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The warm sun on your face. Sand between your toes. The rhythmic sound of waves lapping against the shore. There is nothing more relaxing than a day at the beach. But, to truly enjoy a trip to the beach with your family, you need to pack the right stuff. Here is a list of what to pack for a day at the beach so you can have the perfect beach day.
Basic Essentials for a Day at the Beach
- Towels-Unless you don’t plan on getting in the water, you will need towels for everyone in the family. I would recommend packing a couple extra towels, just in case you need them.
- Dry Clothes-It may seem obvious to pack extra clothes, but a lot of people forget to pack them. If you are going to play in the water, you will want to have dry clothes to change into before you head home.
- A beach umbrella-It can get hot at the beach. And if you have little ones, you will definitely want to be sure to have some shade to cool off. So, bring your own beach umbrella so you can have shade wherever you are.
- Beach Chairs and/or Blanket-If you don’t want to sit in the sand all day, bring a blanket or beach chairs to sit in.
- Water shoes-To prevent your feet from burning on the sand and getting cut on rocks or glass, wear water shoes while you are at the beach.
- Life Jackets-If you are taking your kids to the beach, be sure to pack their life jackets. The water can turn deadly in an instant, so keep your family safe by putting your children in life jackets while in the water.
- Sunscreen-Protect your skin while at the beach by wearing a waterproof sunscreen. And don’t forget to reapply throughout the day!
- Hats-The last essential on our list of what to pack for a day at the beach is a hat for each person in your family. These will help you keep cool while protecting your face from the sun.
Of course, the whole point of going to the beach is to relax and have fun. So, your list of what to pack for a day at the beach must include some beach toys. Here are some of our favorites:
- Sand toys-Kids of all ages love playing in the sand. So, throw some sand toys into your beach bag so you can build sand castles with your kids.
- Snorkel-For older kids and adults, one of the most useful beach toys is a snorkel. It is so much fun to explore what’s under the water. I recommend U.S. Diver snorkel gear.
- Ball-For little kids, one of the best beach toys for playing in the water is a ball. There are so many games you can play with a ball.
Food & Drink
Swimming and playing in the sand builds up quite an appetite, especially in kids. So, you can’t take a trip to the beach without food!
And, of course, you will need to take water with you so you and your family can stay hydrated. I recommend taking a thermos and reusable water bottles instead of plastic bottles.
If you will be at the beach all day, consider packing a lunch. If you only plan to be there for a few hours, then snacks should be sufficient. (See our practical tips for eating at the beach for tips on storing your food.)
Great Lunch Ideas for the Beach
- Sandwiches (Pack your “wet” ingredients separately from your “dry” ingredients to prevent your sandwiches from getting soggy.)
- Ka-bobs (You can do grilled meat, veggies, or even fruit)
- Mini Tarts
- Chicken Nuggets
- Smoothies (Pack them in reusable bottles.)
- Grilled Cheese
Great Snack Ideas for the Beach
- Gummy Bears
- Trail Mix
- Grapes (Instead of ice, freeze your grapes and use them to keep the other food in your cooler cold.)
- Strawberries (Don’t forget to cut the tops off before heading to the beach.)
- Apple Slices
- Animal Crackers
- Peanut Butter Crackers
- Baby Carrots
- Bread Sticks
- Fruit Snacks
A day at the beach can be a fun outing with your family. But, to truly enjoy it, you need to be prepared. This list of what to pack for a day at the beach will ensure you have everything you need for the perfect day in the sand and surf.
For more tips for family beach trips, see our safety tips for the beach and tips for successful beach trips with kids.
For more family travel tips, see how to plan an epic family vacation, how to take amazing vacations on any budget, how to take a vacation when you can’t afford it, tips for successful road trips with kids, and tips for flying with kids. Happy travels!
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