What To Bring to the Beach: A Guide

We finally made it to our favorite time of the year — beach time! Yup, it’s time to pack the car, the beach bag, the big wagons, you name it. We know you’re as ready as we are to hit the sand and waves, but what do you need to make sure you bring with you?

Making sure you’re packed and ready with all the essentials ensures that you can stay out in the sand all day long with no cares in the world. Are you racking your brain making a list in your head right now? No need; we’ve put together the best guide for you so you don’t have to think twice.

We’re covering it all in this beach packing guide, so read on and get your people ready for some beach time. The waves are calling.

Bring These Main Essentials

There are always things we take to the beach that we end up not pulling out at all, so why waste that space? Below, we’ve listed some of the essentials that everyone should make sure they pack because they’re actually needed.

Don’t be caught without these beach day necessities. You and your friends and family will be glad you thought to bring extra sunscreen, additional towels, and more. Keep scrolling to learn what’s essential.

  • Beach toys (for building sandcastles, of course)
  • Picnic blanket and extra beach towels
  • Outfit change and a sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • All the extra sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher to be safe!)
  • Reusable water bottle (insulated to keep things cold)
  • Small first aid kit
  • Flip flops for everyone
  • Wallet, phone, and keys
  • Baby powder to get sand off easily
  • Beach umbrella
  • Beach chairs

These items might already be on your beach list, but write them down and check the list twice so you and your crew stay as comfortable in the sand and sun as possible. With these essentials, you’ll be able to stay out longer and enjoy the relaxation.

We’ve gone one step further to tell you how you can pack these items more easily. Take a look.

BIG Bag Items

Don’t we all have that one giant, waterproof, beach bag? These types of bags are perfect for throwing in what we’re about to list. What’s great about giant beach bags is that they make it easier to carry more things, so you can get your things to the perfect spot on the beach in one trip.

It can be a little overwhelming to think about how you’re going to get everything from the car or house to the beach but don’t fret. We’ve done the hard work for you to decide what items to pack where. Here’s how to pack your big beach bag.

  • All the beach toys: This is especially important if you’re headed to the beach with your grandkids. Big, bulky, sandy beach toys are the perfect candidate to throw in your biggest, waterproof bag so they don’t get wet sand all over everything else.
  • Blanket and beach towels: No matter if you’ll be sitting under an umbrella or cabana, a picnic blanket is always a great idea. Don’t forget enough towels for the whole family. You’ll want them to go in this bag so they can be thrown in when the day is done.
  • Beach umbrella: The great thing about a giant bag? You can fit the umbrella in and won’t have to worry about carrying it with everything else. Just fold it up and pack and carry it away.

Packing a Backpack

Along with the biggest waterproof bag you can find, go ahead and snag a backpack that has ample amounts of pockets and compartments for some other beach day necessities. We love the ease and style of carrying a backpack. This accessory is really the best for making sure some of the smaller items get carried to the beach without worrying about filling your arms along the way.

You’re going to want to pack all of the things that you’d otherwise leave out, and you can leave them in the backpack all trip long for easy access and convenience. Check out what we throw in our backpacks below.

  • Change of clothes: Make sure to bring a dry change of clothes and underwear in case you need to, or feel like changing before heading home. These fit perfectly in the largest part of a backpack.
  • Snacks: Any snacks that don’t need to stay cold in a cooler are great to throw in a backpack. Think pretzels, popcorn, and an extra water bottle.
  • Small first aid kit: This one is a no-brainer, and you won’t be sorry you packed it. You never know when you’ll need a bandaid or alcohol pad, so bring one just in case.
  • Phone, keys, and wallet: The things you need to get to and from the beach are perfect for throwing in the backpack so they don’t get lost among everything else.
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses: If you don’t want to use a sunscreen bottle that’s covered in sand and grease, pack an extra bottle in your backpack so it stays away from the others.

To Carry or To Pull?

For those items that are too big or too heavy to take in a bag, we’re huge fans of using wagons to go to and from the beach. Wagons are extremely helpful for carrying boogie boards, bigger umbrellas, beach chairs, and more. Another awesome thing about beach wagons is that you can use them for trips to the pool or park, too.

Did you know there’s an efficient way to pack your wagon to make the most of its space and make pulling it a bit easier? Take a look at the best way to pack a beach wagon this season.

Keeping Everything Cool

If you’re going about packing as we do, that means you’ll be carrying one big bag and will have a full backpack on, too. The last thing anyone wants is to add clunky items to your arms and hands. So, where does this leave things like the cooler?

That’s where a wagon comes in handy. With a wagon or cart, you can put in a cooler, extra games, floats, towels, or water shoes. You name it, and it can be added to the beach wagon.

Packing All the Extras

Once you’ve got the main things packed like the chairs, sunscreen, and towels, you don’t want to forget a cover-up or backup swimsuit! You never know when a wave will get the best of your swimsuit straps, so it’s never a bad idea to take an extra swimsuit top just in case.

Not only that, but taking a good swimsuit cover-up ensures that you’re protected from powerful UV rays, and also adds a nice thin layer of clothing if it gets too breezy.

Packing Beach Food

What types of food and snacks should you bring to your relaxing trip to the beach? Bringing along some sandwiches and quick snacks are always the best and most easy options. Some of our favorite beach foods include apple slices with peanut butter, carrots and celery with hummus, and a container of refreshing watermelon.

Other great food ideas to bring along would be cool grapes, lightly salted popcorn, or trail mix. And don’t forget the cold water in an insulated water bottle! Thanks to the cooler and backpack, you’ll be able to bring along several so that you’ll be sufficiently hydrated.

All Set and Ready To Go

Do you feel like you’re super prepared to hit the beach this season? Hopefully you’ve got your lists made and you’re eager to hit the road! No matter how near or far your journey to sandy paradise may be, we’re confident you’ll be the person who everyone goes to for packing tips.

We highly recommend visiting the white sandy beaches of Florida, but wherever your trip takes you, pack up the sunscreen, turn up the tunes, and get the show on the road. Don’t forget to lather up the sunscreen and put on some stylish sunglasses so your skin and eyes are protected.

Maxine wishes you the best beach trip ever, and we think you’ll have just that with these packing tips.


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