What to pack in your family holiday beach bag…

what to pack in your beach bag bag on the beach with towel in it


Trips to the beach are supposed to be totally relaxing and packed with fun, even when you’re bringing tiny tots along too. Avoid stress and having to leave the beach once you’ve settled by preparing your beach bag essentials in advance, so you can simply head out to the sun, sea and sand for plenty of family fun with your favourite ones.

So what should you be packing in your beach bag?


The ideal beach bag should be…

  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Machine Washable
  • Large enough to squeeze in as much of your family paraphernalia as possible


Packing List:

Bits and Pieces:

  • Plenty of good quality sun cream, ideally at least SPF 50+
  • Lip balm with SPF protection
  • Hair bobbles – when sand and sea water seem to get everywhere, you’ll find these useful for both you and long haired little ones
  • A book or magazine – you’re probably laughing at the thought of actually having time to read, but you may be able to squeeze a chapter or two in amongst the relentless sand castle building. Magazines can be a good option if you’re concerned about your book getting wet/sandy.
  • Umbrella or pop up tent – it’s worth checking whether or not the beach you’re visiting has access to shade, if not then it can be useful to bring a parasol or some other form of shade along with you
  • Towels – try to avoid big heavy towels that absorb a lot of moisture and if possible bring some separate towels for sitting on and others for drying yourselves with
  • A selection of large waterproof bags/Ziploc bags- use these to protect spare clothes and gadgets from sea water, then use them to transport wet swimming costumes back home again once your beach fun has come to a close
  • Toys – bring some easy to clean toys for the beach in a separate bag (ideally a mesh bag so you can dunk the whole lot in the water to get the sand off) within your main beach bag, so you can carry it separately/you can leave it in the hire car etc. A toy bucket can be really useful for washing tiddly toes.
  • Balls/frisbees/inflatable toys – if you’re planning on spending whole days at the beach, bring plenty to entertain
  • Baby Powder – when used on dry skin this can actually help to remove sand, so it might be worth bringing a travel sized pack. Please remember to use this carefully around very young children and to keep it safely out of the reach of all little ones.
  • A ‘Treasure Jar’ – if you like collecting shells, bring a small tub to keep them safe
  • Plenty of swim nappies and wet wipes
  • A small amount of cash – you may think you won’t need it but when the ice cream truck arrives right in front of your little monkeys and you’ve got nothing, all hell is likely to break loose…



  • Sun hats for all the family, ideally with a wide brim to shade eyes from the sun and a neck flap for little ones, to keep delicate back-of-the-neck skin protected
  • Spare clothes (cover ups/shorts/t-shirts) are always useful when spills, sand and sogginess are pretty much a given
  • Swim wear for all the family – if you have younger kids then opt for sunsuits for extra protection against harmful UV rays (you can find more sun safety tips for tots here)
  • Water shoes- these are really handy for protecting delicate toes from rough pebbles, sea urchins, hot sand burns and more
  • Flip flops – don’t spend the rest of the holiday having to wander round with gritty sand in your shoes!
  • Sunglasses with full UV protection to protect sensitive eyes
  • Goggles to protect against stinging sea water if your tots fancy a splash
  • A light jumper or cover up – too much sun or a light sea breeze can cause a case of the chills, so bring something to help keep everyone nice and snuggly


Food and Drinks:

  • Water in reusable bottles – it’s really important to keep everyone nice and hydrated, especially little ones. Before you go try and find out if there are any shops or suitable facilities providing drinkable water nearby, just in case you run out.
  • Picnic food – if you’ve got fussy eaters then don’t rely on there being something for your child to eat in beachside restaurants/cafes. Consider bringing some sandwiches and nibbles, for back up, and cut these into small portions so that if something gets dropped or covered in sand, you haven’t lost the whole lot.
  • Snacks – bring some healthy snacks such as nuts, raisins, energy bars, cheese sticks and more just in case anyone’s energy starts to flag a little. AVOID chocolate or anything sticky liked boiled sweets which might melt!


Just in case…

  • Waterproof plasters
  • Paracetamol
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Bug spray
  • After sun
  • Or a basic First Aid Kit containing the above


Want more packing tips?


Visit www.totstotravel.co.uk to see what baby and toddler friendly options we can offer your family!

Tots to Travel offer baby friendly holidays and child friendly holidays both in the UK and abroad. Our range includes child friendly villas, including perfect villas for kids, baby friendly cottages, baby friendly villas and more…

Olivia Frost
Olivia Frost

Olivia is a Digital Marketing Exec at Tots to Travel, talented film maker, production researcher, journalist and copywriter. She’s actually amazing.

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