The Ultimate Beach Day Checklist for Fun in the Sun

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Summer is here, and that means it’s time for sun, sand, and surf! But before you head for the waves, it’s important to think about how to pack for the beach so that you’ll have everything you need for an epic day of fun in the sun.

Our definitive beach day checklist is here to provide you with both beach essentials and “nice to have” items so you can pick and choose what you’re willing to carry. Ready to hit the beach? Let’s go!

Sun Protection

Starting off our beach day checklist, we have the ultimate essential: sun protection! Even on cloudy days, UV rays can still reach our skin, leading to sunburn and a higher risk of skin cancer. Be sure to pack these beach essentials for sun safety:

  • Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and reapply every two hours and after swimming. Some parents also like to bring separate baby or kids’ sunscreen designed for more sensitive skin, and/or a stick sunscreen for the face and ears.
  • Protect your eyes from UV rays with sunglasses for every member of the family.
  • Wide-brimmed hats or sun visors are essential sun protection items for beach vacation days—whether it’s a quick outing to your local beach or a luxury trip to a tropical island resort. Minimize what to pack for vacation by wearing your hat and sunglasses rather than putting them in your bag.

A Comfy Setup

Some beachgoers like to travel light, while others don’t mind bringing beach supplies that make for a comfy setup, like:

  • Beach Umbrella. An umbrella offers sun protection and can help keep you cool. Plus, a brightly colored umbrella is a great way to help you identify your “spot” on your way back from the water.
  • Beach Blanket. Bring a large, comfy blanket or foldable picnic mat to lie on. Or keep things simple and decrease your beach packing list by using a towel instead.
  • Beach Chairs. If you’re past the days of sitting on a blanket or towel—and believe in “comfort first”—beach chairs should go on your list of things to bring to the beach. We love the convenience of backpack-style chairs, especially ones with cooler pockets.

Food and Snacks

It goes without saying that no beach packing list is complete without food and snacks. Here’s what to pack for the beach to keep everyone full and happy:

  • Stay hydrated with plenty of water. One of our favorite beach day tips is to freeze water bottles so they can double as ice packs. Once they start to melt in the sun, you’ll have ice-cold water to drink. Or put refillable water bottles on your beach day checklist instead so you can be more eco-friendly.
  • Cooler with ice packs. For those who don’t mind hauling a cooler, you can save money and boost nutrition by packing your own lunch, drinks, and cold snacks for summer. There are many different types of cooler options these days, from over-the-shoulder cooler bags to compact coolers on wheels, and more.
  • The bestsnack ideas for the beach are ones that are kid friendly and easy-to-eat—like fruit, granola bars, chips, yogurt tubes, and Welch’s® Fruit Snacks. Individually packaged for convenience, these dairy free snacks for kids are an excellent source of Vitamins A, C & E and come in multiple flavors to please any palate.
  • Utensils and Plates. Don’t forget plates, napkins, utensils, and trash bags!

For Enjoying the Water

If one of your favorite things to do for a beach day includes going in the water, be sure to wear your swimsuit underneath your clothes and add these items to your beach day checklist:

  • Towel: Pack a beach towel for each person. Some parents consider hooded towels to be baby beach essentials so that the littlest beachgoers can dry their hair and bodies at the same time.
  • Water Shoes. Protect feet from sharp rocks or hot sand with water shoes. These are must have beach vacation items for families that are planning to go do excursions and activities such as kayaking or snorkeling.
  • Some kids like to wear goggles in the ocean, especially if they enjoy underwater swimming.
  • Boogie board. If you’re looking for beach day ideas to keep your family active, boogie boarding is a great option that kids tend to love. It’s a fun way to explore the waves and make kids feel like they’re “surfing.”

Entertainment and Tech

Don’t forget to pack beach essentials to keep everyone entertained—parents included!

  • Books or Magazines. Relax in the sun and let stress melt away by digging into a breezy beach read.
  • Beach Toys. Bring buckets, shovels, and sand molds for building sandcastles.
  • Beach Games. Keep kids active—especially if you have older kids or teens—by bringing beach supplies like a Frisbee, volleyball, paddleball, or kite.
  • Waterproof Case. Protect your phone from water and sand with a waterproof phone case.
  • Enjoy some tunes or catch up on your favorite podcasts. You can even create a beach-themed playlist.
  • Portable Charger. This one is essential for keeping your devices charged throughout the day.

Clothing and Miscellaneous Items

  • Change of Clothes. Dry clothes for the way home, including undergarments.
  • Cover-Up. A light jacket or sarong to go over your bathing suit.
  • Wet Bag. A waterproof pouch or large Ziploc bag to store wet swimsuits and towels.
  • Baby Beach Essentials. If you have a little one, don’t forget swim diapers, formula, baby sunscreen, and other baby items.
  • Miscellaneous. Still have room in your beach bag? Consider including these miscellaneous items on your beach packing list: A portable fan, bug spray, baby powder to help remove sand from your skin, a first aid kit, a journal, or anything else you choose to make your day brighter!

Beach Day Ideas and Activities

A beach day isn’t just about sunbathing and swimming. Here are some other fun things to do for a beach day that will keep your crew entertained:

  • Have a sandcastle building contest
  • Play beach volleyball
  • Hunt for seashells
  • Fly a kite
  • Watch the sunset
  • Or have a picnic with your favorite snacks!

No matter what you choose to do, boost your beach day fun with mouthwatering and conveniently packaged Welch’s® Fruit Snacks. Be sure to add them to your beach day checklist today!

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