Our family loves the beach, but living in Dallas, we find we can’t plan a convenient road trip to the beach. This means we have to be efficient when we pack. After dozens of attempts, we think we’ve narrowed it down to the essentials. Use our beach vacation packing list for your next trip!
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Family Beach Vacation Packing List
1. Tie-die Hoodie: It can be chilly at the beach early in the morning and after the sun goes down. Be sure to bring a hoody sweatshirt for you and the kids or a light sweater for everyone.
2. Trendy Sunglasses: The sun can be pretty intense at the beach, so in addition to wearing sun protection on your body and your head, be sure to bring sunglasses. I always bring a cheap pair that I don’t mind losing.
3. Wet Hair Brush: On a beach vacation you can plan to spend a lot of time in the water, so expect wet hair! Prevent a tangled mess by bringing along this wet hair brush. Don’t worry, it works on dry hair too!
4. Travel Size Toiletry Containers: One thing I’ve learned is to travel with a carry-on only to the beach. These containers will make packing easier.
5. ADIDAS Trail Running Shoes: Plan to spend a lot of time outdoors on a trip to the beach, and expect to find many activities in the surrounding area. There’s usually everything from zip lining to taking an off-roading adventure. These lightweight shoes are perfect for hitting those trails.
6. Wet Dry Bag: If you have more than one swimsuit, I would highly recommend packing a spare. It can take awhile for swimsuits to dry, and nothing is worse than putting on a wet swimsuit. When it’s time to pack up, use this wet/dry bag to keep the wet stuff separate from dry clothes.
7. Snorkel Mask: One of my children has always struggled with figuring out the snorkel breathing tube and separate mask. This incorporates everything in one easy-to-use mask. The mask has a 180° viewing area and even has a GoPro Mount so you can easily attach your camera and record all the fun.
8. GoPro: A GoPro will help capture all the underwater action at the beach. Kids can use it while swimming in the pool or snorkeling at the beach. It’s a worthwhile investment to capture all those “not to miss” moments.
9. Straw Fedora Sun Hat SPF 50: Not only is this hat super cute, its foldable and crushable! That’s the worst thing about most of the hats I buy, the fact they don’t travel well. Not this one, it can roll up, go right in the suitcase, and come out looking the same. It also has UPF50, perfect for those long days at the beach.
10. Waterproof Watch: Since your phone can’t go in the water, it helps to have a waterproof watch to help keep track of time. It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re on vacation.
11. Long Sleeve Sun Shirt: Here’s another good SPF option for kids. This Skin Cancer Foundation recommended product from O’Neill has UPF 50+ Ultraviolet Protection. Always use sunscreen, but this helps slow down the burning.
12. Floating GoPro Hand Grip: I love this attachment for my GoPro. It makes it easy to video when I’m swimming/snorkeling and it floats in the water if I accidentally let it go. A great investment to go with your GoPro camera.
13. Waterproof Phone Case: This is the one thing I always want to bring to the beach, yet I always forget to bring it along. A waterproof phone case is great by the pool, the beach, you name it. It’s also great for holding your room key and cash.
14. Girls SPF Bathing Suit: The sun is always intense at the beach, so not only is sunscreen important, a swimsuit with SPF protection helps too. I love how this one has a zip-off top.
15. Kids Water Shoes: Most beaches are sandy, but there can also be rocks or hidden dangers under the sand. Bring along a pair of shoes the kids can wear in and out of the water. These shoes will help them walk over the rocks and protect their feet.
16. Flip Flops: Do not forget your flip flops on a beach vacation! I love Havaianas because they are thin and don’t take up much room. Bring a couple of colorful pairs and you can wear them with a sun dress at night.
17. Striped Beach Bag: Every time I pack for a beach vacation, I pack a spare bag to take to the beach. This one is awesome with its water bottle pocket, phone case, and its huge so you can carry everyone’s stuff. (It’s also great to use as a carry-on)!
18. Goggles: If you don’t want to pack a big snorkel mask for the kids, throw in a pair or two of swim goggles. The chlorine in hotel pools can be strong and kids will want to swim all day. Goggles will protect their eyes and they will thank you for it!
19. Packable Beach Blanket: This is perfect for days at the beach. Waterproof and sandproof with an easy to carry handle, this is one item that’s easy to throw in your suitcase for the kids to enjoy on the beach.
20. Beach Sarong: Any time you take a beach vacation you can expect a lot of time by the pool or at the beach. Pack a beach sarong or cover up and you can go from the beach to the restaurant in no time at all!
Other things we always pack for the beach: sundresses, golf shorts/shirts, books, sunscreen, and aloe vera. Don’t pack a lot of beach toys because they are readily available in many beach communities.
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