Headed to the beach? Whether it’s just for the day or a weeklong vacation, here are eleven essentials you can’t forget. Surf’s up!

The sun. The sand. The water …

There’s almost nothing better than a day at the beach!

Whether you’re heading out for an afternoon or an entire weekend, there is one way you can instantly ruin a beach trip:

Forgetting to pack something.

Want to make your next trip to the beach as perfect as can be? Make sure you don’t forget a single item on our essential beach packing list.

Water Bottles

We all know how important it is to stay hydrated, but it’s even more crucial when you’re spending time in the heat.

Experts recommend that you drink approximately two to three cups of water per hour. So, tally up how much time you plan to spend at the beach, and make sure you bring enough water bottles to provide the minimum amount or more.

The hotter it is, the more refreshing a cold drink will be. Instead of toting disposable plastic water bottles with you, store your water supply in insulated thermos bottles. It will stay cold for hours!


Love the feeling of the sun beating on your skin? Most people do, but too much of a good thing can be dangerous.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that you apply sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 every time you go out in the sun. Be sure to toss a bottle of SPF skin protectant into your beach bag, and make sure you have enough to reapply throughout the day.

Don’t forget to bring a lip balm with SPF as well. Sunburned lips can make eating, drinking, and talking a miserable experience.

Snacks and Beverages

If you’re planning on spending more than a few hours at the beach, pack a cooler with snacks and beverages. If you’re only going for an hour or two, a few dry snacks may be all you need.

Plan to spend the entire day on the sand? Bring an assortment of sandwiches, snacks, beverages, and fruit, especially if you have children in tow.

Don’t forget to pack the napkins, plates, utensils, a bottle opener, and a garbage bag to dispose of your trash when you’re done.


It’s always a good idea to provide yourself a bit of shade, especially on a steamy hot day. Depending on your tolerance for heat and sun, it’s a good idea to pack an umbrella, a canopy, or a tent.

Shelter is a must-have if you’re planning to spend several hours near the water, or if you have babies or toddlers in your party. Nautical beach house signs can be a wonderful way to make your shelter more interesting and give it that little bit of beach house feeling. Many people are choosing to use nautical signs as their new signage for their homes and businesses because it is very easy to get a great deal on one, which is a great investment

If you’re hitting the beach alone, pack a sun hat at the very least to shield your face from those blazing rays.


Unless you enjoy the feeling of sand in your pants, you’ll need a place to sit.

At the bare minimum, bring a beach towel or blanket that you can spread out on the sand. If you intend to splash in the water, make sure you bring an extra one to dry yourself off.

Beach chairs with pockets to hold personal items are ideal. They provide a convenient place to stash your water bottle, sunscreen, and other essentials.

And if you have a beach chair with a canopy to provide shade, you can minimize your load and do without an umbrella or tent.


Most people find the beach relaxing, but many people are easily bored by lounging in the sun and watching the waves.

If you’re hitting the seaside with kids, be sure to bring beach toys, including goggles, inflatable toys, and arm floaties to keep them safe in the water.

A book, a tablet, a Frisbee, a football, or an outdoor game is usually all that adults need to keep themselves occupied for the afternoon.

Waterproof Cell Phone Case

Do not make the mistake of destroying your iPhone when you’re on the shore. Make sure your phone is protected with a waterproof case.

It’s even better to choose one with sealed ports so that you don’t have to worry about any unwanted sand getting in.

Beach Cover-Up

Whether you prefer a sarong, comfy shorts, or a beach dress, it’s important to pack something that you can throw on over your swimsuit. Even the most casual restaurants may require you to cover up when it’s time to grab a midday lunch or enjoy pre-dinner cocktails.

Change of Clothes

Planning to spend one afternoon at the beach then drive back home? Do yourself a favor and bring a set of clothes to change into. It’s no fun riding home in your car if you’re wearing a wet swimsuit or a sandy pair of shorts.


On hot days, beach sand can be scorching hot! Protect your feet from that blazing heat with a pair of sandals or flip-flops.

COVID-Safe Essentials

There’s nothing more important than safety. If you’re traveling to the beach during the pandemic, make sure you’re stocked with COVID-safe supplies to protect yourself and those around you.

Depending on where and when you’re traveling, you may be required to wear a mask to and from the beach. Make sure you have at least two face coverings in your bag, just in case one gets wet or sandy.

Toss a bottle of hand sanitizer into your beach tote as well. Pandemic or not, it’s always wise to have some sanitizer close by, especially when you don’t have access to a sink with running water.

And, last but not least, bring along a travel pack of anti-bacterial wipes. You can use them to wipe down chairs, toys, and coolers.


The amount of time you plan to spend at the beach will likely dictate the supplies you need to bring. And between the umbrellas, the toys, the cooler, and the chairs, carrying all that gear to and from the beach can be exhausting!

So if you’re planning on loading up the entire family and spending the entire day by the water, there’s one other thing you may want to bring:

A beach cart to help you carry it all!

Author Bio:

Caitlin Sinclair is the Property Manager at Evolve South Bay with five years of property management experience and many more in Customer Service. She shares her passion for her community and looks forward to making Evolve South Bay the place to call home.

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