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What are Some Things I Should Include on a Beach Vacation Packing List?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 25 November 2016
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A beach vacation may take place at many different beaches with lots of different climates. Some vacations are taken at beautiful resorts on white sandy beaches, and you may need very little in the way of accessories, beach toys, or even towels. Other people vacation at beaches that are more changeable in weather and where they’ll have to bring pretty much everything they need to make several days stay at the beach fun. Thus a beach vacation packing list can be variable and depend on where you’re traveling.

There are a few things a your packing list should include no matter where you’re going. They include the following:

  • Hats
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Swimsuits
  • Coverup clothing for changes in temperature
  • Small first aid kit
  • Tote bag for carrying essentials
  • Water
  • Cellphone
  • Two pairs of shoes for each person
  • Camera

Other things in a beach vacation packing list that you probably should include are:

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  • Several pairs of extra underwear
  • Waterproof shoes
  • Entertainment, like books, crossword puzzles or Sudoku puzzles
  • Two to three pairs of shorts for each person, and several days’ changes of clothing
  • A light or heavy jacket depending upon weather expectations
  • Radio or MP3 player
  • Extra Towels
  • Beach blanket or chairs
  • Beach toys like buckets or beach balls
  • Good shoes for long walks on beaches
  • Snacks
  • Life jackets for uncertain swimmers
  • Snorkel or scuba gear
  • Boogie boards or surf boards

When you figure out what clothing should make your beach vacation packing list, consider the kind of options you’ll have to wash dirty clothing. If you’re flying, you naturally want to keep packing to a minimum, but be sure you’ll have access to a Laundromat or laundry services when you decide what to bring. Remember that beaches are notoriously dirty, and you can expect to have wet and dirty clothes as a result. This means you may need up to two changes of clothing per day, unless you want to spend part of every day washing clothes or arranging to get them cleaned.

Depending on where you’re going, certain things may be widely available. If you can rent or have access to things like life jackets or boogie boards, there’s no reason to pack them. If your hotel provides towels, don’t bother bringing them. Some beaches have snack bars, which means you can omit bringing water or snacks unless you want to save a little money.

You can summarize what you might need to include in a beach vacation packing list by looking at your needs on the beach. You will need sun protection, something to do some of the time, adequate clothing for weather and beach activities, proper foot attire so you minimize potential foot injuries, proper clothing for weather and dirty beach conditions, and some emergency supplies in case anyone gets injured. It also helps to have things like cameras since it’s great to get candid shots of family or take fantastic pictures of ocean views and you should bring a beach blanket or towels to sit on, at the minimum.

Don’t forget you may not be on the beach exclusively. If you’re staying at a resort, plan to bring some nice clothing for dinners out or evening entertainment. You might want to bring one or two “nice” changes of clothes for special events and depending on the length of your stay. Don’t forget to bring other needed things like identification, insurance information, and some money for spending.

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Discuss this Article

SauteePan
Post 5

Sunshine31- That's a good idea. I wanted to add that although you could rent a boogie board and other beach toys like that, I would rather bring my own when packing for a trip.

I usually have a separate bag just for beach toys. If you're traveling in your car to your beach destination than it might not be a problem to bring additional toys with you.

It is also a good idea to pack a few of your children's favorite toys because no matter how fun-filled a vacation is, the child will experience periods of boredom from time to time. This can help you avoid sibling fighting that results when kids get bored.

sunshine31
Post 4

Cafe41-When I do my suitcase packing, I start with the toiletries first. There's always something I forge,t which is why I go there first.

I have a small bag where I include all of the razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, first aid kit, conditioner, hair styling products, and a brush.

I start by listing everything that I need and checking it off as I pack the item. I've had too many trips where I have forgotten some of these items, so I don’t want that to happen again.

cafe41
Post 3

SurfNturf- One of the most important things on a family beach vacation packing list is sunscreen. Sunscreen is essential because the sun is very strong in the summer. Consider buying rash guard swimsuits to pack for your vacation.

These swimsuits are light and airy and provide a sun protection factor of 50. They can also double for casual attire too as many of these swimsuits have long sleeves with long shorts. This can save you space in your suitcase, if you want to pack lighter.

surfNturf
Post 2

ValleyFiah- I would love to go to Hawaii. It really sounds like a lot of fun. A great travel packing tip is to pack a week before your vacation.

This allows ample time to get everything that you need in a suitcase without forgetting the last-minute items.

You should create a packing list for the trip and on your travel packing list you should include at least two outfits per day based on the activities. For example, you might want to pack beach clothing for the morning and a more casual outfit for the afternoon. A second set of outfits per day is suggested in case the other outfit get soiled or dirty.

ValleyFiah
Post 1

If you’re going to camp on a beach you may want to bring a tent; unless you're staying in a lean-to. You should also consider bringing food appropriate for your trip. Fishing poles and tackle are also good things to consider bringing.

I have camped on the beaches of Hawaii many times, and some of the things that we brought were plenty of shorts, a few of coolers full of drinks, a couple boxes of dry goods, and water for cooking and drinking (if it isn't readily available at the beach). We would also bring a couple of tarps to make shade, a camp stove if we weren't building a fire pit, and appropriate cutlery and silverware. We would stay

for a few days to a week; surfing all day, and eating mostly fresh seafood that we caught ourselves. A camping trip to the beach can be the best cheap vacations you will ever take. Just be sure to leave the beaches cleaner than when you arrived.

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