The Essential Beach Trip Packing List

The Essential Beach Trip Packing List

A lot of us dream of tropical beaches, sand, surf, and chilly drinks. If you’re lucky enough to turn that dream into a reality, good for you!

We consulted with expert beachgoers on their must-have family beach trip packing list and created a comprehensive list for your beach vacation! Our experts—you may have heard of them, Andy and Craig—have spent many weeks and weekends soaking up the sun and had some great tips for you!

Check off all the things on our list as you pack so that you can enjoy your beach trip without the inconvenience.


You can’t go to the beach without a cooler. How would you keep the beer cold...and your kids’ Capri Suns?


There’s nothing like the beach sun to make you and the family hungry. Pack lots of snacks (chips, pretzels, cookies) and fruit if you want some healthy options.

Umbrellas & Chairs

Create your own beach camp for the day with plenty of shade and places to sit.


If you plan on getting in the ocean, you need a towel. Dry off before you sit in your chair, or keep towels handy for wiping sandy feet when the kids get in the car.

Waterproof Bag

Protect your phone, keys, and your wallet with a waterproof bag. It doesn’t have to be fancy, a ziplock bag will work just fine.


Protect your eyes from the sun with a trusty pair of sunglasses, don’t forget the kids’ too!

Hats & Sun Accessories

Make sure to pack some hats, sun shirts, and other sun-safety accessories for your beach day trip.

Sunscreen...and Aloe

You can’t enjoy the beach without sunscreen. For those that burn a little easier than others, aloe is a must-have.


Keep the family entertained all day with some fun beach games to enjoy together. From volleyball, beach bocce ball, and more, find your favorite game to entertain the kids.

The Everyday Must-Haves of a Beach Packing List

There are some basic items you’ll need regardless if you’re beachside, poolside, or browsing the city. Check out our must-haves for any away-from-home trip!

Family Toiletries

It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of everyone packing their own toiletries. But, rather than five tubes of toothpaste, just pack one for everyone to share. Other items, like shampoo and conditioner, dry shampoo, body wash, or spray deodorant, may be able to be consolidated into one single product. Here are a few other items to consider:

  • Hairbands
  • Disposable swim diapers

Also, check and see if your lodging has things like hairdryers, irons, and other hair accessories that you may be able to leave home. If you don’t have much space to work with, consider a two-in-one bottle of shampoo and conditioner or make some purchases once you reach your vacation destination.

Tech & Accessories

It’s easy to forget the small things, particularly if we’re used to always having them at hand in our space. But, when it comes to packing for a family beach trip, you’ll want to make sure these things make it into the luggage:

  • Cell phone chargers (and wall adapters, if applicable)
  • Portable chargers
  • Bluetooth speaker

Add Clothing to Your Packing List for the Beach

Packing outfits for a trip is a given, but it can be easy to miss important things without having a list. Here’s our list of clothing must-haves for your next family beach vacation!

Bathing Suits

Well this is a given, but hey, it’s easy to forget when you’re in a hurry. DryFins has awesome bathing suits for both men and boys. Shop our site now and read our tips on creating a kid-friendly beach outfit!


While this one may be optional depending on what tops you pack, pajamas are important. Each person should only need one set, but if your kids are accident-prone with Kool-Aid, you may want to pack them a second pair while the first one is in the wash.


No one should need more than one pair of underwear per day. If laundry facilities are easily accessible, you may be able to pack fewer pairs. If you anticipate doing a lot of outdoor activities, bring a few pairs of socks as well.


No, not the government kind. We’re thinking more like a light jacket or sweater; it does get chilly at the beach sometimes, so it’s a good idea to have something on hand to help guard against a cool breeze.

Neutral-Colored Bottoms

Each person shouldn’t need more than two or three pairs of shorts, pants, or skirts. At least, they shouldn’t if you choose items that don’t have a pattern and have a neutral color that goes with pretty much anything.

Stylin’ Tops

Bring four or five tops for each person and mix things up! Choose one or two more formal options for nice dining, while the rest should be casual beach tees. Make sure they match at least one of the bottoms. Check out our beach style tips for inspiration!


More than likely, you’ll only need two or three pairs of shoes. Choose a couple of nice sandals for a night out and a pair that you don’t mind getting wet (or just go with water shoes). Plus, it’s a good idea to bring something that can offer more support and handle outdoor activities, such as hiking or visiting a theme park.

On Location: Your Family Beach Trip Packing List

When it comes to your actual day at the beach, you’ll need something from both of the above lists, but also some additional items that will make your beach experience perfect.

Face Masks

While many places have relaxed rules regarding masks, it’s still important to be prepared!

Hand Sanitizer

Consider bringing one travel-size bottle per person. Larger families should consider a large bottle to use for refills.

Disinfectant Wipes

This may be omitted if space is an issue, but plan on at least one pack for every person.


This is really relative to your family’s spending habits but aim for at least $50/person/day.

First-Aid Kit

Accidents happen. When they do, it’s a good idea to pack a first-aid kit with all of the essentials.


Don’t forget to pack the necessary medications for your trip. Also, don’t forget insurance and ID cards just in case.

Don’t forget to read over this beach packing list before your next weekend trip or family vacation. These are a few of the basics you can’t go to the beach without!

Frequently Asked Questions

Your beach trip packing list is so important! Check out our most commonly asked questions below to get an idea of what other people need to know.

What should I pack for a 7 day beach vacation?

Your beach trip packing list should be light; you’ll be gone a while! Make thoughtful and careful choices with your wardrobe, also pack sunscreen, sunglasses, a bathing suit, and a good book! You’ll want to make sure that you can charge your devices as well.

What kind of food should I bring to the beach?

For your day on the beach, pack foods that do well in a cooler, like pasta salad or hard-boiled eggs. Overall though if you don’t have a cooler, we recommend simply bringing pre-packaged snack foods, like chips, or plan to eat out while enjoying the waves.

How do you pack for a beach trip with kids?

Sun protection is your number one priority when it comes to kids. UV shirts, hats, and good sunscreen are all important on your family beach trip packing list!

What is a must for the beach?

Your beach day packing list needs to have some practical items on it, such as foldable chairs and umbrellas, sunscreen, and large beach towels. A cooler and lots of water are a must as well. It’s easy to get dehydrated without realizing it when at the beach.

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