Beach Packing Checklist

Everyone looks forward to a beach vacation. Here's a checklist to make sure you've got everything you need for the sand, surf and sun.

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MUST HAVE:

  • Wallet and/or purse and cash (sometimes we forget the most obvious things)
  • Credit cards and/or traveler's checks (plus list of numbers of both)
  • ID or driver's license
  • Car and house keys (plus duplicate sets kept in different bags)
  • Eyeglasses and/or contact lenses (plus lens cleaner)
  • Watch
  • Medical insurance cards
  • Prescriptions and other medications
  • Itineraries, tickets and reservation confirmations
  • Maps and directions
  • Books and magazines for kids and adults
  • Toys, playing cards, small games
  • Disposable wipes (or put damp paper towels in zippered plastic bags)
  • First-aid kit (see separate packing list)

CLOTHES AND BEACH ITEMS:

  • Complete change of clothes for each person per day (think cool, comfortable clothing)--though if you are renting a place with laundry facilities, you may be able to get away with less
  • Lightweight sweater or jacket and long pants for cooler evenings
  • Swimsuits (two per person, so you'll always have a dry one)
  • Beach towels (again two per person is ideal)
  • Beach cover-ups or roomy T-shirts (to throw on over swimsuit when you've had enough sun)
  • Baseball caps or wide-brim hats (to protect faces from sun)
  • Sunglasses with UV protection for adults
  • Sandals (rubber, plastic or waterproof are best)
  • Waterproof sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher (bring along enough to allow for liberal re-application even if it is waterproof)
  • Lip balm with sunscreen
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Body lotion for after-sun
  • Insect repellent (some sunscreens for kids contain insect repellent and vice versa)
  • Anti-itch cream (for bug bites)
  • Large beach bag for toting above items (a mesh bag won't allow sand to collect)
  • Cooler with water, other beverages and watery fruits such as grapes (stay hydrated!)
  • Water safety devices for young swimmers (be sure these are intended as such and check beach regulations for use)

FUN IN THE SUN:

  • Buckets and shovels
  • Sand castle molds (use empty deli containers, yogurt cups or two-liter plastic bottles with the upper half cut off)
  • Frisbee, paddle ball, inflatable beach ball and other simple beach toys
  • Inflatable flotation devices (check safety regulations)
  • Kite
  • Camera and film
  • Zippered plastic bags for collecting shells (or collecting wet suits after a day trip to the beach)

NICE TO HAVE:

  • Folding beach chairs
  • Beach umbrella (some beaches and hotels rent these)
  • Large family-size blanket or quilt to spread out on beach

TOILETRIES:

  • Toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss and mouthwash
  • Deodorant
  • Combs, brushes, hair accessories, blow dryer (if hotel does not provide one)
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Shaving supplies
  • Cosmetics
  • Nail clippers, scissors and emery boards
  • Tweezers
  • Cotton balls and/or swabs
  • Feminine hygiene items

FOR BABY:

  • Car seat
  • Diaper bag
  • Disposable diapers
  • Changing pad
  • Baby powder and lotion
  • Zippered plastic bags
  • Wet wipes
  • Bathing supplies
  • Nursing pads and burp pads
  • Bibs
  • Baby food and spoon
  • Bottles, nipples and caps
  • Formula and/or juice
  • Pacifiers
  • Collapsible stroller with canopy or umbrella
  • Front or back child-carrying pack, or sling style
  • Blankets
  • Waterproof sheets
  • Bathing supplies
  • Large plastic bags for wet clothes (can also be used as a changing pad in a pinch)

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