What I Packed for the Beach

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Since we changed our spring break plans very last minute, I thought I would share some of the items that I packed for the beach that turned out to be extremely useful.  Consider this a pre-made packing list for your next beach getaway!

For the Road Trip

This fits right in the floorboard of the car between the boys and is easy to carry to the room when we arrive!

If you’re wondering what we take on our road tripping adventures, you might be surprised that it’s not much. I tried all the fancy gadgets at one point and felt like they all got in the way! Now days, we keep it pretty simple.

  • Snacks – We never leave for a trip without a basket of snacks! Not only is this super helpful for those long stints of driving, we usually have plenty to last us in the hotel for our whole stay!
  • Gatorades – Boxes of Gatorade are easy to pack in the car and we also usually have several leftover that we can drink while we’re in the room!
  • Phone chargers – I make sure to pack a charger for each of us. This way we all have one, there are extras if one stops working, and the boys aren’t ever arguing about whose turn it is to charge their devices!
  • Screen shot of hotel confirmation – I always make sure to either take a screenshot or print out the hotel confirmation for my records. Another word of advice, you can call the hotel ahead of time to make sure that they have your reservation on file!
  • GPS – We typically use the maps on our phones for directions to wherever we are going, which is another reason we need to bring along our chargers.
  • Bag of Quarters – We encountered a toll road right as we got close to Orange Beach. I knew this ahead of time, so I made sure to have a bag of quarters. I like bringing quarters along for multiple reasons, which includes money for tolls, money for the hotel vending machines, money for laundry if it’s needed, and finally having money if we need to air up our tires for any reason!
  • Pillows & Blankets – My boys are pros at sleeping in the car on our road trips. So we like to have travel pillows and blankets for them. We also bring along our own pillows to sleep with at night to ensure that we get a good night’s rest!
  • Portable Car Battery Jump Starter & Jumper Cables – Jereme has a portable battery charger that we bring along with us on our travels. It’s mostly just extra security to ease anxiety after having car trouble one time several states away from home. This one includes a set of jumper cables.

In My Beach Bag

This photo makes me want to go to the beach! Also, I got an underwater camera for Christmas & I never even used it on this trip lol!

I feel like I haven’t had to pack a beach bag in forever! And when I was going through the one I already have, I realized it was full of summer stuff that we never really needed. So, I cleaned it out and started fresh with things that I knew we would need and that my boys would want and actually use!

  • Beach bag – The bag I took was kind of too small & we all ended up having to carry our towels. So I upgraded to this one when we got home & love it! The cooler is going to be so nice!
  • Sunscreen – Sunscreen is so very important, every single day, but especially at the beach. My whole family loves the Neutrogena brand because it goes on smooth and doesn’t burn or irritate our skin when we reapply.
  • Chapstick with SPF – I am someone that has a freckle on my lip and I don’t want anymore. So, this chapstick has been a game changer for me!
  • Sunglasses – We made sure to bring sunglasses for all of us! I recommend buying a cheap pair for the beach, I swear someone always loses theirs in the ocean when we travel to the beach!
  • Waterproof phone case – This is another product that I love because I am able to get out in the water with the kids and take fun photos and videos without worrying about my phone getting ruined. I kept my phone in this case most of the time on the beach to protect it from the sand, too!
  • Goggles & Snorkels – We got these goggle and snorkel sets for this beach trip and the boys loved using them in the ocean and at the pool!
  • Extra beach towels – For some reason I have never taken extra beach towels with us, but this time I did and it was a game changer! We were only at the beach for three full days, so having two days with fresh towels was great! On the last day, we were able to reuse the towels from the first day after hanging them outside to dry.

Health & Beauty

I have learned to be very intentional when packing for longer trips in regards to health & beauty. Make sure to bring your usual day and nighttime beauty routine items and don’t forget any of the medications that you or your kiddos might need. There is nothing worse than feeling ill on vacation, so we make sure to have headache meds, allergy pills, and tummy ache medication too!

  • First aid kit – I am so thankful we invested in a first aid kit. My oldest seems to always get a scrape, burn, or splinter! This travel kit is perfect for the beach, hiking, camping, or any kind of traveling!
  • Sunburn relief gel – Hopefully you’ll never need this, but we make sure to bring ours on every outdoor adventure! We like to keep it in the refrigerator so it’s nice cold if we need it for a burn!
  • Face moisturizer – This is the face moisturizer that my dermatologist recommended for everyday use! I try to use it each night and morning.
  • Tanning foam – You can bet that I bring along this tanning foam since I cannot lay out and get a natural tan anymore! I put it on right before bed and actually sleep with it on all night and then rinse it off in the morning. I usually only need to reapply once on vacation! I buy the dark tanning lotion.
  • Tanning firming lotion – I use this firming body lotion any time I am going to be in shorts or a dress! I buy the medium to dark tone.
  • Medications – Bring along all the medications that your family might need! I usually just pack a large Ziploc bag full of anything we might use during the week. I always make sure to include something to help me sleep, like Tylenol PM or Benadryl because I have a really hard time sleeping in a new place.  

Family Photo Outfits

Family beach photo 2023

I usually always bring along at least one matching family outfit for photos. Several people ask how I go about coordinating these outfits. I always start by picking out what I am going to wear first. Then I find tops for the boys that will match me. I take screenshots of what I have picked out to make sure they all somewhat match before purchasing. I usually also send the screenshot to one of my best friends to check out and send me feedback, too! Thank you Amy D!

This is how I ensure all the pieces will match!

Swim Suits

I brought along three different swimsuits for this trip and loved how I felt in all of them! All of these had great coverage and were comfortable for a day of lounging and playing in the ocean!

Miscellaneous Items

These items are kind of random, but totally useful and I am so glad that we had them with us on this trip! And this is just one more reason I love road tripping! I can take so many things with us when we drive verse flying.

  • Travel Steamer – My dress really needed to be steamed after I packed it. It was full of wrinkles, but this travel steamer worked great! Just be careful not to fill it with too much water, it leaks when the water is past the fill line.
  • Cordless Vacuum – I use this on all of our road trips to remove crumbs mostly, but this time I used in both the car and in the room for sand! You know everyone and everything is always covered in sand when traveling to the beach. I cannot stand sand on my feet in the hotel or anywhere near the bed! This came in so handy!
  • Cell Phone Camera Stand – This is the stand I use for all of our family photos! I highly recommend if you want to try to take some of your own photos with your phone! It’s easy to use and easy to pack! This one fit in my beach bag and we also take it on hikes with us and it fits in my hiking backpack.

I hope you find all of these items as helpful and useful as we do! What items to do you take to the beach that I need to add my list? I’d love for you to leave a comment for any must haves that we need!

Happy travels, my friends!