What to Bring to The Beach – 61 Beach Packing List Ideas 2021


Last Updated on January 19, 2021 by Max

A day at the beach means sun, sand, fun, and a swim in the refreshing ocean. In other words: it is the ultimate place to relax.

To make the most of your days at the beach this year, we have created the perfect beach packing list that includes 61 beach packing list ideas (23 essentials and 38 gadgets and games).

After all, deciding what to bring can sometimes be difficult and time-consuming.

What should you bring to the beach? What kind of entertainment should you pack? Should you bring snacks or cash to buy something to eat? What about your phone and your keys?

Take a closer look at our ideas and tips, get inspiration, and pack for a fun day in the sun!

The 23 essentials to bring to the beach

  1. Swimsuit
  2. Beach towel
  3. Sunscreen
  4. Beach parasol
  5. Water bottles
  6. Beach snacks
  7. Extra set of swimwear
  8. Sarong
  9. Cap or beach hat
  10. Beach games
  11. Books and magazines
  12. Disinfection gel / hand sanitizer
  13. Tissues
  14. Water shoes
  15. Flip flops or sandals
  16. Cash
  17. Sunglasses
  18. Extra clothes
  19. A sweatshirt or lightweight jacket
  20. Keys
  21. Phone
  22. Garbage bag
  23. … and a bag of some kind to carry it all in.

1. Swimsuit

As long as you don’t spend your day at the nude beach, the most important thing you should bring is your swimming trunks, bikini or similar.

2. Beach towel

Bringing a beach towel is as important as bringing a swimsuit. It is not only suitable for drying your body and hair after a swim in the sea, but also for relaxing and sunbathing.

TIP: Make sure to bring a towel that dries quickly. New towels have a tendency to dry slowly. 
If you have bought a brand-new towel for the beach, remember to wash it a few times 
before use. This way it will dry faster.

3. Waterproof sun protection

Nobody likes getting a sunburn. It not only hurts and looks terrible; it is also unhealthy for the skin.

No matter how many hours you want to spend in the burning sun, make sure to bring a waterproof sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 30 to the beach.

However, if your skin is particularly sensitive, an SPF of 50+ is your friend. Also, make sure that your sunscreen has UVA and UVB protection.

TIP: Put cream on before you go to the beach. This way you don't have to do it when you 
arrive. Also, the sun cream must first penetrate the skin before it protects.
TIP: Do not use last year's sunscreen. It does not protect in the same way as a brand-new
 sunscreen. It may also contain bacteria that you do not want to rub on the skin.

4. Beach parasol

Being exposed to the sun for several hours can be quite strenuous for many and can lead to a sunburn or dehydration.

But if you bring a parasol, you can create a pleasant shade to lie under. In addition, it can easily be carried if it’s not too big. They hardly weigh anything and can be placed in the sand.

5. Water bottles

It is recommended to drink at least 70 fl oz of water daily. But if it is very hot, you should drink more. Make sure that you bring enough water to the beach.

TIP: If you have a freezer at home, prepare small bottles of water and keep them in 
the freezer overnight. This will prolong the cold temperature of the water.

Great gadgets to cool down your drinks:

– Bottle Ice Bag

– Gel Carrier Chilling

– Bottles with frozen element

6. Beach snacks

Swimming, sunbathing, and playing games on the beach makes most of us hungry.

Therefore, it is a good idea to bring lunch packs or snacks. These can be sandwiches, fruit, chips, crackers and nuts.

Also make sure that you bring food that can withstand the heat.

7. Extra set of swimsuit

Bringing an extra pair of swimming trunks or bikini is always a good idea, as swimwear usually takes time to dry. Often the wet fabric does not feel comfortable on the skin. It may even even cause a cold, if you are unlucky.

8. Sarong

The sarong is loved by many because it can easily be wrapped around our body.

You get dressed quickly and still wear the swimsuit underneath. Whether you need to go to the toilet or want to buy an ice cream, it is great to have.

9. Cap or sun hat

Wearing a cap or sun hat is one way to protect your scalp, eyes and parts of your face from the sun. And if you want the most protection, a beach hat with a wide brim offers the best protection.

10. Beach games

What to bring to the beach, bring a volleyball to the beach and have fun in the sun with your friends.
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Spending a day at the beach with friends or family provides the framework for a day of games and fun.

Some of the most popular games are volleyball, soccer and beach tennis.

For more inspiration, check out the second part of our list below with 38 things to make your day at the beach more fun.

11. Books and magazines for the beach

Bringing along a captivating book or an interesting magazine is the perfect way to relax in the sun and still be entertained.

Check out Lucy’s 30 wanderlust-inspiring books for travellers and find the perfect book for the beach!

TIP: Consider bringing books and magazines that can tolerate a little sand and dirt. 
Else, bring them in a thin plastic or fabric bag to ensure they won't get destroyed.

12. Disinfection gel / hand disinfectant

You can’t always be sure that you can wash your hands on the beach.

Of course, you can wash them in the sea. But if you really want to get your hands clean, a disinfectant gel/hand disinfectant does the work.

13. Tissues

Tissues are always very useful. They are also very practical on the beach. Especially if you want to wipe away sand or food.

Tissues can also be useful when going to the toilet, as not all beaches are well equipped.

14. Water shoes for the ocean

Some people like to go barefoot, some don’t. But if you belong to the latter group, a pair of water shoes will relieve you of many inconveniences such as stones and other sharp objects on the seabed.

15. Flip flops or sandals

A pair of shoes that you can quickly slip into is definitely a must on the beach in case you need to get something at the nearest beach shop or go to the toilet.

16. (Ice cream) Cash

Whether you want to buy a snack or a soft served ice cream at the nearest shop or pay the parking meter, cash is better than your card.

What if your bag gets stolen? All in all, it is better to lose some cash than a credit card.

Carrying small change is also a good way to make sure you don’t go crazy at the ice cream parlor 😉

17. Sunglasses

The protection of your skin and eyes is the most important thing (besides having fun) when you spend a day at the beach.

Because, the sun not only damages our skin, it can also damage our eyes. Therefore, make sure that your sunglasses have a proper UV protection.

18. Extra clothes

It is always a good idea to bring along some underpants and a spare T-shirt.

Maybe you went to the beach in your bathing suit, which is probably wet after a swim in the sea.

After all, nobody really likes to wear wet clothes on the way home.

19. A sweatshirt or a light jacket

After a fun and warm day on the beach the evening creeps in. Same goes for the temperature too. It easily drops and suddenly you feel a little cold.

Here, a sweatshirt or a light jacket can keep you warm.

Be sure to bring a jacket if you plan to stay longer.

20. Keys

Make sure you put your keys in your bag where they cannot fall out and where you can easily find them again.

Losing them on the beach is a real nightmare with all the sand.

21. Phone

When you bring your phone with you, store it carefully like your keys. You can store both in a transportable safe.

If you don’t leave it at home, you should always consider the risk of it being stolen.

22. Garbage bag

With all the snacks, drinks and tissues, it’s a good idea to take a garbage bag with you to make sure you don’t leave any trash behind.

On most beaches there are garbage bins where you can put your bag before you leave.

23. A bag to carry it all in

When you bring all the essential things to the beach, you will have to bring a portable and sufficiently large bag. Three types of bags are considered particularly suitable for the beach:

The beach bag or the shopper
A beach bag or a shopper is a sure winner and it is easy to carry.

However, if you are traveling by bike, it can be quite difficult to bring it with you if you do not have a basket to put it in.

On the other hand, the beach bag is perfect for storing everything you need for a day at the beach.

Both are available in different sizes and designs. Some even have front pockets and inside pockets to keep your stuff organized.

The Beach Tote
The tote bag is practical for the beach, as it may get quite dirty there. It is really easy to store your stuff in it if you just want to put everything in the same place. Tote bags come in many sizes and designs.

The backpack
If you are more of an organizer, the backpack is the best option. Most backpacks have several compartments and are easy to carry because of the carrying straps.

The backpack also has a zipper, which makes it easier to transport your belongings.

38 Games and gadgets to bring to the beach

Besides the 23 essential things worth bringing to the beach, there are also a lot of fun activities, games and helpful items that can make the day at the beach relaxing and fun.

The list below is divided into the following six categories:

  • Games
  • Shadow and (s)eating
  • Gastronomic gadgets
  • Tech gadgets
  • To avoid water damage
  • Personal items

Games and activities you can bring to the beach

1. Snorkeling set
It is never too late to explore the seabed!

2. Fins
A pair of swimming fins is perfect for you who want to improve your swimming technique, swim faster or just think it could be helpful while snorkeling.

3. Stand Up Paddle board

Couple out on SUP boards.
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A trendy way to enjoy the day at the beach is with a Stand-Up Paddle board.

Because you can not only paddle along the shore, it is also a lot of fun and a great way to practice your balance.

4. Surfboard
Whether the shore brings in high or low waves, a surfboard is always popular.

5. Beach tennis
Playing a set of beach tennis is always a hit. Also if you are more than two players. Then you can make a tournament and play about who’s paying for the ice-creams.

6. Boomerang
The Australian throwing stick is a popular game to bring to the beach.

However, make sure you play with it in a spot free of people since it can be rather uncomfortable to be near one throwing a boomerang.

7. Beach buckets and toys
Can you ever get too old to build a sandcastle?

If you bring children with you or have an inner child, you should definitely bring beach buckets and shovels to build sandcastles.

8. Soccer
A football is a popular choice among many.

Not only is it a great way to play and hang out with your friends or family, it also attracts other beachgoers to play along.

9. Volleyball
This is probably the most popular ball to bring to the beach. When playing, you might even get to meet new people who want to join the game.

10. Kite
If you go to the beach on a windy day, a kite is a fun activity. However, be careful to release the kite only where it is not crowded with people.

11. Kite surfing
If you want to take it to the next level, kite surfing is something for you. Out on the ocean, you will get the feeling of flying on the water.

12. Frisbee
If volleyball is the most favored game on the beach, Frisbee has to run second.

A frisbee is, without a doubt, always amusing and you can get them in all sorts of sizes, colors and difficulties.

13. Spike ball
Ever tried spike-ball?

It is a mixture of volleyball and four-square. However, make sure you bring enough friends to the beach, as you need to be four players.

14. Inflatable boat
Have you ever dreamed of sailing on the open sea?

With an inflatable boat you can cruise the sea.

In addition, an inflatable boat is easy to transport because it is not the size of a normal boat before you fill it with air. Just watch out for any dangerous streams and first speak with a lifeguard if it is allowed to use an inflatable boat at the beach.

15. Swimming glasses
Whether you want to dive or just don’t like getting water in your eyes, a pair of swimming glasses will do the trick.

16. Water guns
Being right next to the ocean, it should not be an issue having enough water to fill in your water guns.

It’s not only a fun activity, it’s also an excellent way to cool down while playing.

17. Cards
Playing cards is for you who don’t always feel like running around the beach throwing balls and boomerangs all day long.

18. Sudoku
A bit of mental gymnastics isn’t that bad. That’s why doing Sudoku is loved by many and can be a fun and capturing way to ‘relax’ at the beach. Remember a pen.

19. Crossword puzzles and a pen

If you aren’t a Sudoku kind of person, or just want some variation, there is also another option; crossword puzzles. Remember to bring a pen!

For shadow and seating

20. Pop-up shade or sun shelter
Just as the parasol creates a pleasant shade to relax in, so too does the pop-up shade and sun shelter.

In fact, they create more shade than a parasol and are therefore suitable if you want to create shade for more than just a few people.

21. Sand free beach mat
Are you tired of getting sand on your towel while sunbathing? You can actually get sand free beach mats in different sizes!

22. Beach or camping chair

A man and a woman lying on two beach chairs.
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Lying on the hard sand is not for everyone.

So, if you like to sit and keep an eye on the action, then you should bring a beach or camping chair with you.

23. Self-inflating air couch
Maybe you heard of the self-inflating air couch? It is great for the beach because it does not take up much space and is easy to inflate.

24. Transportable beach table
You can bring a small portable table for your books, cups or cans.

25. Beach Mattress
This should almost be a must as it is a lot of fun on the water.

Gastronomic gadgets you can bring to the beach

26. Portable grill
Barbecue on the beach makes the day much more fun! Not only can you satisfy your hunger, but you also get a warm and tasty meal.

You can use a portable grill or a disposable grill. The disposable grill is the easy choice if you cannot carry a portable grill with you.

27. Cooling bag
There is absolutely nothing better than a cold drink in the heat.

Cooling bags are available in many different sizes. So, if you don’t feel like bringing a lot, a small bag that fits two bottles or so is the right choice for you.

28. Bottle opener
Don’t forget to bring a bottle opener if you want to enjoy rosé wine, beer or other drinks that require one.

Tech gadgets you can bring to the beach

29. Headphones
Would you like to lie and relax while listening to music or an audio book? Remember to bring your headphones to the beach.

30. Waterproof Bluetooth speaker
Water and gadgets does not go well along. Yet, with a waterproof Bluetooth speaker, you don’t have to worry about damaging your speaker. Instead you can relax and just enjoy the music.

31. Power bank
You are listening to music or reading on your phone when the battery suddenly runs out.

If your phone’s battery often runs low, a portable charger is your savior.

32. Waterproof camera
Great for taking beautiful pictures in the water!

33. A transportable safe
Nobody wants their stuff stolen. But with a portable safe you can save yourself from a lot of trouble.

34. Selfie drone
Bringing a selfie drone to the beach can result in some really professional looking pictures and videos.

It is also the perfect toy for a gadget lover.

Gadgets you can bring to the beach to avoid water damages

35. Wet bag
Most of us do not feel comfortable leaving our belongings unattended when we go swimming in the sea.

But with a wet bag you can take your belongings with you.

36. Waterproof phone case
With this type of phone case, not only can you take your phone with you when you go swimming, but counting for the majority of the cases, you can also still use your screen in the water.

Personal items you can bring for the beach

37. Hair ties
Never underestimate the importance of hair ties.

Especially if you want to avoid getting your hair wet, or if you just want to put it up because of the heat.

38. A t-shirt as sun protection
If your skin has a hard time tolerating the sun, it is a really good idea to wear a t-shirt as additional sun protection – especially when you’re out on the sea with your Stand-Up paddle board.

Here is a beach packing list with 61 ideas on what to bring to the beach.
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Are you planning to travel or are you unsure about the current situation? Let our panel of experts inspire you about the future of travel in times of covid-19.

Have a great day at the beach!

What is the one most essential thing you like to bring to the beach?

Let us know in the comments section!

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Maya is a travel expert and the co-founder of LiveYourTravel. She is a passionate nomadic traveler and writer who loves to explore new places, cultures, and people. Join her here on Live Your Travel, where she shares her best travel tips and priceless hacks with you.

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