No matter how many people are in your family, packing for a beach trip can be tough! Everyone needs a swimsuit (or two!), ample sun protection, towels, and of course, plenty of beach toys.
While an upcoming vacation can bring a lot of excitement, the thought of packing for a family of two, three, or more can be a real bummer. But don’t worry – we’re here to help you make sure you have everything you need for some family fun-in-the-sun.
Let’s take a look at some of our beach vacation essentials.
It’s a given that you and your family will spend some time in the water when at the beach. So, you’ll obviously need to pack a few swimsuits! Be sure to pack an appropriate amount of swimwear for the length of your vacation – especially if you won’t have access to a washing machine.
If you have little girls, pack a variety of one-pieces, bikinis, and tankinis. For the boys, throw a few pairs of swim trunks into your suitcase. And don’t forget about yourself, Mom! Pack a comfortable, supportive suit so you can take part in all of the family fun.
Plus, for a mom-hack that will make your beach day a bit easier, opt for swimsuits and rashguards with built in ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) 50+ protection. That way, you can worry less about you and your little ones getting sunburned while you’re enjoying a day by the water.
2. Sun Hats
Waterproof sun hats are a great way to keep your kids’ faces and scalps protected from the sun – especially if your little one doesn’t like to sit still for a thorough sunscreen application. Sun hats are comfortable, easy to throw on, and fit nicely in a suitcase or carry-on. Plus, your kiddos will look adorable in them – don’t forget to snap a picture!
3. Water Shoes
Water shoes are a great way to protect tiny toes from hot sand, sharp shells, and rocks. Plus, they can do double-duty as sidewalk shoes when it’s time to walk back to the hotel or car. And these beach-day essentials aren’t just for kids – adults can make great use of them too!
4. A Beach Bag
A good beach bag is something you absolutely can’t go without! Whether you choose a classic tote or a stylish backpack, be sure your bag of choice has ample room for snacks, beach toys, water bottles, extra clothes, and whatever else you may need.
5. A UPF 50+ Beach Tent
Having access to shade is key for long days on the beach – both for you and your little ones. When they’re ready to take an afternoon siesta, a UPF beach tent will keep them cool, shaded, and sleeping like a baby.
6. A Swimming Jacket or Life Vest
If your kids need assistance in the water, swimming vests and life jackets are a good option. Safer and more comfortable than traditional arm floaties, your kids will still be able to splash and play to their heart’s content. These pieces are also extremely lightweight, so they won’t be a hassle when it’s time to carry them back to the hotel room or beach house.
With swim goggles, your kids can explore life under the sea without having to worrying about emerging with red, stinging eyes. Ready for another mom-hack? Choose a pair with UVA/UVB protective lenses so they can shield your little one’s eyes from the sun too!
8. Plenty of Sunscreen
Depending on where you’ll be vacationing, your sunscreen options could be limited. That’s why it’s always best to play it safe and pack your own. This ensures that you get a brand that you know and trust! We recommend a family sized bottle of sunscreen for sensitive skin that can be used on anyone in the family – even your littlest one.
9. Inflatable Toys
Inflatables are a beach vacation essential. Whether the kids are floating around in an inner tube or taking a ride on a blow-up whale, they’re going to love whatever inflatable option you’ve brought along. Trust us.
10. A Cooler Backpack
If you plan on spending an entire day at the beach, chances are you’ll need snacks, lunch, and something cold to sip on. A cooler is the best way to make sure everything stays fresh all day long. Because your hands are going to be full of the rest of the items on our list (for example: a beach bag, water shoes, goggles, a tent, and all of those lovely inflatables), opt for a convenient backpack-style cooler.
Now that you know exactly what to bring, you can embark on your family beach vacation with confidence. Bon voyage!
About the Author
After being diagnosed with skin cancer, Melissa Papock founded Cabana Life, a beachwear brand that combines fashion and function. Cabana Life offers a wide range of stylish UPF 50+ pieces for women, men, and children.