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What to Pack For a Day at the Beach

Whether you are going on a beach vacation or just planning an epic beach day at a local lake we have everything covered in these beach packing lists. If you are looking for beach essentials for kids or a beach weekend packing list with some friends, read on to find out what to pack for a day at the beach!

The Ultimate Beach Packing Lists for the ocean or the lake | #beach #summer #lake


The Basics Beach Day Packing List

I always end up with an overflowing bag of items to take to the beach. But i have made a small list here to try and keep your beach bags from overflowing, but still making sure you have the necessities!

  • Sunscreen

It seems to be something I always forget, but remember for my kids! Make sure to reapply often! You can get a good deal on a bulk pack from Amazon

  • Hat

A wide brimmed hat is best, but really any hat will do to keep the sun off your head and help shade your face!

  • Towel

Get yourself a big beach towel that is good to lay down on! If you are going on vacation, look for ones that mentions microfiber. They will take up little space in your luggage, are lightweight and the sand does not stick to them. We have one from Amazon

  • Bathing suit

Every beach day packing list must include a bathing suit

  • Sunglasses

I am the kind of person who is in sunglasses all year round. Protect your eyes from that bright sun sparkling off the water! If you want a versatile option for men and women (and one that is great to throw in the glove box to have all year round) I like the ones on amazon

  • Snacks

I have a great list of portable snacks for kids but these are a few go-to’s on our beach day trip packing list:

  • Chips (Pringles are great as they dont get squished!)
  • Cut up carrots and hummous
  • Tostitos and Salsa
  • Pepperoni and Cheese sticks or Beef Jerky
what to pack for a day at the beach
We never go to the beach without this wagon!
  • Collapsible Wagon

Once your list of things to pack is complete, it makes it a lot easier to get it from the car to the beach with a wagon! We have a [easyazon_link identifier=”B00BUUUIGK” locale=”US” tag=”cadiouwa-20″]collapsible wagon[/easyazon_link] and I often wish we had two!

  • Water bottles

I recently got a [easyazon_link identifier=”B01C6HAVVM” locale=”US” tag=”cadiouwa-20″]Grayl watter bottle[/easyazon_link]which is great for hiking. But it is also good for the lake as you know you will never run out of clean water. If you are hitting the salt water, make sure you have plenty to drink! If I am not packing the hard sided cooler, I like to have one like this[easyazon_link identifier=”B00URO2JD0″ locale=”US” tag=”cadiouwa-20″]Arctic Zone Titan 30 Can Insulated Sport Tote, White[/easyazon_link] to keep my water cold!

  • Beach Chair

I love the [easyazon_link identifier=”B079J5QKCL” locale=”US” tag=”cadiouwa-20″]Tommy Bahama Beach Chair[/easyazon_link] because it has the backpack option to carry it to the beach! With everything else I am carrying, it is nice to be able to throw my chair on my back, especially if it is a long walk!

  • A Ball or Frisbee

There is something about throwing a football at the beach! If football is not your thing, I usually pack [easyazon_link identifier=”B010PB26Z0″ locale=”US” tag=”cadiouwa-20″]this frisbee[/easyazon_link] as it is easy for anyone to catch and throw!

  • Beach Blanket

Ever since my boys have been babies we have used the [easyazon_link identifier=”B0013K1NXE” locale=”US” tag=”cadiouwa-20″]JJ Cole Beach Blanket[/easyazon_link] . This blanket has been a great investment for us. When we went to Hawaii my youngest was not yet crawling, this blanket was big, light and folded up with a convenient carry handle. I called it my luxury item in my suitcase as it took up a fair bit of room but we used it everyday and it beat those sand mats that you can buy at all of the stores. You can see him in the photo below! It is less than $30 and we have got years of use out of it, and not just at the beach!

Our go-to beach blanket in action in Hawaii
  • Baby Powder

[easyazon_link identifier=”B00Z79QBY8″ locale=”US” tag=”cadiouwa-20″]Baby powder[/easyazon_link] is great to get all the sand off your legs before you try to put your shoes on. Just apply a generous amount and rub it all over. The sand dries up and brushes off easily (I always pick up a travel sized one for each beach trip)

  • Wet Bag

There WILL be sandy and wet clothes after your day at the beach, especially if you have kids! Add  a [easyazon_link keywords=”wet bag” locale=”US” tag=”cadiouwa-20″]Wet Bag[/easyazon_link] to your day at the beach checklist to keep all of those wet and dirty things contained until you can get home and wash them!

  • Bluetooth Speaker

I have a love / hate relationship with other people’s music, but if you are headed to a secluded spot, a[easyazon_link identifier=”B06XR91FFD” locale=”US” tag=”cadiouwa-20″]waterproof bluetooth speaker[/easyazon_link] is a great addition to your beach day trip checklist!

You can also check out my Summer Essentials List for some more ideas to make your beach day more fun!

A few sand toys are always in our arsenal on our beach packing list for kids

Beach Packing List for Family

When you are planning your family beach packing list, all of the above things apply! In addition these are some things to add:

  • Toys

It doesn’t matter if you have toddlers or teens, everyone can enjoy badminton, football, frisbee or bocce! We took this [easyazon_link identifier=”B00FPQQEJ0″ locale=”US” tag=”cadiouwa-20″]badminton set [/easyazon_link] to the beach last week and it was a hit! It came with a volleyball as well and everyone had something to play with! This is now a staple on our beach day trip checklist.

  • Bucket and Shovel

From about 6 months and up, we have always brought a couple buckets and shovels to the beach. There are tons of options on [easyazon_link keywords=”sand toys” locale=”US” tag=”cadiouwa-20″]Amazon[/easyazon_link] to get what works for you! I always try and get a couple buckets so one can be for crab catching and another for sand castle building!

Markus and his Eagle Kite at Crescent Beach. For more things to do in Vancouver, check out 40 things to do in Vancouver
  • A Kite

My boys LOVE flying their kites at the beach. There are dozens of designs to choose from! I suggest getting one that has tassles as they look amazing in the sky! Something like [easyazon_link identifier=”B0167ZL9CO” locale=”US” tag=”cadiouwa-20″]this[/easyazon_link]

  • Pop up Tent

If you are taking your baby to the beach for a day-trip, these pop up beach [easyazon_link identifier=”B0009PUTIE” locale=”US” tag=”cadiouwa-20″]shade tents[/easyazon_link] have become very popular! They are a great place to put your baby down for a nap, and they are much easier to pack and set up than a traditional umbrella (we all know it is not easy to keep an umbrella standing up at the beach!)

  • Kids Towels

Kids love having their own towels! Your kids beach packing list should include cute towels like [easyazon_link identifier=”B01I52802E” locale=”US” tag=”cadiouwa-20″]these[/easyazon_link]. they love that their hands are free but they are covered up!

  • Swim Diapers

Your baby beach packing list needs swim diapers. Whether you prefer disposable or reusable ones like [easyazon_link identifier=”B0776P82Q9″ locale=”US” tag=”cadiouwa-20″]these[/easyazon_link], you will avoid having your baby’s diaper explode when it gets wet!

Beach Blanket for What to Pack for A day at the beach
Our Beach Blanket is still in use, my son on the right is the baby in the photo above! This [easyazon_link identifier=”B0033OG86K” locale=”US” tag=”cadiouwa-20″]blanket[/easyazon_link] has been a great addition to our packing lists!

Our mornings on Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii

Beach Vacation Packing List

When you are flying to the beach on vacation, your beach day trip checklist will be quite different because a lot of it has to fit into the suitcase! Here are what we take on our beach vacation.

  • JJ Cole Blanket

This blanket goes everywhere with us! Even the suitcase! It has come in handy on so many trips and I recommend it for everyone! If you can make the space in your suitcase it is totally worth it. And if you travel with car seats, you can always throw it in your car seat bag!

  • Sunscreen

If you are going on a tropical vacation, sunscreen is going to be a must on your beach vacation checklist! Bring yourself one and you can always buy more when you get there! I prefer to not have to do any extra shopping if I do not have to, so I usually pack two! You can get a good deal on a bulk pack from [easyazon_link identifier=”B078BC1NJ6″ locale=”US” tag=”cadiouwa-20″]Amazon[/easyazon_link]before your trip!

  • Hat

A wide brimmed hat is best, but a huge pain to pack in your suitcase! But make sure you have something!

  • Snorkel Gear

Are you taking your kids snorkelling? Check out these [easyazon_link identifier=”B07NZNXGDS” locale=”US” tag=”cadiouwa-20″]full-face snorkel masks[/easyazon_link]! They are so much easier for kids to wear and you do not need to worry about your snorkel filling up with water again! Have you tried one? If not, add them to your beach packing list!

  • Towel

When traveling, I always take this  [easyazon_link identifier=”B00W22FZAY” locale=”US” tag=”cadiouwa-20″]microfibre towel[/easyazon_link]. It packs up really small and is lightweight. It does not dry you off like a fluffy towel, but also does not pick up sand!

  • Bathing suit

If you are like me, pack two, especially if you have kids! There is nothing worse than trying to get a wet bathing suit on during your vacation if you are back and forth from the beach to the pool and to your hotel room etc!

  • Sunglasses

I am the kind of person who is in sunglasses all year round. Protect your eyes from that bright sun sparkling off the water! If you want a versatile option for men and women (and one that is great to throw in the glove box to have all year round) I like [easyazon_link identifier=”B003DQPBXE” locale=”US” tag=”cadiouwa-20″]these ones[/easyazon_link]

  • Swim Cover up

If you are going to a resort, or even walking from your hotel room to the pool, consider a [easyazon_link keywords=”beach cover up” locale=”US” tag=”cadiouwa-20″]beach cover up[/easyazon_link]. When we are in Jordan, modesty is key, so I wear one of these in the elevator and walking around from the beach to the pool. They take up pretty much no space!

what to pack for beach
Beach Packing List with Kids

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  1. […] you love being organized,ร‚ย here is a handy beach packing list for when you are travelling with […]

  2. Great list! I have a small, porous sack I fill with baby powder for the beach. It’s easier to pack than a shaker jar and the powder flies around less. very handy. you can get the same effect filling a thin sock with baby powder and tying a knot in the top.

  3. enno andri says:

    Hi..just found out your nlog.. And i love read your travel tips ๐Ÿ™‚
    Your baby powder tips is should on on my list too ๐Ÿ™‚

    • carpediem says:

      thanks Enno! im glad you found something new to pack in your bag! did i miss anything you think should have been included?

    • HGroz says:

      This blog is AMAZING! Such practical advice and great ideas! A must see blog when you are travelling with kids! I am going to recommend this to all of my friends!