20+ Beach Essentials List

The Beach Packing Essentials List

Whether you are a frequent beach-goer or not, it’s so typical to forget something when hitting the strand. We get too excited about the idea of unwinding while basking under the sun that we usually forget to bring some essentials. Certainly, it is easy to forget a thing or two without a beach packing list.

We’ve created this simple list of things to take to the beach to help you have worry-free beach time.

Beach Essentials List Summary

Below is a summary of beach essentials to pack for your getaway:

The Basic Beach Essential

  1. Rash guards, swim trunks, and flip flops
  2. Reef-safe sunscreen
  3. Sunglasses
  4. Beach towel
  5. Portable charger
  6. Waterproof phone case
  7. Water bottle
A young woman in a swimsuit adding sunscreen on the beach

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Optional Beach Gear

  1. Beach blanket
  2. Beach chair
  3. Beach umbrella
  4. Beach wagon
  5. Beach Cooler
  6. Hammock
A group of friends lying on a blanket by the beach

Beach Essentials for Recreation

  1. Beach balls
  2. Dry bag
  3. Flotation devices
  4. Snorkeling gear
  5. Swimming goggles
  6. Water socks
  7. A book or an eBook
  8. Camera
  9. Portable speaker
  10. Waterproof headphones
Recreational activities by the beach

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The Basics

Swimwear, resort wear, and footwear

Whether you plan to swim or only sit by the beach, it is important to wear the right clothes to stay comfortable under the sun. A rash guard is a great thing to protect your skin from UV rays and any abrasions from the sand or corals.

At the very least, you would want to have a bathing suit, tank top or shirt for a top, shorts for a bottom, and a pair of flip flops. A cap or hat may also be useful.

A group of friends walking by the shore wearing swimwear and beach shorts

Reef-safe sunscreen

Conventional sunscreen is not good for the sea and skin, which is why you need a reef-safe alternative. When looking for sunscreen, choose one that has no harmful ingredients, such as oxybenzone.


Sunglasses are another layer of protection from the sun, particularly our eyes. Always pack sunglasses with ultraviolet (UV) protection when going to the beach.

A group of friends taking a selfie by the beach wearing sunglasses

Portable charger

You wouldn’t want your phone battery to run out, especially when you depend significantly on your phone for communication and navigation.

Waterproof phone case

While many smartphones today have waterproof ratings, it wouldn’t hurt to anticipate the worst-case scenario. A waterproof phone case always comes in handy at the beach.

Beach Basics Waterproof Phone Case
Man holds a waterproof case for phone in his hand, standing in the sea. PVC zip lock bag protect mobile phone from water.

Water bottle

Hydration is vital, especially when the sun’s out. Instead of buying bottled water time and again, you can invest in a good water bottle that you can bring everywhere. A great water bottle for the beach will have double vacuum insulation to maintain it’s chill in the sun. It’s also a good idea to keep it out of the direct sunlight.

The Contigo Autoseal is one of the best for keeping cold beverages cool. But there are so many options to choose from. Check out this guide to find the best one for you.

A woman enjoying a sip from a water bottle by the beach

Optional Beach Gear

Depending on how long your beach trip is, you might also need other beach accessories. Some resorts also provide these items as amenities, but if not, you might want to pack the following things:

Beach blanket

A beach blanket is necessary if you plan to lounge on the shore. Many beach blankets can keep sand off to make you comfortable.

Beach chair

An alternative to a beach blanket is a beach chair, although a bit bulkier to pack than the former. Beach chairs are suitable for remote beach trips, as well as fishing. Many beach chairs are really unhandy to carry because they don’t fold up so well.

Check out this guide to see the different types of beach chairs. Some have tote bags and some can be worn like backpacks to leave your hands free to carry other stuff (here’s what to look for when buying a beach chair).

Beach towel

Beach towels are large and thick enough to keep you dry after soaking in the water. A good one absorbs as much water as possible but dries quickly at the same time.

A group of children by the beach using beach towels to cover up

Beach umbrella

Beach umbrellas help guard you against the harmful effects of UV rays. When looking for one, ensure that it folds and unfolds in seconds for easy set-up.

Beach wagon

With all the things you have packed for the beach, hauling them from the car to your destination can be a lot easier with a beach wagon.


Having your favorite drinks within reach is crucial so that you may stay hydrated and refreshed under the scorching heat. A cooler is a huge help in this case.


Another fun way to lounge at the beach is to lay down in a hammock and enjoy the relaxing sea breeze that brush your skin.

Man Relaxed In A Hammock On A Tropical Beach Making A Phone Call On His Cell.
Man relaxed in a hammock on a tropical beach making a phone call on his cell.

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Beach Essentials for Recreation

If you are into outdoor recreation or entertainment, you might as well pack the following beach essentials:

Beach balls

Playing ball games on a sandy beach is a great idea for recreation, especially with your loved ones.

Dry bag

If you are exploring the sea, a good dry bag helps you bring the essentials out on the water without getting them wet.

Flotation devices

Flotation devices are necessary for kids’ safety. If you are traveling with the kids in the family, ensure that you pack some inflatables they can play and stay safe with.

Snorkeling gear

Having snorkeling gear instead of renting every time you go to the beach is a wise move. Your own snorkeling set will always fit and feel better, and make you more comfortable than rented gear.

Snorkel Set On Shore

Swimming goggles

What better way to see clearly under the sea than by wearing a good pair of swimming goggles, right?

Water socks

Water socks help prevent injuries when swimming or diving. They are an added protective layer when wearing your snorkel fins.


A good book can keep you company at the beach, especially if you want to unplug and disconnect from all the noise of the online world.


With a camera, particularly an action or waterproof camera, you can document your adventures and keep the memories for life.

Portable speaker

Anyone who loves good music knows the value of a portable speaker. You can sing along to your favorite tunes with your family and friends over a drink or even a bonfire.

Waterproof headphones

If you prefer to enjoy your music alone in solitude, waterproof headphones are your companion.


Frequently asked questions about The Beach Packing List

What should you bring to the beach?

The excitement of going to the beach can make us forget to pack the essential beach items. The basic essentials that you wouldn’t want to leave home without include the following:

The Basic Beach Essentials

  1. Rash guards, swim trunks, and flip flops
  2. Reef-safe sunscreen
  3. Sunglasses
  4. Beach towel
  5. Portable charger
  6. Waterproof phone case
  7. Water bottle

Check out our in-depth guide for the complete beach essentials list.

How do you know if sunscreen is reef-safe?

Ocean pollution is massive enough without us actively and directly contributing to the problem. We can help protect our seas by being conscious and responsible consumers and using eco-friendly products, such as reef-safe sunscreen.

When looking for reef-safe sunscreen, always check the label. Specifically, look for the active ingredients listed. Ensure that the list doesn’t include the following:

  • 4-methylbenzylidene camphor
  • Homosalate
  • Octinoxate
  • Octocrylene
  • Oxybenzone
  • Para-aminobenzoic acid
  • Parabens (i.e., methyl paraben, ethyl paraben)
  • Triclosan
  • Any kind of nanoparticles (i.e., zinc oxide, titanium oxide)
  • Any kind of microplastic

We have created a comprehensive buyer’s guide on reef-safe sunscreen to make it easier for you. You can read it here.

What is a good beach blanket?

A good beach blanket is lightweight and wind-resistant, at the very least. To a certain degree, it should also be water-resistant and sand-free. Some of our favorite outdoor blankets that meet these characteristics include the following:

  • POPCHOSE Beach Blanket
  • Wekapo Sand Free Beach Blanket
  • WildHorn Outfitters Seaview 180 Sand Escape Beach Blanket
What kind of wagon is good for the beach?

With all the items you are taking to the beach, having a high-quality beach wagon is vital. A good one should be:

  • Able to carry a massive load
  • Quick to set up
  • Easy to maneuver on soft sand
  • Made of durable materials

Our favorite beach wagons today include the following:

  • Radio Flyer 3-in-1 EZ Fold Wagon

Read our reviews on these wagons here to learn more.

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