Family Beach Vacation Packing List + Best Packing Tips (2024)

Looking for a family beach vacation packing list? After years of traveling with my sons, I compiled a list of essentials plus packing tips to help you out. 

 
After years of trips with my little guys, I’ve finally honed my packing list to a science. 
 
I still remember our first couple of beach trips where half the nursery magically ended up in the suitcase. I don’t know how that could’ve happened, but I can tell you that most of it wasn’t even used. 
 
After a few trips, I got the hang of it and now I’ve become a packing pro. And I want to pass on the knowledge! So keep reading for my family beach vacation packing list.
 
This list is exhaustive, so don’t feel pressured to bring everything. It’s your one-stop shop to ensure you have everything you need for your adventure –  I mean vacation.
 
Whether you’re cruising down the highway or soaring through the sky, use these tips and my list to create a perfectly organized beach vacation for the whole family!

Key Takeaways

  • Packing for a family beach vacation can be overwhelming, but some preparation and organization will work wonders. 
  • The most important things to bring are clothing, beach gear, toiletries, travel gear, and personal items.
  •  Don’t panic if you forget something! You can always buy or rent it when you get there. 

Table of Contents

⚠️ Heading to the beach with baby for the first time? ⚠️
Check out these posts for everything you need to know:

Tips for Taking Baby to the Beach
Best Beach Hacks for Toddlers and Babies
Best Beach Wagons for the Sand
Sun Safety Tips for Baby

Family Beach Vacation Packing List

Tolietries

Hair:

  • Shampoo, conditioner 
  • Brush / comb
  • Hair styling tools
  • Hair styling gels / creams
  • Hair ties


Face
:

  • Face wash
  • Moisturizer
  • Toothbrush / toothpaste
  • Face products
  • Contacts, case, solution
  • Glasses
  • Makeup and makeup remover, cotton balls


Body:

  • Deodorant
  • Soap / body wash
  • Shaving tools / creams
  • Feminine products
  • Lotion


Medicine bag:

  • Medicines
  • Pain relievers
  • Bug spray
  • Aloe vera
  • First aid ointment
  • Pain relievers
  • Lip balm with SPF
  • Diaper cream
  • Bandages
  • Q tips, cotton balls

Clothes

Basics:

  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Bras
  • Sleepwear
  • Lounge clothes
 

For the beach:

  • Bathing suits
  • Rash guards / swimsuits for kids
  • Coverup
  • Sliders / flip flops
  • Swim shoes
  • Sunhats
  • Swim diapers
  • Sunglasses
 

Daywear:

  • Shorts
  • Skirts
  • Tanks
  • T-shirts
  • Dresses, rompers
  • Sandals
  • Hats
 

Evening Wear:

  • Dresses
  • Dress shirts
  • Jeans/pants
  • Light jacket
  • Belts
  • Shoes
  • Jewelry
  • Purse

Beach Essentials

Before packing any of these, check with your hotel or rental about whether they offer any of these items!

  • Beach bag
  • Sunscreen
  • Beach tent
  • Beach blanket / mat or fitted sheet
  • Soft cooler
  • Water bottles
  • Beach toys, balls, frisbee
  • Goggles, swim floats / vests
  • Baby powder 
  • Plastic bags for trash, wet suits, and towels

Kid's Stuff

  • Diapers, wipes (I would bring a few for a couple of days but buy more when I got to the location)
  • Comfort items like stuffed animals or blankets
  • Formula/bottles or pumping items
  • Pacifiers
  • Toys
  • Bath products

Gadgets and Fun

  • Tablets
  • Chargers
  • Camera
  • Kid’s toys
  • Books
  • Portable speakers 

Travel Bags

  • Wallet – cash, credit card, insurance cards, ID, etc.
  • Cell phone, charger
  • Tablet, charger
  • Headphones/ear buds
  • Travel pillow, blanket
  • Snacks
  • Toys
  • Diapers and wipes
  • Extra outfit and socks
  • Clear / ziplock bags for dirty diapers or clothes

If You're Driving

Road trip time! If you’re driving to your destination, here are a few things to bring so that you don’t have to buy, borrow, or rent when you get down there. 

  • Beach chairs
  • Large umbrella / canopy
  • Beach wagon
  • Large cooler 
  • Food and drinks

Ways to Save Space in Your Luggage

  • Bring travel sized toiletry items. But before doing that, check online to see the type of toiletries they offer. If you’re staying at a rental house, contact the host to ask what will be available. 
  • Buy diapers and wipes when you get there. If kids live in the city that you’re visiting, then they sell diapers and wipes there. Or, you can order them on Amazon to be shipped when you get there.
  • Bring outfits that mix and match. While it’s fun to bring all of your favorite outfits and every adorable outfit your kid owns, bring less items that all match each other. And staying somewhere with access to a washer and dryer makes it easier to not have to bring a different outfit for every day.
  • Perfect your packing technique– I use the rolling method and it really is more efficient.
  • Get packing cubes! They really do save a ton of space and they keep all the clothes organized. 

FAQs: Family Beach Vacation Packing List

What to pack for a beach vacation with kids? 

The most important things to bring on a beach vacation with kids are:

  • Clothing
  • Toiletries
  • Beach gear like swimwear, coverups, sun protection, footwear, and toys
  • Personal items like your wallet, medicine bag, and gadgets


How do I prepare for a family beach vacation? 

Planning goes a long way in ensuring a smooth family beach vacation. Start off by researching family-friendly locations, hotels with helpful amenities like pools and kids clubs, and activities.

Focus on packing what you will actually need and utilize packing cubes to keep everyone’s things organized. Establish a loose schedule, but focus on being flexible and enjoying the moment! 


How many outfits do I need for a 7 day vacation? 

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but here’s a guide. If you have access to laundry facilities, you can bring less! 

  • Swimwear: 3-4 swimsuits per person to allow for rotation.
  • Beach & Lounging: 4-5 casual outfits per adult, plus extras for the kids. Bring items that all match with each other.
  • Evenings: 3-4 dressier outfits for dinners or outings. Dresses will save space. 
  • Sleepwear: Pack 2-3 sets for the kids in case of accidents.

Wrapping Up: Family Beach Vacation Packing List

Lastly, don’t forget your patience! You might forget something. Guess what? They have stores there too.

You can buy anything you need and buy it online and get it shipped. And it it’s baby related, you can even rent it from places like Babyquip

I hope this list has made you a bit more prepared for your trip!

a family beach vacation packing list has to have beach clothes on it!
besa at beaches and babies
MEET BESA

Your Go-To Girl for Beach Travel

Hi! I’m Besa. I’ve always been a travel-loving beach bum… and then I had kids. Two boys, born 19 months apart. But I didn’t let that stop me. I still travel, even with a couple little boys in tow – and I want to help other parents like you do the same!

I’ll be sharing all my travel tips, beach hacks, and guides for some of my favorite family vacation beach spots.

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Why Trust Beaches and Babies?

Why Trust Beaches and Babies?

Besa has been a frequent traveler for almost 20 years, and the last five years of her travels have included her two toddler boys, 19 months apart.
Years of flying and beach bumming with her kids has given her plenty of hard-earned experience in the travel world.

Need Help Booking Your Trip?
Use My Favorite Resources!

FLIGHTS
Kayak searches hundreds of travel sites for the lowest prices plus the flexible calendar tells you which days are the cheapest to fly.

LODGING
booking.com is easy to use and gives options for all types of lodging. When I know I want a big rental house, I use VRBO.

RENTAL CARS
rentalcars.com scans multiple agencies at your destination to give you the best price.

ACTIVITIES
Viator lets you search for a specific activity at your destination or scroll all available.

Read over my full list of the best sites to book with on my Resources page.