Pack for Family Vacations to the Beach: Packing Tips

Use These Tips when Packing for a Trip with the Family

Packing for summer travel

Packing for a family vacation at the beach can be an overwhelming task, but if you're organized you can get the job done in no time at all. A little advance planning can help ensure that everyone has an enjoyable and safe time.

Here are some packing tips on how to pack for a family beach vacation:

  1. Use separate bags. If you don't already have luggage for the entire family, invest in some. For a beach vacation, even large duffel bags are appropriate. By allotting a separate bag for each person in your family, you will keep yourself organized and it will make the job of unpacking at the beach all that much easier.
  2. Must-haves. Of course you should pack the travel essentials: a swimsuit or two for everyone in your family for your beach vacation. If you have a hooded terry cloth beach cover, throw that in, too! Make sure to pack enough underwear, shorts and t-shirts for everyday wear. Plan on at least one dress-up outfit per person, even if you think you're not going anywhere fancy-- you never know what's going to happen!
  3. Consider the weather. A vacation at the beach means warm sunny days, right? Not necessarily. Nighttime at the beach can be downright chilly. Be sure to include a good mix of summer essentials as well as some cold-weather clothes. Pack at least one jacket or sweatshirt, a long sleeved shirt and a pair of long pants for every member of the family.
  4. Toiletries. If you're planning for a trip that what to pack for the beachinvolves renting a beach house, you may not be sure if items like shampoo and soap will be available. To play it safe, take all of these travel essentials: shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothpaste, mouthwash, razors and shaving cream. Be sure to include all of your favorite facial cleansers, moisturizers, makeup and deodorant, too.
  5. Beach safety. When it comes to beach vacations, you should have a checklist for packing for a trip that you can reuse each time you go to the beach. It is essential that you pack plenty of sunscreen. If you have young children in tow, pack a sunblock that is 45 to 50 SPF. Chapstick with SPF protection will help keep lips from getting burned. Also, be sure to pack sunglasses for every member of your family-- UV rays are everywhere, and they can damage your eyes. Take sun hats for young children-- and wide brimmed hats for adults aren't a bad idea either. Make sure you stick in some family-friendly bug spray-- depending on the weather, the biting flies on some beaches can be quite nasty! Also, if you are planning to spend long days on the beach, be sure to carry a small cooler that can be loaded up with drinks, snacks and bottled water.
  6. Shoes. You will need more than just a pair of flip flops for the beach. Consider bringing a pair of water shoes for everyone in your family-- some beaches are loaded with shells and water shoes can be great protection. Also throw in a pair of sneakers in case you have an urge to go for an early-morning run on the beach (you never know). Flip flops are acceptable footwear for most beach restaurants and shops.
  7. Other items you may want to include. Your beach vacation packing list may also include beach chairs, a beach umbrella, boogie or surf boards, a kite for the kids, beach toys like sand buckets and shovels, reading material (magazines and books) and a blanket for the beach. Also, make sure to pack plenty of beach towels. A small first aid kit containing sunburn spray or aloe vera cream, pain relievers, band aids and antibacterial ointment could also come in handy. And don't forget to pack your camera and/or camcorder to catch all of those special moments that are bound to occur on your family vacation!

Now that you know what to pack for a beach vacation, it's time to set off on your trip. If you enjoy your vacation, you should think about planning other family vacations at the beach.


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This will be a great checklist for next summer.

By Alan Hammond