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Beach Day Packing List: What to Bring to the Beach

In this article, I show you essential items to include in your beach day packing list for your beach trip.

The beach serves as a perfect place to spend a day in the sun and quality time with a best friend, group of friends, and/or family.

Here are some jump links to the main sections of this article to help you quickly find the information you need.

Beach Essentials Video
What to Bring to the Beach
Family Beach Vacation Packing List

The Beach Essentials Video

From quality beach chairs to commercial umbrellas to an ice chest that keeps your drinks cold all day long, the essential beach items recommended in this article provide comfort, function and more.

There are several things which are difficult to fully explain with words and images.
So, be sure to checkout the video below.

Free Printable Beach Packing List

What to Bring to the Beach

If you want a perfect day at the beach, our list of essential beach gear along with useful beach tips will keep you relaxed and having a great time.

Best Beach Cart

A quality beach cart is the most important thing to bring with you to the beach.

Regardless of your beach destination, hauling personal items from your beach day packing list across the sand can be difficult.
Moreover, attempting to haul everything by hand is a bad idea.
Instead of wasting time and energy, it is a good idea to purchase a heavy duty beach cart with balloon tires.
Ultimately, a beach cart makes your beach day trip easier.

beach essentials beach cart
beach essentials checklist

This beach cart holds all your beach essentials for the ultimate beach day.
It is a great way to reduce multiple trips to the beach from your hotel room or vacation rental.

While there are many great options to carry your stuff to the beach, the beach cart below meets all my criteria.
The 12″ balloon tires glide over the sand with ease and the removable tires allow for easy storage.
In addition, the no rust, foldable aluminum frame will make sure it lasts for years to come.

Wood Beach Chair

If you make a beach vacation an annual trip, you probably spend $30 to $40 dollars on a cheap beach chair at the grocery store or local beach gear shop.
For those lucky enough to live near a beach, this same chair may last a bit longer.

A quality wood beach chair, like the ones the beach rental huts provide use, is one of the best things to purchase.
As a side note, I purchased mine 9 years ago, use them at least 100 days per year, and they are still in great shape.

wood beach chairs
beach essentials wood beach chair

Wood beach chairs are made from hardwood such as white oak and protected with a marine grade varnish.
This makes it a great option to add to any essential beach packing list.
The rust-proof brass hinges and rivets provide strength and durability.
In addition, the marine grade fabric resists sun fading and provides a comfortable reclining seat.

Beach Towel

Beach towels serve as an important item for any beach day on your next beach vacation
I prefer a microfiber, lightweight towel that absorbs moisture and dries quickly.

Not only do they provide a comfortable spot to lounge on the sand, but they also serve as a barrier between you and the beach chair.

Additionally, they’re perfect for drying off after swimming in the ocean.
It helps keep you warm and dry throughout the day.

Beach Umbrella with Wooden Pole

A sturdy beach umbrella provides protection from the harsh sun on hot days.
Furthermore, an umbrella provides a great place for naps or to read a good book.

The rugged and durable umbrella cover provides UPF 50+ sun protection and most are 7.5 feet or wider.
In addition, the 2-piece wood pole prevents the umbrella from breaking.
Additionally, I use the beach umbrella to push the beach cart.

To make it look like you really know what you are doing, you can match the beach umbrella fabric to the same fabric as your beach chair.

wood beach umbrella

Also, do not anchor these umbrellas with a sand anchor.
There is a better solution in this article, so keep reading.

Cheap Drill and Sand Auger Bit

Have you ever seen the wind carry an umbrella across the beach?
A flying umbrella poses a serious safety risk even though it’s quite funny to watch a fellow beachgoer chase down their umbrella.

Do you wonder why the rental umbrellas at beach resorts always seem to remain in place?
They remain in place because the beach services uses a drill and sand/garden auger bit to secure the beach umbrella.

sand auger for beach umbrella
sand auger for beach umbrella
sand auger for beach umbrella

In order to secure your umbrella like a beach pro, I recommend buying the cheapest drill you can find on Amazon (such as the one below) and an auger bit.
Drill a hole about 12″ to 24″, place the umbrella in the hole, and push sand around the edges.
This is the easy way to secure the umbrella.

As a quick tip, you should always put the umbrella down when the winds pick up to a dangerous level even if it’s secured correctly.

Waterproof Beach Dry Bag

Afternoon summer storms appear out of nowhere, so I recommend you bring a waterproof bag to keep snacks, clothes, and wallets dry and free of sand.

A large waterproof beach bag can hold a cell phone, portable speaker, water bottle, beach towel, water shoes, and more.

waterproof beach bag

A worthwhile beach essential if you plan to bring items such as phones, dry clothes, food, or drones with you on your perfect beach day.

I use my waterproof bag while paddle boarding in Destin, Florida.

Beach Cooler Backpack

Part of a perfect day at the beach involves enjoying refreshing cold beverages.
As a result, a beach cooler backpack is a vital member of our most recommended beach essentials.

beach backpack cooler

The Yeti hopper backpack ice chest contains closed-cell rubber foam that holds ice all day long – even in the hot summer sun.

In addition, this beach cooler backpack is waterproof, puncture resistant, UV resistant, and large enough to fit a day’s worth of drinks and food.

Ice Packs

These refreezable cooler ice packs are break-resistant and keep your ice chest cold during hot summer days at the beach.

As mentioned, cool refreshments and drinks are a vital part of any beach day packing list.
However, buying a bag of ice each time you plan to head out to the beach gets aggravating and expensive.

Instead of buying a bag of ice for each beach trip, these ice packs work as a superior substitute.
Simply place them in the freezer before you go to bed and throw them in the ice chest before heading out to the beach.

Underwater & Waterproof Camera

You need a way to capture the priceless moments of your perfect beach day with a cool camera.

An underwater GoPro camera records video and takes pictures just as well.
With video up to 5k resolution, it maintains detail even while zooming.

As a quick tip, I always record video at the beach instead of taking pictures because pictures can be extracted from video with the free gopro video editing software.

Ultimately, underwater video cameras capture special moments while snorkeling or scuba diving.
I use my gopro when snorkeling for starfish and sand dollars in Destin, Florida.

destin florida marine life

Bungee Cords

I almost forgot to mention an important items for your beach day packing list.
Bungee cords work great for holding your items in place as you float over the sand with your beach cart.

Ultimately, you need a way to secure your beach chairs, ice chest, and other things to your beach cart.


Blue lizard sunscreen is SFP 50+ and protects you with one application for an entire day.

You must protect your skin while in the summer sun.
This is especially important for those who have fair skin or don’t go in the sun much.

Sunburns ruin many perfect beach days and beach vacations, so make sure you protect yourself.

I prefer water resistant sunscreen which contains no oxybenzone or octinoxate and provides both UVA/UVB protection.

Polarized Sunglasses

A cool pair of polarized shades not only look cool, but they enhance visibility and color, and reduce eyestrain.
Essentially, they reduce the amount of reflecting light entering the eye.

I have sensitive eyes and I’m very particular on the sunglasses I wear in the sun.
After trying many different brands, Maui Jim works best for me.
So, polarized sunglasses are an absolute essential item to include in your beach day packing list.


I hope my beach day packing list essentials make your day at the beach more enjoyable and stress free.

One last thing, don’t forget to buy local handmade beach decor as souvenirs.

beach cart balloon wheels

Family Beach Vacation Packing List

In addition to the aforementioned beach day packing list, I decided to include a list of things for families.
Combine these 2 lists for a complete beach packing list.

Related Articles:

How to carry all your stuff to the beach?

A rugged beach cart with balloon wheels is the best way to carry stuff to the beach in one trip.

What to bring to the beach for a day?

The beach essentials needed for a perfect day at the beach include the following items:
Waterproof Beach Bag
Large Beach Towel
Beach Cart with Balloon Wheels
Wood Beach Chairs
Backpack Cooler
Beach Umbrella

What is the best way to secure a beach umbrella?

To secure a beach umbrella and prevent it from blowing away, use a sand auger drill bit and drill a 8″ to 12″ hole in the sand.

What is the most comfortable beach chair?

Wood beach chairs are the most comfortable. Most come with a foot rest and recline in various positions. Also, they are the most durable.


Tuesday 27th of June 2023

One more beach essential to pack: a kite! A Prism Bora Parafoil Kite is a must have for the beach. I've traveled with a kite or two or three in the back of my car for years and years. They bring out the inner-child in all of us.


Wednesday 28th of June 2023

Great Idea! I'll add that to the list. Thank you!!

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