Beach trips are some of the best experiences you can have anywhere. The thought of running barefoot on the sand with the sun on your face and the wind in your hair is just uplifting.
You get to capture fun moments that’ll go down as treasured memories.
Basically, nothing should have the chance to ruin our carefree beach getaways.
But sadly, failing to prepare can do just that.
Which brings us to packing …
In this guide, we’ll give you the ultimate beach packing list to ensure that nothing ruins your trip.
Things to Consider When Planning Your Beach Trip
First things first — there are four things you need to keep in mind when planning your beach trip.
These factors will determine which items go on your packing list:
The location of the beach and whether or not it’s accessible is crucial for many reasons, especially safety.
Length of Trip
How long you’re going to stay at the beach certainly affects the decision on what to pack.
People on the Trip
The number of people on the trip (and their ages) determines what and how much to pack.
Some days are super hot, but others are on the chillier side. Check the forecast and pack accordingly.
The Ultimate Beach Trip Packing List
Okay, let’s go ahead and list the best items to take with you on the trip to the beach.
1. Clothes and Accessories
There’s a difference between a vacation at a beach resort and a short trip to your local beach.
For the latter, you won’t need to pack quite as much. Still, you’re going to need at least one change of clothes once you get there.
If it’s a short overnight trip with friends or family that’ll involve a bit of partying or beach volleyball, you should pack different types of clothes and shoes.
You may also need blankets, loose clothes, hats, towels, and sandals.
You should probably bring something to eat, even if it’s a short trip to your local beach. The activities can be exhausting, and you’ll surely get hungry.
You’ll need to pack enough food for everyone on the trip. Pack beverages, too, and make sure to store them in something that keeps them cold.
If you have kids, bring snacks. If you have a dog, bring treats.
You’ll need a backpack or tote bag to carry your stuff to the beach. You can put your towels, extra clothing, and any food that doesn’t need to be refrigerated in there.
For water and other beverages that need to stay cool, carry them inside a cooler.
This is essential, even if you’re only going to the beach for a day.
Sure, you’re on a fun and carefree getaway, but your skin doesn’t take the day off. You’ll still be exposed to UV rays and therefore at risk of skin cancer.
A broad-spectrum sunscreen cream will help to keep you safe all day long.
You’ll need to pack toothpaste and toothbrushes for everyone. If you’re trying to pack as lightly as possible, you can always share things like soap, shampoo, and a hairbrush.
Depending on how long you plan to stay, you may want to bring some other toiletries:
- Makeup kit
- Tissue rolls
- Face wipes
- Shaving kit
6. First Aid Kit
It’s important to carry a first aid kit. Not that you’ll need it, but it’ll be a godsend in case you do.
Your health is important wherever you go, so make sure to throw your meds, vitamins, and other safety items in the kit.
7. Beach Gear
You can’t forget beach gear! These are items meant specifically for the activities at the beach.
If your little ones are going to swim, bring safety jackets and inflatable floats. You may also want to bring:
- Beach chairs
- Beach towels
- Beach toys
- Beach umbrella
Note: Keep a list of the things you can rent to reduce your luggage.
You might plan to unplug for the day and leave the laptop at home. Or, you might want to do some work in your beach chair.
Whatever the case, make a list of electronics you want to bring. This might include cameras, laptops, tablets, or gaming consoles.
And don’t forget your chargers! It’d be a shame to drag your electronics all the way to the beach, only to realize you couldn’t use them.
9. Legal Documents
It’s easy to get carried away in the activity and forget to pack important documents like a driver’s license or passport. You might also need a pass to access the beach or a parking permit to leave your car in the parking lot.
Make sure to pack your kids’ documents, too. Depending on where you live and where you’re headed, you may need to bring their passport, birth certificate, or any number of other things.
You may think you won’t need it, but you never know for sure.
Even if you’re only going to the beach for a few hours, it’s always good to bring some cash. And when you’re focused on packing everything else on this list, it’s pretty easy to forget.
Our advice is, carry some money, whether it’s cash or credit cards. If a medical emergency happens or your car breaks down, it’ll be good to have a couple bucks on you.
Here’s the most important tip I can offer:
Don’t let the pressure of packing ruin your good time.
Hopefully, you’ll find this list as you prepare for your beach trip.
You’ll be enjoying the fun and sun before you know it!
Caitlin Sinclair is the property manager at Cielo at Little Italy. With five years of property management experience and many more in customer service, she has a passion for her community and looks forward to making Cielo at Little Italy the place to call home.