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What to Pack for the Beach | The Ultimate Beach Vacation List

Stressed about what to pack for the beach? Here is a list to make sure that you have all the essentials covered.

Follow this beach packing list and you will have everything you need for a day (or longer) full of fun!

What to Pack for the Beach?

What to Pack for the Beach

The Essentials: (things you must bring)


You want to soak up that amazing sunshine but its never work risking your skin. Skin cancer is for real and it is never fun to have a sunburn.

To make sure that you protect yourself from harmful uv rays you will want to bring a waterproof sunscreen.

You should also make sure that your sunscreen is reef safe if you are going to be swimming in the water. What does reef safe sunscreen mean?

Beach Towel

Another must have for the beach is a beach towel. You will be happy you have your beach towel when you need to dry off after a swim.

Also, it is great to spread out on the sand so that you can lay down and relax.

Swim Suit

If you are going to the beach to swim or just to get some sun you won’t want to forget your swim suit or swim trunks for men.

I suggest finding a comfortable suit that fits well so that you can enjoy your beach time and feel great at the same time.

Shorts + Tank Top

I love to bring my favorite jean shorts and a tank top.

Tank tops are great because you wont get a tan line, and you will want to have a pair to shorts to throw on if you need them.

Easy to wear to the beach and to put over your suit when leaving.

Beach Cover Up

Don’t forget a beach cover up. They are great to put over you suits and wear around while exploring the beach.

Since they are light you will feel comfortable, cool and relaxed.


This is a must for men and women. A hat will keep your hair back and out of your face (you will be glad if its windy) all while keeping the sun out of your eyes.

I love hats because they look so beachy and stylish too.


The beach is sunny! That is why you will want to bring your sunglasses.

You want don’t want to have to be blocking the sun and trying squinting all day.

Beach Blanket

You should bring at least one or more beach blankets.

You will need this to lay out on the sand so that you have somewhere to sit all your stuff and hang out all day without getting sand everywhere.

It’s also great to have an extra blanket, depending on the beach and time you will be going, it can get very color and windy.

You will be happy you have a blanket to snuggle up in.

Flip Flops

Don’t forget your flip flops. The next best thing to walking barefoot on the beach. Quick to get on and off.

Plus you can get them sandy and wet and they will stay clean and dry quick.

You don’t want to be trying to squeeze into sandy wet socks and shoes at the end of the day.

Water Bottle

Since you can’t drink the salty beach water you will want to bring some fresh clean water.

Bring some water bottles and fill them with water and ice to keep them cool all day.

I personally love the stainless steel ones because they keep your water cold so much longer.

Beach Bag

You will need something to carry everything when finding your perfect spot on the beach.

A beach bag is great because they are normally big so you can fit everything that you need all in one.

Also, they are normally water proof or easily washable so you don’t have to worry about getting it dirty in the sand.

The Essentials for Families:

Beach Toys:

Kids love playing in the sand!

Most off all they love building sand castles. Bringing a sand castle building set of some beach toys will give the kids something fun and creative to do.

Beach Tent or Shade:

A quick pop up tent or shade is suggested for kids because they can enjoy the beach and have a shaded spot to get out of the sun and wind if needed.

Also, its great to have if they take a nap you wont have to worry about the sun shining down on them and they can have a comfortable and quite place to relax.

Small Ice Chest or Cooler Bag:

If you are going to be at the beach all day, you should bring some lunch and snacks.

A small portable cooler is my favorite because they are light and easy to carry and still keep everything cool.

Life Jacket

If your kids are not great swimmers you should bring some life jackets.

Depending on where you are going beach wave can be very strong and you want to make sure the kids are safe.


Foldable beach chairs will be perfect for your family to relax in when not swimming or laying out on the sand.

I love the low back ones for the beach since you still feel like you are right on the sand.

Body Boards:

If you have never been body boarding its so fun. It is the perfect kid friendly beach activity.

They can use the body boards to float on in the water and catch some small waves. You might love it too!

The Extras (you don’t need but you might want):

Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker:

If you love listening to music as much as I do then I suggest bringing to waterproof bluetooth speaker.

This way your entire group can enjoy your playlist from your phone. Its nice to relax on the beach and listen to your favorite songs.

Camera (waterproof):

It is so easy to get distracted and drop your phone or camera in the water or sand.

When going to the beach you might want to get a waterproof camera or get a water proof cover for your phone.

You will want to have awesome picture of your day but you don’t want to a ruined camera.

Bug Spray:

Depending on the beach that you are visiting there can sometimes be lots of bugs.

I love to get the bug repellent towelettes since they are super small and easy to throw in the beach bag.

You might not need them but just in case. You don’t want to end your day covered in bites.

Lip Balm:

Every time I go to the beach my lips get super dry and chapped.

It must be the sun and salt air, but I always make sure that I bring chap stick so that my lips aren’t in pain all day.

Surf, Kyak, or Paddle Boards:

If you looking for a beach adventure you might want to check into renting some watersports beach equipment.

Most popular beach spots will have beach rental equipment shops nearby and even lessons that you can sign up for.

If you have always wanted to try a beach sport now is the time. I have tried surfing.

It wasn’t easy but it was amazing getting to see the beach from a different perspective.

Wet Suit:

If its not the middle of summer or you are going to a cooler beach, then you might want to buy or rent a wetsuit.

Sometimes ocean water can be ice cold and you don’t want to sit out on the fun.

Extra Bags:

When you leave the beach you are going to have wet and sandy towels clothes and blankets.

You don’t want to put everything back into your dry beach bag or you will have a sandy mess.

I bring waterproof bags to put all my stuff that is sandy or damp into.

This make it really easy to wash too since all the dirty stuff is already separated out.

What to pack the beach list:

Here is a free printable list to help you get ready for the beach. Beach Packing List

Have fun!!

I hope that this list helps you to know exactly what to pack for the beach and takes the stress out of preparing so that you can focus on having a great time.