiotic ointment, pain killers, gauze, some stick-on bandages and a thermometer, at the very least.

4. A notebook or diary: Pictures capture your everyday experiences on vacation, but if you want to remember everything you were thinking and feeling during the trip, writing it down is important. Bring a small diary along and write in it throughout your trip. You'll enjoy reading your memories a few years down the road.

5. Closed-toe shoes. Yes, you'll spend the majority of your time in flip flops or sandals, but it's a mistake not to bring some closed-toed shoes. Some nicer restaurants might require them, and you'll want them for toe protection if you go to an outdoor concert.

Items to Leave at Home

1. Expensive jewelry: You don't need pearls or diamonds to look stunning. If you bring them, you risk losing them. You're better off sticking to inexpensive, beaded jewelery, which is more in-style on the beach anyways.

2. Camouflage apparel: If you're wondering who would wear camouflage at the beach, then clearly you don't need this warning. However, there are always a few people who think camouflage is cool enough for their beach vacation, and they find out the hard way that it's prohibited in many resort areas, especially in the Caribbean.

3. Non-SPF makeup and facial moisturizers: Perhaps you get away with wearing these at home if you're not in a sunny area, but if you dare step out in them on the beach, you'll be sporting a sunburn in no time. Leave the non-SPF makeup and facial moisturizers behind in favor of products that offer at least SPF 15.

4. Beach towels (usually): All-inclusive resorts usually provide these for you, so you're really just wasting packing space by bringing yours along.

5. Heavy suitcases you can't carry by hand: These days, most suitcases have wheels and roll along easily. This comes in handy, but remember that when you arrive at your destination, you may have to walk through some sand or along a sandy pathway to reach your hotel. Make sure your bags are light enough to pick up and carry a short distance, if needed.

Many people tend to over-pack when they're headed to the beach. Remember that you're going to be laying around and relaxing for a few days. You probably don't need 12 different outfits or 6 pairs of shoes. Most resorts offer laundry services, too, so if you pack too lightly, you can always wash dirty clothing and wear it again.

Click here to learn more about planning your trip to a beach vacation resort.