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Your Go-To Beach Checklist for a Sun-Filled Adventure

WriterAubrey McShan
12 min read
A family at the beach walks toward the shore. They carry beach supplies like a cooler, beach blanket, inner tube, etc.

Before you dip your toes into the ocean, you'll need the perfect beach trip packing list to make your day a breeze! Whether you're taking a day trip to your favorite local spot or you’re going on a week-long getaway, being prepared is key. In this guide, you’ll learn all about the must-have beach gear for your trip so you're all set from sunrise to sunset!

Key Takeaways

What to Bring to the Beach for the Day

Need to know what to bring to the beach for a day? Even if it's a short trip, being well-prepared with the right gear isn’t ever a bad thing. We’ve organized our beach packing list into eight convenient categories to make packing a breeze:

A mom, son, and dad hold hands as they walk down the beach between some palm trees on vacation

This beach trip packing list might seem a little daunting for your family or needs. That said, you might not need everything mentioned in this list. Tailor it to fit the needs of your family as well as your commute time before you head to the beach.

For the Drive

For Sun + Weather Protection

For Food + Water

For Fun on the Beach

For Preparing to Go Home

  • Comb + Brush

  • Deodorant

  • Medication + Vitamins

  • Change of Clothes

  • Fresh Towel

Day Beach Trip Getaway Essentials

When it's just a day-long escape to the sandy shores, every moment counts. Check out these beach day trip essentials that help make your beach day nothing short of spectacular:

Beach Bag

Bogg Bag Original Bogg Tote

A spacious beach bag is a game-changer. You’ll have room for all your essentials, including that plush beach towel. Many beach bags come in vibrant designs and patterns so they double as stylish accessories!

  • Choose waterproof beach bags that are easy to keep clean.
  • Opt for beach bags with additional pockets and inside zippers for organizing your items.

Beach Towel

O'Rageous 36 in x 72 in Cabana Beach Towel

A beach towel is an absolute must-have for any seaside escape. For a week-long getaway, pack 2-4 towels per person. This ensures you always have a fresh one on hand while the others are drying or being washed.

  • Opt for oversized beach towels that are absorbent.
  • Cotton beach towels are soft, durable, and moisture-wicking.

Sunscreen

Sun Bum Kids SPF 50 6oz Sunscreen Spray

Sunscreen is your beach day's unsung hero — even when lounging under a beach umbrella. Shield your skin from the sun's rays by opting for a water-resistant formula that stands up to both sweat and ocean dips.

  • Stick with an SPF between 30-100 for maximum coverage.
  • Reapply your sunscreen every few hours and bring plenty of extra bottles with you so you don’t run out.

Beach Chairs

Nautica 5-Position Beach Chair

While you may not want to lug a beach chair across the sand, once you set it up, you’ll be glad you did! There’s nothing better than reading comfy at the beach.

  • Stick with lightweight beach chairs with built-in handles for easy carrying.
  • Some beach chairs recline for a relaxed, sun-napping-approved position.

Beach Umbrella

Sport-Brella Premiere Seafoam Umbrella

Beach umbrellas are perfect for those sizzling summer days when there are no clouds in the sky. Invest in a high-quality beach umbrella that you can take on endless summer getaways.

  • Check to see if your umbrella offers UV protection.
  • Full-sized umbrellas will provide a larger area of shade.
  • For smaller umbrellas, you should ideally take one for each member of your group.

Sun Shelters

O'Rageous Beach Shelter

Sun shelters and pop-up canopies are a crowd favorite — especially for families with young kids. They offer a haven from the relentless sun: ensuring the little ones aren't exposed all day.

  • Get to the beach early to set up your sun shelter. These need extra space on the sand.
  • There are different types of sun shelters available, including tent-like ones and canopy types.

Beach Wagon

Academy Sports + Outdoors XL Folding Wagon with Tailgate and Strap

Hauling multiple bags across the sand? There's a better way. A beach wagon can better transport all your seaside essentials. Say goodbye to the struggle and hello to convenience!

  • Look for collapsible beach wagons that are easy to transport in the car.
  • Beach wagons with large wheels can handle sand, rocks, and bumpy terrain.

Beach Attire for the Whole Family

Heading to the beach without the perfect outfit? Not on our watch! Dive into our curated selection of beachwear essentials — from swimsuit cover-ups to must-have sunglasses.

Food + Fun on the Beach

From firing up the grill to exploring the ocean — beach trips are all about indulging in sun-soaked activities. Dive into our beach trip packing list to elevate your sunbathing, snorkeling, and culinary adventures.

Beach Safety + Preparedness

When it comes to beach days, it's all about the details. From cooling that unexpected sunburn to making sure the little ones have their trusty floaties, it's essential to be prepared.

Don't forget those often-overlooked items like a first aid kit or rainwear. Check out our other must-have items for a safe beach day.

Other Beach Day Trip Gear Ideas

What to Take to the Beach for a Week

From plenty of sunscreen to a few smart items like detergent for freshening up your beachwear, we've got you covered. Prepare for your beach destination with our beach trip packing list and ensure you’re perfectly prepped for a week of sun, sand, and surf.

An open trunk displays beach essentials, including a beach ball, cooler, and towel.

For the Drive

For Packing + Walking to the Beach

At the Beach

For Food + Water

For Cooking + Making S’mores

For Fun on the Beach

Packing Essentials for a Weeklong Stay

  • Pillow + Blanket

  • Laundry Detergent + Dryer Sheets

  • Makeup

  • Shaving Cream + Razor

  • Clothes + Undergarments

  • Shampoo + Conditioner + Soap

  • Toothbrush + Toothpaste + Floss

  • Medication + Vitamins

  • Deodorant

  • Comb + Brush

  • Guidebook + Itinerary

  • Emergency Contacts

  • Travel Journal

Essentials for a Week Beach Trip

Ready to dive deep into the ultimate beach trip packing list? We've zeroed in on the top things to bring to the beach for a week to ensure you're set for endless fun. Avoid common beach bummers like sunburns, pesky bugs, or a shortage of beach toys for the little ones.

Personal/Overnight Beach Trip Items

The difference between a day beach trip packing list and a week-long beach vacation pack list comes down to the length of your stay as well as the individual needs of each family member heading with you. Don’t forget these personal and overnight items:

Beach Day Packing List (Recap)

Driving up or down the coast to your nearest beach? Before you feel the sand between your toes, make sure you're fully prepped with our ultimate beach day packing list. From sun hats to sunscreen, we've got you covered for a flawless day by the sea!

A checklist displays what to bring to the beach for a day trip.

Family Beach Vacation Packing List (Recap)

Looking to get away to warmer weather? Amidst the excitement, it's easy to overlook a few essentials. Dive into our handy family beach vacation packing list to ensure you have everything you need to make amazing memories at the beach!

A packing list displays what to bring to the beach for a week-long trip.

Have Fun Out There!

Chasing the sun and craving those beach vibes? Whether it's a quick seaside escape or an extended tropical retreat, the right prep sets the tone for epic moments. Dive into Academy's collection. We’ve got all the beach essentials to keep you refreshed, protected, and ready for endless fun!