10 Top Checklist Tips – What to Pack for a Beach Day

What to Pack For a Beach Day?

There’s nothing quite like a day out to the beach. It’s a chance to relax, soak up the sun, and make some unforgettable memories with your family and/or best friends.

However, ensuring you have everything you need for the perfect beach adventure can be a bit of a challenge. The last thing you want is to arrive at the seaside only to realize you’ve forgotten something important.

So, here’s a comprehensive ‘what to pack for a beach day’ packing guide to make sure your day at the beach is nothing short of fabulous.

5 Top Checklist Tips - What to Pack for a Beach Day or Holiday - Coumeenole Beach - Kerry
Coumeenole Beach, Kerry, Ireland

Further Reading: Holiday Checklist and Packing Tips for Travel with Small Kids

What to Pack for a Beach Day – Packing Checklist

What to Pack for a Beach Day #1

Essential Swimwear

First and foremost, your swimwear needs to be on point. Whether you’re a fan of classic one-pieces or you prefer a matching bikini set, your choice of swimwear sets the tone for the entire day.

When selecting your swimwear, consider both style and comfort. You want something that highlights your best features and is comfortable enough for a day full of activities like swimming, playing beach volleyball, or lounging by the waves. Bringing a second set of swimwear is also a wise idea in case you want to switch up your look or if your first set gets too sandy or wet.

What to Pack for a Beach Day #2

The Right Bag

Before knowing what kind of things you should carry, you need to first check what bag you’ll be carrying. First things first and we highly suggest you do not pack heavily. The main purpose of a beach day or holiday is to relieve your stress levels, so ensure that your bag is lightly packed – prioritising is key.

Some of the most common bags prefered for a beach day are specifically designed ‘beach bags’, duffle bags, carry-on weekend style bags, and depending where you’re going, and if they have a boardwalk or pier – wheeled bags.

5 Top Checklist Tips - What to Pack for a Beach Day or Holiday - Kerry, Ireland
Kerry, Ireland

Further Reading: Is There A ‘Right’ Age For Baby’s First Vacation?

What to Pack for a Beach Day #3

A Packing Organiser

As you are going to carry one single bag and place all your checklisted items into it, you need to provide the right partition. This could be done with the help of packing organisers.

Packing organisers do exactly what ‘they say on the tin’ – they help to save space in your bag by creating compartments and even compressing clothes. They also give you the feel you’re picking your packed items straight from a drawer. Just ensure to use zipper compartments for keeping liquids, for example; toiletries, sunscreen, and makeup.

We’ve given the more important items on our beach day checklist some space of their own below, but these are the basic items that demand space in your bag:

  • Bottled water and snacks.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Towel.
  • Swimsuit.
  • Hat, flip-flops, lightweight clothing such as a tanktop and shorts.
  • Phone and charger pack.
  • Shampoo and Conditioner (if showering is an option)
  • After-sun and moisturiser.
  • Waterproof bag for wet clothing.
  • Polarised sunglasses or big frame sunglasses.
  • A good book.
  • Local map or guide (hardcopy or on your phone)

Further Reading: Travel Insurance After Covid-19 – What Will It Look Like

What to Pack for a Beach Day #4

Sun Protection

No beach day is complete without adequate sun protection. Start with sunscreen—preferably one that offers broad-spectrum protection and an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply it generously at least 15 minutes before stepping out into the sun, and don’t forget to reapply every two hours, especially after swimming.

Bring along a wide-brimmed hat and a pair of stylish sunglasses to shield your face and eyes from those harsh UV rays. Remember, looking chic while protecting your skin is the epitome of smart beach fashion.

Further Reading: How too Much Sun Can Lead to Disaster Health-Wise

What to Pack for a Beach Day #5

Hydration and Snacks

While it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement, staying hydrated is crucial. Pack a cooler with plenty of water bottles and perhaps some refreshing electrolyte drinks to keep your energy levels up.

Also, bring along some light snacks like fruit, sandwiches, and granola bars. Avoid heavy, salty foods that can make you feel bloated and thirsty. For some added fun, prepare a picnic basket with a variety of snacks that everyone can share.

5 Top Checklist Tips - What to Pack for a Beach Day or Holiday - Inch Beach - Kerry
Inch Beach, Kerry, Ireland

Further Reading: 3 Essential Safety Tips for Staying Safe at the Beach

What to Pack for a Beach Day #6

Entertainment and Activities

A beach day should be as entertaining as it is relaxing. Bring along items that can enhance your beach experience. Think about packing a beach volleyball, paddleball set, or a frisbee.

If you prefer something more laid-back, consider a good beach read or a portable speaker to play your favourite tunes. Waterproof playing cards can also provide hours of fun. If you’re planning to indulge in some water activities like snorkeling or paddleboarding, make sure to pack the necessary equipment.

What to Pack for a Beach Day #7

Comfortable Seating and Shade

While lying in the sand might seem quintessentially beachy, having a comfortable spot to relax is invaluable.

Portable beach chairs or a sturdy beach mat can provide the perfect place to unwind. A beach umbrella or a pop-up shade tent is also a must-have for those moments when you need a break from the sun. A few extra towels can double as both seating and additional sun protection.

Further Reading: 7 Top Tips to Stop Your Holiday Dream becoming a Nightmare

What to Pack for a Beach Day #8

Practical Extras

Depending where the beach day or holiday takes place – in your home country or a flight away, really has an influence on the personal items and documents you need to carry. If it’s a local beach then there’s a good chance you’ve driven or gotten public transport – either way make sure you have a secure place to keep your keys or tickets while beach bumming it.

When travelling further afield important travel documents should be kept in your hotel room safe. If you want to be extra careful email yourself a copy of your documents and passport, or print a copy of your documents to keep with you – again find a safe compartment in your bag and always keep it within sight. An example of documents include; photo identification, credit card and boarding passes.

A perfect beach day is in the details. Don’t forget to pack:

  • a waterproof phone case to protect your valuable electronics from sand and water.
  • a small, portable first-aid kit can be a lifesaver for minor cuts, bruises, or insect bites.
  • baby powder is a pro tip for easily removing sand from your skin.
  • Zip-lock bags are excellent for keeping your belongings dry and organised, from your wallet and keys to your sunscreen and snacks.
  • a reusable tote bag can help gather any trash to keep the beach clean and beautiful for everyone.

5 Top Checklist Tips - What to Pack for a Beach Day or Holiday - Ireland Beach

Further Reading: From Santander City to Somo Beach, Cantabria, Spain

What to Pack for a Beach Day #9

Health-Related Products

In most cases the geographical setting of the beach is completely different from what you experience on an everyday basis. So, to stay safe and healthy and not get adversely affected by the change in the environment, it is suggested to carry some health-related products.

  1. Hand Sanitiser. If you plan on using public picnic tables or benches then there’s no harm in packing hand sanitiser, and antibacterial wipes too. Just remember to bin them afterwards. LEAVE NO TRACE is the motto to stand by.
  2. First Aid Kit. A small first aid kit is something we often forget but unfortunately might need. From antihistamines for allergies, your daily medicine or even for a plaster for those new sandals you haven’t quite broken into yet. You’ll be glad you packed this little kit.

What to Pack for a Beach Day #10

After-Sun Care

As your beach day wraps up, having after-sun care items can ease the transition back to reality. Aloe vera gel is perfect for soothing sun-burnt skin. A hydrating face mist can offer immediate refreshment, while a leave-in conditioner can help detangle and nourish sun-soaked hair. Clean, dry clothes to change into will make the ride home much more comfortable.

Further Reading: Parenthood: Planes, Trains and Automobiles – Tips for Travelling with a Toddler

We hope this ‘What to Pack for Beach Day’ checklist is of value and gets you thinking about your next beach day or holiday.

Remember to travel as light as you can. Leave your valuable jewellery at home or in the hotel room safe. If travelling to the beach alone, share your travel itinerary with a friend. Protect your beautiful skin, and enjoy!

Photos of Kerry, Ireland by Tommy Kwak – CCO Licence

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