We have all been there… We get to the beach. And guess what? We forget something!
It happens to all of us at one point or another.
So why not make life easier and read this checklist before you hit the door.
Here we break down the best 30 things to bring to the beach with your friends, family, or even a date.
Remember it is important to have the essentials and to have the extras for fun.
So whether you’re coming to the beach alone, with friends, or on a date, check it out below as we break down the best things to bring with you the next time you hit the beach.
- The Everyday Beach Essentials
- Things to Bring to Beach with your Friends
- Things to Bring to the Beach with Family
- Things to Bring to the Beach at Night
- Things to Bring When Traveling Solo
- Things to Bring to the Beach on a Date
The Everyday Beach Essentials
- Sand Escape Beach Blanket
- Beach Towel
- Beach Tote Cooler
- Bug Repellent
- Waterproof Bag (read our review)
- Water bottle
- First Aid Kit
- Beach Hat
Just admit it. There are some essentials we should not be forgetting at all.
And yet we still do it.
I know I do.
But trust me, we have all done it. Make sure you look this over before heading out. It will make life a lot easier.
Below are some of the things we really love bringing and highly recommend. These beach essentials are the ones you should never be forgetting yet, I know we’re only human and still do.
Feel free to change it or add more as you like!
Sand Escape Beach Blanket
The Sand Escape Beach Blanket is one of the best blankets to buy out there.
You can find this one on Wildhorn Outfitters. They also carry it on Amazon, but with limited colors.
Wildhorn Outfitters offers this high-quality sand-free blanket that you can easily take to the beach. Having a beach blanket should be number one on the list.
What makes Wildhorn Outfitters unique is its mission. They go above and beyond by protecting and conserving natural habitats for future generations. With the Reef2Leaf conservation effort, part of the proceeds go to protecting the coral reefs and natural habitats 😉
You can find beach towels practically anywhere. I am really loving the floral-looking round beach towels. They look really good in pictures.
I found mine on REI. They offer so much variety and they are very pretty and colorful.
Whether you already have one or you looking to buy one make sure it is the best quality.
Beach Tote Cooler
If you’re going to the beach all day or even a couple of hours, it’s always a good idea to have a cooler. You can buy this one at REI.
If your bringing food and snacks or even a water bottle then bringing a cooler is one of the first things you need.
Never buy styrofoam coolers as those are more wasteful and can hardly be reused. REI has a perfect beach cooler that isn’t too big and for your perfect beach trip.
I am loving this one right here. I found this one on REI as well. Check the current price of this bug spray on REI here.
Cash + Quarters
Some food stands only take ca$h. This is is important in case you want to get some fish tacos at a taco stand. Or if the parking meter machine only allows coins.
Although some updated parking meters will allow you to use cards.
FYI: If for example, you are visiting Florida Beaches, you must have quarters to pay for all the toll roads you’ll encounter! If you haven’t bought a Sunpass for your trip this may be the next very best option.
I really enjoy using the zinc oxide sunscreen. It doesn’t carry all the synthetic chemicals that regular beach sunscreens do.
Waterproof Beach Bag
Perfect to keep your stuff from getting wet or sandy. I find that sand is very difficult to get rid of once it is on or even in your bag. However, with a waterproof beach bag, you shouldn’t have any trouble.
Having an awesome beach bag is a must when you visit the beach. Here, we break down the beach bags for anyone on a budget!
I usually bring a water bottle such as my Hydroflask and a gallon of water. You should always be hydrated whether you’re spending a couple of hours on the beach or all day.
You can take it everywhere like the beach, library, gym, etc.
With more and more beach pollution happening everywhere I highly recommend you switch from plastic to a reusable water bottle. You can read more about beach pollution in this blog.
I found my Hydroflask on REI.
First Aid Kit
You never know if you will need this. It is a good idea to just have one in your car. I was once stung by a jellyfish and was glad I had this in the car.
I love this brand because they are so eco-friendly. I’ll either pack these in my car or into my large purse. They definitely come in handy when you are at the beach especially if you can’t find a bathroom with soap.
Nobody wants to go home all sandy. So after washing off be sure to change into your extra clothes. One of the best places to buy cute beach apparel with a wonderful cause is called 30A Gear.
Everything there is actually made of recycled plastic and spun down to make the clothes. It’s hard to believe!
You can help by removing plastic from the ocean! It feels great to support awesome stores like 30A Gear!
The Caddis Rapid Umbrella. I find it to be very strong with the winds and easy to put in the sand. I don’t regret this at all.
If you’re looking for a strong beach umbrella then I do recommend the Caddis Rapid Umbrella.
You can find these on REI. The price changes so click this link to check the current price of the Caddis Rapid Umbrella on REI.
There are a lot of great beach chairs out in the market. Find the one that suits your needs! I have tried a number of different beach chairs, some great… and some not so great!
You can check out our top picks for beach chairs here. We wrote about some good ones worth checking out.
Things to the Bring to the Beach With Friends
- Everyday Beach Essentials (see above)
- Portable Phone Charger
- Waterproof Phone Protector
- Beach Chairs (read our review)
- Body Board
- Bluetooth Speaker
- Waterproof Bluetooth Headphones
- Food and Snacks
- Sand Blanket
- Waterproof Dry Bag
- Fun Beach Games (read our review)
- Drone to take pictures
Portable Phone Charger
Being at the beach all day really drains out your battery, especially if you’re taking pictures and videos. One of the best things you can do is bring a portable battery charger.
It will keep your phone alive all day. Your friends may even ask you to borrow it. It happened to me all the time! So, in the end, you save the day 😉
Waterproof Phone Protector
This is the one thing I always take with me to the beach. Trust me, I have dropped my phone multiple times at the beach.
I don’t know about you, but it’s nearly impossible to remove the sand out of the speakers of my iPhone.
A phone camera works too. Just keep it safe and sand-free. If you’re an amateur photographer like myself. We purchased the Rebel T6.
You can really take some epic pictures with this one. If you’re ready to step up your game then I highly recommend this one.
I bought mine on Amazon. I like how you can get a good deal since it includes the tripod, some memory cards, and a case. You can’t go wrong with the extras.
Growing up, my family would always bring these. Now when I go to the beach with my friends, I grab my bodyboard too! You can find the price of these bodyboards on Amazon by clicking this link.
Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
My friend owned a JBL and said it was the best speaker she ever had. She did bring it during our bonfire times.
It was epic.
If you bring a fairly large group of friends, one of the best things you can bring is a volleyball. If you don’t own one already then you should.
Beach volleyball is one of the best games to play with your friends. If there 4 of you or more then you split the court 2 vs 2! If you have more people then even better!
In case you want to play beach volleyball then bring one along. Arrive early to secure a net. They fill up quickly.
Double-check before you hit the beach to make sure they even have nets. Not all beaches have volleyball nets.
What I love about this drone is that it is so tiny and captures some amazing shots. I’ve taken some really cool aerials shots of my friends and family. This mini drone has face recognition which allows you to take it off of your hand and hover in place. It’s easy to post photos on social media because of the templates and filters it offers.
My sister has one and it has really captured some nice aerial shots
(Bring this ONLY if you know how to fly one, and IF the beach allows it) DOUBLE-CHECK FIRST! I REPEAT. DOUBLE-CHECK.
Bring to the Beach With Family
- Everyday Beach Essentials (see above)
- Beach Wagon
- Beach Toys for Kids
- BBQ Grill
- Soccer Ball
My friend will sometimes bring her kiddos to the beach. Of course, walking to the beach is the first obstacle we always faced. So she decided to invest in a beach wagon that allows us to haul all her the things we need.
Not only does it free up our hands when carrying the kiddos, but it also makes it easier when we don’t mind parking so far away. Whichever beach wagon that you buy make sure it has wide wheels so it makes it easier to get throw the sand.
Wondering what are the best wagons to buy? Don’t worry we got you covered!
Beach Toys for the Kids
My friend always remembered to pack her kiddos some beach toys. How can you forget these? Having your kids make sand castles and dig holes with a little shovel is so much fun for them.
If you don’t have any then even a simple bucket and a little shovel will do. Sandcastle building is the best.
If you are the type of family who loves getting to the beach early to grab a beach grill then you are ahead of the game. Sometimes you’ll be surprised how quickly and limiting they can be.
My family always had a little portable BBQ and grill hotdogs and hamburgers near our motorhome or car! It was the best! Now I do this often with my friends!
Most kids love running. If you or your kiddos like playing soccer in the sand, then bring this. You can’t go wrong.
If you like football then bring a football. My dad would often play football with my brother when we were younger! Kids love engaging in games…so why not?
When I was younger, my dad would love to bring a Frisbee. It really brings back memories. It can be so entertaining.
There are a lot of great tents out there. You can read my blog post of the top 15 beach tents I recommend in 2020 right here. If you do invest in a good beach tent, it will last a long time.
If you are a mom then you know you need to carry a lot of stuff. Don’t worry, we got you covered.
Read our blog on the 10 best beach bags for moms to take this summer. They are perfect for the beach.
What could be more exhilarating than feeling like you’re one with the sea?
With the AQUA LUNG SPORT Hydroair full-face mask, you can explore the world beneath the waves without any barriers between you and the water.
This innovative mask features a dual-chamber system that separates fresh air from exhaled CO2, so you can breathe easily and constantly enjoy a stream of fresh air.
The soft silicone seal provides a comfortable and leak-free fit, while the adjustable elastic fabric strap ensures that the mask stays in place even when you’re swimming against the current.
What I love about this company is that they give back. Part of the proceeds goes to protecting coral reefs and other natural habits for generations to enjoy.
Food and Snacks
Take these to the beach and if you are looking for healthier options, read our blog of healthy food and snack recommendations
What to Bring to the Beach at Night
- Everyday Beach Essentials (see above)
- Bug Spray
- Wood or Starters
- Beach Blanket
- S’more Supplies
- Marshmallows, Graham Crackers, Chocolate
- A tote bag (read our review)
- Food and Snacks
- Jacket or Sweater
Thinking about having a beach bonfire one of these nights?
The summer months is the perfect time to get out there and enjoy the cool nights!
Whether you’ve gone on many or none, there is always something that we forget when we make a bonfire.
One tip: Make sure you get there early to grab a fire pit ring. Do your research beforehand. Some beaches don’t have them.
Here we breakdown the top things to bring to the beach at night!
Remember nobody wants to leave out the basics.
Follow along with this handy dandy checklist to look over the next time you have a beach bonfire. 😉
S’ more supplies
If you’re having a bonfire then you have to make s’ mores. Only if you want to. It is a classic. I bring these with my friends all the time.
Wood or Starters
If your having a bonfire this is a must. You can buy these practically anywhere. check your local stores, they are bound to have them.
Jacket or Sweater
It gets really cool by the beach at night. Even though the fire is warm you may still need a sweater. Make sure you put it into your waterproof bag because you don’t want to get all itchy if it is covered in sand.
Check out the one we recommend above. It is perfect for the beach. You can use it to keep you warm at night or to lay down on. I recommend the Sand Escape beach blanket available at Wildhorn Outfitters.
You can’t find this blanket anywhere else. In addition, you are helping by supporting a company that gives back. Wildhorn Outfitters supports conservation efforts.
I have owned several flashlights, but nothing compares to the Maglite Flashlight. One of the best flashlights ever! You can find these on Amazon.
Things to Bring When Your Traveling Solo
- Everyday Beach Essentials(see above)
- A Journal
- A good book to read
- Travel Accessories
- Beach Pillow
- A Waterproof Blanket
- A Waterproof Bag
- A Camera
- Beach Hat
- Yoga Mat and Towel
Usually, when you are traveling solo you have more freedom to focus on yourself. One of the best things I love bringing is a book.
You can never go wrong with a book. I love reading on the beach. You probably will too. If you find something good then spend an afternoon reading at the beach!
If you enjoy doing yoga then definitely bring a yoga mat and towel. You can practice your poses on the beach with no interruptions.
If you have time then definitely bring a journal. There something about journaling at the beach that makes you really reflect in a deep way.
Things to Bring on a Beach Date
- Sand-proof Bag
- Beach/Picnic Blanket
- Picnic Basket
- A Cami/Sweater/Jacket
- Flip Flops
- Hair Ties
If you’re going on a beach date, make sure you bring just a couple of essentials. These have helped me a lot.
It really depends on how long you plan on staying there.
If you’re going for an all-day event, then check out the essential beach list above.
If you’re going just for the evening, then you won’t need to pack as much stuff. Usually with dinner and drinks the best thing you can do is watch the sunset.
Definitely bringing a sand-free blanket will help. Chances are you may be walking on the sand so bring a pair of sandals along with you.
It could definitely get breezy and windy during the evening so make sure you bring hair ties. I wasn’t really ready for my hair blowing all over the place.
Talk about humidity 😉
Bringing a portable battery won’t hurt either. Make sure your camera is charged to catch those sunsets.
Whether you’re going with your friends, yourself, or even a date, there are some important things to bring to the beach the next time around.
I have been in all three situations and I always forget something.
I learned the hard way, but I made a note never to forget again.
It will definitely make life less complicated.
Whether it is your first time going to the beach or the hundredth time, this is sure to help.
One of the nice things is that once you get this system down you won’t ever forget.
The essentials include your everyday things to bring including water, sunscreen, towel or even a hat.
In addition, we break down the things to bring with you that may make things a little bit more fun.
This includes any kind of volleyball, soccer ball, or boogie board so you play with.
Such as the wood, starters and some sticks to probe the fire.
Also if the weather does get a little chilly, a sweater is the best option.
And everyone wants to make s’ mores so don’t forget those too.
So tell me what are your favorite things to bring with you on a beach trip?
Check Out Our Awesome Beach Reviews
- The 6 Best Beach Wagon & Carts for Soft Sand
- The Best Sandless Beach Mats & Blankets to Buy
- Top 20-Quart Coolers to Buy for the Beach & Outdoors
- The Best Beach Umbrella to Buy this Summer
- Your Guide to the Best Beach Chair this Summer
- The Wildhorn Outfitters Sand Escape Beach Blanket Review
Jess and Jeanette are two sisters who created Unseen Beaches. This beach travel site was inspired by their family beach vacations while growing up. Helping you discover the best U.S. beach destinations worth visiting, staying, and eating.