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Beach Packing List For A Family – What Do You Really Need?

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Do you need a beach packing list for your family day out?

A day at the beach can be a wonderful experience. A day of fun to enjoy with your family.

However, deciding what is on that beach packing list for a family can spoil the day before you have even put your toes in the sand. Or got sand in your hair or your lunch.

Despite living within minutes of the beach for the past two decades it took me some time to get my stuff together and learn the best way to pack a beach bag for the family.

Here are some ideas for you so that you can pack the essentials and leave room for the nice-to-have things.

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The first step is to get a great bag to carry all of your family beach essentials in for the day. This bag needs to be tough to deal with the water and the sand.

Large Beach Tote Bag with Zipper Pockets Waterproof Sandproof Pool Bags Gym Bag with Wet Compartment Travel Carry On Women …

This bag is just the right size for carrying all the things you have on your family beach packing list. I particularly like the pockets on the outside as well as the inside so you can keep things organized. There is also a separate bag to keep your wet items in.

This family beach tote comes in a variety of colors and is waterproof and sand resistant.


We all know the dangers of spending time in the sun. It is so important to protect yourself and your family from the harmful effects of the sun.

Sunscreen and sun protection is essential. However, I confess that for years I found it so confusing as to how to actually find the right sunscreen. I research things to the very greatest degree and years ago became concerned that there were chemicals in sunscreen that were potentially very damaging.

This leads me to be very selective about the sunscreens that I use. Not all are created equal.

I like this mineral sunscreen SPF 50 which is lightweight, water-resistant, and not too greasy. It is light enough to use on your face as well.

For kids, this is a really good mineral spray sunscreen that is a green and purple foam with a 100% natural apple scent. It actually makes getting sunscreen onto your child a fun activity rather than a huge hassle!

You can see that you have applied it correctly but it then rubs on clear so you don’t have other people wondering why your child has a green tint!

As well as sunscreen you should have some way to cover up on the beach. Hats are essential.

I have more than one of these SPF 50 Women’s Beach Sun Straw Hats so I can keep one in my beach bag and another in my car.

Living in California you always have to be prepared for the sun and this is a great hat for travel – you can easily pack it in a carry-on and it still looks great when it has been squashed! It is actually designed to be foldable.

Actually getting a child to keep a hat on can be a challenge, but these smile face sun hats are so cute and are SPF 50 for maximum sun protection.

It is so useful to have a rash guard for yourself and for kids. This rash guard is available in lots of different colors and sizes for women.

If you are looking for a long-sleeved rash guard this is available as a two-piece swimsuit with SPF50.

This halter-neck maxi dress is a really good cover-up. I have 3 of these in different colors as they are so versatile. It is a great beach cover-up, but you can also wear it as day or evening wear so it’s a really useful outfit to bring on vacation with you.

Very reasonably priced and packs without creasing.

Flip flops are another beach essential. It took me so long to find the perfect flip flop – after years of thinking I had to “break them in”. Or translated, meaning years of getting blisters between my toes.

These fabulous flip-flops are amazingly comfortable, are available in lots of colors and sizes (even kids sizes) and look good.

They are vegan and made of recycled materials. And they feel like you are walking on a yoga mat! You can even put them in the washing machine! You get it. I really like these.


It is really important to stay hydrated when you are on the beach. There is nothing worse than realizing that you simply didn’t hydrate enough and that is why you now have an appalling headache.

Instead of using plastic bottles, it is always a good idea to pack a reusable water bottle.

I like this Stainless Steel Water Bottle as it does a really good job of keeping liquids hot and cold. It comes in a variety of sizes and colors and has a sports cap with a straw.

It will keep your cold liquids cold for up to 24 hours.

beach bag packing

Your family beach bag is not complete without a travel towel. These travel towels are great because they dry so quickly, are really soft, and come in a variety of sizes and colors so you can find your perfect one.

If you are like me and start to overheat almost before I have even started to pack my beach bag, you will appreciate one of the greatest discoveries ever. Cooling towels.

I have no idea why they work but they are simple, lightweight and easy to pack. All you need to do is just wet them with water.

They are inexpensive, chemical free, and very easy to carry in your bag. Remember to get one for every family member or they will be wanting to borrow yours!

We never go to the beach these days without water shoes.

They are so useful for protecting your feet on the sand and in the ocean. There is nothing worse than running the risk of cutting your feet or even getting burnt when you are dealing with walking on hot sand.

Once you have had a pair of these you will never be without them for a family beach trip.

They are available in kids sizes too.

You can often rent snorkel gear at your beach location but do you really want to do that? Not only are we rather freaked out about the hygiene aspect of this but often you get substandard equipment.

It is easy and inexpensive just to take your own snorkel gear. This full-face mask is available in two sizes and multiple different colors.

Unless you are going to a resort where you know that there will be plenty of sun loungers, you are going to need to take a beach blanket.

This oversized sand-resistant waterproof blanket is large enough for the whole family but packs down small enough to easily put in your beach bag.

If you have young children there is likely nothing that is going to keep them more entertained that the traditional activity of building a sand castle. This beach toy set is relatively compact and easy to carry, with a bucket that folds down.

One nice thing to have to keep all members of the family cool on the beach is a portable cooler fan. You can easily keep this in your beach bag. It is battery-operated and clips onto a stroller.

I always pack these Sting Kill Swabs.

We can all think of times we have been outside and are stung or bitten by something! These provide instant pain relief – even for jellyfish stings.

It is a good idea always to pack a small medical kit in your beach bag as well. This one has all the basics and is small enough to always carry with you.


Beach Packing List Family

The one thing that I take everywhere with me these days because it is so lightweight and just fits in my bag is my Kindle.

This one is made to withstand accidental immersion in water so it’s good for the beach!

Another essential item these days is a phone charger. I have several of these portable chargers. They are small, lightweight, and charge really quickly.

I really never want to take my expensive camera to the beach as I am always concerned it’s going either get damaged or stolen!

But family photos on the beach are a good thing.

So I tend to take a relatively inexpensive underwater camera with me in my family beach bag. This is an underwater digital camera that can take photos and videos at up to 10 ft underwater.


Looking your best on the beach, particularly when you have little ones with you, can be a challenge that most of us just aren’t willing to take on!

However, there are some very easy steps you can take so that you look just that bit better for all those beach photos you are going to have to see for years into the future.

If the thought of being exposed make up free is giving you palpitations there are some easy fixes.

Here are some things you can use to make sure that you look your best in the face of challenging conditions of sun and sand.

A good foundation is the key to everything in life. Well in this case, maybe a tinted moisturizer is more appropriate.

This Honest Company Tinted Moisturizer is a great choice.

Not only does it have great coverage, but it doubles as a sunscreen as it is SPF30. It is also vegan, cruelty-free, and without parabens.

Don’t forget the lip balm. This one offers SPF 30 protection and is vegan and cruelty-free.

Just a touch of mascara can go a long way. This inexpensive waterproof mascara is great for the beach.

Do you have any favorite items for your beach packing list for a family?