Summer Fun: What to Take to the Beach

A trip to the beach is a wonderful way to spend a summer day. Be prepared for the adventure with this beach packing list for families.


One of the perks to living where we live is that the beach is just a ten-minute drive from our house, depending on which beach we want to go to. That is a perk that I love and would be hesitant ever to give up.

At the same time, we still have to pack the car for a day at the beach, just like anyone else. Well, except for those folks who can walk to the beach from their house. (I want to be one of those people someday.)

Until then I will happily pack the car for a day at the beach. If I’m organized, then we can really relax in the sand and not feel hurried or hassled because we forgot something at home.

It helps to have a packing list for the beach.

I decided to make said list since my sister and her girls are coming this week for a visit. They live all the way in Virginia, so a beach day is in order. (And yes, I will overcome my fears from this in order to do so.)

We’ve found that having certain beach gear with us helps make the time at the seashore a little more enjoyable.

beach gear to pack

Here’s what’s often included in our haul. We sometimes choose not to go at meal times so we don’t bring a cooler, just water and some snacks. And we try to pack things as compactly as possible so we make only one trip from the car to the sand.

  • sand toys
  • boogie boards, surf boards, skim boards
  • snorkel equipment
  • life jackets
  • beach chairs
  • umbrella or shade cover
  • beach towels
  • blanket
  • swimsuits
  • wetsuits
  • flipflops
  • water shoes
  • sunscreen
  • sunglasses
  • floppy hats
  • water bottles
  • non-perishable snacks
  • cooler
  • travel potty seat and extra toilet paper
  • hand sanitizer
  • diaper bag
  • first aid kit
  • extra clothes to wear home
  • wash tub and a bottle of water for washing off sand or baby powder for same  purpose (more on this tomorrow)
  • books to read (bwahaha! – only if you have a babysitter along)
  • music player
  • camera

Don’t want to recreate the wheel, or the beach packing list? Just download the printable version here.

What do YOU take to the beach?

DIY-on-a-DIME-summer-fun-125This post is part of the DIY on a Dime: Summer Fun series. For more ideas on how to enjoy the summer holidays on a budget, check out the list.

I know what we’re gonna do this summer.

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  1. I have so many great memories of playing and swimming in the waters of the Georgia Straight growing up. I don’t remember rip tides there but I do remember as a teenager sunning too long on a sand bar once and what was once a wade from shore to sand bar had become a swim and I felt blessed for those endless rounds of swimming lessons as a child. I can’t think of one more thing to add to your list, except to make sure you have a basic first aid kit in your car, because I know I suffered various scrapes from barnicles and broken sea shells and such as a child.

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