Beach Packing List for Family Travel [Printable]

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Packing for a family beach vacation can be challenging. You don’t want to overpack but you don’t want to forget anything, right? That’s why I created this beach packing list for family travel! My family and I do our fair share of traveling and lots of those trips are beach vacations, so over time, I’ve figured out what’s essential to pack and what can be left at home.

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Beach Packing List for Family Travel

This post has been broken down into sections so you can easily find what you’re looking for.

Table of Contents:

Beach Bag Essentials

These are the essentials you’ll want to back in your beach bag for a day in the sun. If you’re traveling with kids old enough to carry their own bag, you can pack some of these items in their bag so you aren’t doing all of the heavy lifting.

  • Reef-Safe Sunscreen: A good non-chemical (reef-safe) sunscreen is a must if you’ll be spending time in the sun! Some locations have even banned certain harmful sunscreens so be sure you’ve got a non-chemical variety.
  • Lip Balm with SPF: Don’t forget about the delicate skin on your lips! Try one with a tropical twist like pina colada or key lime.
  • Sunglasses: Protect your eyes on the beach! I wear these non-slip sunglasses because they’re lightweight, colorful, and inexpensive (read my review of them here).
  • Lightweight Beach Towel: You’ll want a beach towel that packs easily for travel. These microfiber towels are lightweight, quick-drying, and come with carrying individual cases.
  • Beach Towel Chair Clips: Don’t worry about your beach towel blowing away when you’ve got it securely clipped to your chair with towel clips. You can even find these in fun designs like flip-flops, toucans, or margarita glasses.
  • Hat: If you’re going to spend all day by the pool or on the beach, a wide-brimmed sun hat is a must. If you plan to try out some water activities or go on a boat, you might want a baseball-style hat that won’t get blown off your head in the tropical breeze.
  • Wet Bag: A wet bag is a water-resistant bag that’s great for transporting wet bathing suits. Alternatively, you can use it to keep essentials like a wallet or phone dry.
  • Insulated Water Bottle: An insulated water bottle is a great way to ensure you’ve got cold water on hand during a long, hot day at the beach.
  • Book or Kindle: Having a few great books or a Kindle on hand is a great way to relax on the beach. The Kindle Paperwhite is waterproof so it’s safe to use on the beach or by a pool.

Beach Day Extras

  • Snorkel Gear: If you’re going to be on the beach, you may want to explore the underwater world. While many hotels and resorts allow you to rent snorkel equipment, it’s not expensive to buy your own so you can snorkel at your leisure. In addition to the traditional mask/snorkel sets, you can now find full-face snorkel masks and kid-sized snorkel gear too.
  • Waterproof Camera: If you plan to go snorkeling or scuba diving or even just to splash around in the water, a waterproof camera is a great way to capture your memories. The good news is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to find a decent underwater camera for your vacation.
  • Backpack Beach Cooler: In addition to a regular beach bag, you may want to bring a backpack beach cooler to keep drinks and snacks cool all day long.

Beach Essentials for Toddlers and Kids

If you’re traveling to the beach with toddlers or younger kids, you’ll want to pack plenty of kid-friendly items to keep them comfortable and entertained.

Sand Toys: Your kids will want some cool sand toys to play with on the beach.

Water Toys: Bring some water toys like squirt guns or these travel-friendly inflatable surf bodyboards.

Sand and Water Toy Bag: A large bag that can hold all the beach toys will make cleaning up a breeze. This extra-large mesh beach bag helps you pack your gear quickly while leaving the sand at the beach.

Snacks for the Kids: Kids need snacks and that doesn’t change if you’re on a beach vacation.

Insulated, Spill-Proof Cups: Keep kids’ beverages cold all day long with an insulated, spill-proof travel cup.

Children’s Tylenol: If you’re taking a beach vacation with kids don’t forget to pack some Children’s Tylenol, just in case. This is especially important if you’re in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language (I know this one from experience trying to decipher a medicine package in Mexico).

Beach Essentials for Baby 

You can enjoy the beach with a baby as long as you don’t forget to pack these essentials.

Swim Diaper: Swim diapers are essential when taking your baby to the beach. You can find reusable ones in lots of cute patterns.

Sun Hat: Look for a wide brim hat with SPF and a tie so it stays in place. There are lots of cute styles to choose from.

Baby-Safe Non-Chemical Sunscreen: Choose a non-chemical sunscreen that’s safe to use on your baby’s skin. I love Blue Lizard Baby sunscreen because it’s non-chemical and the bottle turns blue in sunlight so it’s easy to remember to reapply.

Umbrella: You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of shade for your baby when you’re spending the day at the beach. This little pop-up tent also doubles as a small pool that’s just right for baby.

After-Beach Essentials 

Face and Body Moisturizer: Spending all day on the beach can dry out your skin, so you’ll want to replenish it at the end of the day. Be sure to pack a good all-purpose body lotion and a gentle face moisturizer in your suitcase.

Leave-In Conditioner: Saltwater can leave your hair dry and tangled. Use a good conditioner after the beach to detangle and restore moisture and shine. You can find leave-in conditioners in lots of varieties including reef-safe, travel-sized, and even ones that are formulated just for kids.

After Sun Lotion: If you stay in the sun too long, you’ll be so happy to have some after-sun lotion to soothe burned or irritated skin.

1-Week Beach Vacation Packing List for Women

When you’re packing for a beach vacation it’s easy to get carried away with lots of fun outfits. In reality, you’ll be by the pool or beach all day in swimwear and will stay very casual for dinner, so keep that in mind when you’re packing. You really don’t need that much for a beach vacation, so pare down what you pack as much as possible.

A bathing suit and a great kimono or beach cover-up are all you really need to enjoy a beach vacation.


Lots of things can serve double duty too. A sarong can be a beach coverup, a blanket on the plane, or a wrap to wear for dinner. A dress-style beach coverup can also act as a casual dress for daytime sightseeing. Go easy on accessories and cosmetics too and embrace the easy, breezy style of the islands.

Clothes and Accessories – Women

  • Swimsuits – 2 or 3
  • Coverup – 1
  • Sarong – 1 (A great sarong can double as a beach coverup and a blanket or pillow for the airplane so don’t forget to pack this in your carry-on bag.)
  • Shorts – 3
  • Workout gear – depends on your level of activity
  • Long pants/jeans/leggings – 1 (I usually wear these on the plane)
  • Casual dress – 2
  • Fancy dress – 1 (optional)
  • T-Shirts or Tank Tops – 7
  • Lightweight Sweater or Jacket – 1
  • Rashguard – 1
  • Beach Flip Flops – 1
  • Water Shoes – 1
  • Casual Sandals – 2
  • Dressy Sandals – 1
  • Athletic shoes – 1 (Wear these on the plane then you have them in case you want to workout)
  • Socks – 4 (More if you plan to workout)
  • Underwear – 8
  • Bras – 3
  • Pajamas – 1
  • Travel purse or bag – 1 or 2 (Have fun with a tropical style clutch or purse)
  • Beach bag – 1 (This can double as your carry-on bag for the airplane)
  • Beach hat – 2 (I like to bring one large sun hat and one baseball-style hat)
  • Sunglasses – 1 (An inexpensive, lightweight pair with polarized lenses works well…I love these from Knockaround)
  • Jewelry – Just bring a few pieces like a couple of fun necklaces, a couple of bracelets, and one pair of earrings.

Cosmetics and Toiletries – Women

When you’re packing cosmetics and toiletries don’t forget to buy travel sizes or purchase reusable travel bottles that you can fill at home. If you’re staying at a hotel and aren’t particular about hair products you can leave the shampoo at home. If you’ve got long hair, I would still recommend bringing a conditioner with you — those small hotel bottles don’t cut it for post-beach conditioning.

  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Face wash
  • Face serum and moisturizer
  • Sunscreen
  • Makeup:  A light foundation with SPF, concealer, blush, mascara, lip gloss
  • Deodorant
  • Body moisturizer
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash
  • Hairbrush and hair ties or clips
  • Razor

Family Beach Destinations: Grand CaymanWailea Beach Resort | Maui, Hawaii | Grand Hyatt Kauai

1-Week Beach Vacation Packing List for Men

Clothing and Accessories – Men

  • Swimsuits – 2
  • T-shirts – 7
  • Shorts – 3
  • Long pants/jeans – 1
  • Button-down shirt (long or short sleeve) – 3
  • Lightweight sweater or jacket – 1
  • Pajamas –
  • Rashguard – 1
  • Hat – 1
  • Sunglasses – 1
  • Beach flip-flops – 1
  • Casual Sandals – 1
  • Sneakers – 1
  • Socks – 4 (More if you plan to workout)
  • Underwear – 8

Toiletries – Men

  • Shampoo
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash
  • Face wash and moisturizer
  • Deodorant
  • Sunscreen
  • Razor

>> Pro Tip: Don’t forget to pack essential items like a swimsuit, cover-up, flip-flops, and sunscreen in your carry-on bag so you can head to the beach even if your luggage doesn’t arrive when you do.

1-Week Beach Vacation Packing List for Kids

Clothing and Accessories – Kids

  • Swimsuits – 2 or 3
  • Coverup – 2
  • Shorts – 7
  • T-shirts or tank tops – 8 (always bring an extra)
  • Long pants – 1
  • Pajamas – 1
  • Rashguard – 2
  • Hoody or light jacket – 1
  • Beach hat – 1
  • Sunglasses – 1
  • Underwear – 8
  • Socks – 4 (more if your child prefers shoes to sandals)
  • Beach sandals – 1
  • Water shoes – 1
  • Casual sandals – 1
  • Athletic shoes – 1
  • Dress-up outfit – 1 (optional)

Toiletries – Kids

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hairbrush
  • Leave-in conditioner
  • Sunscreen
  • Aloe Lotion (in case of sunburns)

Printable PDF: Family Beach Packing List

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Final Thoughts

A beach vacation can be a perfect family getaway. Whether you’re planning to enjoy a fabulous beach in the United States or are heading to an exotic international beach, there will be plenty of fun and sun for everyone.

A great vacation starts with a great packing job and this printable family beach vacation packing list has all the essentials so you’ll be prepared for anything.

Happy travels!