Updated on May 4, 2020 by Asher Fergusson
There are some obvious items to pack for the beach, but we’ve come up with a list of must-have beach items that you may not have thought of. Below it, you’ll find recommendations for what NOT to bring along with what to wear, and even some FAQs.
Bask in the sun, splash around a bit, and enjoy your opportunity to soak in the beauty of the beach!
What to pack for the Beach!
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6. Cooler Bag
8. Beach Mat
9. Beach Bag
14. Beach Umbrella
Other things you should bring to the beach:
Paper plates/ disposable cutlery
Beer/ wine (Local grocery store)
Best Baby Travel Gear
Reusable cloth bag
Facial cleansing wipes
Deodorant: Women’s and Men’s
Aloe Vera Gel
Sun hat: Women’s and Men’s
What should I wear to the beach?
The good news is that you don’t need to wear much at the beach. A swimsuit, flip flops and a cover up make up the beachwear trifecta.
You should always bring a change of clothes and a bag to store your wet items in. Keep items that need to stay dry in your waterproof dry bag. It’s also advisable to pack a lightweight rain jacket in case the weather turns or you are visiting off-season. And of course, bring plenty of sunscreen and bug spray as well!
What NOT to take to the beach:
2) Phone without a dry bag – The last thing you want is sand stuck in the crevices of your phone. Or worse, irreparable water damage!
3) Foods that will attract bees – Leave the sweet stuff at home (or in a sealed cooler). Bees are especially attracted to honey, so if your picnic includes a peanut butter and honey sandwich, you will have visitors.
5) Valuables – Lock away anything valuable in your car, out of sight. This way if your whole crew wants to take a dip in the water you won’t have to worry about anything getting stolen from your beach site.
FAQs about packing for the beach:
1) Can I use a tent or umbrellas at the beach?
Definitely. A day at the beach doesn’t mean you need to be in the sun all day. Using a tent or umbrella will shade you from harmful UV rays and give you a place to rest without the direct light and heat.
2) What are some good beach reads?
We all have different taste in books, but if you’re in the mood for a juicy but light-hearted beach read, check out this beach reads list. When reading on the beach, it’s probably best to avoid any heavy subject matter. Avoid things like thrillers and mysteries, and try to stick with uplifting or at least amusing stories.
3) How do I find a public beach near me?
Simply Google “beach near me.” A map will pop up with beaches that are close to your location! You can read the descriptions and see if they are public and if they require an entrance or parking fee. Follow the associated links to learn more about that beach and any rules for use.
4) Is there anything special I should bring when going to the beach with kids?
Extra snacks and cold drinks are always a good idea, as are water diapers, a playpen, water wings (floaties), pool noodles, and anything that will keep the kids entertained! A mom I know compares packing for one day at the beach with kids to packing for a week-long vacation with adults – you’ll want to overprepare where possible. Extra changes of clothes are vital: you’ll be surprised how dirty kids can get at the beach.
5) Can I bring my dog?
Some beaches are dog-friendly, while others are not. If the beach you are going to happens to allow dogs, there will most likely be a strict leash policy. Research your particular beach destination online to get specifics, and be absolutely sure that you follow leash and curb rules so that you don’t contribute to loss of dog privileges or possibly get ticketed for a violation.
6) Is alcohol allowed at the beach?
Here again, it depends on the beach. Some beaches even have vendors where you can buy such beverages, while others have rules against any alcohol. Most beaches in the US allow it, but may have restrictions against certain kinds or certain containers. Do your research on the beach you’ll be visiting before you go, and be sure to bring along appropriate trash bags so that you can avoid leaving any litter on the beach.
7) What’s the best time of day to go to the beach?
The earlier you arrive, the better spot you can stake out, and the more time you’ll have at the beach. Getting there mid-morning and beating the big crowds is always the best idea.
8) What if I’m traveling to a beach location on off-season?
Beach-going can actually be pretty fun during the off-season, as long as you know what to expect from the weather, the tides, and the rules of the beach. The toughest part of off-season beach days is usually the wind or the weather, so make sure that you pack good layers in case a chill sets in. It’s also a good idea to be sure you have a plan to skedaddle out of there quickly if a rainstorm comes up unexpectedly!
The huge benefit of going to the beach during the slower season is that you won’t have to fight big crowds for premium beach spots! This can make beach days much more fun.
9) What’s the best way to protect my valuables while I’m at the beach?
There are several methods that many people employ:
- Anything of value that you don’t absolutely need should be left at home or locked out of sight in the car
- Valuable items that you have to keep with you (phone, wallet, etc.) should be hidden and, if possible, locked away. Some beach blankets have hidden zippered pouches for this purpose, and certain coolers can be locked – again for this purpose.
- Bring your items with you in a dry bag! These waterproof bags and wearable pouches are designed to allow you to carry your vulnerable items safely, even when you’re taking part in water sports.
10) What are some beach safety tips to be aware of?
The first and foremost tip is to stay on top of sunscreen and hydration. Exposure to solar dehydration and UV rays is the most common danger on beaches.
The second tip would be to be aware of tides, currents, and other water conditions. Water is an excellent source of fun and entertainment, but tides can also be very dangerous if children are left unattended, or individuals don’t know what to do if they get caught in a rip current. Check resources like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website for resources on tide safety and rip currents.
Above all, stay in sight of your party and don’t take foolish risks, and you should be just fine! Beaches are about fun, relaxation, and exploring.