A silhouette of beach-goers at sunset.

10 Things That Should Always Be On Your Beach Packing List

10 Things That Should Always Be On Your Beach Packing List

The beach is beautiful, serene, buzzing with activity or suffused with silence and, above all--a foreign environment. Spending all day immersed in sand is why the beach packing list will never go out of style. These days, when inventive gadgets for travel, swimming and partying abound, a well thought out beach packing list enhances full or multi-day trips to the sandy shores. We recommend ten items you should buy, take and enjoy, whether you're beach camping for the weekend or just getting out for the day.

A shot of a beach blanket with a beach bag and miscellaneous items spread about.

1. Weighted blanket. Forget about mom’s old picnic blanket or throwing down a couple of beach towels. A weighted blanket stays in place and is more resistant to sand build-up. It also pulls double duty as picnic blanket or a covering for the back of your car.

2. Oversized beach towels. Yes, this staple of beach life continues to grow and the larger ones are better at providing a bit of shade, absorbing every last bit of water, and doubling up as seating (although we recommend blanket or chairs).

A tote bag held by a woman's hand with the ocean in the background.

3. Smart tote bag. The smart tote appears understated but within its fabric folds it conceals a USB connection for charging. These totes have all the usual conveniences, like oversized pockets, water-resistance, and padded handles—but their solar-powered technology allows you to charge up devices as you soak up the sun.

4. Flip-flops. Protect your feet from the hot sand. Here in St. Augustine the beach is wide. The sand can be very hot when you are entering and leaving the beach and you fill want to make sure your are looking cool in some fresh flips.

blu classic australia beach

5. A better cooler. There is really no comparison with old-fashioned coolers and today’s versions, because newer coolers keep drinks ice cold, stay cold for hours (or days!) on end, and tolerate being opened and closed to an amazing degree. IceMule's Classic cooler line is the easiest way to bring your food and drink with you wherever you go. Between their packability and the convenient backpack design, a cooler like this is a no-brainer for any beach goer! 

6. Flip-flops. Bring these for when you return to your car. A fresh pair will mean less sand in the vehicle and allow your feet to rest and recover.

A woman applies sunscreen while she's sitting outside.

7. Sunscreen. This beach-packing list staple is a must because unless you are the tannest family on the planet, a day at the beach will mean re-applying sun cream or lotion throughout the day. Depending on where you're going, you may want to check on ingredient restrictions and environmental regulations related to your region. Certain, high-trafficked areas prohibit common ingredients like oxybenzone in order to preserve the overall health of the ecosystem and wildlife.

8. Portable shade. Pop-up shade structures aren’t as pricey as you may think, and they use little cargo space. This beach packing list suggestion may seem like a luxury but you’ll save money on #7 and have a cozy place to congregate. Similar to a tent, canopies set up in minutes and will also help you stake out territory.

A family sits on a picnic blanket on the beach with a spread of foods laid out before them.

9. Snackables. Bring them, eat them, share them and be self-sufficient. Why re-pack and find a lunch spot when you can laze away the day while nibbling on less expensive and tastier treats than any fast food can offer? With your 21st century cooler, healthy snacks such as fruit and cheese are no longer just a dream.

10. Don't forget the change of clothes. On a hot summer day you are sure to be in the ocean hanging out or riding waves. There is nothing better than rinsing off the salt water and sliding on a fresh new T-shirt or top for the car ride home.


Now get out there and enjoy the next beach day! Don't forget to have a few drinks and relax this summer.