We all love a day at the beach, but let me tell you I’m not the only one who forgets how much we need! Wishing everyone a happy day at the beach There are many things you should bring with you.
Beachpacking is an underrated art form. As long as you have a bag, towel, and sunscreen, you should be ready. Oh my god. No, no, no.
If you’ve ever tried to spend a day at the beach with just a towel and sunscreen, you already know that things can quickly go horribly wrong!
But you don’t want to pack a ridiculous amount of luggage that you can barely carry to the beach and spend more time setting up and tearing down your beach camp than enjoying the day!
First of all, I’m planning to go by car, can I park near the beach?
One of the main problems when spending a day at the beach is that parking nearby is often difficult. That means you may have to walk long distances while lugging around 8 billion pieces of luggage that you need to take with you to the beach.
In such cases, we highly recommend the Beach Trolley.
Look for a beach cart with chunky wheels that can move over soft sand, wet sand, and stony surfaces without getting stuck.
Beach trolleys are also useful for tired children after a long day at the beach.
I have this Toby Wagon and use it to take all my stuff to the beach (and for my youngest to sit on!), but I have to admit I don’t really like it. It won’t. It’s too big to fit in the trunk of my car, so I can only take it to beaches within walking distance. I also think the handle is too short and difficult to pull. However, the wheels are great and can ride on any surface!
Your main beach essentials
1. Small, lightweight, microfiber towels
Everyone loves a big, fluffy, cozy beach towel, but carrying multiple beach towels can take up all the space in your bag.
I like Dock & Bay towels. Although it is a full size towel, it is very thin so it can be packed very small and you can fit the entire family’s beach towels into a small bag. The bold and colorful stripes are also nice.
2. A beach chair
You can’t go to the beach without a beach chair! Honestly, I don’t know how I managed to spend half a day covered in sand, hot and sticky!?
Beach chairs are comfortable, but they aren’t always covered in sand, so sitting on the hot sand can feel a little cooler.
Look for something that is light and easy to carry.
I have a foldable backpack chair that has a neck support and a small pocket on the side for drinks and my phone. You can easily carry it by hanging it on your back or shoulder, making it convenient even when you have a lot of luggage!
3. Extra large beach blanket
A large beach blanket not only gives you a sand-free place to sit, but also helps you “mark your territory.” You know what I mean here. Blankets help save space. Often needed when the beach is crowded. I like this one linked because it folds up very small so it’s easy to carry.
4. Cooler bag
Even if you’re not going on a picnic to the beach, it’s worth bringing a small cooler bag with ice packs to keep your drinks cold.
Travel Hack Tip: We like to freeze a few bottles of water the night before, use them like ice packs, and drink cold water once thawed.
Here are some of my favorite insulated picnic backpacks.
5. Water bottles
Insulated water bottles are great for keeping water cool at the beach.
As mentioned above, I like to freeze some water bottles to keep other things cold and even if it thaws, I still have cold water at the end of the day.
I think a good old beach umbrella is the best way to get some shade and stay cool at the beach. Pop-up tents are popular, but I find them very hot (which can be a good thing on cold British days, but usually a bad thing!)
You can move it with the sun, making it easy to create shade in just the right spot.
I love traditional fringed umbrellas, like this one from Sunday Supply Co.
Unfortunately these are very expensive so I bought a cheaper one on Amazon. It had the same nice fringe but was a fraction of the price.
7. Umbrella sand anchor
If you’ve ever found yourself in the embarrassing situation of a beach umbrella being blown away, you’ll know the importance of a parasol sand anchor. It spins in the sand and the umbrella stays firmly in place.
8. Simple beach tent
I’m not a fan of pop-up tents that don’t allow ventilation, but I love this tent. Create plenty of shade, a cool, airy retreat, and a play area that kids will love.
If you have a bigger budget, I found this beach tent from Swished. It looks great too!
9. Wind break
If it’s a British beach day, it’s worth bringing a wind break and a mallet. A windbreak can provide privacy around your small camp and keep your entire body warm. Beaches are often warm, but a strong wind can ruin everything, so wind protection is the best solution.
Honestly, our windbreak has saved us many a beach day, and we can spend much more time at the beach with a windbreak.
10. A cooler bag
An insulated backpack is essential, especially if you’re taking food and drinks to the beach on hot days. I prefer using a backpack. Because if it’s heavy (i.e full of beer cans!) then a backpack is much easier to carry!)
11. A large beach bag
I bring a large beach bag to hold my towel and change of clothes.
13. An IKEA bag
A large IKEA bag (or something similar) is super handy for holding all your other belongings, like a beach tent, toys, windbreak, etc.
Beach toys and entertainment
If you’re looking for things to take to the beach with your kids, you’ll need toys, games, and beach entertainment. These beach toys will keep big kids and little kids entertained all day long. Beach goods are always twice the price of her at the beachside kiosks, so it’s best to buy before you get to the beach.
14. Velcro catch and ball set
It’s a great toy for young children because it’s much easier than traditional catch.
15. Bucket and spade
Nothing beats a good old bucket and shovel…and maybe a watering can, rake, and some shapes too!
My kids prefer traditional plastic buckets and spades to silicone or collapsible buckets.
My boys are a little older now and love a good spade for digging big holes!
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If you’re heading to a beach where you can surf a little, bodyboarding is a great way to keep people of all ages occupied for hours!
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If you haven’t heard of this game, get ready for the most frustrating yet fun outdoor game, perfect for large groups. Basically, you need to throw wooden blocks to knock down other blocks. This is one of those games that kids and adults can play together and keep going for years!
18. Rounders or cricket
I love ending the day at the beach where most people start heading home so I can have a little more space. Then you can spread your legs and enjoy some big games like rounders or cricket!
19. Bat and ball
You can’t go wrong with a traditional bat and ball.
Essential beach toiletries
I tend to use Nivea SPF 50 on my kids, and for myself I prefer a dry-touch oil spray (I don’t like getting sticky and gritty) and use Beauty Pie Feather Light SPF 50 on my face. I am.
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21. Toilet roll/tissues/wet wipes
It’s always good to have tissues on hand in case the beach toilet doesn’t have tissues.
22. Hair bobbles
People with long hair need a bobble. Even if it doesn’t take that long, you’ll definitely want to retie it after 10 minutes of exposure to heat, sand, salt, water, and wind!
What to wear at the beach
23. Flip Flops, crocs or sandals
You need shoes that are easy to kick off and can handle sand. If you’re traveling with kids, we recommend Crocs.
For UK beaches you might want something with sleeves to keep you a little warmer. I absolutely love this gorgeous long sleeve swimsuit I bought on Amazon.
25. Sun hat
This might be one of the most obvious things to bring to the beach, but I often forget!
26. Sun glasses
If you’re traveling with young children, Babiator sunglasses are the way to go. It’s very cute and doesn’t break easily like cheaper versions.
27. Easy to remove clothes
Just don’t wear jeans.
28. Warm hoodie
This is primarily for people visiting UK beaches!
Again, if you’re in the UK, it’s much more comfortable to wear a wetsuit and swim in the sea. My kids have short wetsuits and wear them all the time.
30. Dryrobe/changing robe
It is best to change clothes after coming out of the sea. I have the Red one and I love it.
What to pack for the beach if you have a dog
31. Poo bags
And keep an eye on your dog! I see a lot of people not watching their dogs at the beach so they don’t notice when their dog poops.
If you know you have space for your dog to run freely, consider getting a longer leash or a retractable leash (sometimes you won’t be able to trust him off-leash!)
33. Water bowl
Foldable ones are always handy for traveling.
Umbrella and tent above!
35. Sand peg for dog lead
To avoid having to keep your dog on a leash all day long, get a peg that you can twist into the sand to hold the leash.
Other extras you pay need
There’s no shortage of things to bring to the beach, so check out these additional items just in case!
36. A waterproof phone pouch
If you want to protect your phone from spills and sand when you go to the beach, we recommend taking a waterproof phone pouch to the beach.
37. A book
There’s nothing better than sitting on the beach and relaxing with a good book!
38. Mini BBQ
I have a mini gas BBQ that is perfect for cooking sausages on the beach.
If you use disposable barbecue charcoal, please dispose of it properly. Many people think that they can bury it in sand, but this will not put out the fire, and in fact the oven will often get very hot. My daughter was standing on a barbecue grill buried on the beach one morning (she had obviously been buried the night before) and suffered severe burns on her legs. The foil BBQ is also a must!
39. Coins to pay for beach car parks
Keep a pound coin hidden in your car, as many beach car parks only accept coins as payment.
40. Cash in case beach cafes don’t accept cards
Many beach cafes do not accept card payments, so make sure you have cash on hand just in case.
41. Football if there’ll be lots of space
There’s nothing like a beach football game. However, if you have a lot of space, everyone can get very noisy!
42. Lip balm with SPF
The sun, sea, sand, salt, and wind can make your lips very dry, so don’t forget your lip balm!
43. Water Shoes
If you’re visiting a beach that’s full of pebbles, shells, and small critters that can cause stings and bites, it’s best to bring water shoes.
45. Portable speaker
Choose waterproof and sandproof speakers to avoid damage at the beach.
46. Snorkel and mask
I love my new full face snorkel and mask. It’s very easy to use and perfect for kids.
If you want to listen to music, podcasts, or audiobooks, don’t forget your headphones!