Jul 162014

Beach Essentials For Families

Now that the weather has warmed up, summer is in full swing and that means picnics, camping, cookouts and my personal favorite thing about summer – the beach! These are the activities that make it Summer, and make for great memories. Taking the kids to the beach can be so much fun, but if you aren’t properly prepared, it can end in sunburns and tears.

To get the most out of your day at the beach, and to keep everyone safe and happy, here is a comprehensive list of what you must have with you. Keep in mind that the list may vary depending on the ages of your children, but there are some things that will apply regardless of age:

  • Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. And hats. And protective clothing. Kid skin is delicate, especially if your children are fair-skinned. Come home from the beach with sea shells, and maybe some sand, but no sunburn!
  • More towels than you think you will need.
  • Extra clothing, for a sand-free ride home.
  • Water. Fill some bottles up and stick them in the freezer.
  • Snacks. Preferably snacks that are bite-size. This way, if some of them find their way on to the ground, you won’t have lost the whole thing.
  • Toys that you (and your kids) won’t mind getting dirty or lost.
  • Swim diapers for your toddlers. Bring more than you think you’ll need. Bring plenty of wipes.
  • Zip-lock bags, the big ones. Perfect for wet clothes, snacks, and anything you don’t want to get sandy or wet.
  • A first aid kit. Cuts and scrapes happen, and it is a good idea to have antibacterial cream and bandages on hand just in case.
  • An umbrella.
  • $20.  You never know when the ice cream man is going to drive up & park right in front of where your family is set up.

This may seem like a lot of stuff to haul with you, but you will be glad you came prepared! This list is also good for a day at the lake, park or anywhere where there is dirt, sun and water. Oh, and don’t forget your camera.

  117 Responses to “Beach Essentials For Families”

  1. A lot of sun screen is a must for me because I hate to get burn. Also extra grocery bags to use as trash bags is nice.

  2. The last tip is so important. Having no cash with the ice cream truck shows up is like the worst…..believe me, I know! Also, great tip about the zip-lock bags too….I forgot those yesterday and they would have come in handy. 🙂

  3. I always pack so much sunscreen and band aids,As for snacks we never take plenty of small packs of different fruit and nuts things like that. I agree with everything on this list.

  4. Great list and you know I love the summer time and all things be beachy, too!! 🙂

  5. Awesome tips! Never would have thought to bring a first aid kit but that makes so much sense!!!

  6. Great list for the beach. I never thought to freeze the water before now.

  7. Love the list. The baggies are a fantastic idea. I will keep it in mind.

  8. Great list and great timing! We are headed to the beach with my 3 year old and newborn next month! Thanks!

  9. Here’s to the sunscreen! We slather it on with the redheads in our house. I LOVE the tip about the cash. The ice cream man is something Red has yet to experience, but I can’t wait!

  10. Money for the ice cream truck is a must. 🙂

    For us this week, it’d be JACKETS. We’re back down to high 50’s/low 60’s and it’s really irking me. It’s July for goodness sake.

  11. we leave a towel in the back of the van with clean clothes. the kids easily can change in the car 🙂
    we also have wet bags- leftovers from cloth diaper days, although you can buy bathing suit ones at justice for the girls- less waste

  12. Great tips – especially keeping out a little cash for the ice cream man!

  13. An umbrella is a must for me whenever we go to the beach! Love the other tips too!

  14. great list, instead of disposable bags, I bring a wet bag (the kind used for cloth diapers) so we can reuse it over and over. Thanks for the tip to freeze the water:) Great idea!

  15. Sunscreen, yes…and hat, and sunglasses! The older I get the more I care! 🙂 And great tip on the water…we always do that too!

  16. Thanks for putting together such a great list!

  17. That’s so true about the ice cream truck. They play that enchanting song reportedly and it’s like your hypnotized into buying stuff from him!

  18. Great list – we also keep a gallon of water (reuse a milk jug) to rinse feet as we get into the car. No matter how hard we tried and even using the showers we still hand sandy feet.

  19. Glad you said toys that you don’t mind losing. WE always seem to leave behind a shovel!

  20. These are great tips. I like the Zip-lock bags idea!

  21. This is a perfect list – you covered it all! And I like the “more towels than you think you will need” especially LOL

  22. These are great tips! The sunscreen is, of course, a no-brainer, but the ziploc bags idea is really great. I’ve been to the beach so many times and had to dump sand out of my purse or my husband’s wallet. Ziploc bags from now on!

  23. I absolutely love these ideas. The Ziploc idea is great! I can’t count how many times I’ve had to dump sand out of… everything, really. The first aid kit is another must.

  24. I definitely need to put all of those on my list. Thanks for this!

  25. We lose (or gain) a toy every time we go to the beach. The only other thing I’d add is a chair.

  26. You know to someone that may seem like a big list…well until they go and realize they forgot this and that. We love going to the beach and with two young boys extra everything is always a must. Bringing $20 is smart that way if the ice cream man comes I am covered but I wouldn’t have to worry about carrying a purse. Thanks for sharing:)

  27. Great list to have, especially when taking kids to the beach. The beach is our favorite place to go in the summer. Thanks for sharing!

  28. I always seem to forget something. I so need a checklist of these 🙂

  29. A great list, and since I’m always forgetting something, I need this! Thanks so much!

  30. These are really great tips. Snacks are ESSENTIAL!! There is something about water that makes kids turn into hungry beasts. LOL

  31. These are great tips! How true about the ice cream man!

  32. I have an outside tote with most of this stuff in it. We play hard in the summer between the garden and the pool. So I found keeping stuff handy along with toys that can go outside worked out a lot better.

  33. We will be at the beach all next week and all of these types are awesome! Thanks

  34. This is a great list! Sounds like you covered it all. Thank you!

  35. Love the list. You were took into case that each age group but you forget to say take your friends along.

  36. The umbrella, sunscreen and a board shirt or wetsuit are essential for me. I don’t wear a wetsuit at the normal beach, too weird, but when we drive out for a day at Nauset, I live in that wetsuit. So many companies make those boards shirts and they are available in tons of colors and patterns so you don’t feel quite so much like a dork.

  37. This is a really great list. Were heading to the beach in August I’ll be the one all wrapped up. So afraid of wrinkles I’d probably drown trying to avoid them haha. Love the Ziploc tip.

  38. Great list! Things like extra clothes and an umbrella I don’t always think to add, but are totally necessary. Thanks for sharing!

  39. WE just booked a weekend trip to the beach.. so this list will come in handy for sure!

  40. Great list. I cannot stress the importance of a first aid kit enough. Especially at the beach!

  41. We had just about everything on this list. It made for a less stressful day at the beach!

  42. Large ziploc bags are always in my beach bag!

  43. Those are all great tips. We do a lot of ziploc bags, as they do come in handy.

  44. Just found your blog! I am a Masshole too! Thanks for the tips

  45. Amen on the Zip-loc bags! I carry those around everywhere. You just never know. Great beach essentials!

  46. Because we live in FL we keep a beach bag in the car filled with things like sunscreen, aloe and other essentials.

  47. I need to remember an umbrella for sure. That would make a huge difference for me as I hate sitting in the sun.

  48. Great picks, I like bringing Ziploc bags for the sea shells my kids find too.

  49. I am all for being over-prepared… so much better than under, HA! I always forget the bug spray and end up having to buy some 🙁

  50. Great list!! Don’t forget the sunglasses and also baby powder for getting the sand off of you!!

  51. I hadn’t thought of taking toys that we don’t mind if they get lost or dirty. That’s a great idea for our upcoming trip!

  52. Great list! I always walk with sunscreen whenever we go out, even in the winter and water as well. Lately I’ve been taking my camera everywhere we go too, call me paparazzi. 🙂

  53. Zip bags are always invaluable. I take them with me everywhere, even now that I don’t have kids at home! And yes to the sunscreen!

  54. Nice. We cannot get enough sunscreen and water. No matter how many bottles, I bring we are always short.

  55. SOooo true on the ziploc bags – i love those two gallon sizes and the BIG Big ones that are like shopping bags! And yeah cash on hand is key! 🙂

  56. I agree with this list! That is everything my family needed when we went to the beach 🙂

  57. Great tips! I always forget the darn swim diapers!

  58. Good list! Especially the “More towels than you think you need” part! Been there done that! Happy Summer.

  59. Great list! Extra towels are so important. It seems like you can never have enough.

  60. Sunscreen is definitely a must-have for our family! Cash is another great thing to have on hand. Whether it’s for ice cream, parking, tips, you never know! 🙂 Great list.

  61. We are going to the beach in August, and I can’t wait to gather up all of these items for a fun day! I think the first and last ones are the most important… gotta have ice cream 😉

  62. Sunscreen and bandaids are always a must have!

  63. Great list and perfect timing, we are planning a beach trip this weekend. Thanks for sharing

  64. we are headed to the beach in August. thanks for the great tips. Baby powder to take off the sand is a must.

  65. You have a perfect list for the beach. I would have never thought of ziplock bags! Awesome tips! Have fun in the sun.

  66. $20 for sure! (I remember when it used to be $5!)

  67. I Love this list!! Will have to print it out.

  68. Thanks!! My list would have grinders, chips, water, and all of the above. We haven’t even made it to the beach yet.

  69. I agree about the towels, I like having one to sit on and one or two to wrap around me. I like the ziploc bag idea. Perfect for your smartphone or book.

  70. Yes! These are great tips! Cash is a good one!

  71. Great tips! My favourite is the $20 for the ice cream truck! Such a great treat on a summer day.

  72. Great tips and yes sunscreen is a must, must, must! I live at the beach, and I see so many tourist from up north get fried because they fail to use sunscreen. Protect or your skin will look a wreck!

  73. These are all definitely essentials! Especially the sunscreen – I get burnt so easily, so I need it.

  74. Yep, $20 is a must… there’s always a confession stand. We bring plastic shopping bags for the wet clothes and towels.

  75. This looks like a great list for someone, but not me. 🙁 I haven’t been to the beach in ages and my summer vacation is almost over. Maybe next year.


  76. Having Ziplock bags is a great idea because sand can get into everything. I will definitely pack some next time we go to the beach.

  77. Baby powder too. That stuff is a life saver getting that sand off wet body parts!

  78. What a great list. The umbrella is definitely a must.

  79. Very good list indeed. Also, baby powder to get those icky sand off!

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  80. Good list…the last few years we have a beach/pool bag with all of our items in the bag. Before I put the bag away I make sure my items are in the bag for the next trip. I also include wet wipes – they really come in handy.

  81. I am for sure always an over-pack VS under-pack kinda gal! Good list!

  82. Sunscreen is a for sure must have. And can you ever have too many band-aids?? 😉

  83. Band-aids are the one thing I forget and we need them every time! Great list!

  84. Water and sunscreen for sure! This is a great list!

  85. I love love love the beach but never go. Why?

  86. This is a great list! We go to the beach often!

  87. That’s the perfect list, and one of the reasons why I don’t like the beach. lol A lot of work just to go get covered in sand. 😛

  88. I just bookmarked this list. Great ideas! We had a major boat packing fail the other weekend, and I vowed to be the prepared mommy from now on!

  89. I say this is a perfect list for sure. I have been going to Lake Sunapee State Beach lately with the kiddos as it’s not too far from me. It’s so much fun having beach days, if you are prepared!

  90. Awesome list! This will be helpful for when we go to the beach this year!

  91. Can’t agree more :)….I’ll probably will add some swimming equipment like goggles, flippers, and snorkel :)..have fun at the beach people..I can’t wait to explore those pretty beach lines here at surrounding of NY..

  92. Cash is so important! I always end up having to pay to park!

  93. Great post I definitely agree! Here we need about $40 for ice cream truck haha it’s so expensive!

  94. great advice! I have started keeping a bottle of both sunscreen and bug spray in the car during the summer. I also have a pre-packed beach bag that has extra towels, change of clothes for all the kids, and some things like band-aids, hand sanitizer, and wipes. I keep all the sand toys in a bin that can just go from our backyard sandbox, straight to the car for beach days. easy peasy. And so much less stress!

  95. Great List, I always forget something and up at cvs or somewhere similar on the way, ugh! I should print this! plus I seem to go through a bottle of sunblock per a day at the beach lol

  96. I swear that you follow my life and then post tips two days too late:) I just put my daughter in the car to go to the beach with her Grandmother!

  97. such a good list to follow. I know we are always running out of towels when we are at the beach.

  98. More towels than you think you will need. That is my favorite one! 😀

  99. Thanks for the tips! Incredibly, we haven’t made it to the beach at all yet this summer. Sigh.

  100. The cash is a great addition to the list. I rarely carry cash, but when the ice cream man is around, you really need it!

  101. Our car stays ready for an impromptu beach trip. Gotta be ready whenever the mood strikes! LOL!

  102. Awesome list for beach essentials. I’m sad that we haven’t even had a chance to hit the beach yet. Our weather has been super fickle and it rains almost every other day!

  103. Great list! We don’t get to the beach often, so I definitely need reminders on what to take when we do.

  104. That’s an awesome list! I carry sunscreen wherever we go in the summer LOL We haven’t been able to take my son to the beach yet (he’s almost 4) but hoping we can take a summer vacation to the beach soon!

  105. Great list. Zip bags and a first aid kit are huge. You never know what’s in the sand and sometimes the pebbles/seashells are super jagged.

  106. This is a great list, we bring all of those things to the beach with us too. That’s so true about the towels, we never seem to have enough. Next time we’ll bring a few extras! I never thought about putting wet clothes in zip lock bags though, thanks for the tip.

  107. Great tips! I especially love the advice about taking $20. I never have extra cash on me and end up regretting it!

  108. I totally agree with these! Even on a boat, you never know when the ice cream man might happen by (I’m totally serious too!). I always carry several different sunscreens – a face stick for the girls for easy application, regular sunscreen for dry applications, and then a wet sunscreen for reapplying!

  109. Even without kids most of these items are essential if you are going to the beach, lake etc with friends or solo! Hey us big kids love ice cream too!

  110. Great tips for what is needed for the beach. I think folks get excited about hitting the beach and forget about the important products.