If you are planning a family trip to the beach, you need to check out this list of essentials that you should pack for your trip. We’re sharing exactly what to take to the beach for the whole family.
Preparing for the Sand, Water, and Sun
When you are planning for a trip to the beach, you need to start by preparing for the sand, the water, and the sun.
It’s hard for some people to walk across the sand, especially when it’s hot, so you’ll need to bring protection for your feet in the form of sand or water shoes.
You can bring tents or umbrellas for protection from the sun, in addition to sun hats and lots and lots of sunscreen.
A single day at the beach requires a lot of sunscreen.
Plan on reapplying sunscreen every 2 hours and more often if you are in the water or if you’re sweating.
This is also dependent on the type and brand of sunscreen that you are using so be sure to check the container for exact application directions.
My personal motto is “If your skin feels hot, it’s time to reapply.”
It’s so important to protect your skin so don’t take any chances.
Bring more sunscreen than you need and/or protect your skin in other ways, like sun shielding clothing, sun hats, and shady spots.
Young and Old
A beach vacation is great for the whole family, from the toddlers to the grandparents and everyone in between.
Give the grandparents a comfortable chair and they will sit and watch the youngsters play in the sand and the water.
If you have young children, check out our list of clever beach toys for little kids.
We have some genius ideas to keep toddlers entertained.
You can bring an adjustable beach chair or a lounge chair for each person.
Pack a sand-free blanket or two and plenty of beach towels in your bag.
Speaking of your bag, make sure it is a full mesh bag. The sand will fall right out of the mesh and will not end up in your car or house.
Just a few hard taps on a hard surface will allow the sand to fall out very easily.
Bring water bottles or beverages for the family. I always carry my refillable insulated water bottle to the beach.
A collapsible ice chest is a great option if you need to save space in the car.
It also doubles as a picnic basket or a snack bag.
Bring The Party With You
The beach is a great place to interact and get out and play with family and friends.
Bring a collection of balls and frisbees so that everyone can play at the same time.
Older kids and adults especially enjoy tossing a football or kicking a ball around with others.
You can get the entire family involved in kite flying or building a sandcastle or just digging a giant hole.
There are so many ways to have fun in the sand and the surf.
Bring your shovels and pails.
Plan to go crab hunting at night.
Bring your fishing poles and baits and catch a big one right along the shores of the ocean.
Be sure to check regulations in the location you’re visiting in case you need a fishing license.
Bring your portable bluetooth speaker and listen to some tunes.
But be mindful of others near you on the beach. Some people want to listen to the waves crashing on the shore and not your music.
Overall, have fun and don’t stress about your trip.
You’re at the beach. It’s going to be a fantastic day!
We also have a great guide on how to feed your family while on vacation.
With the increase in vacation home rentals, it’s becoming much easier to feed a family without breaking the bank and eating out every meal.
Save this Beach Essentials Roundup to your Beach Trip board or your Family Vacation board.
A collapsible cooler is a great option for carrying cold drinks or snacks down to the sand.
When you are not packing it full of all the drinks, you can fold it up and store it away very easily.
The CleverMade products are genius and so versatile. We love to use ours as a picnic basket.
A simple frisbee can be used to play several different types of games on the sand.
You can play catch with your friends or you can play frisbee golf or frisbee bowling.
Try picking up sticks along the beach for your frisbee game.
Kite flying is a great beach activity for the whole family.
The beach usually has plenty of open areas where you could fly a kite without the risk of your kite hitting an electrical line or another obstacle.
You only have to watch out for other beachgoers.
This is an especially fun activity for kids. Children love running with the kites down the sand.
A large mesh beach bag is an essential item for your beach vacation.
Make sure it is designed with mesh even on the bottom of the bag, not one with a cooler attached to the bottom of it.
A full mesh bag will allow the sand to fall out of the bag instead of getting stuck in the lining.
Tap the bag on a hard surface, like a deck or a parking lot, to tap out all the sand from the bag.
An extra-large mesh bag is a must for hauling all the sand toys and beach toys.
It needs to be big enough to hold a few balls, frisbees, digging toys, sand pails, and all the other fun things for the beach.
You can rinse out the toys without taking them out of the bag.
Just hang the bag of toys up for a few minutes to let the water drain out and then you're good to go.
Quick-dry towels are essential for the beach.
Look for towels made of microfiber. They will dry quickly and repel sand.
Microfiber towels are compact and fold up very small so they are easy to pack and won't take up much room in your beach bag.
Folding Beach Chairs are an important item to bring to the beach.
Look for chairs that can recline or change positions for a comfortable seat.
And if you can find comfortable chairs that have a carrying strap, that would be a big plus.
Insulated water bottles are a great way to carry hydration to the beach.
You can find insulated bottles that keep your drink cold for hours, even in the hot sun.
After I take a tip in the ocean, I always need to drink a lot of water so a large water bottle is perfect.
If you like to lay out and get some sun at the beach, you will want a chaise lounge chair.
Look for a folding model that has a rust-resistant steel frame since you will be using the chair near sand and water.
Chairs that can be locked into different positions - reclining or laying flat, feet up or feet down - can make all the difference in your comfort and enjoyment.
It's important to have sun hats for everyone.
It's nearly impossible to apply sunscreen to your scalp or even your hair part or even your hairline so this is where a hat comes in clutch.
You can get sun-protection canvas hats or you can find straw hats.
For windy days, you may want a hat that has a chin strap.
Water shoes are important whether you're walking across the blazing hot sand or playing in the water.
The rocks and shells in the water can be really sharp so look for shoes with a sturdy sole.
Shoes can also help protect your feet from jellyfish or other stinging or pinching animals.
A sand-free beach blanket is great for kids or for adults.
The sand goes right through the blanket so you stay relatively sand-free.
This option is great for kids who are sensitive to the sand.
They can play on this blanket without having to worry about getting sand all over the place.
A waterproof Bluetooth speaker is a great option if you want to play some tunes at the beach.
But be mindful of the other beachgoers around you and make sure your music is not too loud.
Many people come to the beach to relax and enjoy the sound of the waves.
If you are spending all day at the beach, you may need to recharge your phone or power your Bluetooth speaker.
A portable charger is great to stick in your beach bag in case you need to charge your devices.
You never know when you'll need a little extra juice to make your dinner reservations while you're still sitting in the sunshine.
If you are hauling your beach gear, a utility wagon will make the job a lot easier.
You can pile all your bags and tents into the wagon then roll it over to the beach rather than carry it all on your back.
A utility wagon is also a great option to haul little kids.
In a pinch, it can also double as a sleeping spot for babes.
Protect your valuables with a few waterproof dry bags.
You can put your phone in one and your documents in another one.
They will protect your items from both the water and the sand.
Baby powder is the solution to getting sand off of you when are ready to leave the beach.
Sprinkle a little baby powder or cornstarch on your hands, legs, and feet then brush the sand right off.
The powder will soak up any extra moisture and make the sand fall away much easier.
Try sprinkling on the powder then brushing off with a quick-dry towel.
Bring lots of sunscreen! Lots of sunscreen!
Bring more sunscreen than you need and reapply sunscreen more frequently than you think you need.
It is critically important to protect your skin. Make sure you protect your hairline and your part too.
Check the regulations for your travel destination to see if reef-safe sunscreen is rquired.
Older children and adults may enjoy shoreline fishing while they are at the beach.
You'll need a rod and reel for the conditions that you are expecting at your beach destination.
If you are visiting a saltwater location, you can find rods and reels that are specific to that type of fishing.
Check the regulations at your destination to determine if fishing licenses are required for shoreline fishing.
Just like the rods and reels, you can find specific fishing tackle for the location that you are visiting.
You can do some research online to see what type of fish frequent the location then get baits that are targeted to that type of fish.
It's important to do your homework to make sure you know the fishing regulations in the area.
Pop-up tents are a great option to provide shade for your family at the beach.
We have three identical tents that we set up side-by-side for our family when everyone is headed to the beach.
If we have a smaller crowd, we'll use two tents or occasionally only one tent.
They take only minutes to set up and provide a good amount of shade for visiting or relaxing.
An assortment of waterproof balls provides a lot of opportunities for free play at the beach.
Try tossing the balls back and forth or even kicking the balls around.
Kids are great at making up their own games at the beach whether they are in the water or on the sand.
Check out these recipes on GraceLikeRainBlog.com that are perfect for the beach
Instant Pot Pulled Pork
Ultimate Lemon Delight
Fudgy One-Bowl Brownies