It can be difficult to remember everything for everyone when you’re heading on holiday or for a nice day out at the seaside. That’s why I’ve made this beach packing list for a family with everything you need in one checklist.
If you’re planning a trip to the beach with your family and need to make sure you’ve got all bases covered then look no further than this handy beach packing list I’ve put together for you.
From creating shaded oases to making sure the fun never stops, packing for a family beach day can be a breeze with the right essentials. Whether you’re a beach pro or just dipping your toes in the sand for the first time, this article has my very best tips to make sure your day is a sun-soaked success.
25 items to take with you to the beach for a family day out
If you’re trying to wrangle all the necessities together to spend the perfect family day by the sea, use my beach packing list for a family as a useful checklist.
1. Beach bag
Firstly, I know it sounds obvious, make sure you have a beach bag that’s roomy and tough, with lots of pockets to keep things organised.
Look for a bag made of water-resistant or mesh material so you can easily shake off any sand. One which has zippable closure is a smart choice to keep your stuff safe and sound during your beach day adventures!
We all want to stay safe in the sun and also want to avoid that horrible sunburned feeling so make sure you pack lots of sunscreen for you and the family. For the best sun protection, go for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to shield your skin well. Make life easier for yourself by bringing both spray and lotion forms.
Also, If you know you or your children will be going swimming, opt for water-resistant sunscreen to ensure lasting coverage even in the water. Don’t forget to reapply every few hours!
When it comes to sun protection, wide-brimmed hats are a great choice as they offer better coverage for the face and neck. This is especially important for children, so consider sun hats with adjustable straps to keep them securely in place.
You can also add fashionable twists by choosing from trilbies, fedoras, baseball caps and more!
Sunglasses are simply a must. I even pack a few back up and replacement pairs due to them being so easy to be left behind at a cafe, or sat on whilst at the beach! You don’t want to be without sunglasses on your trip.
Also, it’s another great way to show off your personality; multiple styles and varieties are available to make your holiday photographs look extra stylish. Prioritise sunglasses with UV protection to effectively shield your eyes from harmful rays and also if you regularly wear reading glasses then perhaps buy sunglasses with lenses in too! No need to forgo your clear eyesight for sun protection when you can have both.
Kids sunglasses are also available with adjustable straps to ensure they don’t fall off or get lost, which is a godsend as kids can get over excited amongst all the holiday fun!
Swimwear is essential when making your beach packing list! First tip is to make sure to pack multiple pieces of swimwear for every family member.
For an extra layer of sun protection, especially for the kids, think about throwing in some full body swimsuits and even flotation jackets.
6. Beach towels
Don’t forget to toss in those oversized, super-absorbent towels for drying off and lounging in style at the beach. You can even add a bit of fun to proceedings, consider giving specific towel colours or patterns to each family member.
Make sure to bring enough of those comfy towels so that there’s always a dry one when others are wet, add a touch of personalisation, and make your beach day both cosy and hassle-free!
7. Beach blanket or mat
Pack a beach blanket or mat to help secure you a spot on the beach where you sit, sunbathe, eat, drink and relax.
Pick a lightweight option that’s comfy seating for your beach day. Make life easier for yourself by choosing one that is easily foldable or rolls-up, ensuring easy transport and hassle-free setup. This way, you can create a cosy beach spot wherever you go, making relaxation a breeze.
8. Water bottles
Staying hydrated in the sun is very important which makes reusable water bottles a great idea for your beach packing list. For an extra cool touch, bring insulated bottles that will keep your beverages cold, even in the heat of the day.
Bringing a reusable water bottle will also save money on buying multiple drinks from shops and bars so it is a double-whammy of benefits!
9. Cool boxes
If a grand day out is more your style, bring along a cooler with space to accommodate drinks, snacks, and any food you might bring along. They come in various sizes depending on the size of the feast you are wanting to bring and including ice packs inside is a good idea to help maintain the cold temperature inside. Save money and always have snacks on hand, put a cooler on your beach packing list!
10. Light clothing
When it comes to dressing for a beach day, make sure to pack a few extra lightweight clothing options for each family member. You may also want to throw a shawl into the mix to cover up any bare shoulders, just to help catch a breeze or to cover up when needing to pop into a local shop without having to get fully changed.
A sarong is another similar option. Opt for light-coloured clothing as it not only adds a summery touch to your beach look but also reflects sunlight, keeping you cooler. Add light-weight clothing to your beach packing list to stay stylish but also ensure everyone stays comfortable and cool under the sun.
11. Flip flops
Flip-flops are the quintessential holiday footwear and for good reason. Easily packable and portable with an airy design make them perfect for warm, sandy beaches or casual holiday strolls. Don’t forget to put them on your beach packing list.
12. Change of clothes
Having a fresh set of clothes on hand will help cover all bases and mean you’re ready for whatever adventures come your way. Especially when travelling with a young family, you never know what thrills and spills may occur so it’s wise to pack extras for both you and the kids.
Pack a light jacket too just in case the summer sun decides to take a dip and the cool breeze arrives early!
13. Sand toys
No beach packing list would be complete without a variety of sand toys to add to the fun. From buckets and shovels to moulds, these beach essentials provide endless opportunities playing in the sand. Building sandcastles, digging moats and making memories are what beach holidays with a family are all about.
With the right selection of sand toys, your little ones can turn the beach into their own playground for hours.
14. Beach ball
Grab a beach ball for some classic, family-friendly fun in the sun. Easy to pack and transport due to the fact it can be deflated after the day is over makes it a great idea for a beach packing list for a family (and it’s always a laugh to take turns trying to blow the beach ball up).
Whether you’re playing catch, volleyball, or creating your own beach game tradition, this simple toy is bound to bring laughter and entertainment to your day at the beach.
15. Frisbee or beach bat
Inexpensive and easy to pack are two qualities I like on a beach packing list. You can easily pick them up from Decathalon or other stores.
Putting a Frisbee or beach bat and ball into your bag for some simple entertainment that guarantees active family fun is wonderful.
Games are perfect for adding an extra dose of energy to your beach day. Especially if you’re hoping for a good night’s sleep at the end of it all.
A frisbee can also be fun if you’re packing for a winter holiday – they’re fun in the snow!
16. Armbands and floats
If you’re heading to the beach little ones, don’t forget to pack armbands or other floatation devices for the kids. These water-safety essentials not only provide an added layer of security but also add to the fun of the day.
Perfect for building confidence in the waves or just floating around with a smile on their face, armbands help everyone feel more relaxed when at the beach so get them on your beach packing list. As you pack the sunscreen and sand toys, remember to throw in these trusty armbands too – your ticket to a worry-free and joy-filled beach day for the whole family!
17. Beach chairs
If you love the beach climate and atmosphere but laying on the sand isn’t for you then add the ultimate beachside relaxation to your beach packing list in the form of beach chairs – the portable kind with built-in cup holders, of course!
These convenient little luxuries are your ticket to a leisurely day by the sea. Choose the most lightweight and foldable chairs to make transportation as easy as possible. So if you have more room than just a beach bag for essentials then beach chairs are a great idea.
18. Beach umbrella
Make sure to include a beach umbrella on your beach packing list for some crucial shade during the sunniest hours. This item is a game-changer when it comes to staying cool and protected from the sun.
Perfect for keeping the family out of the sun during its hottest moments and a lovely place to lie back with an ice cream, a beach umbrella can provide a shaded oasis to retreat to when the heat kicks in.
19. First aid kit
Keep your beach trip worry free by adding a little travel first aid kit to your beach packing list. Fill it with a few essentials like plasters, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers to handle minor bumps and scrapes.
Also, remember to pack any necessary prescription medications you might need throughout the trip. Now you will be free to enjoy the sun, sand, and sea with the peace of mind that you’re equipped to handle any minor mishaps.
Essential if you’re planning a weekend away with your baby.
20. Rubbish bags
Whether it is food wrappers, drinks cartons, baby wipes, and a plethora of other items, it’s always handy to have a small bag for rubbish with you so you can dispose of all unwanted items, keep the beach clean and dispose of it all conveniently afterwards.
You don’t want to be chasing an ice-cream wrapper down the beach! It’s handy to have rubbish bags to hand to solve that issue so add some to your beach packing list.
21. Baby wipes
As I’m sure you’re well aware, baby wipes can solve all manners of problems when you’re travelling with a family and so they are a must for your beach packing list.
These versatile wipes are perfect for quick clean-ups, especially when dealing with sandy fingers or sticky ice cream moments, making them a lifesaver for families. Easily tackle any unexpected messes and keep the whole family feeling fresh and comfortable throughout your day by the sea.
22. Snorkelling gear
If you’re gearing up for some underwater exploration, make sure to pack your snorkelling gear. You don’t need to bring every accessory possible but you may want to include masks, snorkels, and fins to add to the wonders of any seaside adventures.
23. Insect repellent
Guard against pesky insects, especially as the evening sets in, by bringing along insect repellent for your beach outing. Nobody wants to have irritating or itchy bites to contend with while trying to relax at the beach.
Quick and easy to pack and spray on, you can enjoy the beach without the unwelcome company of mosquitoes so make sure you have some on your beach packing list.
24. Books or e-readers
Whether you prefer the tangible feel of a book or the convenience of an e-reader, having some reading material is a perfect way to unwind on the beach. You could even download some audiobooks to have the benefit of being entertained without having to hold a book whilst tanning.
With your favourite reads lined up, you can lie back and relax and let the stories wash over you. That or take an iPad for when you just need a few mins to keep the kids entertained…
25. Bluetooth speaker
If you are after more of a party vibe at the beach then add a Bluetooth speaker to your beach packing list for your family beach day. Make your own playlist to soundtrack your sunshine and good times.
What to take to the beach for the whole family?
From sunscreen to swimwear, from books to bluetooth speakers, this beach packing list for a family covers all bases to make sure you don’t forget any essentials for your trip. You want to be focused on having fun and making memories and all the items on the list above will certainly help you do that. Get packing and having a wonderful family outing to the beach!
Beach packing list for a family quicklist
- Beach bag
- Beach towels
- Beach blanket or mat
- Water bottles
- Cool boxes
- Light clothing
- Flip flops
- Change of clothes
- Sand toys
- Beach ball
- Frisbee or beach bat
- Armbands and floats
- Beach chairs
- Beach umbrella
- First aid kit
- Rubbish bags
- Baby wipes
- Snorkelling gear
- Insect repellent
- Books or e-readers
- Bluetooth speaker
How do I prepare for a family beach trip?
Preparing for a family beach trip requires a bit of planning to ensure everyone has a fun time. Firstly, consider the needs of each family member, particularly if you’re travelling with children or elderly relatives. Sun protection is paramount, so pack plenty of high SPF sunscreen, hats, and UV-protective clothing. It’s also wise to bring a first-aid kit for any minor scrapes or stings.
What do I need to pack for toddlers at the beach?
When it comes to packing for toddlers at the beach, focus on their comfort and safety. Alongside the essentials like swimwear, a sun hat, and baby-friendly sunscreen, it’s a good idea to bring along some familiar toys too.
How much should I pack for a 7 day beach trip?
For a 7-day beach trip, striking the right balance in your packing is key. You’ll need enough clothing for the week, including swimwear, evening outfits, and a light jacket or cardigan for cooler evenings. For beach-specific items, consider beach towels, a beach umbrella, and any sports or water activity gear you enjoy.