A day trip to the beach always has the potential to be the best day ever. The items you bring in your beach bag will help set you up for a fun and successful day. Pick items from this beach packing list, and you’ll be ready for an amazing beach trip.
What Games Should You Bring to the Beach?
Most importantly, the beach is the perfect spot to play games! Just think of all the open space you have to use.
1. The Island Shot Bundle
The game is similar to cornhole but with more interesting rules and a tropical, fun design. Players toss three mini cornhole bags toward the game board. You score one point by making it through the hole and three points by landing your bag on top of the board. The first player to reach exactly nine points wins.
In addition to its fun rules and charming design, there’s another reason why Island Shot is the perfect beach game. Once you’re done playing, the game board doubles as a sleek mini-table for drinks and snacks.
For functionality and fun, it’s hard to beat Island Shot.
2. The Bottle Bash Bundle
Bottle Bash, an exciting frisbee game from Poleish Sports, tests your accuracy with the disc, your quick hands, and the teamwork and communication between you and your partner.
The game is played two vs. two. Players throw the disc back and forth, trying to knock a plastic bottle off a pole staked on the ground. The opposing team attempts to catch both the disc and the bottle to prevent you from scoring.
3. The CROSSNET Bundle
Crossnet is the combination of volleyball and foursquare. It features a two-way net with a plus sign and lines dividing the court into four equal squares.
Don’t be surprised if other beach goers are curious— maybe you’ll let them hop in line and have some new friends by the end of the day.
You Need These Essentials for the Beach
There are certain essentials that you want to bring with you to the beach. Some of them are pretty obvious, others not as much, and still some that you might consider essential but aren’t on this particular list.
Either way, we’re starting with the essentials because those are the first things you’ll notice are missing if you arrive at the beach without them.
4. Bathing Suit
Another obvious one, but we can’t leave swimsuits off the list simply because that would be just as silly as forgetting to bring one. We could also include other essential beach clothes here — flip flops, water shoes, wet clothes, and swim diapers for any babies on board.
Dermatologists recommend wearing sunscreen of at least 30 SPF and reapplying every three hours at a minimum. You could also bring a cover up, a sun hat, or just a change of clothes for sun protection, but you want to make sure you do all you can to avoid sunburn on your beach vacation. Other beach items for staying safe from the sun include a beach tent, sun lotion, and even lip balm.
Bring at least one beach towel. Two might be better if you want one for drying off and another for laying out on the sand. You may even want a third to keep fresh, just in case. You may need to dry off from a shower or sit on the towel during the car ride home.
Having those extra towels can help when you have to share with a friend who wasn’t as prepared. You can never really have too many towels at the beach.
There’s another section below with food and drink recommendations that work well at the beach, but water belongs in the essential category. Whether it's a reusable water bottle, a big jug, or a bunch of plastic bottles in a cooler, water is arguably the most essential item on the list.
A day trip to the beach means you’ll be out and about and in the sun for hours. Bring water and drink at least half your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs, you must drink at least 75 ounces of water.
What Makes a Great Beach Setup?
If you’re cool throwing down a towel and popping a squat on the sand, there’s nothing wrong with a minimal setup. However, if you spend the whole day at the beach, you may want to bring a few extra things to make it more comfortable.
There is, of course, the trade-off that you’ll have to lug it from the parking lot down through the sand and to your spot on the beach. Depending on the beach, this takes varying degrees of difficulty. For the most part, it's well worth it once you’re sitting comfortably on the beach.
Here are items for your beach day trip that will help you chill out.
8. Beach Chairs
Any type of seating you bring to the beach with you will make the day much more relaxing.
9. Bonfire Supplies
Not every beach allows bonfires, so check before chopping wood (or getting it from the convenience store on the way to the beach). If you’re near a beach allowing bonfires, it’s worth it, even if you have to drive a little longer to get there.
Beach bonfires allow the day's fun to extend through a beautiful ocean sunset and into the night. Watch stars come out—roast marshmallows. Bust out the acoustic guitar and sing a song— a bonfire is sure to make your beach set up something special.
In addition to firewood, you’ll need matches, flint, or a lighter. You’ll also need something to help start the fire, such as a starter log, small dry twigs, newspaper, or lighter fluid. Make sure to practice fire safety for your beach bonfire!
If you have something to float on, the beach is a great place to bring it. You can use a pool to float in the water and on land for supreme beach relaxation.
11. Portable Speaker
For most, electronics are best left at home during a day trip to the beach. However, if there’s one exception, it has to be a portable speaker. The sound of the waves rushing to meet the sand, the seagulls shouting at whatever they’re yelling, a sweet ocean breeze running through your hair— all beautiful sounds. But music is music.
In addition, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t forget your cell phone. Having a portable charger on your list of things to bring isn’t a bad idea, either. After all, a speaker can only jam when connected to a device.
Some people say music makes everything better— which includes the beach. Just make sure it compliments the vibe and that your beach neighbors aren’t bothered by it. And also, make sure to bust out your best dance moves at some point before you leave.
There’s usually not much shade to be found at the beach, so bringing it with you is best. Consider bringing a collapsiblebeach umbrella that you can stick to the ground and cast shade over your setup.
If you want to take it to the next level, an easy-up will fit in your car easily and provide shade for several people. If you want a shade that offers privacy, bring an easy-up with walls that roll down to the ground— or even a camping tent. These options also make changing in and out of your bathing suit easy.
What Foods and Drinks Are Best for the Beach?
Once you’re on the beach, there are usually a few very convenient food options. You could leave the beach and go out to eat, but you can also just eat on your way home if you want to. Bringing food to the beach is the way to go, especially if you’ll be there all day.
Not every kind of food is a smart option for the beach, though. Stick to items that are easy to transport, won’t get soggy or melt easily, and that you can eat relatively easily without sitting at a table and chairs. Here are examples of what to pack for delicious beach snacks and drinks.
13. Chips / Crackers
Easy, delicious, and great for sharing. Bring a bag of chips or a box of crackers; you’ll be happy snacking at the beach. Why do chips come in bags and crackers in boxes anyway?
Fruit is a yummy and healthy option. It’ll give you nutrients your body craves while at the beach and help with hydration. Keep fruit in a cooler for a cold and refreshing snack on a hot beach day.
15. Insulated Bag / Cooler
Keep your food and drinks cool and ready to enjoy. Fill up your cooler with ice and beverages, throw your food on top, and you’re good to go.
Sandwiches are a solid option for the beach because they’re filling, convenient to transport, and easy to eat without a table.
The items you bring with you can impact the day's trajectory when you're spending the whole day at the beach. Make sure to get all your beach essentials, items for a sweet beach setup, food and drinks to keep you going, and fun games that everyone will enjoy.
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