It’s officially summertime! And you know what that means. Bring on the sunshine, pool days, Popsicles, campfires, and of course…trips to the beach! Are you summer-ready?
A well-packed beach bag might not seem like an epic accomplishment. That is, until you find your spot on the sand and suddenly think of all the items you’ve forgotten. Mom, where are my goggles! Dad, I can’t find the blue shovel! Honey – the juice boxes aren’t in the cooler. I thought you packed them!
Been there. Lived that.
Parents: don’t worry. We’ve got you covered like SPF 50! On your next beach trip, use our checklist of 25 beach bag essentials to pack for your day-cation. From diapers and snacks to sand toys and sunscreen, you’ll have everything you need for a successful and (somewhat) stress-free day on the beach. Better yet, you won’t have to feel that hide-under-the-towel humiliation when the mom on the blanket next to yours hands your crying child a pack of fruit snacks because she didn’t only remember to pack them…she packed extras.
Stick to our list and you’ll be ready to hit the beach with your little ones! Happy beaching!
- Sunscreen (that’s a no-brainer!)
Protect that beautiful baby skin! Lather those little ones up before heading out into the sun (and several times after too!). It may even be a good idea to pack a couple bottles, just in case. You can never be too prepared!
That includes regular diapers AND swim diapers! Always remember to pack extras too. There’s nothing worse than an unhappy, stinky baby covered in sand. My trick is to pack two more than what I think I will need.
Not only are explosive diapers a real risk on the beach, so are runny noses, sandy hands, and sticky faces. You can’t go wrong with having extra wipes on hand!
It’s so important to protect your little ones’ heads from the midday sun. Whether that’s a baseball cap or a little bucket hat, make sure to toss them into that beach bag!
- Towels and a Beach Blanket
This may seem like a no-brainer, but when you’re scrambling around packing for a day at the beach, you’d be surprised what slips your mind! Be sure to pack beach towels and even a big beach blanket. These come in handy when setting up your spot on the beach. I always throw in an extra towel or two as well…just in case one gets swept away into the water (believe me, it happens).
- Floaties and/or Lifejackets
Our little ones hate putting them on, but they are an absolute necessity! Check and double check that they’re packed.
- Water Shoes
Because those shallow waters aren’t always smooth and sandy underneath.
- Beach Umbrella
For that extra bit of protection. We all love the sun, but sometimes it can be too much, especially during a long day at the beach. You can’t go wrong with a little shade!
- Beach Toys
With EXTRA shovels. Pals are important, but always pack more shovels than you think you need. You don’t want any arguments over whose turn it is to dig the moat and shovels are also known for handle breakage, so extras never hurt. And don’t forget the football and Frisbee too!
These are a package deal with the beach toys. For kids, the highest priority.
- Net bag for the beach toys
You’ll be so happy you remembered this when you see your wet, sandy toys at the end of the day. Toss them into the net bag and you won’t have to worry about a mess!
- First Aid kit
It’s true, the lifeguard will have one as well. But I always pack the necessities in my own bag for quick and easy access. Band-Aids, a bee sting stick, headache medicine (you know you’ll need some!). It’s all good to have at the ready.
- Plastic bags – and lots of them!
Plastic grocery bags can come in handy for just about anything, especially wet swimsuits, towels, and dirty, sandy diapers (yuck!). The bags are also nice to have for any wrappers or other garbage you accumulate during your day at the beach. You don’t want to be a litter bug!
- Hair brush and Detangler
If you have little ones with longer hair (or your own hair, for that matter), a hair brush and bottle of detangler is a must-have for any beach trip. Kiss the tangles goodbye!
- Ziploc Bags
For extra snacks, money, first aid supply…you name it!
- Dry snacks
Your lunch foods and cold drinks should be kept in the cooler; but you’ll want to make sure to pack some dry snacks too! If your little ones are like mine, they are non-stop snackers. I always like to have granola bars, crackers, goldfish, etc. on hand for quick and easy munching. Just be careful if your granola bars have chocolate chips…those should stay in the cooler!
- Bug spray
The skeeters are out even during the day, when we least expect it. I like to have a bottle of bug spray on hand at all times. Who has time for those pesky bites?
- Reusable water bottles
Okay, this can probably be kept in the cooler as well. But it’s important to have extra water on hand and it’ll be light coming home!
Let’s be real, Mom. You won’t have all that much time to read. But it’s the thought that counts, right? Toss it in anyway!
- Lip balm
I always go with a lip balm that contains a bit of SPF. Dab it on to your little one’s lips too and you’ll be set for your day in the sun!
- Hair Ties
For the wet, messy, sandy hair that just needs to be pulled up or braided until you get home.
- Dry shirts (long-sleeve)
The beach gets chilly as evening approaches. Remember to pack a dry, long-sleeved shirt for your little ones in case they get chilled!
- Baby Powder
It’s hard to complain about a day at the beach, but sand can be a big pain, especially when it comes to packing everyone up at the end of the day. It sticks to your body and makes a mess in your car. To get it off easily, try baby powder! It removes moisture from your skin and allows the sand to easily come off. It works on hair, feet, and legs. Toss it into that bag…you’ll be so glad you did!
- Sippy cups/bottles
This is another no-brainer. You can only pack so many juice boxes and better yet, sippy cups are refillable! Make sure to pack them for your little ones. But there’s no need to pack extras…
- FizzWizz Cleaning Tablets & Wipes
The cleaning solution for your baby bottles, sippy cups, water bottles, anything! You can clean them without even moving from your towel. Drop in a FizzWizz tablet, add some water, shake it up, and rinse. It’s perfectly safe to dump in the sand and your bottle or sippy cup will be sparkling clean and ready to refill. FizzWizz Wipes can remove any sand from the outside of your bottle/cup as well! It’s fast, easy, and super helpful. Pack FizzWizz in your beach bag.
Back at the car, you should also be sure to have:
- A dry, comfy change of clothes for everyone – nobody wants to drive home in a wet and sandy suit!
- Aloe gel for those sunburned cheeks
- A gallon of cold water for a last minute rinse and rehydration
If you’ve checked off all 25, you’re ready to hit the beach. Enjoy your day in the sun!