Taking a trip to the beach? In this article, I walk you through my tried and tested beach packing list.
It doesn’t matter if it’s just for a day or for an entire week… check out this beach packing list and you’re sure to show up prepared. There’s something rejuvenating about soaking up the sun, swimming in the ocean, and basking in the sea breeze.
Embark on your beach adventures ready to go to make the most of your sandy times. Whether you’re traveling in a pair, as a family or solo, this packing list is sure to set you up for a successful beach trip.
What to Pack for a Beach Vacation
If you live close enough to a beach that you can take a day trip, you’re one of the lucky ones. All you have to do is pack up your car and go! But it’s still important to make sure you have everything you need for the day so that you don’t have to turn around if you’ve forgotten something.
In this list, I walk you through some of my favorite beach essentials including my personal recommendations on products that I have been using for years.
Beach Packing List PDF
For the sake of simplicity and for giving you visuals, here’s a quick overview but I recommend you keep reading this article to find out the specific items we recommend.
What Do I Need to Pack for the Beach?
1. A Beach Bag
A good beach bag that is packed with all of the essentials is key to having a good time at the beach. First, pick the right beach bag. It should be sturdy, allowed to get dirty, and water resistant if possible.
2. Beach Towels
When heading to the beach, make sure you bring a lightweight towel for lounging on and wiping sand off with. If you’re traveling and have limited space, avoid bringing large beach towels and instead, bring a lightweight beach blanket or sarong which can double up as a towel.
3. Bathing Suit
A beach essential, whether you’re spending the day on shore or in the water. Are you a bikini or one piece person? I personally love bikinis and can recommend a few good ones. If you enjoy doing any sort of beach activity like surfing, I recommend going for reputable brands like Roxy or Billabong as they give you the most protection and coverage making sure nothings slips! If you’re just lazing around on the beach, Cupshe has loads of cute pairs that are super affordable.
A good beach cover up is a must in my books! When you’re having a few snacks or simply just lying around by the shade, having this is a lifesaver. The best thing about beach coverups is that they are pretty inexpensive.
5. Water Bottle
When you’re spending the entire day in the sun, it’s important to stay hydrated! My beach pick is an insulated water bottle because your water stays cold all day! If you’re traveling light, you may want to opt for a collapsable water bottle instead.
Protect those eyes from harmful rays! While I always used to get the cheapest pair of sunnies available, over the years, I realized the importance of investing in a good pair of sunglasses. If you’re looking for recommendations, check out Ombraz Armless glasses, perfect for beach days!
Other Items to Bring in Your Beach Bag:
- Change of Clothes- There’s no better feeling than peeling a wet bathing suit off your body at the end of the day and slipping on a fresh new outfit. Don’t forget underwear!
- Plastic Bag for Wet Clothes- When you finally get changed, be sure you have a reusable plastic bag to toss wet clothes in so they don’t get everything else soaked and sandy!
- Ziplock Bags- The first thing I do when I get to the beach is stick my phone in a plastic bag to make sure it’s protected for the rest of the day. I love this hack because it keeps sand out of all the little holes and even protects your phone from water while still allowing you to use it through the plastic!
Honestly speaking, there’s nothing better than having cold drinks while you’re at the beach. This top-rated Sparter backpack portable cooler allows you to carry multiple items and keep it cool for 12 hours. It has multiple pockets, allowing you to stay organized.
When packing for the beach, I like to bring lots of fresh cut fruits, sandwiches, chips, healthy juices, and alcoholic beverages. To make sure your items stay cool, consider bringing reusable cold compress packs inside your cooler bag.
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Beach Accessories and Toiletries
Once you have your main beach bag packed, here are a few beach accessories and toiletries that I make sure I always have in my bag. When you’re heading to the beach, you need to always make sure your skin is healthy and hydrated. A good face sunblock, and a few of these items are a must!
While you’re protecting… Don’t forget to lather up with sunscreen to keep the sunburn away and skin healthy and young looking. With so many choices, I always make sure my sunscreen is reef safe to protect our oceans and waterproof as well so I’m not constantly reapplying.
9. Lip Balm
Another thing people forget when going to the beach would be a good lipbalm. Apart from keeping your skin from getting burned, you need to keep your lips as hydrated as you are. Don’t let them get chapped and cracked!
10. Hair Brush
Salty beachy hair is nice until you’re trying to run your hands through it and realize it’s one giant knot. Be sure to take along a small hairbrush to keep those salt water hair tangles at bay. Aside from bringing a hairbrush, if you have sensitive hair, you can also look into getting an after sun leave on spray like this one from Sunbum.
11. Hand Sanitizer
A squirt or two before digging into beach snacks is always a good idea. I usually carry a little purse that holds all my beach accessories and toiletries just so they don’t get lost in the larger beach bag. That way, I know where everything is all the time.
Electronics to Pack with You to the Beach
For the most part, I like to keep thing simple when it comes to what electronics I take with me. A good pair of waterproff speakers, a kindle to read on and a camera- I’m all set. Here are a few of my top picks and recommendations.
12. Headphones or Portable Speaker
Don’t forget these if you’re planning a rocking day! I always opt for a waterproof, shock proof speaker that’s small enough to take anywhere with me. It’s always sure to enhance your day with some awesome tunes. If you prefer to take headphones with you rather than speakers, I personally use Bose headphones and love the sound quality!
13. GoPro Camera
I love to take my GoPro to the beach because it’s super durable and waterproof. Did someone say underwater videos? They are super durable and sturdy which means you no longer have to worry about sand damaging your camera gear.
Don’t let your phone die while you’re soaking up the sun! Be sure to have a charged power bank and your phone’s charging chord to stay at 100% all day.
What better place to catch up on your reading than with the sound of the waves hitting the shore and the sand between your toes? Looking to start something new? Check out our article on Best Travel Books for some great suggestions.
Other Beach Supplies
If you’re driving to the beach for a day, it’s a good idea to come prepared with everything you may need to be comfortable and stay occupied (especially if you’re taking little ones). Here are other beach supplies that I would pack with you to make sure you have a comfortable day out.
Be sure you have a little shady refuge from the hot sun. Just set up your umbrella and you’re ready to go. If you’re traveling, don’t fret as most beaches would have a few umbrellas and beach huts that you can rent.
17. Beach Chairs
Not too keen on spending the entire day sitting on the ground? Be sure to take a chair along with you so you’re comfortable. These particular beach chairs are pretty lightweight which makes it very convenient to take with you to the beach.
Save the planet and skip the one use plasticware. Bring reusable plates and utensils to enjoy your spoils on. When you’re finished, all you have to do is stick them in a plastic bag before packing up to wash when you get home! I love these bamboo ones as they are both eco and travel friendly too!
If you want to make sure you drinks stay cold, these awesome wine cooler cups are a must! They are BPA free and will keep your wine or cocktails cold all day!
Spread out your picnic on a big blanket or mat. When you’re finished, this is the perfect place to lie out on without getting too sandy, or a great surface for a card game or two
Other Miscellaneous Items:
- Trash bags- Leave no trace! Or trash! Make sure you have a big garbage bag and encourage family and friends to toss their trash instead of letting it blow away. Looking for a great beach activity that gives back? Take that garbage bag down the beach and clean up trash that other people have left or has washed up on shore.
- Extra Water- Grab a couple of gallons from the gas station to keep in the back of the car to refill water bottles as needed instead of using small plastic bottles. They even have large water jugs with spouts to make filling up super easy!
What to Pack for a Family Beach Day
If your beach trip turns into a family fun day, there’s no reason to stress about taking kids with you. Aside from the items listed above, just make sure you pack enough swim diapers and regular diapers, a life jacket, or floaties for the water.
21. Beach Games
Looking for some beach fun? There are tons of awesome games you can take to the beach with you, like paddle board, cards, frisbee and a fan favorite: corn hole. What’s your favorite game to play at the beach?
22. First Aid Kit
Better safe than sorry! Be prepared for minor injuries with a first aid kit… just in case. This is really important, especially when you’re traveling with young children.
If your trip extends past sunset and it’s permissible to make a fire on the beach, bring a flashlight/headlamp, firewood, kindling, newspaper, marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate and skewers for a night of s’mores! Yum!
While it may seem impossible to get organized for a good day at the beach, simply follow this packing list and your trip should be a breeze! Dying for a sandy getaway but don’t know where to go? Adventure In You has beach guides that cover most of the world. Looking for a destination? Just put “Beach” in the search bar and be amazed by the endless places you can go!
FAQ: Beach Packing Lists
When it comes to couples, we recommend packing the same items above but adding a few romantic touches! A beach blanket big enough to share, a wine opener for your beverages, and even a small charcuterie board for snacks!
When it comes to packing food for your beach trip, we recommend bringing items that won’t easily perish. Finger food and healthy snacks are the best way to go. We also recommend that you bring reusable cutlery and cups, as well as trash bags to make the tidying up easy!
Aside from the few items we mentioned above, the most important thing for families to pack is lots of entertainment for the kids. Whether this is snorkels, beach toys, or paddle boards, being prepared is the key to having a fun day out!
Looking for more beach inspiration? Check out a few of our top posts:
- 10 Best Beaches in Mexico You Have to Visit
- The Best Beaches in Spain for a Seaside Holiday
- 12 Beaches in Europe That Will Blow You Away