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What to Pack for a Beach Trip with a Toddler —FREE Packing Checklist

Beach Packing List

A perfect beach vacation — the smell of the salty air, sand in your toes, wind in your hair and the sound of waves crashing on the beach… It would take me just minutes to grab a bag, towel, sunscreen and perfect beach read, head out to the beach and begin relaxing in the sun.   

Beach Packing List

Fast-forward to now, preparing for a beach vacation with a toddler requires much more planning and packing…and well, stuff. And if your like me, you procrastinate packing and if not careful you completely over pack or forget the essentials.

I have added my free printable, Packing List: Beach Vacation with a Toddler Checklist to help you pack for your upcoming beach vacation!   

While packing for the beach may be stressful, don’t forget the reason you a heading to the beach — to create lasting memories with the family (and of course hopefully squeeze in a little bit of relaxation).  

Here is my ultimate Beach Vacation Packing List: 

For Me: 

  • Swimsuit / Cover Up: After putting on my swimsuit, I like to add a cover-up for the walk to the beach and it’s great if we decide to grab a bite on the boardwalk.
  • Hat: As much as I love the look of big beach hats, I also love a good ponytail or mom bun at the beach (let’s be honest, not just at the beach!) This summer, I am loving this Happy hat from All She Wrote Notes.  Maghon is such a ray of sunshine and NC native, plus she designs beautiful (and high-quality) items. 
  • Sunscreen: I use the this SPF30 stick for my face and the Tinted Sunscreen spray for my body.  
  • Tote Bag: For years, I have used my LLBean canvas tote for the beach and pool but this year when I saw the BoggBag Limited Edition Palm print I knew it was a must have. After searching for a few weeks, I found a small bogg bag and couldn’t be happier—it’s the perfect size for the beach, pool, park and even play dates.  It has a small zippered pouch inside to hold my id, cash, and chapstick and is durable and can be cleaned with water.
  • Book(s): I love a good light-hearted summer-read for the beach.  This last trip I packed Emily Griffin’s “The Lies that Bind” and “Big Summer” by Jennifer Weiner.  Both were great beach reads that I would recommend.
  • Water Bottle/Cooler: I keep this Yeti water bottle in my office tote and love that it has a chug cap but can be unscrewed to add ice. This was perfect on the beach to keep my water (and wine) cold without having to fill our Yeti cooler bag since we were right on the beach and could refill on toddler bathroom breaks. 
  • Bluetooth Speaker / Music: With toddlers in tow at the beach, I have traded in my headphones for a wireless, Bluetooth speaker.  We have used this speaker for years in the garage and love to turn on Spotify and pick a beach playlist.   

For the Little Ones: 

  • Bathing Suit and Hat/Bonnet: With any of our beach trips, we typically have quite a few bathing suits packed. One of my favorite beach items for a little girl is an adorable bonnet and the white is perfect to go with so many swim suits!
  • Sunscreen: Just as essential as your bathing suit!
  • Sunglasses: You have sunscreen and a hat but don’t forget the eye protection!
  • Sand Toys: If your little one is like mine, playing in the sand is just as much fun as the water!
  • Water Bottle: With the heat and all of the fun in the sun, it’s important to keep the little ones hydrated.  I love the yeti rambler, it’s perfect to keep water cold and has a handle, easy for the little hands to carry.
  • Snacks: And you know it won’t be long after getting to the beach, they will be asking for a snack (or two)!  The GoBo Snack Spinner (CODE: Tiffany – 15% off) offers five individual compartments and is easy for little hands to press the button and open the snack door.    

And the Extras:

With little ones comes a lot of extra stuff and these items help make life a little easier (and more enjoyable) for all of us.

  • Tent / Umbrella: Once we had a baby, we added a pop-up tent to our beach vacation-packing list. The pop-up tent is easy to put together and provides amble shade and a rest/nap area out of the direct sun.  I highly recommend grabbing one for your next trip.
  • Wagon: This was a new purchase for our recent trip— like on the way to the beach purchase!  The wagon definitely helped with bringing all of the items down to the beach but we have found ourselves already using it around the house and garage.  
  • Inflatable Pool: This is a great item to have for babies and toddlers at the beach.  Fill it up with ocean water and it will keep the baby entertained in the water without being knocked over in the waves.
  • First Aid Kit: A small first aid kit is a great item to have on hand for your beach trip with a toddler, there is bound to be a scratch on a sea shell. (Plus, who am I kidding, a small first aid kit is a great idea at ALL times with a toddler!)    
  • Wet Brush / Hair Ties: A wet brush helps with the long hair and tangles after bath time but it also comes in handy after a long day at the beach. 

Don’t forget to grab the free printable Packing List: Beach Vacation with Toddlers, which includes a full list of the best beach vacation must-haves!

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