There aren’t too many things better than a beach vacation! But, what should you pack? This beach packing list will show you all of the essentials you’ll need plus some fun items that’ll make your vacation just a little more awesome.
If you’re looking for a printable packing list, be sure to check out my printable family beach vacation packing list.
Legal Stuff: This post may contain affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Beach Packing List – Essentials
You can’t go to the beach without sunglasses. I love these sport sunglasses from Knockaround because they are non-slip, polarized, inexpensive, and they come in tons of fun color combinations.
>>Keep Reading: Review of Knockaround Sunglasses
If you’re anything like me, you’ll appreciate having a beach hat to help keep the blazing sun off of your face during beach days. Ideally, you’ll want one that’s foldable, packable, and offers UV protection.
Don’t even think about going on a beach vacation without a good sunscreen. I recommend a mineral-based sunscreen (like this one from Blue Lizard), which is better for the oceans and your skin. If you decide to choose a chemical-based sunscreen, double-check with your destination that it’s allowed — many popular tourist locations are actually banning sunscreens with harmful ingredients.
No respectable beach packing list would be complete without a sarong. The great thing about sarongs is that they do triple duty — they can be used as a pool cover-up, a wrap on a chilly airplane, or as a skirt or dress for a night out.
When you’re packing for the beach, you’ll definitely want to pack a pair of flip-flops. Look for a lightweight style that can get wet. It’s also a great opportunity to go with a fun, beach-y color!
Rashguards are gaining popularity and they are now available in tons of fun styles and colors. They protect your skin when you’re out at the beach all day without having to drown yourself in sunscreen every 2 hours…and as a bonus, they keep you really cool when they get wet!
Buying a bathing suit can be an anxiety-inducing event, but thankfully, there are tons of cute options out there that work for every and any body type. Plus, they don’t have to be expensive — I put together a list of women’s bathing suit options that are all under $50 on Amazon!
Kindle or Book
A beach vacation is a time to kick back and relax and catch up on all of that reading you’ve been meaning to do. I personally travel with old-school books (usually from the library), but having a Kindle is a great option if you want to bring multiple books with you without the bulk and hassle of carrying around physical books. There are versions now that are waterproof and there’s even one that’s under $90!
You’ll need a lightweight bag to carry all of your beach essentials in. I don’t recommend spending a lot of money on a beach bag — it can get wet and sandy easily, so opt for something inexpensive. This one is super affordable (under $20!) and comes in lots of fun colors.
Insulated Water Bottle
Anytime you’re headed to the beach, you’ll want to bring an insulated water bottle with you to keep your drinks cool. Be sure to get a spill-proof option so you can throw it in your beach bag without creating a big mess.
Large Beach Blanket
Having a large beach blanket is a great way to claim your spot on the beach and it will give you a nice place to sit without getting sand in your cracks and crevices. Look for one that you can secure into the sand to make sure windy days don’t send you running down the beach after your blanket.
A foldable beach chair comes in handy if you’re not at a resort that provides lounge chairs. You’ll be much more comfortable in a chair, and this one even has an attached drink holder.
An insulated cooler will keep all of your snacks and drinks cold on a hot beach day. This one doubles as a backpack so it’s easy to carry and transport.
Fun Stuff To Pack For The Beach
No trip to the beach is complete without a fun way to float in the water. This shark floaty is an awesome way to celebrate the ocean’s most notorious residents. If sharks aren’t your thing, there are tons of cute styles available including a dinosaur, pineapples, a unicorn, and a toucan!
Sand Cup Holders
No more spilled drinks at the beach with these sand cup holders. In addition to keeping your drinks upright, they can be used as snack holders or even a place to prop up your phone.
Who doesn’t love playing cornhole at a backyard BBQ or football tailgate party? Now you can take everyone’s favorite party game to the beach with this portable cornhole set. This lightweight set even comes with its own carrying case.
Waterproof Playing Cards
You’ll have hours of fun at the beach or by the pool with these waterproof playing cards. Relax with some solitaire or get your group involved in a beach poker tournament.
Beach Towel Clips
While they aren’t a total beach essential, these beach towel clips come in handy when that ocean breeze kicks in. Your towel will stay put on your chair when you secure it with these clips. These are a great thing to pack if you’re going on a cruise where the pool deck can get very windy.
Full Face Snorkel Mask
A full-face snorkel mask makes it easier to breathe than a traditional mask and snorkel, plus this one folds for easy packing and it’s got a camera mount so you can capture all of your underwater moments.
Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
Make it a party with this waterproof Bluetooth speaker. This small speaker won’t take up too much room and it has a clip to attach to your beach bag.
A beach vacation is at the top of many vacationer’s wish lists. Knowing exactly what to pack is a skill that’s honed over many beach trips…and I’ve done all of that “hard work” for you (ha!) so you’ll know precisely what you need to pack.
Whether you’re packing for a week at the beach or a quick weekend trip, these essentials will ensure you have a fantastic time. Happy travels!
Featured Image Credit: Canva