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I love going to the beach when we're on vacation. We live in an area that isn't really known for it's great beaches so when I'm on vacation I like to make sure a day at the beach will fit into our schedule. There's just something so relaxing about spending an afternoon with a good book and the sound of ocean waves.
What isn't so relaxing? Remembering to pack everything we need to spend a fun day at the beach. Now I have a handy printable beach packing checklist to keep me organized and some great tips that will show you how to pack for the beach.
How to pack for the beach
Packing for the beach isn't really that hard - it just isn't the most relaxing thing to do when you want to throw your stuff in a bag and head out the door. Inevitably, something will be forgotten if you aren't prepared! It's not the end of the world if that happens, but it can certainly be annoying.
Packing for the beach starts with just a few essentials. First thing you need? A good durable bag.
Find a large, durable bag
The first thing you'll want to buy for your day at the beach is a great bag. WalMart is my go-to place when I'm looking for inexpensive but sturdy bags that I can pack for the beach. They have a good selection of large totes that work really well as beach bags - perfect to pack for the beach. Choose one that has some big pockets (and a waterproof lining is always a plus).
Basic items to pack for the beach
Once you've found your perfect bag you'll want to pack those basic 'day at the beach' items like bathing suits, towels, sunscreen, hats, and water bottles. Here's a list to get you started (don't forget to print your own checklist too - you can find it near the end of this post):
- bathing suits
- water bottles
- phone (to take pictures!)
- arm floats or kickboards
- wet wipes
- beach toys
To make our packing a little bit lighter, we usually wear our bathing suits under our clothing on the way to the beach and just rinse and dry off before heading home. If our drive is longer I make sure to toss some underwear and things in the bottom of the bag so we can change out of our wet bathing suits before the drive home. (Tip: put a plastic shopping bag in your beach bag for those wet bathing suits. It will keep everything else in your beach bag from getting wet.)
I also love to include a large flat sheet in the bag - it makes a great place to lay out and it's so much easier to shake the sand out of a sheet than beach towels.
Pack a lunch if you're staying all day
If you're planning for a day at the beach, make sure you pack a cooler too. Simple things like sandwiches, granola bars, and fruit are easy to pack and don't require much preparation. (Tip: freeze a few water bottles the night before and use those instead of ice. You'll have cold, refreshing water to drink as they start to thaw.) Throw in some wet wipes too - they're great for wiping sand off little fingers when it's lunchtime.
Printable beach packing checklist
Start your day at the beach off right - don't forget your necessities when you pack for the beach! Use this packing checklist to keep yourself organized and relaxed. You can print it off and use it to make sure you pack all you need or you can hole punch it and attach it to your beach bag (great for packing up at the beach when it's time to go home).