Everyone looks forward to a beach vacation — building sand castles, collecting seashells, diving under waves — so it's no wonder that in the rush to get there, you forget a swimsuit, sand bucket or folding chair. Here's a checklist to make sure you've got everything you need for the sand, surf and sun.
MUST HAVE: Wallet and/or purse and cash (sometimes we forget the most obvious things) Credit cards and/or traveler's checks (plus list of numbers of both) ID or driver's license Car and house keys (plus duplicate sets kept in different bags) Eyeglasses and/or contact lenses (plus lens cleaner) Watch
Medical insurance cards Prescriptions and other medications Itineraries, tickets and reservation confirmations Maps and directions Books and magazines for kids and adults Toys, playing cards, small games Disposable wipes (or put damp paper towels in zippered plastic bags)
CLOTHES AND BEACH ITEMS: Complete change of clothes for each person per day (think cool, comfortable clothing) — though if you are renting a place with laundry facilities, you may be able to get away with less Lightweight sweater or jacket and long pants for cooler evenings Swimsuits (two per person, so you'll always have a dry one) Beach towels (again two per person is ideal) Beach cover-ups or roomy T-shirts (to throw on over swimsuit when you've had enough sun) Baseball caps or wide-brim hats (to protect faces from sun) Sunglasses with UV protection for adults Sandals (rubber, plastic or waterproof are best) Waterproof sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher (bring along enough to allow for liberal re-application even if it is waterproof)
Lip balm with sunscreen Aloe vera gel Body lotion for after-sun Insect repellent (some sunscreens for kids contain insect repellent and vice versa) Anti-itch cream (for bug bites) Large beach bag for toting above items (a mesh bag won't allow sand to collect) Cooler with water, other beverages and watery fruits such as grapes (stay hydrated!) Water safety devices for young swimmers (be sure these are intended as such and check beach regulations for use) FUN IN THE SUN: Buckets and shovels Sand castle molds (use empty deli containers, yogurt cups or two-liter plastic bottles with the upper half cut off)
Frisbee, paddle ball, inflatable beach ball and other simple beach toys Inflatable flotation devices (check safety regulations) Kite
Camera and film Zippered plastic bags for collecting shells (or collecting wet suits after a day trip to the beach) NICE TO HAVE: Folding beach chairs Beach umbrella (some beaches and hotels rent these) Large family-size blanket or quilt to spread out on beach TOILETRIES: Toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss and mouthwash Deodorant Combs, brushes, hair accessories, blow dryer (if hotel does not provide one) Shampoo and conditioner Shaving supplies Cosmetics
Nail clippers, scissors and emery boards Tweezers Cotton balls and/or swabs Feminine hygiene items FOR BABY: Car seat Diaper bag Disposable diapers Changing pad Baby powder and lotion Zippered plastic bags Wet wipes Bathing supplies Nursing pads and burp pads Bibs Baby food and spoon Bottles, nipples and caps Formula and/or juice Pacifiers Collapsible stroller with canopy or umbrella Front or back child-carrying pack, or sling style Blankets Waterproof sheets Bathing supplies Large plastic bags for wet clothes (can also be used as a changing pad in a pinch)