Family Beach Trip Packing List

I’ve been on quite a few family beach vacations with my wife and kids over the years, and we’ve had a blast every time.

Along the way, I’ve also figured out the perfect packing list to make sure everyone has everything they need for a fantastic, stress-free trip.

Here you go:

Essentials

  • Passports and IDs
  • Travel documents (tickets, reservations, etc.)
  • Credit cards and cash
  • Health insurance cards
  • First aid kit
  • Snacks for the trip
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This waterproof holder for your passport and other travel documents is something I recommend 100% for your beach vacation. We just bought our second one!

Passports and IDs

I know this is a no-brainer, but don’t forget to pack all passports for international trips, driver’s licenses, and other ID cards for domestic travel. Tip: Get a waterproof passport holder (see above!)

Travel documents

Always bring a copy of your tickets, hotel reservations, and any other travel-related documents. You never know when you’ll need to reference them or provide proof of your reservation.

Credit cards and cash

It’s a good idea to bring both credit cards and some cash. While most places accept cards, it’s wise to have cash on hand for small purchases, tips, or emergencies.

Health insurance cards

Another no-brainer, but these are really crucial. Always carry your family’s health insurance cards, just in case you need medical assistance during your trip.

First aid kit

A small first aid kit with essentials like band-aids, pain relievers, and any necessary prescription medications is a must. It’s always better to be prepared for minor injuries or illnesses.

Snacks for the trip

Pack some snacks for the trip. You know it, hungry kids can quickly become cranky kids đŸ˜‰ so it’s best to have something to tide them over between meals.

Games | Toys | Entertainment

  • Books and magazines
  • Travel-size games
  • Beach toys
  • Mesh beach bag for toys
Books and magazines

Bring some light reading material for downtime at the beach or during travel. E-readers are also a great option for saving space in your luggage.

Travel-size games

Pack a few travel-size games or card games for family bonding during downtime. They’re perfect for keeping everyone entertained, especially on rainy days.

Beach toys
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If you buy one beach toy, then by all means, buy a skip ball (see above). These are such a hit for kids and adults alike. I and my kids had so much fun playing with these at the beach this year. They really do skip on the water! We got addicted to these and everyone around us wanted to try them as well! I just ordered another 3 packages!

However, don’t forget to pack other beach toys, like sandcastle-building tools, frisbees, and inflatable balls. They’ll keep the kids entertained for hours, and you might even have some fun joining in, too!

Must-haves: Regardless of how old the kids are, I would always pack these 4 items:

  • Beach pail
  • Shovel
  • Sand sifter
  • Skip ball (see above)
Mesh beach bag for toys

A mesh beach bag for toys is a convenient way to carry and store beach toys while allowing sand to fall through the holes. This helps keep your car and other belongings sand-free.

Clothing

  • Swimwear
  • Swimming goggles (for kids)
  • Pajamas
  • T-shirts
  • Shorts
  • Light jackets
  • Underwear and socks
  • Hats
Swimwear

A beach trip isn’t complete without a good swim! Make sure everyone has at least two swimsuits, so they’ll always have a dry one available. Trust me, no one wants to put on a cold, wet swimsuit after a day at the beach.

Swimming Goggles

Choose mirrored goggles that are perfect for sunlight and the beach.  We choose the ones above (see the Amazon photo): The anti-UV coating can protect eyes from harmful UV rays and provides clear vision.

Pajamas

It’s important to pack comfortable sleepwear for everyone. Pajamas ensure a good night’s sleep, which is essential for enjoying your days at the beach.

T-shirts

Pack enough t-shirts for each day of your trip, plus a couple of extras. You never know when you’ll need a change of clothes after a messy ice cream incident or an impromptu dip in the ocean.

Shorts

Lightweight shorts are perfect for a beach vacation. They’re comfortable and easy to throw on over a swimsuit, making them a versatile option for all kinds of activities.

Light jackets

Evenings at the beach can get chilly, so pack a light jacket or sweater for everyone in the family. It’s better to have one and not need it than to be shivering during a beautiful sunset stroll.

Underwear and socks

Don’t forget to pack enough underwear and socks for the entire trip. Be sure to include a few extra pairs, just in case.

Hats

Protect your family’s faces from the sun with wide-brimmed hats or caps. They’re essential for preventing sunburns and keeping everyone comfortable in the heat.

Shoes and Sandals

  • Flip-flops
  • Water shoes
  • Sneakers
Flip-flops

Flip-flops are a beach staple, perfect for lounging around or walking to and from the water. Make sure everyone has a comfortable pair that fits well.

Water shoes
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Water shoes are a must for protecting your and your kid’s feet from sharp rocks, shells, and hot sand. They’re also great for water activities like snorkeling and paddleboarding. On our last trip, my daughter stepped on a sharp rock while exploring tide pools, and her water shoes saved her from a painful cut.

Sneakers

Bring a pair of sneakers for each family member for activities like hiking, biking, or exploring nearby attractions. Comfortable footwear is essential for keeping everyone happy and blister-free.

Accessories | Miscellaneous 

  • Sunglasses
  • Beach bags
  • Beach towels
  • Water-proof case
  • Wet bags
  • Reusable water bottles
  • Collapsible cooler
Sunglasses

Protect your family’s eyes from the sun with UV-blocking sunglasses. Look for polarized lenses, which reduce glare and make it easier to see, especially when you’re near the water.

Beach bags
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A good beach bag is essential for carrying everything you need for a day at the beach. Look for large bags (see above) with plenty of compartments to keep your belongings organized and easy to find.

Beach towels

Pack at least one beach towel per person. Quick-dry microfiber towels are a great option because they take up less space in your luggage and dry faster than traditional cotton towels.

Water-proof case
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A waterproof case is perfect for keeping your smartphone, money, and other valuables safe and dry at the beach. I learned this the hard way when my phone took an unexpected swim during a beach day. Now, I always bring a waterproof case to keep my belongings protected.

Wet bags

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Wet bags are a fantastic addition to your beach gear. They’re perfect for storing wet swimsuits or towels, keeping the rest of your belongings dry and sand-free.

Reusable water bottles

Stay hydrated by bringing reusable water bottles for the entire family. They’re environmentally friendly and will save you money on buying bottled water.

Collapsible cooler

A collapsible cooler is perfect for keeping drinks and snacks cold during your beach outings. It’s lightweight, easy to pack, and can be folded up when not in use.

Electronics

  • Smartphone
  • Camera
  • Chargers
  • Portable power bank
  • Headphones
Smartphone

Your smartphone is your all-in-one device for communication, navigation, and entertainment. Be sure to download any necessary apps, like maps or travel guides, before your trip.

Camera

Capture all your precious family moments with a camera. While your smartphone’s camera is likely sufficient, a dedicated camera can provide better-quality photos and more advanced features. However, if you have a quite new smartphone you can make awesome photos and videos with it!

Chargers

Don’t forget to pack chargers for all your electronic devices. Double-check that you have the right cables and adapters for each item.

Power bank
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Having a portable power bank means you can charge your devices on the go. It’s especially helpful if you’re spending long days at the beach and want to keep your phone or camera charged for capturing all those precious memories.

Headphones

Headphones are useful for listening to music, watching movies, or enjoying podcasts during downtime. They’re also great for giving parents a bit of peace and quiet during flights or car rides on the passenger seat. I recommend a pair with Active Noise Cancelling (honestly, that has been a lifesaver for me many times!)

Toiletries

  • Sunscreen
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Insect repellent
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Deodorant
Sunscreen

Sunscreen is an absolute must for a beach vacation. Make sure to pack enough for everyone, and reapply frequently to avoid sunburns.

Aloe vera gel

Aloe vera gel helps soothe sunburns and moisturize the skin. It’s a great item to have on hand if someone in the family gets a little too much sun.

Insect repellent

Keep pesky bugs at bay with insect repellent. Choose a family-friendly option that’s safe for everyone, including young children.

Toothbrush and toothpaste

Another obvious item, but still, don’t forget to pack enough(!) of these basics! Pack a toothbrush and toothpaste for each family member to maintain good oral hygiene during your trip.

Shampoo and conditioner

Bring travel-sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner to keep everyone’s hair clean and manageable during your vacation. However, you can keep it minimal to avoid overpacking. Remember, will be at the beach đŸ™‚

Body wash

Pack a bottle of body wash or bar soap for showering after a day at the beach. Travel-sized options are perfect for saving space in your luggage.

Deodorant

Keep everyone smelling fresh with deodorant. Travel-sized or solid options are great for packing light and complying with airline restrictions.

Essentials for Toddlers and Kids

  • Diapers and wipes
  • Swim diapers
  • Sippy cups
  • Kid-friendly sunscreen
  • Life jackets or puddle jumpers
  • Baby powder (for removing sand easily)
Diapers and wipes

If you have a little one still in diapers, be sure to pack enough diapers and wipes for the trip. It’s also a good idea to bring a few extra, just in case.

Swim diapers

Swim diapers are essential for toddlers who aren’t potty trained yet. They prevent accidents in the water and keep the pool or ocean clean for everyone.

Sippy cups

Sippy cups are great for preventing spills, especially when you’re on the go. Bring a few for your little ones to use during the trip.

Kid-friendly sunscreen

Pack a sunscreen specifically formulated for kids, as their skin is more sensitive than adults’, of course. Look for options with broad-spectrum protection and a high SPF.

Life jackets or puddle jumpers

Safety is crucial when it comes to water activities. Bring life jackets or puddle jumpers for young children who aren’t strong swimmers yet.

Baby powder

Baby powder is a lifesaver for removing sand from your little ones’ skin easily and painlessly. Just sprinkle some on their sandy hands, feet, or other areas, and the sand will come right off. No more tears or fussing when it’s time to leave the beach!

Packing Tips for a Beach Trip

  • Use packing cubes
  • Roll your clothes
  • Pack a laundry bag
  • Keep essentials easily accessible
Use packing cubes
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Packing cubes are a game-changer for organizing your luggage. They help you keep similar items together and make unpacking a breeze. I like to use one for each family member’s clothes and another for toiletries and miscellaneous items.

Roll your clothes

Rolling your clothes instead of folding them can save space in your luggage and reduce wrinkles. Plus, it’s easier to find items without making a mess of your suitcase.

Pack a laundry bag

Bringing a laundry bag to keep dirty clothes separate from clean ones is super helpful. It makes unpacking and doing laundry when you get home much easier.

Keep essentials easily accessible

Be sure to pack your essentials, like passports, IDs, and travel documents, in an easily accessible place, like a front pocket or a separate pouch. This will save you time and stress when you need them.

And there you have it! Your complete packing list for a one-week family beach trip. With these items in tow, you’ll be prepared for a fantastic, stress-free vacation. Now go soak up the sun, splash in the waves, and create lasting memories with your family!