The Ultimate Beach Packing List For Your Family – 18 Must Have Items

Beach Packing List For Family

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Family time at the beach can be one of the most rewarding ways to spend a vacation together.

Building sandcastles, spotting dolphins, splashing in the waves, and playing frisbee are just a few of the memories you’ll make while at the beach.

I’ve compiled a family beach vacation packing list to help you make the most of your beach vacation. I hope it helps make the planning easier and the beach trip fantastic!

1 – Beach Bag

With all the things you need to bring to the beach for your family, you’ll want a bag that has several compartments for sunscreen, towels, toys, and more. 

This beach bag has 9 oversized pockets, two waterproof zipper pockets inside for your valuables, and a comfortable shoulder strap.

2 – Beach Cart

This collapsible wagon is a game-changer for families heading to the beach for the day. 

It will fit beach chairs, a cooler, a beach canopy, and beach toys and can be pulled through soft sand. It even has built-in drink holders.

3 – Beach Chairs

The right beach chair can make or break your trip to the beach. It needs to be easy to carry and comfortable.

This beach chair has 9 positions, a cup holder, and slots for your face and arms so you can lie on your stomach comfortably.

4 – Rolling Beach Cooler

A rolling beach cooler has made trips to the beach so much easier for my family.

They’re tall enough to fit several cold drinks, sandwiches, snacks, beer, and wine. And this cooler even folds up for easy storage. It’s amazing how much easier it is to transport all of your food and drinks to the beach with one of these.

5 – Sunscreen

Every beach packing list should include proper sunscreen. Getting sunburned at the beach can happen quickly and is a great way to ruin the rest of your vacation.

This sunscreen provides an SPF of 50, has a Menthol cooling sensation, and is cruelty-free.

6 – Beach Towels

A family trip to the beach should include lightweight, soft, and easy-to-care-for towels.

These Turkish towels are trendy right now because of how soft and absorbent they are. They’re so beautiful; you can even use them as a throw blanket.

Hat tip to my friend Cherisa for clueing me into how awesome these are. 😉

7 – Sand Toys

Building sandcastles and digging for shell treasures will keep your kids entertained for hours while at the beach.

I love that this sand toy collection comes with an awesome carrying bag and includes shovels, molds, buckets, and rakes.

8 – Seashell Collecting Bag

If you’ve been following me for long, you know I LOVE collecting seashells on the beach and identifying them.

This seashell bag makes it easy to stroll along the beach with your hands free while you collect and store seashell treasures.

9 – Polarized Sunglasses

Polarized sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays and cut the glare that comes from the ocean. 

These Dushine sunglasses have a high-quality plastic frame and are of excellent quality for the price. They’re great for use at the beach as well as driving.

10 – Kids Snorkel Mask

If you’re at a beach with water clear enough to snorkel (hello, Okaloosa Island, Florida), you’ll definitely want to bring along a snorkel and mask for the kids, and maybe even one for yourself. 

This amazing one-piece snorkel mask has three separate air channels to ensure you inhale fresh air every time you breathe. This innovative technology makes snorkeling so much easier for kids.

11 – Water Shoes

These water shoes can go from the parking lot to sandy beach to rocky ocean floor. They have an anti-slip rubber sole that protects your feet from sharp objects.

They are ultra-light and dry quickly. They’re ideal for beach trips, kayaking, canoeing, and even snorkeling.

12 – Beach Snacks

Having fun in the sun all day will take a significant amount of snacks and drinks to keep your family fueled.

I love these GoGo Squeez Pouches because sandy hands can hold them without getting sand in them. They come in delicious apple, apple-strawberry, and apple-cinnamon flavors

13 – Beach Toys

Playing frisbee at the beach is fun for kids and adults alike, but this Toss and Catch Ball Set is easier for toddlers and younger children.

This set includes 2 soft balls and a carry case. It helps increase hand-eye coordination and strengthens arm muscles.

14 – Bocce Set

Bocce is the perfect game to play at the beach. Even small children can join in. All you have to be able to do is throw a ball.

This Bocce set is a great price for the quality and comes with a durable canvas carrying case to protect the balls no matter where you take them.

15 – Beach Canopy Tent

Spending hours in the sun can take a toll on your skin. Having a nice place to cool in the shade while enjoying the views will make your day more enjoyable.

This beach canopy by Akaso gets high ratings because it’s durable and lightweight while providing a large area of shade. It’s also easy to set up.

16 – Underwater Camera

Yisence makes this underwater camera so affordable that many people buy it for their kids to take pictures on beach trips. 

It’s high quality and is waterproof at a depth of 10 feet. It takes pictures and video and is a great choice for snorkeling trips.

17 – Sunburn Pain Relief Lotion

Even if you’re extremely careful about applying sunscreen, it’s still easy to get too much sun while at the beach.

This Sun Bum Cool Down Lotion has Aloe Vera, Vitamin E, and Cocoa Butter to ease your sunburn pain.

Another tip I have for you is to use straight coconut oil. It helps turn a sunburn into a tan and prevents peeling.

18 – Seashell Identification Guide

I’m a huge fan of seashell hunting while at the beach, and I’ve found that when I know the names of shells, it’s makes collecting extremely rewarding. 

This shell identification guide by the Smithsonian is packed with over 500 types of shells with colorful pictures and information. It’s designed to be small enough to transport easily.

Or, jump here to read the shell identification guide I put together for my website. Also, see the button below for a free printable shell identification guide.

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54 Responses

  1. I love your list of beach must-haves. I love the beach bag you show. Having the sides see-through is awesome. We were just on the beach this morning and didn’t have a shell back and we were all carrying them in our hands – not ideal. Tomorrow we will be a bag. So necessary.

    1. I’ve had the experience of trying to carry too many shells by hand. Even having a grocery bag helps.

  2. Brings back memories of when I was a kid and we’d go to the Jersey shore. Everyone else had snacks, chairs, and stuff – and we looked on with envy.
    When my kids were growing up, we loved in New Mexico, so a beach packing list was not something I ever developed!
    Nowadays I go solo, and just need a cloth for the sand, a hat, sunglasses, and a book. And water + beer! Makes me want to go to the beach right now!

    1. It’s so much easier to get to the beach when it’s just yourself! Kids make it exhausting sometimes… 🙂 I love reading about your solo trips.

  3. There’s some great ideas for the beach packing list for family. I have a beach cart that I use at home.

  4. These are the best items to bring on a family beach vacation! It’s the perfect packing list to ensure you don’t forget anything.

    1. I love the seashell bags. Even though they’re supposed to be for kids, I’ve bought a couple for when I go shelling.

  5. Love the beach and these are must have’s for sure! So happy to see you have included a reef safe sun tan lotion option with Sun Bum!

    1. It’s really hard to haul kids and all the stuff to the beach without a good way to carry it.

  6. You’ve got me pumped up to hit the beach! I do have a cooler that I take to the beach, but it gets heavy. Thinking I need to upgrade to a rolling beach cooler!

    1. I can’t tell you how much I love the rolling cooler. You can take it so many places like soccer games, to the park, etc.

  7. This is an awesome beach packing list! I especially love the sea shell guide and sheel bag! The canopy looks like a great option for shade.

    1. Warning! Once you get a seashell guide, you will seriously get so addicted to collecting shells. 🙂

    1. I didn’t include it in the post, but you can get a net with a long handle for finding shells in the ocean so you don’t have to get wet. Your son might love that.

  8. Great tips! I love that collapsible beach cart. That would come in handy for the beach, camping, and a lot of other things! Thanks for the suggestions.

    1. I love that the cart is collapsible because some ferries in North Carolina won’t let you bring one on unless it’s collapsible.

  9. You’ve compiled a great list! I couldn’t live without my wagon on trips down to the beach! Love the seashell collecting bag as well. There aren’t any shells at our beach but we are avid collectors of beach glass and I find it in every pocket and bag from our trips to the water!

  10. Such a perfect and comprehensive list!! I might add bug spray (depending on where the beach is)! Your Pinterest Pins are beautiful too!

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