Family Beach Vacation Packing List [Free Download]

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If the sheer task of accurately remembering all your family will need for a beach vacation overwhelms you, I’m here to help and have created a free packing checklist for you to download.

When packing for family beach vacations, it is easy to forget many important items. Whether you’re going to a beach house or a resort, it always feels like you need to pack a million things.

My years of experience have made me an expert on the topic of packing for family beach vacations. I know beach trips can be somewhat stressful if you constantly worry about forgetting something important someone might need. A beach trip packing list for the entire family is different than packing for a beach trip with friends. For you family, you will have to factor in essentials, clothing items, food items, medicines (if any), tech and entertainment items, toiletries, and even what you need to do before you leave home.

In this article, you will find everything that needs to go onto your beach packing list. Once you have taken note of all my beach vacation packing list essentials, download the free packing checklist so you don’t forget a thing!

Necessary Personal Items 

Necessary personal items

Many of us are proactive travelers, meaning we promptly reach for essential personal items whenever we step out of our homes. But sometimes, we can forget many things in what may seem like a no-brainer task, too.

I recommend arranging a pouch or a carry-on that can contain all the following personal items. This way, you’ll have them on you wherever you go. Finding a pouch with a cellphone case and card holder will be a bonus.

Personal items to pack:

  • Hotel/beach house or rental confirmation information. You don’t want to keep the entire family waiting in the lobby while you frantically search for booking confirmation details.
  • Auto insurance cards
  • Health insurance cards
  • Cash
  • Debit or Credit cards
  • Driver’s license

What to Pack: A Quick List

Quick list

If there’s one thing my experience has taught me, it is that a family beach vacation packing list is never a short one. But take heart: I’m here to help you conquer your beach packing list like a pro.

From beach toys to a beach towel for everyone, you need to pack countless things. It does make sense though, when you consider the lapping waves, the endless sunshine, coarse sands and strong winds you will enjoy throughout your beach trip.

Packing for a beach vacation with the family entails more than just swimming trunks and bikinis. A family beach vacation packing list entails so much stuff it’s often hard to remember it all.

Beach Vacation Quick Packing List

  • Tank tops
  • Disinfectants
  • Extra liquids and snacks
  • Rashguards
  • Important electronic gadgets
  • Your wallets
  • Keys
  • Medicines of all those family members who are on prescriptions
  • Beach tent
  • Sun hats
  • Lots of sunscreen
  • Formula or milk for the little ones accompanying you on beach vacations
  • Umbrella
  • Folding chairs for the elderly who will be joining you on the beach vacation
  • Water coolers, especially if you’re planning a beach vacation in the thick of summers

What to Pack: The Long List

Long list


No family beach vacation packing list is ever complete till it does not include flip-flops, swimsuits and other essentials of a beach gear. And of course, you must not forget to arrange all the essentials of a beach gear for all the family members joining the beach trip..

Clothes to pack for your family beach vacation:

  • Two bathing suits for each individual
  • Dinner outfits for the evenings out with family on beach vacations
  • Appropriate underwear
  • Shorts
  • T-shirts
  • Belts and socks if you have formal outings planned for the beach trip
  • Skirts and sundresses for the ladies
  • Light wraps or jackets if the weather demands it
  • Capris or jeans
  • Wide sun hats for added protection from the sun
  • Sneakers for running and tennis activities on the beach trip
  • Water shoes, especially for the younger ones on the family beach vacation
  • Robes
  • Pajamas
  • Sandals
  • Dry sheets (they’re multi-purpose on a family beach vacation packing list)


It is always a smart move to pack important toiletries for the entire family. You must take a headcount and include the total number of toiletries to suffice in your family beach packing list.

On a family beach vacation, no one enjoys making rounds to the local store or asking the hotel concierge to replenish bathroom essentials.

Toiletries to pack for your beach vacation:

  • Combs/ brushes
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Razors
  • Deodorants
  • Shampoo, conditioner and soaps
  • Lotion
  • Aloe vera gels to soothe sunburns if any
  • Floss
  • Vaseline
  • Contact solution if you wear contacts. Also carry the contacts and their cases
  • Glasses
  • Shower caps
  • Safety pins for accidental rips
  • Scarves
  • Feminine products

Tech and Entertainment Items

We’re living in the age of technology and can no longer spend a day when we wouldn’t have to use it, even on a family beach vacation.

If nothing else, you’d at least want to capture all the special moments of your family beach vacation. There may also be rainy days where the entire family may have to while away time indoors. 

Entertainment and tech items to include in your beach packing list:

  • Beach toys
  • Laptop (one or two should suffice if no one intends to work during the family beach vacation)
  • iPad
  • Waterproof pouches for cellphones
  • Waterproof camera (if you’re planning on underwater footages for Instagram)
  • Selfie stick
  • Colored pencils or crayons for the young ones
  • Note pads and stationery items, a few will be enough
  • Card games
  • Board games
  • Batteries and torches
  • Tennis bag
  • Frisbee and basketball
  • Football
  • Cords and chargers
  • Extra power banks

Absolute Beach Essentials

There are certain must-have essentials without which, no family beach vacation would be complete. After the beach gear, you need to round up essentials to ensure everyone on the family beach vacation has no cause for complain under your care.

Every ultimate beach trip must have the following:

  • Beach towels
  • Sunscreen for both adults and babies
  • Beach toys
  • A beach bag with toiletries for everyone
  • Umbrella
  • Canopy or tent, large enough to accommodate everyone
  • Beach blanket
  • Beach coolers with wheels
  • Reusable water bottle for every individual
  • Beach chairs
  • Never leave a beach cart out of your ultimate beach packing list. It’s more useful than you can imagine.
  • Napkins
  • Plastic-ware
  • garbage bags
  • Food
  • Extra drinks to maintain maximum hydration under the sun
  • Bottle openers
  • Dry bags for cellphones
  • Floats
  • Goggles, especially for the younger ones on the ultimate beach packing list
  • Lip balms with SPF
  • Hand sanitizers
  • Traveling wipes
  • Portable lockboxes to secure personal belongings when everyone goes wading into the sea

Before You Leave Home:

I strongly recommend including a home checklist section in your ultimate beach packing list. It will put your mind at ease when you have locked up the home securely and followed all necessary protocols before you hit the road for a family vacation.

After all, no one wishes to come home to a disaster that occurred out of some negligence. The following is a simple checklist but enough to ensure you will not leave loopholes for accidents behind while you’re enjoying unknowingly in the waves.

What to do before you leave the house:

  • Lock up each room, each drawer, cupboard and cabinet in the house before you step out.
  • Turn off the thermostat before you leave for the beach vacation
  • Pay all your bills that are due or outstanding before you go on your beach vacation
  • Take care of the money or leave it somewhere safe responsibly while you’re away from home. Try not to leave unnecessary amounts of cash when you’re going on a beach vacation
  • Remove all the mail and respond proactively before the beach vacation begins
  • Empty the fridge
  • Empty the garbage cans.
  • Provide enough dog food for your pet to the dog sitter before you leave for your beach vacation. Responsible pet owners provide well before they leave for trips
  • If you feel hesitant to leave the house unattended while you’re away for a beach vacation, you must hire a reliable house sitter. Ask them to take rounds once a twice during the day or night around your house to ensure nothing untoward is happening in your absence.
  • Have someone double-check your beach packing list and your home checklist before you leave. If you miss out on anything by chance, the other will double-check to ensure no loopholes behind.

Putting together a beach trip packing list demands time, energy and careful attention to detail. You have to pack endless items, from clothing articles to toiletries to food and drinks to ensure everyone is well provided for on the family trip.

[Download the packing checklist here]

However, if you manage to check everything on your beach trip packing list, you will ensure an absolutely enjoyable and unforgettable vacation for all.

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