Beach Packing List: What to Pack for a Family Beach Vacation
Planning a family beach vacation? This article will cover everything you need to have on your beach packing list. A great list like this will ensure you show up to the beach prepared. This will allow you to take full advantage of your time at the beach. Trust me, we took our 18-month-old son to the beach last summer and we learned a thing or two about what to pack (and what to leave at home)! Sit back, relax and let’s start making that list! Before you know it, you will be soaking up the sun at the beach!
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Clothes to Pack for the Beach
Exact clothing items you need to pack will be completely dependent on the activities you have planned while at the beach and how long you will be there. A good rule to follow is to pack one outfit for every day, plus beachwear for the day. If you have a daytime activity planned (sightseeing, shopping, zipline, etc.) you may want to pack two outfits for that particular day so that you can freshen up (if needed) after the activity/before dinner.
If you want outfit inspo for your beach trip, be sure to follow me on Instagram!
Use these compression bags for packing clothing & towels! They save so much space!
- shirts/tank tops
- swim coverups (I personally pack 2-3 for a week)
- swimsuits (this post covers tummy friendly swimwear)
- Rash guard (baby & toddler // kids)
- flip flops/sandals
- casual sneakers
- water shoes (baby // toddler // kid)
- hat (baby // toddler // kid // mom // dad)
- Activewear (if you like to exercise on vacay)
- sunglasses (baby // toddler // kid)
- belt (if needed)
- Light Jacket
Toiletries to Pack for Everyone
Save the trip to the local convenience store or hotel concierge by packing your own must-have personal items. These are go-to on my beach packing list.
If you are flying and want to pack less liquid, check out the solid form of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, & sunscreens linked below! I wish I had found these sooner as I am a carry-on only traveler!
These are my favorite reusable TSA size liquid containers. I fill these up with my favorite products from home when travelling.
- Shampoo (Liquid // Solid)
- Conditioner (Liquid // Solid)
- Lotion (Liquid // Solid)
- Aloe (Liquid)
- Sunscreen (Liquid // Solid // Baby)
- Shave Cream (Liquid // Solid)
- Face Cleanser (Liquid // Solid)
- Body Wash
- Hand Soap
- Chapstick with SPF
- Hair Products
- Hair Styling Tools
- Hairdryer (check to see if your accommodation provides one first!)
- Makeup (Perfect Toiletry Bag)
- Makeup Removing Wipes
- Feminine Products
- Cotton Swabs
- Hand Sanitizer
- Face Masks
- Diapers (Regular & Swim)
Essential Beach Gear
Most of these items are assuming you are driving to the beach and will be able to pack bulky items in your car (cooler, chairs, etc.). If you are flying, you may need to rent this gear while at the beach so save this list for when you’re on vacation!
- Beach Tent
- Sand Toys
- Beach Chairs
- Kids Chair
- Beach Cart
- Baby Pool
- If you have kids under two, this is the ultimate entertainment hack for little ones at the beach! You can fill it up with a little bit of water and a few toys. inflatable & easy to pack
- Beach Blanket
- Tote Bag
- Books or Kindle
- Ice Packs
- Water Bottles
- Bluetooth Speaker
- Baby Powder (brushes sand right off!)
- Ziplock Bags (A must for holding cell phones at the beach)
- Power Pack
- First Aid Kit
- Puddle Jumpers or Floaties for the kids
Beach House Items You Must Pack
Be sure you check in advance if there are items you may need to bring from home. We rented a beach house for a week last summer and did not realize bath towels were not provided so we had to buy them during vacation. Depending on preference, you may also want to bring your own bed sheets. Below are other items to consider.
- Disposable Utensils & Plates (check if your rental provides)
- Laundry Detergent
- Dish Washing Soap (if not provided)
- Trash Bags
- Paper Towels
- Toilet Paper
- Clorox Wipes
- Board games (for down time or rainy days)
- Coloring books/busy activities for the kids (this is helpful for when you need to unload/pack)
- Sound machine for little ones
- Room Darkening Curtains for nap time
Misc Travel Items for a Beach Vacation
These may seem obvious, but when you have your mind set on getting to the beach, these may be forgotten.
- Drivers Licenses
- Credit Cards or Debit Cards
- Health Insurance cards
- Auto insurance cards
- Rental/Hotel Confirmation Information
- New toy for little ones.
- When we dove 12 hours to the beach with our 18-month-old, we packed a new toy & saved it for the drive home to entertain him.
Skip These Items When Packing for a Beach Trip
- Pack and Play. Unless your kids are really little, you can skip the pack and play for the beach. If they’re over a year they will want to be in the sand. and the baby pool is enough to keep them occupied. Use the adult beach chair to lay them down for a nap.
- Beach Balls – these will fly away with the slightest breeze
- Too many shoes – A good pair of beach sandals, tennis shoes, and dress sandals is all you should need! Save your precious suitcase space for something else!