Heading to the beach is one of the best ways to spend a family vacation. Here’s our ultimate family beach vacation packing list to make sure you don’t forget anything your family will need to have the ultimate family beach vacation!

can you see unique cancun luxury at the beaches at The Pyramid at Grand Oasis

The pristine beach and cabanas. Photo credit The Pyramid at Grand Oasis.

Everything You Need for a Family Beach Vacation

Raise your hand if you’re the CEO of packing in your house? Whether you wanted that lovely title or not, chances are you’re the one who takes on the packing responsibilities when it’s vacation time. If your family is anything like mine, they’re counting on you to lead the charge and will mostly likely blame you if something is missing.

My crew and I just returned from Santa Rosa Beach, Florida for a week of summer family fun. I wish I could trust my memory to make sure I’ve got everything covered when I pack but since I’m thinking for my entire family of four – which includes two picky tweens – I’ve got to write things down. Before we left I came up with this extensive Family Beach Vacation Packing List to ensure I had everything – including my sanity.

Download our Printable Family Vacation Beach Packing List

Personal Items to Pack

  • Drivers Licenses
  • Credit or Debit Cards
  • Cash
  • Health Insurance cards
  • Auto insurance cards
  • Rental/Hotel Confirmation Information

IMG_4435Clothes You’ll Need

  • 2 Swimsuits each
  • Swim cover ups
  • Underwear & bras
  • Socks
  • Belts
  • T-Shirts
  • Shorts
  • Sundresses/skirts
  • Jeans/capris
  • Dinner outfits
  • Light jackets/wrap
  • Running/Tennis/Workout Clothes/Workout Bras
  • Running GPS
  • Pajamas
  • Robe
  • Flip-flops
  • Water shoes
  • Sandals
  • Sneakers – Tennis & Running

Toiletries for Everyone

  • Photo Credit: Karen Heffren / Desert TravelingMom

    Soap

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Lotion
  • Aloe
  • Deodorant
  • Razors
  • Flat iron
  • Hair dryer
  • Brushes/combs
  • Hair elastics and clips
  • Hair cream
  • Hair gel
  • Scarf
  • Shower Cap
  • Safety Pins
  • Contacts & case
  • Contact solution
  • Glasses
  • Make up bag
  • Feminine products
  • Jewelry/watches
  • GR beachPerfume/cologne
  • Cotton swabs/cotton balls
  • Nail polish
  • Nail polish remover
  • Nail clipper
  • Vaseline
  • Air freshener

Don’t Forget the Medicine

  • Mine
  • Husband’s
  • The Kids’
  • Allergy
  • First-Aid Kit – w/band aids, ointment, etc.
  • Vitamins
  • Motrin
  • Benadryl

Beach Stuff

  • Beach towels
  • Umbrellas
  • Canopy/tent
  • Blankets
  • Chairs
  • Cooler with wheels
  • Smaller portable cooler
  • Beach Cart/portable wheels
  • Beach toys (or buy cheap ones there)
  • Goggles
  • Floats
  • Big beach bag
  • Waterproof bag or plastic bag for wallet and cell phones
  • Smaller beach bag or drawstring bag for kids to carry
  • Drinks
  • Romantic vacation to Hawaii -- and a travel deal. Photo: Mauna Kea Beach Hotel,

    Photo: Mauna Kea Beach Hotel,

    Food

  • Plastic-ware
  • Napkins
  • Bottle opener
  • Garbage bag/plastic bags
  • Waterproof sunscreen
  • More waterproof sunscreen
  • Lip balm/protector
  • Bug spray (we like  Sawyer Maxi-Deet)
  • Hair brush
  • Hats
  • Sun glasses
  • Hand sanitizer 
  • Wipes

Entertainment & Technology

  • Waterproof Camera
  • Digital Camera
  • Laptop
  • iPad
  • Portable speakers
  • Photo credit: Pixabay

    Kids’ Kindle Fire HD & PSVita

  • DVDs
  • Cords & chargers
  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Frisbee
  • Basketball
  • Nerf Football
  • Tennis Bag
  • Playstation 3 & Video games (for rainy days)
  • Batteries
  • Deck of cards
  • Board games
  • Card games – UNO, etc
  • Note pads
  • Pens & colored pencils

Rental House Needs

  • Pillows
  • Extra sheets for pullout couch
  • Disinfecting cleaning wipes
  • Portable hamper

Things to Bring or Buy There 

  • Paper towels
  • Napkins
  • Plastic-ware
  • Laundry detergent
  • Dryer sheets
  • Stain remover
  • Food
  • Drinks
  • GR beach2Water
  • Beer
  • Wine
  • Scented candles
  • Flashlight

For the Car Ride

  • Car chargers
  • Snacks & drinks
  • Garbage/plastic bag
  • Portable items from Entertainment List

Home Checklist

  • House sitter
  • Dog sitter 
  • Dog food
  • Garbage
  • Empty fridge
  • Mail
  • Money
  • Bills
  • Thermostat
  • Lock up!

Most importantly bring your PATIENCE. It’s not a vacation – or much fun – if you’re stressed. Almost everything on this list can be bought or replaced if forgotten.

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Headed to the beach? Never again forget anything you will need for a family vacation at the beach! Download our free printable back packing list.

Bonus Packing Tips

Photo credit: Teresa Shaw / Working TravelingMom

Photo credit: Teresa Shaw / Working TravelingMom

Once you’ve made sure you’ve got everything you need for your trip, you’ve got to strategically pack it all up. At our last TravelingMom Writers retreat, packing expert Margalit Francus, Autism TravelingMom, helped me repack my brand new Ricardo Roxybury 2.0 to maximize space and get everything I had home in one piece. Her top tips include:

  • Roll clothes tightly instead of folding
  • Use rubber bands and plastic bags for shoes
  • No stuffing! Everything has a place

This post was written by Lorraine Robertson. She is an author, nationally published freelance writer and creator of the site RunWifeyRun.com. Lorraine was featured on the Travel Channel’s “Great Cruises: Why Not The Mediterranean?” television show and her life-changing wedding appeared on TLC’s “A Wedding Story.” She lives in the metro Atlanta area with her husband, Napoleon, and their kids, Miles and Milan.