Day trips can be a nice way to unwind, and when you can easily get to the mountains or to the seaside in just a few hours, by car or train, then it’s an opportunity to de-stress you might consider often.
Sometimes you have time to plan these trips, while in other occasions it’s just a thing of the moment. That is why it is good to have a packing list prepared, to know what you need for your getaway.
So here is a list with what to pack for a day trip to the beach that includes the essentials as we take them to the beach when traveling. Because there are travel mistakes to avoid, and not having a complete beach packing list is one of them.
As a side note, we don’t like to over pack, just take what we really need. This is why our list is small, but it has everything you’ll need for such a trip on it.
You can copy the items (included as a list at the end of this article) and just check them while you pack for your next trip to the beach. Or, you can copy them and add other items that you need, and thus create your own list, one that you can use at any time.
For a short trip, we usually have some sunscreen with SPF 50. Yes, not a lot of tanning maybe, but no risk of sun burns either from what it is a really short stay at the beach.
Keep in mind that you should have and use this cream even if you won’t swim or stay in a swimsuit – if it’s windy or you just go to relax a bit tot he beach.
You’d say it’s essential. I’d agree. Just that one time, I forgot to pack it. In my defense, it was spring and windy. But we had no chairs or anything to sit on, therefore… you get the idea.
So, no matter what, have a beach towel. Now, there are many types of beach towels, but when choosing one think about the fact that you will want one that it is light, easy to pack, and doesn’t stick to your skin. That is why you could choose a microfiber beach towel that will offer you the comfort you seek. Plus you can use it in other travels as well.
You definitely need something to cover your head. It’s a must. So make sure to pack at least a hat. If you prefer a stylish one (we go for the simplest ones), make sure you buy it in advance.
Anyway, we’d recommend you to have it at least one day prior to your trip, and not to leave it as an item on your last-minute shopping list.
Snacks and water
You’ll need these for the road and for the beach too. So maybe think if something with ice to keep them cold as well. Also, think of snacks that are OK in the heat, even if only for a few hours. Choose something light. But make sure you include them on your beach packing list.
Don’t forget about water. It’s a must. You need to be hydrated at all times. As a side note, usually there are terraces near the beaches, so you might be able to buy something from those places too, but it is best – and safer – to be prepared.
Photos are a precious travel souvenir and nowadays cameras are accessible and easy to use. Smartphones also take beautiful pictures, but for amazing ones, professional equipment might be needed. So a camera is a must and an important item when speaking of what to pack for a day trip to the beach.
If you have various accessories you use with your camera or go-pro, then include them on your list as well. You wouldn’t want to miss the chance to take the best photos from your short trip to the beach.
Warmer clothes/something to change in
You might not intend to swim. But you might walk on the beach. And someone – or just the waves – might wet you. So, you should have something to change in. That is why we always have a second blouse and a pair of pants packed.
Make sure to add on your beach packing list some warm clothes – a jacket or something, in case it gets windy. You wouldn’t want to catch a cold! Believe me, it’s not fun to come back from such a trip with a cold, I’m talking from experience.
Now, above you have all the essential things you need for the beach. For a short trip, true. But, depending on your preferences and style, you might want to include other items or accessories such as:
- sunglasses (I can’t wear them, but they can be really helpful. I actually purchased a magnetic clip-on set that acts like sunglasses for those who need to ear glasses at all times)
- a book – printed or downloaded
- a charger, power adapter – to keep those electronics in use (phone and other gadgets)
- napkins – including wet ones
- a “first aid” kid – meaning some patches, maybe some disinfectant (true, I always have them in the car’s first aid kit). If you scratch yourself or for other small injuries, they may prove useful.
These are our essential items to include in your beach packing list for a day break at the sea/ocean side. Like I said, they are for a short period of time, therefore you don’t see any item for a hotel room, or clothes for several days – just a backup blouse/pants/skirt.
But, while the luggage is not big, it’s not at all fun when you are missing one of the items listed above. So, to make it easier for you, here are all the items in a list so that you will always know what to pack for a day trip to the beach:
- beach towel
- snacks and water
- warmer clothes/something to change in
- a book – printed or downloaded
- a charger, power adapter
- napkins – including wet ones
- a “first aid” kid
- other gadgets you may require (tablet, etc.)
pins made using a photo from Pixabay and Unsplash
14 thoughts on “What to pack for a day trip to the beach”
Beach towels are key! They keep you AND your stuff free of sand, and they keep you cool. Sand gets hot!
A beach towel or blanket is so important to take to the beach. I don’t like sitting on wet sand.
I like bringing along a cooler of snacks and drinks too. A good beach towel is definitely necessary for longer beach trips!
The beach is my happy place and I think you shared a wonderful list of essentials. I especially appreciate the first aid kit suggestion since we have definitely experienced our fair share of cuts, scrapes and bruises while near the shore.
We live at the shore so we avoid the beach during the summer for the most part. Towels are a must, as is sunscreen. Traffic is horrible so you don’t want to get to the beach without everything you need.
I love this, great list of things for summer. Sunscreen and towels are always a must!
My sister is a sun goddess, and always has the beach day down. I show up with a van full of stuff that I don’t end up using. I need to pare down to your recommended items, and call it good.
We love going to the beach in the summer season, your list is perfect. I don’t think I have a thing to add to it, I am all about being prepared when you head off for a day trip to the beach!
Having something to change into is a must! I think it’s something a lot of people likely forget too so I love that you added it to your list. Great tips!
This is a great list! This would be handy for packing for our next trip to the beach! Thanks for sharing!!
I always seem to forget the sunglasses for me. You’re right though, they def. can come in handy, especially at the beach.
This is a great list of items to take for a day trip to the beach. I always make sure we have sunscreen, towels, snacks and bottled waters (essential), phone charger (for all those pics you take) and jackets!
I always forget something when we head to the beach. This is a great list!
Great list! Packing for the beach is a rather pesky task to overcome. Thanks for making it a bit easier!