Packing for a beach vacation is exciting; when we know that sun, sand, and relaxation are ahead, it's easy to forget even the most simple of things. This also applies to the packing list - and the last thing anyone wants to do when packing their family up for a beach trip is to forget the essentials. No matter how long the vacation is, there are some things that every family will be bringing with them, and we're not just talking about towels and sunscreen (although those are important, too). Here are 10 essentials that one may not have thought of when it comes to the essential packing list for the perfect family beach vacation.
8 An Extra Bag For Souvenirs
It's easy to remember extra bags for wet clothing or accessories, but many people forget that if they go gift shopping, all of those purchases need to be packed into something. An extra tote bag or small duffel can make small work of trying to fit souvenirs into any available space, and both are easy enough to fold up and carry in a clothing bag or suitcase.
7 CDC-Approved Cleaning Supplies & Extras
Especially in today's world, it's important to pack cleaning supplies, face masks, and hand sanitizer. While there are other essentials that could be added to this list, these are the main items to pack. For those staying in a hotel or resort where door handles are frequently touched, carrying around disinfectant wipes might also come in handy. Pro-tip: These can also double as wipes to clean sand off of small hands when leaving the beach!
6 A Wet-Proof Bag
Easily found on practically any site that sells camping gear, a wet bag is something that families might consider if they plan on spending tons of time at the beach and in the water. Wet bags are designed to insulate whatever is wet inside them (i.e. bathing suits, towels) so that the outside of the bag remains completely dry. Obviously, this is helpful when heading back to the hotel, resort, or rental, until the clothes can be washed or hung up to dry.
5 Reef-Safe Or Environmentally-Friendly Sunscreen
It might be common sense to pack sunscreen but one thing many people don't think of is finding environmentally-friendly sunscreen. In Hawaii, it's now law that those swimming must use reef-safe sunscreen, which is available at local stores. Even for those who aren't heading to Hawaii for their family beach vacation, it's worth considering a more eco-friendly option to not harm the delicate marine environments in which we swim.
4 Portable Hamper
In speaking to the same point of the wet bag, some families might consider packing a portable, collapsible hamper or laundry bag with them. Some hotels might supply this already, so it's always good to check! If they don't, this is worth bringing, even if one does not plan on doing their laundry while on vacation (who would, really?). The point of this is to keep dirty laundry separate from the clean laundry, which then makes it easier to sort after everyone gets home.
3 Portable Outdoor Beach Games
Going to the beach is an activity in itself, and most families pack sand tools for sandcastles and whatnot. While this is fine, it's often not enough for older children who might be on the vacation as well - thus, portable outdoor games were created. These are games that are fun for all ages, such as Kan Jam or Giant Jenga, that can be packed up easily and transported to the beach without any issue. Plus, they're a blast to play as a family!
2 Snorkel Masks & Gear
It might be possible to rent snorkel gear, but it's easy enough to find and is usually pretty affordable. Snorkel masks are a great thing to bring on vacation for families with avid swimmers, especially if the destination is somewhere tropical. Snorkel gear can even be used in clear lakes where the water is shallow, so it's an easy thing to pack for big underwater adventures.
1 Waterproof Camera (Or Camera Case)
Waterproof cameras can come with a price tag and if that's too much, consider a waterproof phone or camera case. Those who have GoPros can find them quite easily at any electronics store or even online, and it's worth it for families who spend most of their time in the water.