How to Pack for a Beach Vacation with Kids

 As a parent, planning a beach vacation with kids can be both exciting and difficult. You want to ensure that everyone has a great time, but the thought of packing for the trip can be overwhelming. What should you bring? How much is too much? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. 

From sunscreen to beach toys, there are several essential items you’ll need to pack to make your beach getaway a success. This guide explores everything you need to pack for a successful and stress-free beach vacation with your little ones, addressing all your concerns and providing a foolproof plan.

Clothing Essentials


Swimwear is undoubtedly a top priority when packing for a beach vacation with kids. Pack multiple swimsuits for each child to account for accidents or the need for a change. Look for swimsuits with built-in sun protection, or choose to pair them with rash guards or swim shirts for added protection from the sun’s harmful rays. 

Swim trunks with built-in rash guards are versatile pieces that offer sun protection while allowing for easy movement and play – a perfect option for kids who tend to spend hours in the water.

Lightweight Dresses

In addition to swimwear, focus on packing comfortable and versatile outfits that can easily transition from day to night. Choose lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton, linen, or moisture-wicking materials that will keep your kids cool and comfortable in the warm, humid climate. 

For little boys, classic kids clothes are a great option, providing comfort and ease of movement while being suitable for both casual and semi-formal settings. For girls, casual dresses or rompers are easy to slip on and off and can be dressed up or down, making them perfect for both beach days and evenings out. 

Pack plenty of shorts and T-shirts, ensuring you have enough for each day of your trip, plus a few extras. Even though you’ll be spending most of your time in swimwear, it’s a good idea to have some lightweight jackets or sweaters on hand for cooler evenings, especially in coastal areas.

Cover-ups and Hats

Beach cover-ups are ideal for covering up after a swim or for casual beachwear when exploring the area around your beach destination. If you have a little one not yet potty-trained, pack plenty of swim diapers to avoid any mishaps in the water. Don’t forget to protect your kids’ eyes and faces with wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses that offer UV protection.


Proper footwear is essential for beach activities and exploring your vacation destination. Water shoes or sandals provide grip and protection for walking on slippery or rocky surfaces near the water, as well as protection from hot sand. 

Flip-flops or slip-on shoes are convenient for quickly slipping on and off when going to and from the beach and perfect for casual wear around the hotel or resort. Don’t forget to pack a pair of sneakers or closed-toe shoes for activities or excursions that require more supportive footwear, such as hiking or exploring nearby towns.

Beach Gear

Source: Canva

Kids love playing in the sand and water, so be sure to pack plenty of beach toys. Buckets, shovels, moulds, and inflatable balls or beach balls are great options. Don’t forget to bring a few extra bags to store wet and sandy toys after playtime.

Pack one or two large beach towels or blankets for each child. These will serve as a comfortable spot for them to sit, play, or nap on the sand. Consider packing a few extra towels for drying off after swimming.

Sunscreen is an absolute must for any beach vacation. Pack a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 for both adults and kids. Don’t forget to reapply regularly, especially after swimming or sweating. Additionally, pack a beach umbrella or pop-up tent to provide some shade for your little ones.

Snacks and Hydration

Staying hydrated is crucial when spending time in the sun and heat. Pack plenty of water or sports drinks for your kids, and consider bringing a cooler or insulated bags to keep them cold. Hydration packs or reusable water bottles with straws can also be handy for active kids.

Pack a variety of healthy, non-perishable snacks that are easy to eat on the go. Granola bars, dried fruit, nuts, and crackers are all great options. Don’t forget to bring a few treats or special snacks to make the beach trip extra special for your kids.

Miscellaneous Items

A comprehensive first aid kit is crucial for any family getaway. Pack an assortment of bandages in various sizes, antiseptic wipes to clean wounds, sterile gauze for covering injuries, tweezers for removing splinters or debris, and a supply of essential medications specific to your children’s needs. 

Don’t forget to include any prescription medications and over-the-counter remedies for common ailments like pain relievers, antihistamines, and motion sickness pills. Invest in a durable, spacious beach bag or backpack to conveniently transport all your beach essentials. 

Opt for waterproof or water-resistant materials to protect your belongings from sand and moisture. Look for bags with multiple pockets and compartments to keep items organized and easily accessible. Consider features like adjustable straps, insulated cooler sections, and external mesh pockets for added functionality and convenience.

When traveling with infants or toddlers, remember to pack all the necessary baby gear to ensure a comfortable and stress-free experience. Include an ample supply of diapers and wipes to keep your little one clean and dry throughout the day. 

Pack a portable changing pad for convenient diaper changes on the go. Consider bringing a lightweight, beach-friendly stroller or baby carrier to make exploring the beach and surrounding areas easier with your young child.

Category Essential Items
Clothing Swimwear, lightweight dresses, shorts, t-shirts, cover-ups, hats
Footwear Water shoes, sandals, flip-flops, sneakers
Beach Gear Beach toys, towels, sunscreen, umbrella or tent
Snacks & Hydration Water, sports drinks, healthy snacks, treats
Miscellaneous First aid kit, beach bag or backpack, baby gear (if needed)

Packing Tips and Tricks

  • Make a checklist: Creating a detailed packing checklist will help ensure you don’t forget any essential items.
  • Pack in advance: Start packing a few days before your trip to avoid last-minute scrambling.
  • Use packing cubes or ziplock bags: These can help organize and separate items, making it easier to find what you need.
  • Pack extras: It’s always better to have a few extra sets of clothes, towels, and snacks on hand, especially when travelling with kids.
  • Involve your kids: Let your kids help pack their own beach toys and accessories, making them feel involved and responsible.


By following these tips and packing essentials, you’ll be well-prepared for a fun and stress-free beach vacation with your kids. Remember, the key is to stay organized, pack smart, and prioritize sun protection and hydration. With the right gear and a little planning, you’ll be ready to create lasting memories on the sandy shores with your family.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it necessary to bring a beach umbrella or canopy?

Absolutely! A beach umbrella or canopy provides essential shade and protection from the sun’s intense rays, especially during peak hours.

Should I pack a first aid kit, even if we’re staying at a resort?

Yes, it’s always better to be prepared. Pack a basic first aid kit with bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any necessary medications.

How can I keep our devices charged and protected on the beach?

Invest in a waterproof phone case and portable chargers to keep your devices safe and charged throughout the trip.

Key Takeaways

  • Pack essentials like swimsuits, beach towels, sunscreen, and a first aid kit.
  • Don’t forget comfortable and versatile clothing options for beach days and evenings.
  • Bring beach gear like chairs, umbrellas, and toys to keep kids entertained.
  • Prioritize hydration and pack plenty of water, juices, and snacks.
  • Don’t forget accessories like hats, sunglasses, and portable chargers to capture memories.


Source: Canva

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