24 Essential Beach Packing List Items You’ll Want for Vacation

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Beach Packing List

Heading to the coast for a vacation? Use our beach packing list to help you pack everything you will need for a great trip. This packing list includes all the essentials you need to enjoy some fun in the sun.

Plus it’s helpful for family beach vacations, party beach trips, and even the active beachgoers. We’ve traveled to every ocean in the world with the items mentioned as we feel we are constantly chasing the endless summer dream.

Beach Packing List

Essentials Items


You’re heading to the beach so obviously the number one thing you need is a swimsuit! I usually like to travel with at least two different swimsuits so that I know I will always have an extra dry one on hand. One of my favorite brands for swimsuits is Marc Jacobs.

For men, I would say one to two is a good number of swimsuits to travel to the beach with as well.Cameron has long loved Billabong boards shorts they make great quality shorts and stay up to date with trends. His suggestions on board shorts are to stick with darker colors as they hold up longer and to get a shorter cut above the knee.

Tourit Portable Cooler:

For any day trip to the beach, you’re going to want some cold drinks. After we throw our bathing suits on it’s the first thing we pack up. Traditional coolers are heavy and a pain on the beach so we use a portable travel cooler like the Tourit 30 when we’re on the beach. It claims to keep your drinks cool for up to three days, while we’ve never tested that feature out – one day at the beach and drinks are always frosty cold.

It’s the perfect item to bring with you for a beach picnic or your typical beach day. Beyond that, a good portable cooler makes for a good investment if you like to go camping, canoeing, or just a day at the park. A well-built cooler like the Tourit is durable, waterproof, and comfortable to carry. You can pick it up in two sizes and colors.

Cover up

When packing for a day at the beach make sure you don’t forget a cover up. Not only do they look cute but they will also protect you from the suns harsh rays. Many establishments don’t allow beach goers to wear just a swimsuit so this is where the cover-up is essential. I have this one that I got on Amazonfor a great price. Men can never go wrong with a classic white t-shirt, plus it shows off your tan.

Shorts and Tank Tops

A few pairs of shorts are always a good idea. I like jean shorts since they don’t stain very easily. I like to wear tank tops because they keep me cool and I avoid odd tan-lines.

Flip Flops

I used to live at the beach, so Rainbow flip flops are my go-to when it comes to comfortable beach footwear. In 10 years, I’ve had only two pairs of flip-flops, both were Rainbows, and I only had to buy a second pair because my first was stolen in Thailand.

Beach Bag

No matter what you will need a beach bag when heading to the beach. This is to throw in anything from towels to books, to sunscreen. Depending on the size of your beach party you may only need one medium sized tube. For family beach goers I recommend alarge yet durable beach tote like this one.

Beach Towel

One thing that you really can’t go to the beach without is a towel. Everyone needs a good towel to dry off after a swim or lay down in the sand. I am currently loving the new round beach towels like this one.  When packing for a family beach trip try getting a set online!


If you considering what to pack for a beach resort vacation I would highly recommend picking up a stylish beach hat!



Skin cancer is for real! Don’t forget your SPF when traveling to the beach. We recommend ordering some online before leaving your house as you’ll pay high prices for low-quality sunblocks once you’re at your destination. If you forget the sunblock while on vacation you may end up paying double the price at fancy resorts.We highly recommend getting an eco friendly sun cream that does not contain harmful chemicals.

Water Shoes

Water shoesare great if you will be doing any walking around rocks and cliffs. I’ve been caught a few times without them and my feet have paid dearly for my mistake.


Make sure to protect your eyes from the sun on your beach trip! I personally can’t even go outside without sunglasses. For everyday wear I like to use my wooden sunglasses from Treehut. Plastic reduction makes me feel good!

Water bottle

Traveling to the beach with fresh water in hand is important as it is easy to get dehydrated on the beach. We like to use stainless steel water bottlesat the beach because they are well insulated and great for the environment. Check out our full list of the best water bottles here.

A good book

Check out some of the best sellers right now and pick up a copy. I like to read on days when I just feel like sunbathing and relaxing. Cameron is pretty impatient so having a book to read on the beach provides some much needed an entertinment.


Don’t risk bringing a fancy camera to the beach and getting sand in it. Or even worse, water. We like to throw a GoPro Hero 5 on our beach packing list since they are waterproof. Just make sure to attach it to a wrist strap so it doesn’t get lost! The Indian Ocean may or may not have swallowed one of our cameras before.

Essentials for Family Beach Vacations

Beach Chairs

Personally, I would always rather sit on a chair than with a towel on the sand. If your luggage space permits consider bringing beach chairs to the beach for you and your family.

Beach Tent

Beach tentsare great for those that want to enjoy the beach, yet stay out of the sun at the same time!

Kids Toys

If you’re heading to the beach with some little ones then bringing along a few beach toys and beach balls won’t hurt! You can never go wrong with a set to build some sand castles.


Make sure to buy some floaties for your children if they aren’t strong swimmers. There are some funny and cute ones on Amazon sure to put a smile on the children’s faces.

muizenberg beach

For the Party beach goers


Ever since Instagram, funny and chic floatables have become all the rage at the beach. Nowadays you get anything from Unicorn floaties to giant parrots! They are an absolute essential item on any girls beach packing list!

Beach Packing List

Extra Speaker

We usually try to go with a portable speaker when we go to the beach. This allows us to hook up our phones and play our favorite travel songs right from our phones.


Travel hammocks are our way of life when we travel. They are perfect to throw up when you find two palm trees to relax under!

Hammock Time

Beach Vacation Packing for the Active


Bodyboards like this aren’t just for kids! They are tons of fun if the surf is good and you want to stay in the shallow zones still.


If you’re traveling during the offseason and plan to enjoy the water I would recommend investing in a wetsuit. Wetsuits are particularly great for surfers around the world. Or anyone who lives near cold water.

Cam on Beach at Anvil Bay in Mozambique

Fins and snorkel gear

If you’re into snorkeling then pick up some fins and a snorkleso you don’t get stuck paying to rent one. Or, if you’re staying a resort or hotel on your vacation check to see if they have free equipment you can use!

Dry bag

We always travel with a dry bagwhether or not it is a beach vacation or not. They pack up easily and are lightweight so there really is no reason not to have one. They have saved our electronics a number of times and have easily paid for themselves when we’ve traveled to beach destinations like The Seychelles, Cyprus, or yachting in the Mediterranean.


If you are traveling with your own vehicle and have space for a kayak then consider purchasing one to enjoy. They come in all shapes and colors online are fit for every budget. I’ve even seenblow up kayaks in the oceans lately.

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