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What To Pack For A Trip To The Beach


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Valerie Renfrow



Planning a trip to the beach is a delightful and exciting endeavor. Whether you’re heading to a tropical paradise or a local coastline, the beach offers a unique opportunity to relax and unwind. From soaking up the sun to taking refreshing swims in the ocean, the beach provides a perfect escape from the daily grind.


As you embark on your beach adventure, it’s important to pack wisely to make the most of your experience. A well-prepared beach bag ensures that you have all the essential items to keep you comfortable and entertained throughout your day at the beach.


In this article, we’ll delve into the different categories of items you should consider when packing for a trip to the beach. From clothing choices to sun protection essentials and beach accessories, we’ll cover everything you need to ensure a memorable and enjoyable beach getaway.


So, let’s dive in and explore the must-have items to pack for a trip to the beach.



When it comes to choosing the right clothing for your beach trip, comfort and practicality should be your top priorities. Here are some essential clothing items to pack:

  • Swimsuits: Pack at least two swimsuits so you always have a dry one to change into. Choose a style that suits your body type and provides the desired level of coverage.
  • Cover-ups: Lightweight cover-ups such as sarongs, kaftans, or t-shirts provide protection from the sun and allow you to move around comfortably when you’re not in the water.
  • T-shirts and shorts: Opt for loose and breathable fabrics to keep you cool throughout the day. Choose light-colored clothing to reflect the sun’s rays and help prevent overheating.
  • Hat: Protect your face and scalp from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat. Not only does it provide shade, but it also adds a stylish touch to your beach outfit.
  • Sunglasses: Invest in a good pair of sunglasses with UV protection to shield your eyes from harmful rays. Polarized lenses can also reduce glare and improve visibility.
  • Flip-flops or sandals: Choose footwear that is easy to slip on and off and can handle the sand and water. Look for water-resistant or quick-drying options to avoid discomfort.

Remember to pack additional clothing for your journey to and from the beach. It’s always a good idea to have a spare set of dry clothes in case you want to grab a bite to eat at a beachside cafe or explore the nearby town.


By packing the right clothing items, you’ll stay cool, protected, and stylish throughout your beach adventure.



When it comes to enjoying a day at the beach, having the right swimwear is crucial. Not only does it provide comfort, but it also allows you to fully participate in water activities and feel confident in your appearance. Here are some tips for choosing the perfect swimwear for your beach trip:

  • Consider the activities: Think about the activities you plan to engage in at the beach. If you enjoy surfing, a one-piece or rashguard might provide better coverage and support. If you prefer sunbathing and swimming, a bikini or swim trunks might be more suitable.
  • Choose the right fit: It’s important to choose swimwear that fits you well and makes you feel comfortable. Take accurate measurements to ensure the right size and look for adjustable straps or drawstrings for added flexibility.
  • Style and design: Swimwear comes in a variety of styles and designs. Whether you prefer a classic bikini, a trendy one-shoulder swimsuit, or board shorts, pick a style that suits your body shape and personal preferences.
  • UV protection: Look for swimwear that offers UV protection to shield your skin from harmful sun rays. Some swimwear brands incorporate UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) technology to provide an extra layer of protection.
  • Colors and patterns: Consider choosing swimwear in light colors or with bold patterns. Light colors reflect the sun and keep you cooler, while patterns can add a fun and stylish touch to your beach ensemble.
  • Additional accessories: Don’t forget to pack beach accessories like a beach cover-up, a sarong, or a beach towel to complete your swimwear look.

Remember, the most important thing is to feel comfortable and confident in your swimwear. Choose a style that makes you feel great so that you can fully enjoy your time at the beach.


Sun Protection

When spending a day at the beach, protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays is of utmost importance. Here are some essential items to pack for sun protection:

  • Sunscreen: Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30. Apply it generously to all exposed areas of your body before heading out to the beach. Don’t forget to reapply every two hours or after swimming.
  • Sun hat: A wide-brimmed hat provides additional shade and protects your face, neck, and scalp from direct sunlight. Look for a hat with UPF protection for added sun protection.
  • Sunglasses: Protect your eyes from UV rays by wearing sunglasses with UV protection. Opt for wrap-around styles to shield your eyes from all angles.
  • Beach umbrella: Consider bringing a beach umbrella to create your own shady spot on the sand. It provides a respite from direct sunlight and allows you to relax comfortably.
  • UV protective clothing: If you’re particularly sensitive to the sun or plan on spending extended periods of time outdoors, invest in UV protective clothing. These garments are specially designed to block out harmful UV rays.
  • Lip balm with SPF: Don’t forget to protect your lips from the sun as well. Choose a lip balm with SPF to keep your lips moisturized and safeguarded.

It’s essential to prioritize sun protection to avoid sunburns, skin damage, and long-term effects of overexposure to the sun. By packing these items, you’ll be taking proactive measures to care for your skin while enjoying your beach day.


Beach Accessories

Aside from swimwear and sun protection, there are various beach accessories that can enhance your overall experience and make your time at the beach more enjoyable. Here are some essential beach accessories to include in your packing list:

  • Beach towel: A large, absorbent beach towel is a must-have item for lounging on the sand. Look for quick-drying towels that are lightweight and have vibrant designs.
  • Beach bag: Invest in a spacious and durable beach bag to carry all your essentials. Look for a bag with separate compartments for easy organization and water-resistant material to protect your belongings from sand and water.
  • Beach chair or mat: If you prefer lounging in a more elevated position, consider bringing a beach chair or mat. It provides comfort and support while you relax and soak in the sun.
  • Cooler or insulated bag: Keep your snacks and drinks fresh by packing them in a cooler or insulated bag. Opt for a lightweight and portable option that is easy to carry.
  • Beach umbrella or tent: In addition to sun protection, a beach umbrella or pop-up tent provides shade and shelter from the wind. It also offers a cozy space to relax or have a picnic.
  • Beach toys and games: If you’re visiting the beach with family or friends, bring some beach toys and games for added entertainment. Frisbees, beach balls, paddleball sets, or a deck of cards can provide hours of fun.
  • Waterproof phone case: To protect your phone from sand and water damage, invest in a waterproof phone case. It allows you to capture memorable moments and stay connected without worrying about accidental water exposure.
  • Portable Bluetooth speaker: Enhance the beach atmosphere by bringing a portable Bluetooth speaker. It allows you to listen to your favorite tunes while enjoying the sun and waves.

By packing these beach accessories, you’ll have all the essentials to create a comfortable and entertaining beach experience. Remember to consider the size and weight of the items to ensure they are easily manageable while traveling.


Snacks and Drinks

A day at the beach can work up quite an appetite, so be sure to pack some delicious snacks and refreshing drinks to keep you fueled and hydrated. Here are some snack and drink ideas for your beach trip:

  • Water: Staying hydrated is essential, so pack plenty of water bottles or a reusable water container. Opt for insulated bottles to keep your water cool throughout the day.
  • Refreshing beverages: In addition to water, pack some refreshing beverages like sports drinks, iced tea, or coconut water to replenish electrolytes.
  • Fruit: Fresh fruit is not only hydrating but also provides essential vitamins and natural sugars to keep you energized. Choose fruits like watermelon, grapes, strawberries, or pre-cut fruit for easy snacking.
  • Snack bars: Granola bars, energy bars, or nut bars are convenient and nutritious snacks for a day at the beach. Look for options that are packed with protein and fiber to keep you full and satisfied.
  • Sandwiches or wraps: Prepare some sandwiches or wraps before your beach trip for a satisfying and portable meal. Fill them with your favorite ingredients like turkey, chicken, vegetables, and spreads.
  • Crispy snacks: Pack some chips, pretzels, crackers, or popcorn for a crispy and savory snack option. Consider bringing single-serve portion sizes to avoid any mess.
  • Cooler accessories: Don’t forget to bring ice packs or coolers to keep your snacks and drinks chilled throughout the day. This will ensure everything stays fresh and appetizing.

Having a variety of snacks and drinks ensures you have plenty of options to enjoy throughout your day at the beach. It’s important to choose foods that are easy to eat, non-perishable, and suitable for outdoor consumption.



While the beach itself provides plenty of natural beauty and opportunities for relaxation, it’s always a good idea to bring some form of entertainment to make your beach experience even more enjoyable. Here are some entertainment ideas to consider:

  • Books or magazines: Immerse yourself in a captivating novel or indulge in some light reading with a magazine or two. Beach time is the perfect opportunity to catch up on your reading list.
  • Portable speakers: Enhance your beach experience by bringing a portable Bluetooth speaker. Play your favorite tunes or create a beach-themed playlist to set the mood.
  • Beach games: From beach volleyball to paddleball, a variety of beach games can be a fun way to stay active and engage with friends or family. Consider packing a frisbee, a beach ball, or a game of cornhole.
  • Puzzle books: Exercise your mind with crossword puzzles, Sudoku, or word searches. These puzzle books are perfect for some mental stimulation and relaxation as you lounge on the beach.
  • Sandcastle building tools: Unleash your creativity and have some fun by building sandcastles. Bring a set of sandcastle building tools, such as shovels, molds, and buckets, for endless sandcastle-building possibilities.
  • Kites: Take advantage of the coastal breeze by flying a kite. Kite-flying can be both relaxing and exciting, adding a touch of whimsy to your beach day.
  • Water sports equipment: If you’re a fan of water sports, bring along some equipment such as snorkeling gear, bodyboards, or even a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) for some aquatic fun.

Remember, the goal of bringing entertainment to the beach is to enhance your experience and keep yourself entertained during your stay. Choose activities and items that align with your interests and preferences.


Miscellaneous Items

In addition to the essentials mentioned earlier, there are a few miscellaneous items that can come in handy during your beach trip. These items may not fall into a specific category but are worth considering for a more convenient and enjoyable beach experience. Here are some miscellaneous items to pack:

  • Beach mat or blanket: A lightweight beach mat or blanket provides a clean and comfortable surface to sit or lie on. It can also serve as a picnic spot or a barrier between you and the sand.
  • Insect repellent: Depending on the location and time of year, pests like mosquitoes may be present at the beach. Protect yourself from bites by packing insect repellent.
  • First aid kit: A mini first aid kit with basic essentials like band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and any necessary medications can be useful in case of minor injuries or ailments.
  • Ziplock bags: Pack a few ziplock bags to keep your valuables, electronics, or wet items like swimsuits separated from the rest of your belongings. They can also be handy for collecting seashells or storing leftovers.
  • Extra cash: While most beach destinations have card payment options available, it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand for small purchases, parking fees, or local vendors.
  • Sunshade or tent anchors: If you plan on setting up a sunshade or pop-up tent, remember to bring some anchors or sandbags to secure them in place. This will prevent them from blowing away in the wind.
  • Beach games for kids: If you’re traveling with children, consider packing some beach-friendly games and toys to keep them entertained. These can include inflatable beach balls, beach buckets, or sandcastle molds.

These miscellaneous items may seem small, but they can greatly contribute to your overall beach experience. Remember to assess your specific needs and preferences when deciding which miscellaneous items to include in your beach bag.



Packing for a trip to the beach doesn’t have to be a hassle. By carefully selecting the right items, you can ensure a comfortable, enjoyable, and memorable beach experience. From essential clothing and swimwear to sun protection, beach accessories, snacks, drinks, and entertainment, packing the right items will enhance your time by the shore.


Remember to prioritize comfort, practicality, and sun protection when choosing your clothing and swimwear. Pack sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and other sun protection essentials to safeguard your skin from harmful UV rays. Don’t forget to bring a beach towel, beach bag, and other beach accessories to enhance your overall comfort and convenience.


When it comes to snacks and drinks, opt for refreshing options that will keep you hydrated and energized throughout the day. Consider bringing entertainment such as books, portable speakers, or beach games to keep yourself entertained while lounging on the sand. And don’t forget miscellaneous items like beach mats, insect repellent, and first aid kits to tackle any unexpected situations.


By packing these essentials, you’re setting yourself up for a fantastic beach trip. So grab your beach bag, and get ready to soak up the sun and enjoy all the wonders that the beach has to offer. Whether you’re building sandcastles, taking a dip in the ocean, or simply basking in the beauty of the seaside, you’re sure to have an incredible time at the beach!