The Ultimate Family Beach Vacation Packing List

So you’ve planned a fantastic vacation on the beach to spend time with the whole family, finding the absolute perfect destination and hotel. Now all you need to do is pack, and hit the road! Make sure you don’t forget anything with this helpful family beach vacation packing list.

Photo: Maksym Topchii
Photo: Maksym Topchii

1. Essentials

You won’t get far without passports, plane tickets, boarding passes, credit cards, cash, driver’s licenses, travel itinerary, map or directions (just in case), insurance cards, travel insurance, and a phone. Don’t forget hygienic essentials as well. Toothbrushes, toothpaste, bath gel, shampoo, deodorant, hairbrushes, lotion, razor, make up, nail clippers, etc. can all be bought at convenience stores if you forget too.

2. First aid kit

With so many fun activities, accidents can happen. Things for sunburns, cuts, splinters, or bug bites are conducive when you’re spending a lot of time outdoors. Also, Desitin can be used if the kids get any type of body rashes from boogie boarding or playing in the sand.

3. Clothing for the entire family

Make sure you have enough clothing for everyone. Two outfits per day is the rule-of-thumb for toddlers in case of messes. Pack each kid’s outfit in a Ziploc bag to optimize space, make sure you haven’t forgotten anything, and make getting dressed a little easier. The bags then are convenient for keeping beach treasures or keeping wet clothes apart from anything you don’t want getting wet. Rolling clothes up before packing them reduces wrinkles and saves space as well.

4. Warm clothes

Sometimes the weather doesn’t agree with our plans, and even though the weather is warm while the sun is out, sometimes it gets breezy at night on the beach. Bring along some warm clothes just in case. Even just having a sweater and pair of jeans for everyone is convenient if the plane is chilly as well.

5. Two swimsuits each

Having at least two swimsuits for everyone will make the trip so much more fantastic! Sometimes suits don’t always dry all the way overnight, and if it gets a little chilly in the evening, you’ll be glad the kids have a spare. Leave one out to dry while wearing the other to stay warm while you continue to play in the water.

6. Sun essentials

Don’t forget everything you need to enjoy your time in the sun! You’ll need kid-friendly sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hats, beach sandals, swim diapers, lip balm with an SPF, bottles of water, swim vests, and anything else you may need.

7. Towel

While hotels provide towels both designated for the beach and for bath time, bringing your own spare towel could be helpful. You never know when your towel will get soaked, covered in sand, or when you just need a backup.

8. Flat bed sheet

If luggage space is an issue, taking a flat bed sheet instead of a towel could come in handy. They’re lighter, bigger, and take up less packing space. There are also some sand-free mats out there that allow sand to pass through, but not come back up that are perfect for beach days!

9. Beach toys

With fun in the sun, toys like inflatable beach balls, Frisbees, dumper or digger trucks, bath toys, and really anything small and portable is opportune to keep the kids entertained carrying around sand or playing in the water. Don’t forget things like books or magazines for mom and dad as well!

10. Ice cream containers

Upcycle old ice cream containers to haul snacks while flying, and at the beach to create the perfect sandcastle! You can even fill them with clean water to rinse off the sand before snuggling up in a cozy chair together.

11. Beach friendly carrier

Since strollers don’t really work well on sand and usually just end up being used to carry around toys and towels instead, try a baby carrier instead for long walks on the beach with a baby.

12. Baby powder

Sand gets everywhere! Take a container of baby powder to the beach with you to help dry away the sand stuck to you, and perhaps not carry it all the way back home. Corn starch works too.

13. Indoor activities

You never know when it might rain, when the kids will get antsy while they wait for you to get dressed, or if they’ll become bored after the sun goes down. Bring along some board games, coloring books and markers, play dough, books, or a deck of cards to keep everyone entertained while they can’t be outside.

14. Disinfecting cleaning wipes

With kids around, you never know what they’ll get in to. Be prepared while you’re on the go by taking some disinfecting wipes along to clean up unruly messes no matter where you are.

15. Camera

An absolute must to capture all the fun memories! Get some photos of the kids playing in the sand, mom and dad on the beach during sunset, and the whole family together having a good time. You can even take along a waterproof disposable camera to get some awesome underwater shots!

And that’s our ultimate family beach vacation packing list

Once you’ve made sure you’ve got everything you need from the ultimate family beach vacation packing list, sit back, relax, and get ready for the vacation of a life time! Don’t worry if you’ve missed anything, most items on this list can be bought or replaced just about anywhere.

Planning a beach vacation for your family? Be sure to check out this list so you don't forget a thing!

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