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Are you looking for a minimalist beach packing list?
Check out this article for a beach packing list that will make your life easier. This list includes everything you need to bring to the beach and what you don’t!
I used to stress out about going to the beach. I used to feel like I had to bring SO much. That meant that I’d spend so much time packing, have trouble finding what I needed in the huge pile of stuff that I’d brought, and I’d break my back carrying everything to our spot on the beach. I’d also have so much stuff to unpack when we got home after a long day at the beach!
With this packing list, you’ll be able to enjoy your time at the beach worry-free and back-ache free! You’ll be able to enjoy your time at the beach knowing that you have everything you need and you won’t have to carry tons of stuff from your car to the beach!
Continue reading this article to find the perfect minimalist beach packing list for your next trip.
What to bring to the beach
Going to the beach doesn’t have to be a hassle. Here’s what you need to be able to relax and enjoy your time at the beach without having to worry about what you’re forgetting!
1. Lunch and Snacks
While this list isn’t necessarily listed in order of importance, I intentionally put lunch and snacks at the top! A trip to the beach usually lasts a few hours to a full day, so it’s key to bring snacks or even a lunch with you!
I like to bring snacks that are easy to eat, won’t cause a mess, and won’t lead to a lot of trash. I also especially like to bring healthy foods because who wants to feel overly full or bloated while in a bathing suit!
Some of my favorite things to bring are granola bars, dried fruit, apples, sandwiches, salads, and crispy edamame or chickpeas.
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Drinks are equally as key, if not more so than snacks! You don’t want to get dehydrated at the beach!
While bringing lots of juice bags and water bottles is an option, I like to consolidate them into one big water bottle and then bring some cups with me. I like doing this best because I find it easier to carry one jug rather than a ton of bottles.
I’m also able to keep it cool better. Here’s what I do…
I fill the bottle about 1/3 of the way with water and then put it in the freezer on it’s side. Because it’s only a third of the way full it’s not covering the mouth of the bottle.
Once it’s frozen, I then pour cold water into the bottle to fill the rest of the space. Now I have a giant ice cube inside the bottle which will take longer to melt and keep the water cool longer!
Sometimes I also bring a few bottles of soda as a treat. Just make sure to avoid sugary sodas to help avoid bugs as I’ll explain more later in this post! For example, I recently picked up MTN Dew Zero Sugar soda and saved $1.50 off a 12 pack with the Ibotta app through their Kickoff to Summer event! (Note that this offer was valid as of when I published this post – check your app to see if it’s still available!)
3. Cooler or Insulated Bag
You’re going to want to be able to keep any food or drinks you bring to the beach cool, so a cooler or insulated bag is key! There are many options on the market from super thin insulated bags to stiff coolers. I like the insulated bags best because they are more flexible, lighter, and easier to carry. I also like that you can fold many of them up once they are empty which is really convenient!
4. Trash Bag
Sometimes it can be hard to find a trash can at the beach, so I highly recommend bringing a plastic shopping bag or a garbage bag with you. That way you can easily consolidate all your trash and throw it all out at once when you head home!
5. Beach Chair
Some people like to bring a beach chair for every person going to the beach. This is unnecessary. It’s unlikely that everyone is going to want to sit in a chair the whole time.
Bring one or maybe two tops! There’s a good chance that you’ll be hanging out in the water, going for a walk or playing with the kids in the sand most of the time!
6. Beach towels
Beach towels are a must. When it comes to beach towels, I DO recommend bringing one for each person plus maybe one extra. They are great to lie or sit on, dry you off, brush off sand, and even shield you if you’re starting to burn.
If you’re at the beach with little ones, they also serve as a blanket when they go down for a nap!
7. Beach Umbrella
I wish I could say that you don’t need an umbrella but… you do! Especially if you’ll be going to the beach with the kids.
The sun is incredibly intense at the beach and it’s important to protect yourself and your family from getting too much sun exposure. Plus, your kids may want to take a nap and you don’t want them to get overheated.
A simple beach umbrella is fairly light and worth bringing in case anyone gets overheated!
Some people like to bring pop-up tents. If that’s really important to you, then go ahead and bring one! If you’re trying to stay minimalist though, then I recommend sticking with just an umbrella.
Sunscreen is key and is probably the most obvious item on this list! Make sure to bring whatever sunscreen you like the most. The key is to reapply it often to keep safe!
9. Hair UV protectant
Recently I’ve started to consider this more and more essential so I’m including this on my list! UV protectant for your hair helps you avoid hair damage and can also help protect your scalp. This is especially great if you have color-treated hair or super short hair!
10. Aloe Vera
I always make sure to bring some aloe vera with us when we go to the beach.
You can find small travel sizes in most stores now so it’s easy to grab and go! This is perfect for healing any little sunburns you or your kids may get and the sooner you add the aloe vera, the better they will feel! Plus, you can keep the Aloe in your cooler so that it’s nice and cold when you apply it!
11. Spare Phone Battery
I consider this to be a safety item! You want to make sure that you can keep your phone charged in case someone needs medical attention, you get lost, or you get separated from the rest of your friends/family.
I also like to keep my phone charged so that I can take pictures/videos throughout the day!
So make sure to bring a spare phone battery with you to the beach so you can take unlimited photos and keep a good amount of charge just in case!
12. Float strap for devices
If you’re planning on taking your phone or any other devices with you in the water, then I highly recommend getting a float strap!
They are super cheap and will save you a ton of heartache if your phone happens to fall out of your pocket while you’re swimming.
I’ve heard horror stories of people losing their phones in the ocean and never seeing them again. So please, save yourself the headache and get a float strap! Even if you’re using a disposable camera! You don’t want to lose it!
13. First aid kit
A first aid kit is always a good idea whenever you leave the house but it’s especially important when you’re going somewhere like the beach where there are more opportunities for accidents. If someone, unfortunately, gets hurt, you could be far from help or your car, so it’s a really good idea to have a small first aid kit with you just in case!
What do I bring to the beach if I have a baby?
If you are taking a baby or small kid with you to the beach, there are a few additional things to take to the beach. Here’s what to bring to the beach in addition to your regular diaper bag stuff and what’s listed above:
1. Swim shirt
It’s extra important to protect your baby’s skin so a UV protectant swim shirt is key! You can find these shirts at most stores that sell baby clothes. These shirts will act as a rash guard and SPF! If your baby resists when you apply sunscreen, a long sleeve or even a scuba-style bodysuit is a great option!
2. Sun Hat
Similarly, sun hats are so important! You want to make sure that you are protecting your baby’s face, neck, and head from the sun. You also want to protect their eyes and chances are that they won’t wear sunglasses! (My kids always refused)
There are so many cute sun hats on the market so try to pick one with designs that your baby will love. They’ll be less likely to fight you when you try to put it on them if they love it!
Also, look for one with a strap to make sure that it stays on!
3. Beach Toys and a Mesh Bag
You also want to bring some beach toys with you so that they have something to play with! A simple bucket and shovel is enough for most young kids. The bucket will also double as a hand and foot washing station when it’s time to wash up.
What NOT to take to the beach
1. Electronics other than your phone or maybe a radio
Sand, water, and electronics don’t play well together!
Your phone should be fine if you’re using a float strap (like I mentioned before). But other electronics, like laptops, cameras, and radios are just asking to get ruined by the sand and water.
Plus, do you want to be lugging all that stuff around with you?
I say leave it at home!
2. Foods that will attract bees
The last thing you want is to be stung by a bee or wasp while you’re at the beach!
So avoid foods that will attract these pests.
Some examples are fruit, soda, and candy.
If you do want to bring these types of snacks, make sure to keep them in a bag until you’re ready to eat them.
3. Glass Containers
Glass is dangerous at the beach! If it breaks, someone could get cut. Plus, it’s just really hard to lug around with you.
4. Sneakers or hard to get on/off shoes
You’re going to be walking in the sand, which is inevitably going to get into your shoes. So why wear shoes that are difficult to take off or are going to get ruined by the sand?
Instead, opt for flip-flops or another type of easy-to-slip-on/off shoe.
This should go without saying but don’t bring valuables to the beach!
Leave your jewelry, nice watches, and other valuables at home where they will be safe.
The last thing you want is to lose something valuable or have it stolen while you’re enjoying your day at the beach. By not bringing your valuables with you, you’ll also feel much more comfortable walking away from your stuff for a few minutes to enjoy the sites or water.
What to pack for the beach recap
When it comes to packing for the beach, it’s important to pack light and only bring what you need. This will help make your day at the beach more enjoyable without having to worry about carrying a lot of stuff with you.
In this article, we’ve listed everything you need to bring to the beach so that you can have a fun and safe day in the sun!
We hope you found this article helpful and that you now have a better idea of what to pack for your next beach trip.
Is there anything else you consider essential? Comment below and share what we’ve missed from this list!
Don’t forget to use Ibotta before you shop for your next beach trip! Did you know that with Ibotta you can earn cash back on items you’re already planning to buy? Sometimes you can use manufacturer and store sales/coupons PLUS any Ibotta cash back offers! So there’s no reason NOT to add using Ibotta to your routine! Learn more here!