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17 Top Beach House Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

what to pack for a beach house
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Humans gravitate toward the water. That’s why beaches are so popular. If you’ve ever seen images or paintings of people sitting on a shoreline, most of the time they’re looking at the water. There’s something soothing about the waves hitting the sand and the horizon that offers our eyes enough of the unknown to spark our imagination.

Spending time at the beach is good for one’s soul, which is why you rented a place for yourself and your family. Now you’re wondering what you should pack for this dream vacation. We put together this list of must-have items. Staying at a home on the beach is different than spending the day there, and the packing needs reflect that.

See our product selection criteria and guidelines here.

What to Pack for a Beach House – 17 Essentials

  • 1. Packing Cubes

    No matter how long you plan on staying at this beach house, there are going to be a lot of little things to pack. Odds and ends like beach toys and first aid kits. You’re going to bring dry foods and towels. These packing cubes are perfect for organizing your items, so kitchen items are in the kitchen and linens in the bedroom.

    Packing Cubes

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  • 2. Portable Charger

    Sometimes, when renting a beach house, a boat comes along with the deal. If not, some travelers opt to hike the property to see what they can find. Even if you plan on heading into town for some cocktails, this portable charger will come in handy. There are so many opportunities for great photos don’t let a dead battery ruin it.

    Portable Charger

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  • 3. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    Renting a beach house is fun but there are dangers as well. Using the internet provided by the host is fine, but are you protected? If you use a VPN, you’ll know that you are. This option, from NordVPN, gives users a smooth, fast connection that is safe from malware, tracking and intrusive ads.

    Virtual Private Network (VPN)

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  • 4. Quick Dry Towel

    If you plan on spending a lot of time in the water this quick-dry towel is a great addition ot your packing list. Everyone water lover in the family should have one. They’re also great for anyone looking to do some hiking, boating, or even after taking a shower. The microfibers are soft and gentle on your skin.

    travel towel

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  • 5. Life Straw Water Bottle

    Most people like to bring water wherever they go, but they want to stop purchasing one-time-use options. The Life Straw Water Bottle is the solution. It’s affixed with an advanced water filtration system that will remove toxins from water so you can drink it. It offers water lovers a way to obtain drinkable water anywhere, sustainably.

    LifeStraw Water Bottle

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  • 6. Cooling Towel

    Certain activities make us sweat. Yoga on a hot sunny day, hiking, and even water sports can cause us to perspire and possibly overheat, which is a great reason to add this cooling towel to your packing list. All you have to do is wet it and put the towel over your head. Within minutes you’ll feel your body begin to cool down.

    cooling towel

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  • 7. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    Not all beach houses are in areas of the world with perfect weather. And places with perfect weather aren’t strangers to the occasional rainstorm. If there’s a chance that you might catch some rain this umbrella is perfect for the trip. It’s small enough to pop in a daypack and it’s ideal for additional sun protection.

    Windproof Travel Umbrella

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  • 8. Beach Tent

    A portable beach tent is perfect for long days on the beach. This one is lightweight so it’s not a pain to carry to the beach. It provides enough shade for three people so you can stay on the beach all day without getting burned or having to constantly reapply sunscreen.

    Beach Tent

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  • 9. Neck Wallet

    If you plan on hiking or hitting another beach in your area, we highly suggest a neck wallet. This is a fantastic way to keep your identification, and other valuable documents, on your person at all times. Wallets fall out of pockets as well. Keep your cards, driver’s license, and cash in the safest spot there is.

    Neck Wallet

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  • 10. Hanging Toiletry Bag

    How crowded is your beach house going to be? Are you sharing a bathroom with several other people? If so, this hanging toiletry bag is just what you need. You can either hang your bag in the bathroom or bring it back and forth when you shower or get ready for the day. This bag helps you avoid the clutter on the bathroom counter.

    Hanging Toiletry Bag

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  • 11. Sand-Resistant Blanket

    This ultra-compact beach blanket is sand-resistant and perfect for lounging on the beach. Stakes are included to make sure the blanket doesn’t budge, even on a windy day. It’s lightweight and comfortable for laying on all day and shaking sand off is a breeze.

    Sand-Resistant Blanket

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  • 12. Daypack

    Whether you’ll be hiking through the nearby wilderness or walking to a beach down the road for the day, this backpack is perfect for those times when you know you’ll be gone for a while. It’s lightweight and can take the rain, plus it has tons of pockets and compartments so you can keep track of what you have.


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  • 13. Universal Waterproof Phone Case

    If one thing is guaranteed, when you spend time at a beach house, you’re likely going to get wet. Most smartphones aren’t waterproof, so we highly recommend getting a waterproof phone case like this one. That way you won’t have to worry about ruining your phone, which can take a day away from the beach to replace.

    Universa Waterproof

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  • 14. Cooler

    Everyone likes something cold to drink when they’re sitting in the hot sun on the beach. This cooler is perfect for keeping all your beverages cold. Even if your beach is only a few steps away, who wants to get up off their beach towel to go inside? This cooler is lightweight and can withstand the sun and sand.

    bag- cooler

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  • 15. First Aid Kit

    Accident happen and people get hurt. The beach house you’re staying at may have a first-aid kit, but what if they don’t? This one is small and easy to pack. It wouldn’t even take up much room in that daypack we suggested earlier. It comes with all the tools and bandages you might need in an emergency.

     First Aid Kit

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  • 16. Travel Insurance

    Renting a beach house isn’t cheap, especially if you’re in a popular destination spot. Ensuring your reservations and vacation is easy. offers reasonable rates and a variety of plans so you don’t have to stress a cancellation. We like to use to compare policies from top companies to find the best plan that fits our family’s travel needs.

    Compare policies at ➜

  • 17. Universal Travel Adapter

    If you’re traveling overseas to stay in a beach house then you’ll want to have a universal travel adapter with you, if that country doesn’t have the same type of power plug yours does. This adapter will work in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, and France. It’s small and easy to pack too.

    Adapter Plug Ports

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What to Wear at a Beach House

Beach house vacations can be anything you want them to be. Are you planning on spending most of your time in a chair reading the latest vampire series? Or are you going to throw a fancy soiree for everyone in the neighborhood? These things matter when planning what to wear.

One thing you can be sure of is that you’ll need your bathing suit, so you can start building from there. There’s so much to do at a beach house you may want to bring everything, but we strongly discourage you from doing that either. This is why planning is key, and this list of items should help you narrow it down.

What Should Women Wear?- (Click to expand)

Below is a sample women’s clothing list.(All items link to for your convenience).

One bathing suit will not be enough if you’re staying at a beach house in the summer. Two or three will suffice if you’re staying seven days or longer. You’ll need a cute cover-up for those times when you wander down the shoreline.

Do you plan on attending any bonfires at night? You’ll want to bring shorts for hot summer nights and jeans and a hoodie if the temperatures drop. A good rule of thumb is to check the forecast for the area you’re staying in. This is simple to do on the internet and you’ll know whether or not you need that sweater.

What Should Men Wear?- (Click to expand)

Below is a sample men’s clothing list.(All items link to for your convenience).

Packing for a beach house vacation isn’t much different for men than it is for women. You have to consider the activities you plan on doing and pack accordingly. If there’s a cute town up the road with a couple of nightlife spots, maybe bring a nice shirt and some decent shoes. But remember that walking in uncomfortable shoes should be avoided at all times.

If you plan on hanging out at the house for a few days and doing nothing, then you won’t need much more than a couple pairs of shorts, some clean underwear, and a few t-shirts. But there is one thing that you must not forget. Your swimming trunks! If you’re going to be there longer than two days, bring a couple pairs of trunks.

Packing for the Seasons at a Beach House

Summer – June, July, August

Summer is the best time to hang out at a beach house for a few days or even a month. Because the weather is so warm, in most places, all you need is a bathing suit, cover-up, some shorts, and a few tanks. Of course, if the place you’re staying has cool evenings, don’t forget to pack some jeans and a hoodie.

Fall – September, October, November

While summer seems like the best time to stay at the beach, fall is another time of year when it’s a good idea to head toward the water. If the area you’re staying in gets cold in the fall, enjoy those leaves in some jeans and a light jacket. But, if you’re escaping the cold and headed somewhere warm, bring those trunks!

Winter – December, January, February

Not many people enjoy staying at beach houses in colder areas during the winter months. If you’re the type to enjoy the ice forming on the water and snow, bring a coat, hat, gloves, and a good pair of boots. If you’re escaping old man winter and headed toward the equator, bring that bathing suit.

Spring – March, April, May

Spring is the time when the circle of life begins again. The snow has melted, and everything is blooming. Staying at the beach during this time of year is beautiful too. But if it’s not warm enough to go in the water, pack some pants and long sleeve shirts. You should also bring shorts and t-shirts, in case a warm spell hits.

Dressing appropriately for the activity– (Click to expand)

Boating: If the house you’re renting has a boat on it, fantastic!! If not, that’s okay. Typically, someone nearby has a boat and will invite you to join them. For this activity, you’ll need a good bathing suit, or swimming trunks, and some solid flip-flops.

Water skiing: One of the most popular things to do, when you’re on a boat, is to water ski. For this, you and your family may want to wear wetsuits depending on the temperature of the water. Goggles help if your eyes are sensitive to the water, and water shoes come in handy when the bottom of a lake is loaded with sharp rocks.

Sandcastle building: Sandcastles are a spectacular way to pass the time and enjoy the surf. To do this you don’t need to dress in any particular way. Your bathing suit will be just fine. If you feel you are ready to get into some dry clothes, throw on a t-shirt and some shorts. But seriously, if you wanted to, you could make a sandcastle wearing a cocktail dress.

Hanging Out: The best thing about a beach house is that it’s a cool place to hang out. When you’re sitting around reading or cooking up a meal for everyone, you can wear anything you like. Just be sure you’re comfortable. A nice sundress, pajamas, and jeans are all viable options when considering what to wear when hanging around the house.

Hiking: It’s no secret that we’re big hiking enthusiasts. That’s because we love nature and understand that taking it in is good for us. If hiking in warm weather you might be most comfortable in shorts and a t-shirt. Most importantly, don’t forget the hiking boots. Your feet will thank you later.

What NOT to Bring to a Beach House

  • 1.DON’T Bring Expensive Jewelry

    Diamonds look fabulous anywhere, but they also get lost easily, and the beach is full of sand, which gets everywhere. Sure, you can bring those pearls, but they’ll likely stay in the box.

  • 2.DON’T Bring Unnecessary Clothing

    Just like a pearl necklace might be a bit out of place at a beach house, the same goes for certain types of clothing. For the most part, the weather should dictate your packing. If the temperature isn’t going lower than 80˚F then you can leave that hoodie at home.

  • 3.DON’T Bring High Heeled Shoes

    Heels sink in the sand and dirt, so spikey heels aren’t practical when it comes to staying at a beach house. But, if you’re planning a fancy party, you may want to bring them. Plans and weather dictate our packing. If you aren’t dressing up, the heels should be passed up.

  • 4.DON’T Bring Things You Don’t Need

    There are all kinds of things that wind up in our bags that we don’t need. When you’re packing ask yourself if you’re going to wear/use it. If your instinct says, “maybe” leave it at home. Only pack what you need because the more you have the heavier the bag.

  • 5.DON’T Bring Unnecessary Electronics

    You can bring a drone if you really want to get an aerial view of the lake but be sure you’re being honest with yourself. Unless you plan on working inside the whole trip, leave that laptop at home. You can communicate via smartphones and tablets.

  • 6.DON’T Bring Heavy Books

    Kindles and other reading apps are perfect when you plan on doing a lot of reading at the beach. You’re not limited in your library and it’s less to lug around.

What NOT to Wear at a Beach House – (Click to expand)

Don’t wear fancy clothes that will only get wet and sandy. But maybe there’s a cocktail party on the beach, which is why we’ve been emphasizing the weather and activities and how you should pack surrounding them.

Don’t wear jeans if it’s warm and don’t only wear shorts if the temperature takes a drop. Most of all don’t forget to bring your swimming suit.

FAQs about Staying at a Beach House

  • 1. Where’s the best place to rent a beach house?

    That depends on your taste. Some people want to vacation in sunny California while others prefer to travel overseas to France or Spain. The important thing, once you’re at your destination, you’re going to make it fun because you’re in a beach house.

  • 2. Are private beaches common with beach houses?

    Are private beaches common with beach houses?

    No, some beach houses have private beaches while others share a public beach down the street. There are so many types of beach houses we can’t list them all here. But we can suggest reviewing what your beach house has to offer before renting, so you know you’re getting what you want. If having a private beach is something very important to you, Airbnb is a great place to look or consider a resort with a private beach.

  • 3. Is renting a beach house expensive?

    It can be, but it can also be not very expensive. This all depends on the house’s proximity to the water, the location, the amenities, the number of bedrooms, and much more. There are beach houses to meet most people’s financial means, especially if you get a group together and split the bill.

  • 4. How long should I stay at the beach house?

    How long should I stay at the beach house?

    If it were me, I’d live in a beach house, but that’s not an option for many. You can stay at a beach house for as long as you want. You can stay a month or a night. You can likely find a beach house to rent for a year if you like. There are no limits. If you work remotely like a lot of people nowadays than you might even consider renting a beach house even during a work week.

  • 5. Will I be required to clean the beach house?

    That depends on the rules of the house you’re staying. Many rentals charged a cleaning fee and brought in professionals, which is the best for everyone involved.

  • 6. Are there fun things to do in the same area?

    Are there fun things to do in the same area?

    This also depends on where you’re staying. There are beach houses that are very secluded and take a car ride to find bars or restaurants. Others are just a half a block away from a bustling tourist scene. Research your house and the location so you’re prepared. The beach is always a good time. You could go buggy-boarding or surfing, snorkeling, or stand-up paddle boarding. The number of activities the beach and ocean offer seem almost limitless.