Few things get us more excited than preparing for a trip to the beach or the pool. Maybe it is because we live in Utah, where we spend half of the year buried under snow and freezing temperature inversions, just yearning for summer! Whatever the reason, we love a good beach or pool day. Being properly packed and prepared for time at the beach is a must! So we have rounded up the 15 ultimate family beach bag essentials…especially if you have little people in tow! Read on to learn one of our most requested family travel tips: family beach bag essentials!
The bag! Firstly, the bag. I always purchase a cute and FUNCTIONAL beach bag. For me, this means it must be large enough to hold everything that we need to pack, isn’t bulky, but folds up flat and compactly and doesn’t take up too much room at the bottom of my luggage. Make sure it has zippered pockets where you can safely store keys, money, identification, phone and other small loose items you don’t want to end up getting buried in the sand. A good beach bag is key.
If you like this family travel tip you might also like our Long-Haul Flight Survival Kit for Parents!
The 15 Ultimate Family Beach Bag Essentials
Be sure that your sunscreen is 30 SPF or higher and blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Make it a water-resistant one. I prefer a spray and find that the kids do too. I have also found that the spray sunscreens feel less sticky when applied (I personally can’t stand sticky lotion). Also, apply sunscreen before even stepping foot in the sand… it is much easier to apply evenly before the little cherubs become sand encrusted:) and it has time to really soak in. To keep the nasty burns away, don’t forget the ears or the top of the head (especially the part).
Don’t forget to pack this little kiss of protection. Sunburned lips are no good and lips are a common place for skin cancer. Choose a balm in a flavor your kids will love and there will be no problem getting them to wear it. There are even tinted balms or glossy glosses:) and make sure it has at least 30 SPF.
Whatever your brand or style sunnies are a must for a successful (and safe) day in the sun. Polarized glasses help block the glare from the water, sand and cement- just the things you will surely encounter at the beach or the pool. Just make these a must even for the tots and we think make them CUTE:)
Baseball, wide brim, bowler, bucket, straw, wizard, witch or cowboy style (just kidding but you get the picture)…nobody cares as long as you have one. Function here above style (unfortunately). I always struggle in the hat department…
No need to go to the expense of purchasing waterproof pouches…just use Ziploc bags. They are cheap and disposable and waaaay less mess. Ideal for wet swimsuits, diapers, garbage you may need to carry out with you, and protection for your iPhone or anything else that needs it. These just help keep the mess to a minimum. Bring a few different sizes. Easy Peasy.
Make sure you pack enough snacks for the littles AND yourself. Remember that bringing chocolate or anything that melts to the beach or the pool is going to be a disaster. I do love chocolate but its best to leave that home. Opt instead for crackers, granola bars, gummies and whole fruit like bananas, apples, and oranges.
Staying hydrated at the beach or pool is key. That sun is hot and often times the breeze is too. So to keep the crew from becoming a hot mess, pack refillable water bottles to make sure no one becomes too parched.
8-Water Resistant Speaker
Bring one of these along and turn up the FUN with a splash-proof speaker. Find one that is small in size but big on sound! What a blast:)
We love this one! Sony Water Resistant XB10
9-Outdoor Blanket or Beach Mat
Use whichever version of this you prefer. Again, pack one that is easy to fold, is compact, and is easy to clean and shake off. Just make sure it will keep the sand off of the towels. Many times, if we are traveling to a destination, rather than pack these, we purchase them for a few dollars each at a local tourist shop before heading to the beach.
This is a no-brainer but make sure you have at least one per person. Sometimes we throw in a few extra just for good measure. Another handy tip is for each person to have his/her own distinct towel. This avoids all squabbles over whose wet towel is whose (we’ve had plenty of those over the wet towels).
11-Beach Ball and Sand Toys
Yes, these items may take up plenty of room in the beach bag (although the inflatable options don’t), they are worth their bulk in gold. A small assortment will keep the littles (and the bigs) giddy for hours. We have many a happy memory building sand castles as a family on the beach. A few sand toys are a necessity.
A good read for the beach or the pool is thumbs up. Nothing beats a great read for that lazy day lounging at the beach or the pool. Mom and Dad, just make sure to keep one eye on the kids!
These ALWAYS come in handy for sticky little fingers and to wipe off sand or sunscreen that is close to the eyes of your little angels.
Miracle in a brush for sure. These brushes gently glide through tangles without breakage, pain or tears. My life was changed forever with the discovery of the wet brush!!!
Bring along a travel size bottle of baby powder. This works miracles as when you are finished at the beach you simply rub powder on you and the sticky sand falls right off. This makes the ride (or transport) home so much more enjoyable and ensures that those piles of sand don’t make it into the car or the living room floor once you arrive home.
Now, you are all ready! We hope these 15 ultimate family beach bag essentials, now get out and enjoy the day with your family and make some great memories!
Click to check out our darling beach Bahamas coloring page! So easy to download and color!