What to Pack in a Beach Bag: Get the ultimate beach bag essentials checklist (free printable included!).
Beach Bag Essentials
Headed to the beach with the family in tow? If I could live at the beach, I totally would! It’s one of my favorite places to be.
I love just sitting in a beach chair, drink in my hand, enjoying the sounds of the crashing waves all while reading one of my favorite novels and digging my toes in the warm sand…
…except that I have four kids and can’t just sit there anymore. (Someday!)
To be totally prepared for anything, I make sure to stock up our beach bag(s) with our beach essentials.
Scroll down to get a complete printable checklist!
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What Should I Put in My Beach Bag?
As with any list I create, the items on the list depend on a few things:
- the number of kids
- the ages of the kids
- where we’re going
- how long we plan on staying
Some of the items on my list depend where the beach is. If were on a beach which is steps away from our beach house or condo, I may not bring as much compared to what I’d bring if our home base is far from the beach.
Also, it depends how long we’re staying. If we’re only going for a few hours, I might not bring so many snacks and drinks. If I’m going all day (yes, please!) then I’m going to be well prepared with everything.Going to the beach? Make sure you get this beach bag checklist for all of your beach essentials!
Best Beach Bag
First, before we put anything into the beach bag, let’s talk about what kind of bag is the best beach bag.
(And in our case, it’s beach bags for our large family.)
In my experience, you’ll want a bag (or bags) that:
- is easy to carry
- has mesh to let the sand out
- has pockets for smaller items
Some people love using the large IKEA bags, while others prefer a basic mesh bag so that the sand flows out.
Depending on what you’re bringing, you might also want a water resistant bag as well, like a Bogg bag or one of these water resistant bags that have a lot of storage space.
This mesh bag is perfect for hauling all of your beach toys, and it’s under $10!
And what do you do with your keys, money, jewelry, etc? While you could just put them in a pocket in your bag, you could also try to store them in a clever secret safe like a can or water bottle with a hidden compartment! (It’s included in the list below, but I also wanted to mention it along with the beach bags.)
Beach Bag Packing List
These are the essentials to pack in your beach bag:
- blanket/ old sheet
- lip balm with sunscreen
- sand toys
- first aid kit
- sun hats
- insulated water bottles*
- wet wipes
- sun hats
- waterproof pouch or bag for phones
- secret safe for keys and money
- sandals or water shoes
- waterproof speaker or headphones
- portable charger and charging cable
* Snacks and drinks can also be placed in a cooler.
Seems like a lot, right? Thankfully many of these items are small and take up only a little space!
When we visit the beach, we bring 6 towels, an old comforter for a blanket, two chairs for the adults, plus everything else listed above. If we’re staying all day and are allowed to, we also bring a beach cooler with wheels packed with drinks and snacks.
Since we bring so much, I love 2-in-1 items, like this water bottle/ secret safe combo. We also bring beach chairs that double as wheeled carts (more on that below!).
Check out this Beach Essentials List on Amazon!
Beach Bag List for a Baby or Toddler
Will you have a baby or toddler with you?
You might want to pack these beach items for babies and toddlers:
- baby wipes
- umbrella or sun tent
- small baby pool
- swim diapers
- puddle jumper
- garbage bag for diapers
- extra clothes
- rash guard
- water safe baby carrier
A sun tent plus a little inflatable pool is perfect for a baby who may not like sitting in the sand or who isn’t too mobile. Just be sure to keep an eye on them while they play in the water!
Bonus Beach Items
These items aren’t on this beach bag checklist, but if you want to bring them along you can!
- volleyball net and ball
- change for parking meters
- little mesh bags for shells or sea glass*
- portable pop-up tent for changing clothes
*Be careful about picking up shells, sea glass, etc. Some beaches in some countries actually don’t allow shell collecting! And don’t grab too many since many sea creatures rely on the shells to live.
When You’re Done
When the day is over, you’ll want to have a few extra items to make the transition back to your home or hotel easier. Of course, this all depends on how far you have to travel to get back.
- beach cover ups
- hair brush or comb
- detangler spray
- baby powder or cornstarch
- extra outfit
Baby powder or cornstarch is PERFECT for helping to get the sand off of you. It absorbs any moisture from the water or lotion on your skin, making it easy to wipe off sand. Sprinkle some in the areas where you’re covered with sand and gently wipe away.
Got sunburned? Try this soothing skin sunburn relief recipe!
If you are able to just walk back to your home base, a simple beach cover up will suffice. If you need to get in the car and travel, you might want to find a public changing room or rest room to change into spare clothes.
Detangler spray is perfect for combing through saltwater hair. A little bit with a wide-tooth comb works wonders.
Easy Way to Roll Your Stuff to the Beach
Okay, so now that you’ve packed everything up, how are you going to carry it all down to the beach??
If you’ve been to the beach before, you know that sand can be hard to walk through, especially when you have an armful of stuff. Multiply the stuff you’d bring for yourself plus all the stuff for the kids…
…that’s a nope.
One easy way to get it all down to the beach is to pack it in a beach chair that has beach wheels! It’s a two-birds-one-stone kind of a thing: a beach chair for you (or two for you and your partner) and an easy way to transport all of your stuff! This kind of thing is great, especially if you’re going to be bringing an umbrella with you as well (Note: some beaches rent out umbrellas!).
Not interested in the chair? You can also get a utility wagon with big wheels for the sand.
Printable Beach Bag Checklist
Get a printable version of this list in my Resource Library! (Newsletter subscribers can use the password from previous newsletters!)
Did I miss anything? Do you bring other items to the beach that I didn’t mention? Leave a comment below!
Need a list that covers EVERYTHING you should pack for a beach vacation? Go here!
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