Family at the Beach

Family Beach List: What to Pack for a Day at the Beach

Going to the beach for some sun, fun, and relaxation can take some preparation, especially if it’s a family trip to the beach. From sunglasses to flip-flops, life jackets to inner tubes, and beach chairs to books and music, we’ve got your family beach list and what to pack for a day at the beach. Though you may not need every item on our family beach list, check out the essentials, emergency items, and fun beach gear to determine what you’d like to pack for a day at the beach.

Essential Beach Items to Pack 

Beach Towel and Sunglasses

There are some items that are essential to take with you on your family beach trip. Things like your swimsuit, flip-flops, beach towel, and sunscreen might be missed if you got all the way to the beach and realized you didn’t have them. In addition to the sunscreen, provide additional protection for your skin by packing lip balm, aloe, and a baseball cap as well.

Consider packing extra clothes – dry clothes for the ride home, dinner clothes to go to a restaurant, or warm clothes such as sweats for when the sun sets and the air cools. Don’t forget to pack your sunglasses, reading glasses, or your prescription glasses.

A day out in the sun, playing on the beach, requires food and drink and a family beach list wouldn’t be complete without some kind of snack. Choose your favorite snacks that travel well and pack single servings so they’re ready to grab and go. But don’t forget to bring plenty of water or other thirst-quenching drinks to keep you hydrated. (Be sure to check out our list of the Best Beach Coolers to keep your food and drink from being spoiled by the hot sun.) Consider packing paper or plastic goods – plates, bowls, cups, and utensils, as well as paper towels or napkins.

Other essential items to consider for your family beach list include:

  • Keys, phone, purse, or wallet
  • Wide hat, bandana, or scarf
  • Beach shoes, sandals, or sneakers
  • Hand, foot, or body cream
  • Medications
  • Hair scrunchies, hair brush, headbands, or hair clips
  • Plastic bags such as sandwich or gallon bags
  • Trash bags
  • Hand wipes or hand towels

Emergency Items for the Beach

No one wants an emergency, but being prepared for one is important. When you’re thinking about what to pack for a day at the beach, add cash to your family beach list – you never know when you may need quick access to it! Stash an extra set of house and car keys, as well as a cell phone. Whether you hide these items on your person or in your vehicle, they’re good to have with you just in case.

Pack a complete first-aid kit; double-check your kit to be sure it has all the necessary items, such as band-aids, bandages, aspirin, gauze, neosporin, and antiseptic wipes. Bring along an emergency contact list in case you need to reach out to someone for help. Don’t forget to keep some emergency phone numbers nearby, such as your healthcare provider or pediatrician.

Other emergency items to consider for your family beach list include:

  • Bug spray and ointment
  • Life jackets, floaties, or other floating device
  • Blanket
  • Bandages and wraps
  • Aloe vera gel or cream
  • Burn salve

Beach Gear to Pack

Beach Bag & Flip-flops

A day at the beach requires beach gear, of course. One of the top items for your family beach list is a beach bag, tote bag, or other large carry bag. How else are you going to carry your beach items, but in a large beach tote bag? Consider bringing more than one. Don’t forget to put your food and drinks in a convenient, easy-to-carry cooler, along with some ice packs to keep it all chilled.

Keep your family entertained when you’re at the beach. When creating your family beach list consider adding books, magazines, coloring books, music, and sports balls such as a football, soccer ball, or volleyball. Throw around a frisbee, play bocce ball, or fly a kite. Take along a beach ball, pail, and mini shovels for the little ones. What’s a day at the beach without going in the water? Don’t forget to bring a raft, inner tube, or boogie board for the waves.

Other beach gear to pack for a day at the beach includes:

  • Beach chairs or loungers
  • Small folding table
  • Portable wagon
  • Snorkels and flippers
  • Swim goggles or mask

Whether you go to the beach all the time or not, it’s easy to forget that one important item. Be ready for your day at the beach and keep our family beach list handy so you can pack in a moment’s notice. That way, when you get there, all you have to do is enjoy the rays, surf, and have good times with your family.