• Jonathan Desai

The Essential Beach Vacation Checklist

A trip to the beach is one of the quintessential family vacations. From the Atlantic to the Pacific, it is a popular vacation choice that creates long-lasting memories for friends and family. However, before you head to your seaside retreat, it is important to pack everything you need to enjoy the trip.

If you’re headed to the beach for multiple days, it can become a balancing act packing clothing and toiletries with all the items you need to enjoy the sun, sand, and surf. But by following this checklist, you’ll be ready to shore up everything you need to enjoy your waterfront escape.







Clothing and essentials The most important piece of clothing for a beach trip is your swimwear. Instead of packing a swimsuit for each day of your trip, limit yourself to two at most. This allows you to rotate and always have dry swimwear for a dip in the ocean or your hotel’s pool. For the trip home, pack sealable plastic bags so the moist clothing doesn’t make your entire suitcase wet. A dry bag is another good option for storing wet clothes; while they are typically used to keep water from getting into the sack, dry bags are great at keeping moisture in. While you may consider a trip to the beach a warm-weather vacation, the ocean breeze can cause temperatures to drop at night. Pack a sweatshirt, a light jacket, or a shawl for the evenings to keep you warm while walking the boardwalk or relaxing by a bonfire. Sometimes your luggage can get a little musty when you’re traveling, especially if you’re transporting damp clothing. To keep odors from dirty clothes at bay, make sure to pack a dryer sheet or a bar of scented soap in a sock to keep your luggage smelling fresh. Don’t forget to pack:

  • Swimwear

  • One casual outfit per day

  • One dressy outfit

  • Sweatshirt, jacket, or shawl

  • Socks

  • Underwear

  • Sleepwear

  • Belt

  • Sunglasses

  • Shoes

  • Sandals/flip-flops

  • Water shoes

  • Hat

  • Jewelry

  • Cash

  • Credit cards

  • Cell phone

  • Insurance cards

  • Identification

  • List of emergency contacts

  • Electronic chargers

  • Tablet/laptop





Toiletries and medication Sunscreen is a must-have item for any trip outdoors, but it is especially important for the beach, as you’ll likely be relax in the sun for hours at a time. Try to apply sunscreen before heading to the beach. And, as a refreshing experience, store your sunscreen in your cooler. This way reapplying sunscreen will be less of a chore and more of a way to cool down. Follow these summer sun safety tips to keep your loved ones protected while lounging on the beach. Don’t forget the baby powder! This bathroom staple is particularly helpful when trying to remove sand from stubborn areas when leaving the beach for the day. Baby powder removes moisture from your skin, and the sand will fall right off when it’s applied. The combination of sun, heat, and saltwater can dry your lips out, so make sure you bring a lip balm with SPF. Don’t forget to pack:

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss

  • Sunscreen

  • Aloe vera/after-sun cream

  • Insect repellent

  • Prescriptions

  • Deodorant

  • Shampoo and conditioner

  • Baby powder

  • Comb or brush

  • Hair ties

  • Hairstyling products

  • Soap and facewash

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Baby wipes

  • Makeup

  • Razor and shaving cream

  • Lotion

  • Nail clippers

  • Personal hygiene supplies

  • Lip balm

  • Travel first aid kit

  • Vitamins

  • Pain relievers

  • Cold medicine





Beach gear If you’re looking for somewhere to store valuables while at the beach, clean out an empty sun screen bottle, and keep important items inside it. This will allow your family or friends to enjoy the water together while your money, keys, and cell phones will be out of sight from other beach visitors. Pack a yoga mat instead of a blanket to increase your comfort when lounging on the beach. Yoga mats are waterproof and provide more cushioning than a beach towel. Best of all, they roll up, making transportation simple. Don’t forget to bring plenty of snacks and drinks with you to your beach adventures. Instead of loading your cooler with ice packs, try freezing balloons filled with water instead. As they thaw out, your family will have everything you need for an all-out water balloon fight. You can also freeze water bottles to keep items inside your cooler cold, and drink from the bottles as they thaw. If you have children joining you on your beach trip, they will likely want items like shovels, buckets, noodles, and floaties to play with while frolicking on the beach. Instead of breaking your budget and buying these items at the beach, visit a dollar store to stock up on these beach toys.


Don’t forget to pack:

  • Towels

  • Chairs

  • Blankets

  • Beach umbrella

  • Canopy

  • Sand anchor

  • Beach bag

  • Life vest

  • Cooler or insulated bag

  • Waterproof phone case

  • Portable speaker

  • Snorkel gear

  • Beach sports items

  • Water toys

  • Body board

  • Goggles

  • Snacks

  • Plates and utensils

  • Garbage bags


Courtesy of Reminder Media, American Lifestyle

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