photo of a mom and her son at the beach

Beach Day Essentials for the Family

Table of Contents

Going to the beach can be fun if you are properly prepared. I have decided to create this beach day essentials guide with all of my favorite items for a perfect beach day. This list will help you stay safe, avoid sunburns, and have a good time at the beach whether you are going by yourself, with kids, or even in a group setting.

a mom and her son at the beach in Florida

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Must-Have Beach Gear

When going to the beach you want to make sure to pack a good beach gear. You want to keep a few things in mind. Your gear should be good quality to avoid rips from strong unexpected winds, able to withstand the sun and sand, and for some of the items like towels, you want to make sure they are absorbent and made for the sandy beaches. Here is a list of our favorite beach gear items.

Kids playing at the beach in the sand with beach toys and floaties.

Beach Essentials for Kids

Family beach days are the best but they’re even more fun with toys and floaties. It spikes their imagination, creativity, play, and learning. When we have a family beach day we make sure to bring these items.

Other Beach Items to Bring to the Beach

Depending on what fun things you like to do at the beach, you can also bring along some of these items. These can include:

  • Snorkels for kids and adults
  • Fins for snorkeling for kids and adults
  • A paddleboard – We use this Isle SUP and love it but there is this more compact inflatable SUP that is great too.
  • Surfboard – some beaches are perfect for surfing.
a mom and her son at the beach staying protected from the sun

Sun Protection for the Family

First I want to start with sunblock. It is very important to protect your skin from harsh sun rays that can cause sunburns. It is also very important to know which sunblock to use to help protect not just your skin but your environment. Many sunblock can damage our coral reefs and water quality by leaving toxic chemicals behind. Your skin is the largest organ you have so anything you put on it gets filtered through so avoiding these toxic chemicals can be greatly beneficial for you as well.

Staying Hydrated at the Beach

Hydration is an essential part of being outdoors. Whether you are at the beach, hiking, camping, or just at home, staying hydrated is a must. Being at the beach swimming in salt water can make you very thirsty and under the hot summer sun it can even lead to dehydration if you don’t stay hydrated. I highly recommend taking your own water bottle, preferably one that is insulated to keep your water cold. Some of my favorite water bottles are.

When traveling in big groups, using a big jug of water can be very convenient as well. I usually take my Igloo 5 gallon water jug for the whole family when we go camping so you can definitely do the same when going to the beach in big groups. This way everyone can continue to refill their water bottles or reusable cups throughout the day.

Tip: You can freeze water bottles and have double use for them in your cooler. They work as ice packs and when you get to the beach, take one out and lay it out in the sun to melt. Don’t freeze all of your water bottles though. Just a few.

Other Drinks to Bring to the Beach

Besides water we also like to bring a few other drinks for when we eat. Here are a few healthy and not so healthy options that we like to bring along.

  • Juice boxes – I make sure they are 100% juice.
  • Gatorade or Powerade type drinks.
  • Sodas – mainly for the adults.
  • Sweet tea
two girls snacking at the beach

Best Food and Snacks for the Beach

I’m not sure about you but every time I go to the beach, after a few hours of swimming and playing with my kids, we all get very hungry. Having food and snacks to snack on throughout the day is a must for us. Here are some of our favorite beach food and snacks.

To avoid leaving trash behind I recommend using reusable sandwich bags such as these to keep your sandwich stored in your cooler. Also make sure to bring a trash bag to put all of your trash in and dispose of it properly.

Personal Beach Essential Items

Don’t forget to take care of yourself too. Mom life can be busy but bring a few items for you too is important as well as for the entire family. Here are a few personal items to bring with you to the beach for you and your children.

  • Sunglasses
  • Swimsuits
  • Swimsuit cover
  • Flipflops
  • A hat
  • After beach skincare lotion
  • Leave in conditioner to keep your hair healthy before and after the beach. I like to use Ion’s Swimmer’s Leave in Conditioner or As I Am Leave In Conditioner.
  • Hairbrush for after the beach
  • Extra changing clothes
  • Toiletries if needed – Shampoo, conditioner, soap, towel, deodorant, and a washcloth.
  • Lip balm (Use TWM10 to get 10% off your first purchase at Bend Soap Co.)
a little girl playing at the beach with a coconut

Budget-Friendly Sustainable Beach Swimsuits

This is one thing you definitely can’t go to the beach without. I like to buy my swimsuits from Target as they have some sustainable brands. Believe it or not, Target brand clothes is also on the list of ethical brands. These include any brands that fall under their umbrella such as Xhilaration, Mossimo, and many more. Every brand that falls under their umbrella must meet the high ethical requirements that Target has set up. How amazing is that? You can grab some very cute swimsuits for women, men, and kids for all of your water adventures every summer.

Free Beach Day Essentials Packing List

Want to make life even easier? Grab our FREE printable packing list of Beach Day Essentials for the Family in our Resource Library when you sign up below. Once you sign up you will receive an email to confirm your subscription. Once you confirm you will receive an email with the password and the link to download the checklist along with activities, more packing lists, and much more for the entire family.

Well I think those are my main must have essentials for any family beach day. Remember to always wear sunscreen to protect your skin, stay hydrated throughout the day, and most of all, have fun. What are some of your favorite must-have beach essentials? Let me know in the comments below.

Hi, I'm Jessica!

I am a wife and mother to three amazing kids. A coffee addict and wine lover. I also have a huge love for the mountains and the the ocean. Through my blog I hope to inspire families to spend more time outdoors. 


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