15 Items You Must Pack for a Memorable Beach Trip

15 Items You Must Pack for a Memorable Beach Trip

Sun, sand, surf, and swim - there’s so much to look forward to on a beach vacay.

And it can be even more fun if you’re well-prepared.

That’s why we’ve created this exhaustive packing list to make sure you have everything you need before you hit the beach.

From sun protection essentials to beach toys - we’ve rounded 15 items that’ll make your trip safe, comfy, and memorable.

Table of Contents

List of Things to Pack for a Perfect Day at the Beach

1. Beach Umbrella with Sand Anchor

No matter how much you enjoy sunbathing, there will be times when you find yourself craving a bit of shade - something an umbrella can instantly provide. Having your own sunshade is even more crucial if you’re bringing little ones to the beach. 

Here’s a great beach umbrella by Sport-Brella that’s sturdy, adjustable, and easy to set up. It has a  UPF 50+ liner to shield you from harmful rays and a solid anchoring mechanism that prevents it from blowing away.

2. Turkish Beach Towels

Here’s one item you wouldn’t want to skip while packing for a beach trip: a set of beach towels. Besides being quick to dry, a good beach towel is long, lightweight, and sand-repelling, not to mention easy to roll up and stash in a bag.

Our Turkish beach towels are all this and more. They’re made from 100% organic cotton. Their thin, flat woven construction makes them highly versatile - use them as towels, makeshift blankets, beach mats, and cover-ups - the list is endless.

3. Sunglasses

The sun’s harmful UV rays are even more potent in a beach environment as they tend to bounce off water and sand. That’s why a pair of sunglasses should be one of the first items you should slip into your beach bag.

A pair of polarized shades will not only shield you from reflective UV rays but also prevent you from straining your eyes in bright sunlight. If you’re traveling with kids, don’t forget to pack them a pair of their own.

4. Sunscreen and After-Sun Lotion

A bottle of sunscreen and after-sun lotion are must-haves for your day on the beach. However, you might want to pick a reef-safe formula over a mineral-based sunscreen as it contains ingredients that don’t hurt the reefs or marine life.

As far as after-sun products, we recommend picking something with aloe vera in it for a soothing, healing effect on sun-exposed skin.

5. Hats

Now that you’ve checked off the sunscreen, umbrella, and sunglasses from the list, don’t forget to grab the hats to beef up your sun protection game.

You could opt for a wide-brimmed straw hat, a chic baseball cap, or the classic bucket hat - whatever works best for your outfit and personal style.

Go for sun hats with neck covers to keep the little ones shielded from harsh UV rays. Check out icolor’s collection of cute UPF50+ sun hats.

6. Water Shoes and Flip Flops

The beach is a tricky terrain to navigate. You might encounter rocky patches while making your way there, not to mention shells and pebbles strewn all over the sand.

Walking barefoot could set you up for cuts and injuries and get in the way of your plans. 

There are plenty of water shoes you can buy online, but we are obsessed with these quick-drying Vifuur barefoot shoes. These are easy to pop on, lightweight, and secure at the heel - everything you could possibly need from a reliable pair of water shoes.

If your trip is going to be more laid back, a pair of flip-flops or pool slides would work just fine.

7. Reusable Beach Tote

Since you cannot lug a suitcase to the beach, you need something roomy to stash and carry all your beach essentials.

Our recommendation? A spacious beach tote. You might need more than one if you’re traveling with little ones. Our cotton canvas totes are robustly crafted from 100% organic cotton with double stitching and sturdy handles.

At 16 x 21 x 5 inches, our bags are spacious enough to accommodate everything from sun protection creams and gels to snacks and drinks.

The best part? These bags are incredibly versatile and can go from acting as a beach bag to a grocery bag.

8. Bug Spray

The beach is where bugs come to party, too. What’s worse is that they can tag along with your belongings and invade your home.

So you might want to load up on organic DEET-free insect repellents that can shoo away pesky mosquitoes, beach bugs, and horse flies without harming the surroundings.

We love Babyganics plant-based insect repellent spray with ingredients that are perfect for the whole family.

9. An Extra Change of Swimsuit

We don’t need to remind you about this, but we’ll add it here anyway: remember to pack your bathing suit. In fact, carry an extra one if you love to swim a lot and want to avoid the bother of waiting around for swimsuits to dry.

10. Cover-Ups

Don’t forget to add a couple of swimsuit cover-ups to complete your sun-kissed look. Not only do cover-ups make you look good, but they’re pretty effective at keeping the sun and wind off as you stroll along the shore. 

We recommend something lightweight that’s easy to put on and take off and doesn’t take much room in a beach bag. Kaftans, sarongs, skirts, crocheted dresses, and co-ords - there’s no dearth of chic cover-ups to choose from.

11. Beach Blankets

A beach blanket is a must-have for any family that loves spending time on the beach. It creates a sand-free zone to sit, relax, and dig into snacks after spending hours in the water.

You’ll need something that’s lightweight, tightly woven, and moisture-wicking. It should also be machine washable and quick drying because you’ll be washing it every time you’re back from a seaside adventure. 

A large-sized Turkish towel can also double up as a beach blanket. Just spread it out, relax, roll it back up, and stash it into your beach bag on your way back.

12. Beach Cooler

Let’s not forget one of the most fun activities to do on a beach – eating! Gorge on fresh fruits and sandwiches and enjoy chilled drinks. The only tricky part is keeping the beverages and snacks cool.

Lucky for us, there’s an amazing array of beach coolers out there, ranging from cooler bags to cooler backpacks to coolers with speakers.

We love the one with wheels by YETI - it makes transporting cans, ice cubes, and food a breeze while keeping the contents cool - just the way one would like on a hot, sunny beach. If you’re looking for something lighter, then the dbest soft-sided insulated collapsible cooler is worth exploring.

13. Beach Toys

Beachgoers will agree that a day at the seaside wouldn’t feel as awesome unless you build a sand castle, toss a ball, or go snorkeling. All the more if you’re bringing the kids.

To indulge in the sandy fun, we recommend getting Blue Ginko’s plastic-free beach set, complete with buckets, shovels, and molds. And when you see the waters at their calmest, put on your swimming fins, diving mask, and dry-top snorkel gear and explore the underwater aquatic kingdom.

Related Article: How and Where to Recycle Plastic Bags?

14. Empty Trash Bags

After spending a blissful day by the beach, return the favor by cleaning up. That means picking up all food packaging, empty cans, and used napkins.

The thing is, if you accidentally leave something behind, it can quickly make its way into the water, bringing harm to the aquatic life.

A surefire way to avoid this situation is always to keep a few trash bags handy. You can keep them in your backpack or tote or store them in the backseat of your car.

While cleaning up, pick up other people’s trash as well and leave the place cleaner than you found it.

15. Water Bottle

Too much sun exposure can be physically draining and dehydrating. It’s a good idea to keep sipping on water if you want to keep up the energy and the party going.

We recommend bringing along a reusable water tumbler to make sure you get all the hydration you need and keep the risk of sunstroke at bay.

Made from kitchen-grade stainless steel, Earth Ethical Tumbler can keep up to 20 oz of water cold throughout the day.

Final Thoughts

A blissful blend of rolling waves, balmy sun, blue skies, and crisp breeze, the beach always guarantees a good time. And you wouldn’t want to leave behind anything that could potentially put a dampener on your beach experience.

Well, this beach trip packing list has you covered. All you have to do is go through this checklist to make sure you hit the beach with everything you might need.


Author: Karen Lamar

Karen is the Chief Content Officer at Organic Cotton Mart. She has a Master's Degree in Environmental Science from NC State with a special focus in Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy. Since her High School days, she has been an Environmentalist and was the President of her High School's Environmental Club for 3 years before starting her freshman year at NC State. She has a deep knowledge and understanding of various environment-friendly movements like zero waste, minimalistic living, recycling, and upcycling.

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