What to Bring to the Beach

An Essential Guide for What to Pack and What to Leave at Home

A day spent at any one of Siesta Key’s wonderful beaches can bring joy and fond memories to the entire family.  Whether you enjoy soaking up the rays, swimming in the water, or just walking along the white, sandy shore; the beach can be a place to let off some steam or recharge your battery.  It can also be a less than stellar time if the outing is not properly planned.  Some people over-pack for the beach, while others (that includes most of us) always seem to forget something.  Want to pack like a pro?  Here is an essential guide to what to bring to the beach.

A Water-Resistant Beach Bag

Invest in a good beach bag and it will last you countless seasons.  It should be lightweight, roomy, and foldable for storing and packing.  A good bag will have a variety of pockets and is big enough to hold several towels, sunscreen, phones, beach toys, etc.  The bag should also be easy to clean at the end of the day.  If you have a large family, you may also want to consider a wheeled bag, especially if you are planning to walk a long distance.

A Cooler Bag

Depending on where you go, some beaches don’t have a lot of options for snacks and cold drinks.  One thing is for certain, your family will get hungry, and staying hydrated is an absolute must.  We recommend a collapsible cooler bag rather than a hard cooler.  They are easier to tote around the beach and take up much less storage space than their hard plastic counterparts.  Many of the new cooler bags have thick insulation and can hold plenty of cold cans, plastic bottles, and/or beach-friendly snacks.

Lightweight Towels

Whether you plan to swim or not, a sudden rain shower can leave you soaked.  We recommend at least one quick-dry travel towel for every member of your group.  These are handy replacements for large, heavy towels and they don’t take up near as much room in your beach bag.

Beach Mat

While lightweight towels are great for drying off, you won’t want to use them for a beach blanket.  Large towels are bulky and will get blown around and filled with sand.  Beach mats are the perfect alternative.  They are lightweight and fold up into a very small bundle.  They are also quick drying.  Many of the beach mats have sand weights on the edges so they won’t blow away

Power Bank and Charging Cords

The second to the last thing you want to do while at the beach is spend a lot of time on your phone.  However, the very last thing you want to do is be without your phone in case of an emergency or if another family member is trying to contact you.  With a power bank and the proper cords, you can make sure that everyone’s phone stays charged just in case they need to use it.

Beach Umbrella and Cover-ups

The Florida sun can be brutal and should not be taken lightly.  The sun reflects off the white sand and the water to burn your skin in no time.  Unfortunately, there isn’t any natural shade at the beach, so it’s important to bring your own.  Beach umbrellas are lightweight, fold up easily and help keep everyone from getting badly burned during the mid-day summer months.  Inexpensive cover-ups are also ideal for when you want to venture out but are worried about getting too much sun exposure.

Beach Chairs

If you aren’t excited about spending the entire day sitting on the ground at the beach, it’s probably a good time to invest in a folding beach chair.  Most beach chairs are lightweight and some even have built-in pillows and cup holders.  Your backside may thank you at the end of the day.

Beach Games & Toys

If you have kids or are a kid at heart, bringing along some beach games makes for a fun day at the beach.  There are games and toys for every age.  Plastic buckets and shovels are great for young children.  For older kids and adults, games like corn hole, Frisbee, and football are always good choices.

Portable Hand-Held Fan

Lightweight, battery-powered fans may be small, but they put out a good breeze.  They come in handy when kids get overheated or there isn’t much of a breeze blowing.

And the Rest…

It’s easy to forget some of the basics before heading to the beach.  The following list will help you remember things that may be essential to your beach day.

Bathing suits


Float straps for electronic devices

Zippered plastic bags

Waterproof phone case

First aid kit

Trash bags

Hand sanitizer

Flip flops

Mesh slip-on water shoes

Facial cleansing wipes

Sun hat

Lip balm

Mini hairbrush


Mask & Snorkel

Everyone will have different needs and circumstances when it comes to packing for a day at the beach.  Hopefully, this guide will help you pack enough so that you don’t have to worry about anything except having a great time.

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