Your Beach Day Packing List: What to Bring to the Beach with Kids

May 5, 2021 | at the beach, packing and products

So, it’s time to pack for the beach! So exciting. Obviously not as exciting as when you would go without kids, but nonetheless still a great feeling. After many unsuccessful attempts at beach days, either bringing too little or bringing too much, I’ve found just the right number of items to pack for a great family beach day.

So, take a look at my list below and plan out what to pack for your day at the beach with kids. This is an exhaustive list, so just bring what you’ll actually use. 


You can never have enough snacks! Running around in the sun and water make the kids work up an appetite. Bring lots of different types and pack them separately for an easy grab.

  • Cooler—Consider a soft cooler instead of a hard one. They are great for travelling because they are light and collapsible, plus you’ll be able to utilize as much space as you need.
  • Drinks—water, juices, sodas for the adults
  • Snacks—sandwiches (cut in quarters), fruits like grapes (try them frozen), watermelon, pineapple, veggies like carrots, string cheese, popcorn, pretzels, granola bars, crackers. Bring as much as you can- better to have too many than not enough. (Throw in some not so healthy treats too!)
  • Depending on kids ages: Breast milk/formula, cow milk with bottles/sippy cups (bring an extra just in case)


These are the essentials for a long, relaxing beach day.

  • Big beach bag—a mesh one is good so the sand can escape, and one with pockets is even better for compartmentalizing everything
  • Sunscreen—lotion sunscreen, spray sunscreen, stick sunscreen, any and all sunscreen
  • Portable pop-up tent (if you’re flying), beach umbrella/canopy (if you’re driving). If you’re going to a beach that rents beach umbrellas, consider that instead. 
  • Beach chairs (if you’re driving)
  • Beach wagon—these are awesome. They’re not only for the beach either, you can also use them anywhere! If you’re traveling, try to rent one on for your beach trip.
  • Beach blankets (try the sand proof ones) or fitted sheets to lay out on
  • Wipes for cleaning off hands and faces
  • Big beach towels to dry off (one for each person)
  • Plastic or garbage bags for trash, wet towels, and wet bathing suits
  • Baby powder to remove sand (it’s magic!)
  • Bug spray (bugs just LOVE kids!)
  • Depending on kids ages: nap routine items; sound machine, comfort item, etc. (If you’re lucky enough to actually get a nap out of them, that is.)


The most important thing to remember about kids at the beach is to cover them up. Their skin (nothing worse than a sunburn on vacation!) and feet (from hot sand, rocks/seashells) need protection.  

  • Kids rash guards—better for sun protection and to keep them more comfortable if the water is a little chilly
  • Kids bathing suits
  • Baby sunhats—baby’s skin is so fair, cover them up as much as you can
  • Baby swim diapers 
  • Kids water shoes
  • Kids swim vest or floaties
  • Extra pair of clothes for the drive/walk home


A few toys will enhance the beach fun but don’t bring too many—you’ll have to carry everything there and back. And really, a bucket and a couple of shovels really does the trick. If you’re traveling, consider buying them at a convenience store or renting them from when you get there. 

Anything relevant to what your kid is going through at the time…

Potty training? Bring the potty. Teething? Bring the teethers and Tylenol. Just because you’re at the beach doesn’t mean that normal life took a break!

It takes a little more planning, but beach days with the kids can be a blast. Remember to bring your inner kid too, mom and dad!… get out there and dig holes and play in the waves with them. Enjoy these silly beach days while you still have them. 

What are your must-haves for a day at the beach with kids? Let me know in the comments!


Mama & Traveler

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 baby boys in tow – and I want to help other parents do the same.

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