Loading up the family ride for a day at the beach can feel like a monumental task that’s made exponentially larger with each additional child (and all their requisite beach gear). And while we can’t help you with the mess of all that sand once it’s time to head back home, we can make the packing-for-a-beach-day process simpler with this straightforward checklist of everything you may want to consider toting along to the beach. This is the ultimate beach packing list for families.
What to Pack for the Beach With Kids: Clothing
From bathing suits to dry clothes to wear for the car ride back home, here’s what you need.
Related Article: Best Bathing Suits for Infants and Toddlers
What to Pack for the Beach With Kids: Swim and Safety Gear
Time in and near the water means safety is of the utmost. Be prepared for everything from bug bites and rip tides to cuts and rashes.
What to Pack for the Beach With Kids: Sun Protection
You can never have enough sunscreen—just remember to apply early and often.
What to Pack for the Beach With Kids: Beach Gear
Here are some basic things to make a day on the sand and in the sun as pleasant as possible.
What to Pack for the Beach With Kids: Beach Toys
It’s not a beach day without time spent horsing around in water, as well as on the sand. This list could stretch to the moon and back, but here are a few essentials for fun in the sun.
What to Pack for the Beach With Kids: Food and Drink Storage
Snacks and drinks will keep everyone happy between bouts in the sea—and all the better if everything stays chilled to perfection all day long.
Related: Best Beach Coolers for Families
Longtime travel writer and adventurer Terry Ward lives in Florida with her husband and young son and daughter. She’s constantly on the lookout for the next Scandinavia Airlines Kids Fly Free deal to save money on flights to Norway, her favorite place to visit both in the winter (Northern Lights!) and summer (Midnight Sun!). A travel writer since 2001 (read: long before the kids came along), she’s written for such publications as Endless Vacation Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler and Scuba Diving Magazine, among many others. Find Terry on her website, Terry-Ward.com.