Boy Playing With Toy Boat on Beach; Courtesy of LeManna/
All Ages

What to Pack for the Beach With Kids: 47 Essentials for Families

Terry Ward is based in Florida and has worked as a freelance travel writer since 2000, writing for such publications as CNN, Conde Nast Traveler, National Geographic, The Washington Post and Scuba Diving Magazine, among many others. She lives in Tampa with her two young children and husband and has traveled with them to the Arctic, Cuba, Morocco and elsewhere. Her favorite family travel destinations are Norway and Florida. See more of her work at

See recent posts by Terry Ward

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.

RuffleButts Kids Swimsuit; Courtesy of Amazon

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

iPlay Swim Diaper; Courtesy of Amazon

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.

Related: Best Poop-In-The-Pool-Proof Swim Diapers

ThinkBaby Sunscreen; Courtesy of Amazon

What to Pack for the Beach With Kids: Sun Protection

You can never have enough sunscreen—just remember to apply early and often.

Related: Does Natural Sunscreen Actually Work?

EasyGo Cabana Beach Tent; Courtesy of Amazon

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.

Related: The Ultimate Beach Bag: 9 Best Beach Bags for Moms and Families

Green Toys Sand Play Set; Courtesy of Amazon

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.

Related: Best Pool and Beach Toys You Can Pack 

Beach Cooler Backpack; Courtesy of Amazon

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,

Women’s/Mom’s Beach Outfit for Summer

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