Vanessa, the author of this beach packing list admiring the view from a beach

Beach Packing List (17 Things You Might Forget to Bring)

Heading out on a warm vacation and looking for a comprehensive beach packing list? Lucky for you, I’m a beach enthusiast (what can I say, I live in beautiful and sunny Puerto Rico), and I’m here to spill the beans on the exact items you’ll need for your next beach trip, no matter where it is.

Heading to the beach should be relaxing and fun, but trying to remember what you need to bring (and not forgetting anything important) can feel like a huge feat. Especially if you’re in a different country or have kids in tow. This list is designed to take the pressure off.

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Beach Packing Checklist

Beach Bag

Our Pick
Tortuga Packable Daypack
You can bring everything you need to your next beach vacation with this sturdy and comfortable daypack.

Going to the beach means you’ll want to pack a beach bag full of stuff you need for the day. This Tortuga travel daypack fits up to 19 liters (40 pounds) of things and is comfortable to carry. It’s also foldable, so you can easily store it away after your beach vacation.

Dry and Wet Bag 

Our Pick
Babygoal Wet Dry Bags
$16.99

These wet dry bags are a beach trip essential. They can store and seal your wet clothes until you reach the hotel.

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If you’re heading to the beach on a day trip, then you’ll probably end up with a pile of wet clothes. A dry bag is the best thing to store your wet items until you’re able to wash them. The Babygoal wet dry bags are great because they have two different pockets to store dry and wet clothes, and they keep smells sealed inside them.

Beach Blanket

Our Pick
POPCHOSE Beach Blanket
$21.99

Comfort and functionality for your family beach vacation are some of the features of this beach blanket.

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A beach blanket is one of the best beach accessories that can level up your beach vacation. Not only does it provide comfort, but it saves you money on beach chairs. This POPCHOSE large beach blanket is weightless and easy to carry in its portable pouch. But, this blanket is a favorite because it’s water-resistant, sand resistant, and it features weigh-down pockets.

Aloe Gel

Our Pick
Sun Bum Cool Down Aloe Vera Gel
$8.99 ($1.12 / Ounce)

An aloe gel that cools down and soothes without causing any strange reactions on your skin.

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Of course, sunscreen is step number one to not get a painful sunburn after an awesome beach day. But, if you find you had a bit too many UV rays, then an aloe vera gel is the way to go. The Sun Bum aloe vera gel is hypoallergenic and lightweight. Besides aloe, this gel also has cocoa butter to soothe your skin.

📚 Related Reading: Disney Packing List (25 Things You Might Forget to Bring)

SPF Lip Balm

Our Pick
O'Keeffe's Lip Balm
$5.49

This lip balm protects your lips with SPF 25 and hydrates them with aloe.

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Straight up: having cracked lips in your beach vacation photos is not a good look. O’Keeffe’s lip balm is essential for your beach packing checklist as it has SPF 35 to protect the delicate skin of your lips from the sun. It also includes aloe vera to repair and keep your lips hydrated. 

Filter Water Bottle

Our Pick
GRAYL GeoPress 24 oz Water Purifier Bottle

This water bottle can purify tap water from the sinks in the beach bathrooms in seconds and provide clean water on the go.

Being a huge problem for aquatic life, try to avoid bringing plastics on your beach trip if you can. A great alternative to your usual plastic water bottle is a reusable water bottle. The GRAYL GeoPress water bottle is not only a high-quality and durable alternative, but it also has a filtering system that purifies tap water in seconds.

First Aid Kit

Our Pick
Alysontech Mini First Aid Kit
$15.89

This first aid kit is waterproof and will provide everything necessary to treat a wound.

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Accidents happen all the time on a beach vacation, especially if you’re traveling with kids. That’s why you need a first aid kit in your beach bag. The Alysontech first aid kit has a sturdy and waterproof case you can attach to your bag with a hook. The compact kit has 100 pieces to treat wounds, and it weighs less than a pound. 

Portable Speaker

Our Pick
JBL Clip 3 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
$39.95

This speaker is portable, waterproof, and loud. It’s simply a perfect addition to your beach day.

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If you like to hear background music along with the waves and the wind, then a portable speaker should be part of your beach vacation packing list. The JBL Clip 3 is your best option for a beach trip because it’s compact, attachable, and has a long-lasting battery. But, what makes it ideal for the beach is its waterproof feature, which means you can immerse it in the water.

Waterproof Pouch

Our Pick
AiRunTech Waterproof Pouch
$14.85

Bring your cell phone and personal belongings to the water with this touch-friendly and spacious pouch.

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One of the top beach safety tips (especially in crowded areas) is not to leave your belongings unsupervised while you go swimming. A waterproof pouch is necessary for your beach trip packing list so you can keep your peace of mind while swimming. The AiRunTech waterproof pouch goes around your waist and seals 100% everything inside it. Its large size fits multiple of your personal items including your cell phone and passport.

Sunscreen

Our Pick
Solimo Sport Sunscreen Lotion

This sunscreen is ideal for a beach day trip! It’s water-resistant, SPF 30, and reef friendly.

Sun protection is essential nowadays and sunscreen should always be part of your beach vacation packing list. The Amazon Solimo Sunscreen protects your skin from UV rays with SPF 30 and is water-resistant. This sunscreen is also octinoxate and oxybenzone free, which means you won’t leave harsh chemicals on the water. 

Snorkeling Beach Gear

Our Pick
Greatever Dry Snorkel Set
$29.95

Get a clear and panoramic view of the beautiful reefs with this anti-fog snorkeling set.

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If you’re a snorkeling enthusiast, then you’ll be keen to get under the surface and explore some majestic underwater worlds. While you can rent snorkeling equipment in some places, you can save money by including a snorkel set in your beach gear packing list. The Greatever snorkel set is the top of its kind, and its anti-fog material will allow you to see clearly while you swim. 

Portable Cooler

Our Pick
Lifewit Collapsible Cooler Bag
$32.99

The Lifewit cooler makes it easy to bring food to the beach. It will keep your water bottles cold throughout the entire day.

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Cold drinks are essential to every beach day, and to keep them that way, your packing list will need a portable cooler. The Lifewit cooler bag is better than a traditional cooler because it’s easy to carry and collapsible. The interior material keeps everything cold for a long time, and the top zipper makes it easy to unload it. 

Beach Toys

Our Pick
Click N' Play Beach Toys
$18.49

This toy set is perfect for kids – it’s colorful, comes with different molds, and it’s easy to carry and store.

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If you want to level up your kid-friendly beach day and keep the little ones entertained, then some toys will do the trick. This Click N’ Play beach toys set features 18 BPA-free pieces and comes in its own backpack, so your kids can carry it themselves.

Action Waterproof Camera

Our Pick
GoPro HERO 10 Black - Waterproof Action Camera
$429.99
Explore and record sea turtles and reefs with this waterproof and lightweight camera.
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So many great beach destinations have unique underwater worlds, but your typical professional camera isn’t fit to capture it. And so, your essential beach packing list needs an action camera such as the GoPro HERO10 Black. This device is one of the best underwater cameras, as you can submerge it completely and take hours of video on one charge. You can also take high-resolution pictures with it. 

Beach Towel

Our Pick
Rainleaf Microfiber Towel
$11.99
A beach towel that becomes totally dry in just a few minutes.
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You don’t have to finish your day carrying drenched beach towels back to your hotel. The Rainleaf microfiber towel can absorb water better than common beach towels and is quick to dry. Not to mention, it’s super light and easy to pack in its travel pouch.

Beach Tent

Our Pick
WolfWise Beach Tent
$69.99

Lay down on this easy pop-up tent, to feel the wind, stay sand-free, and protect yourself from the sun.

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Although tents aren’t exactly beach necessities, they’re great alternatives for beach blankets and beach chairs. The WolfWise easy pop-up tent is the best to pack for a beach because it’s a pop-up that you weigh down by putting sand in the pockets. Plus, it has UPF 50+ protection against damaging rays, providing safe shade from the sun.

Travel Insurance

Our Pick
World Nomads
Enjoy your beach vacation stress-free with this insurance that covers outdoor activities and medical emergencies too.

Your ultimate beach packing list for international excursions should include travel insurance. Especially when you consider the possibility of incidents related to falls, animal bites, or losing belongings. World Nomads travel insurance is our pick for traveling safely because it covers all of these incidents including theft, medical emergencies, or changes in your trip. 

Other Beach Essentials to Pack

Clothing to Pack for Your Beach Packing List

Keep your beach day packing list light and simple. You don’t need to bring more than a change of clothes or multiple bathing suits unless you plan on doing a photo shoot.

But also keep in mind that different countries have varying standards when it comes to covering up at the beach, and always be mindful of local cultures. So what clothing should you pack for the beach? Here is a quick standard clothing checklist for visiting beaches: 

  • 1 swimsuit
  • 1 beach cover-up
  • 1 ball cap or sunhat
  • 1 pair of flip flops
  • 1 pair of water shoes
  • 1 pair of underwear to change
  • 1 t-shirt
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1 light sweater or jacket if staying until late at night

These are the essentials for your beach packing list. Let’s go into more detail:

Cover Up

Our Pick
Wander Agio Beach Swimsuit Cover Up
$22.99
Get dressed quickly after taking a dip with a coverup
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After leaving the beach, it’s common practice in most places to get dressed again, and cover-ups are an easy and fast way to do so. This Wander Agio beach cover-up has the same design as a casual dress so you can use it to visit other places after the beach. 

Water Shoes

Our Pick
WateLves Water Shoes
$30.88

Protect your feet from cuts and bruises with these quick-drying and protective water shoes.

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Walking barefoot on urban beaches means the possibility of stepping on sharp objects. Your complete beach packing list must include a pair of water shoes to avoid cutting your feet. The WateLves water shoes feature a strong rubber sole with grip and dry quickly. 

Sun Hat

Our Pick
Columbia Bora Bora Hat
$20.99

This simple hat protects you from UV rays without tight grips or uncomfortable fabrics.

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A trip to the beach always comes with harmful sun exposure, and having a hat among your beach items is a simple way to protect yourself. The Columbia Bora Bora Hat has UV protection and is breathable. Plus, the hat’s ventilation is designed to keep your forehead dry. 

Sunglasses

Our Pick
PZ Sunglasses
$13.99

Sunglasses that keep your eyes protected from the sun without high prices or fancy frames. Simple and practical!

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Squinting in the sun isn’t a look you want to be sporting in all your beach vacation photos. Protect both your eyes and your memories by wearing polarized sunglasses. The PZ sunglasses are an option for everyone in the family because they’re simple and have a clear frame.

Swimwear

Our Pick
FFEI Family Matching Swimwear
$23.99

Make everyone coordinated for your family beach day with these cute and comfortable matching swimsuits.

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Spotting your child in the water takes a few seconds. But, what if you had the same swimwear? Your family beach day can be fashionable with this FFEI Family Matching Swimwear. Not only does it help you to identify your family group easier, but it makes it quick to pick your beach day outfits. 

Tips on What to Pack for the Beach

Keep It Simple

The best tip for packing for your beach vacation is to keep it simple. Bringing too much to the beach will probably hinder the experience. Beaches are paradises to unwind, and a simple swimsuit, sandals, and the gear mentioned in this list should be enough to enjoy them.

Check the Weather

Whether you’re taking a week-long vacation, or you’re just packing for a weekend trip to the beach, changing weather can affect your plans. Before packing for the beach, check the local weather for possible rain showers or dangerous currents. Your packing list will change if you can’t swim in the water. 

Leave Travel Documents Behind

If your hotel room has a safe, it’s common travel advice to leave your personal items and travel documents at the hotel. Your passport and wallet can easily get lost at a beach and ruin a great vacation.

Pack According to Your Company

Your family beach packing list won’t look the same as your solo beach packing list. Make sure you consider your crew and pack accordingly. For example, kids tend to need beach walking shoes, while your grandmother might need a beach chair. Your packing lists should include the essential items for the people taking the trip.

Google the Beach You’re Visiting

While some beaches have showers and others have lifeguards, a lot of beaches lack facilities entirely. Research the beach you’re visiting ahead of time. This way you’ll know if your packing list includes a beach chair or an extra gallon of water to wash the sand off your body.

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You’ve reached the end of my beach packing checklist! I hope this gave you everything you need to know about how to pack for your next sandy trip. Next up, check out this comprehensive Mexico packing list.

I hope this beach packing list helps you out! Have a great beach vacation!

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