I have always prided myself on being an efficient packer. My job often required me to hop on a flight last minute and I’ve spent months at a time on business in different countries, so somewhere along the way, I mastered the art of filling that suitcase.
Then, babies came along and any form of an organized travel system was out the window. We’re just back from a 10-day beach vacation, and although we had many scrambled moments looking for various items (like leaving the baby’s swaddle at the hotel on the drive down!), I thought it would be helpful to share our packing list for anyone else looking to hit the beach before summer ends. We were lucky to be staying at a house right on the water, so you might need to modify this list based on how you transport to the beach daily.
//FOR THE BEACH
- Baby Beach tent: When Gavin was born we bought a small pop-up tent for the beach that we never used because it was impossible to fold it back up. My cousin was using the Fisher Price On The Go Baby Dome Playard for her adorable baby boy and he loved it. It’s easy to assemble and offers great sun protection, perfect for beach naps.
- Beach hats: I love this Baby Sun Bucket Hat by Patagonia that boasts 50+ UPF sun protection and is a reversible style with fun print options.
- Stroller fan: We have two of these battery-operated clip-on fans from SkyGenius that we attach to our stroller or beach chair.
- Beach bag
- Towels: Wearable hooded beach towels are the absolute best, like this one from Pottery Barn Kids.
- Small Cooler for beach snacks and drinks
- Blanket: Picnic Time Extra Large Vista Blanket
- Life Jacket: Overton’s
- Puddle jumper
- Sunglasses: My boys both love these shades by Hipsterkid. They have polarized 100% UVA and UVB protection and the stay-on strap is great for those active little youngsters.
- Kiddie pool: Our kids are too little to swim in the ocean quite yet, so this was key to keeping them cool at the beach.
- Baby swing: For beach naps!
- Fishing poles
- Sand toys
- Large beach tent, umbrella, beach chairs
//FOR THE KIDS
- Stroller: We absolutely love our Bob Revolution double stroller, but there was no way we were able to fit it in the car for this trip. Instead, we opted for our Bob Revolution single stroller that both the baby and toddler could use. We also brought our BabyTrend snap-and-go for the infant car seat that we could bring in and out of restaurants or on short walks.
- Graco Pack-n-Play with a set of sheets
- HALO Sleep Sacks and pajamas, or whatever swaddle you prefer
- Diapers, wipes, changing pad, A&D
- Onesies/weather appropriate clothing
- Socks, sneakers, water shoes
- Blankets (fleece and lightweight)
- Medicine and vitamins (Baby Tylenol, Vitamin D drops, Zarbee’s cough syrup, thermometer, NoseFrida)
- Nail clippers
- Baby monitors
- Sippy cups, bowls, spoons, bibs
- Toothbrush, toothpaste
- Stroller bug cover, bug spray
//FOR THE BABY
- Burp cloths and bibs
- Tummy Time Play Mat
- Pump, bottles, feeding cover, bottle warmer
- Baby carrier: We have the Ergo 360 infant carrier that is great for walking on the beach.
- Baby bath, soap, wash clothes, soft towel
- Microwave cleaning bags
- Baby seat: We love the Fisher Price Sit-Me-Up Floor Seat. It folds flat and has two toy attachments to keep the little one busy.
//FOR THE TODDLER
- Books: Our friend gave us the book All Better! which is a great board book to keep him busy in the car. We also love the Water Wow books for long car rides because they are mess-free.
- iPad: Download some movies before the long car trip! I think we watched Sing 4 times!
- Puzzles, coloring books, crayons, Play-Doh
- Bathing suits and cover-ups
- Accessories: hats, sunglasses, belts, watches
- Raincoat and umbrella
- Sneakers, flip flops
- Magic bullet for pureeing baby food
- Car snacks for kids and driver
- Beer, wine, wine opener, koozies
- Laptop and charger
- Camera and GoPro
- Phone charger
- Music speakers
- Games: can jam, board games, cards, frisbee, kite, volleyball
Toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hair ties, hair gel, hairbrush, hairdryer, curling iron, hair straightener, hairspray, vitamins, deodorant, soap, makeup, feminine hygiene, retainers, Advil/medications, body lotion, tweezers, shaving cream, razor, Q-tips, glasses, contacts, contact solution, nail clippers
That just about covers it! What items do you bring on a beach trip to add to this list? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Also, if you’re looking for a last-minute beach vacation idea, check out my post on spending four days in Ocean City, Maryland.