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Beach Vacation Check List

Beach Vacation Check ListBeach Vacation Check List

It’s time to start thinking about your beach vacation. While Santa checks his list in December, you’re going to want to update your packing list with must have items before you head to the Emerald Coast. Whether you’re coming for a week or a weekend, you’ll need everything on the list!


A beach bag: A good beach bag should be sturdy, water resistant, an easily cleaned. Pockets and dividers are plus, helping you keep your wet and dry or clean and dirty items separated. Pockets give you easy access to keys, sunglasses, and lip balm, sunscreen, and your book or air pods, so you don’t need to go hunting around. You might want a separate mesh or sturdy plastic tote for buckets, shovels, goggles and any other items that get sandy and can be rinsed off and stowed outside.


a bed with a purple blanketBeach Towels: They come in all shapes, sizes, and weights and you can never pack to many. Be sure to pack extra, because someone always forgets to wash/dry them the after the beach. If you’re a minimalist packer, consider a sarong or cover-up that doubles as a towel.







a blue umbrella sitting on top of a beachChairs: They say there’s a chair for every bottom, and that’s certainly true of beach chairs. You can opt to rent a chair from one of the many rental service companies, or bring your own. Low chairs, high chairs with coolers,  chairs that look like backpacks, expensive, custom made chairs with your favorite team on them, or inexpensive plastic ones can all be found once you’re here.


Coolers: You’ll need to pack provisions if you’re headed to the beach for the day. Coolers with wheels don’t work great on the sand, so look for ones that can be carried. Finding the perfect cooler is a bit like Goldilocks and the three bears, you need one not too big (too hard to carry) and not to small (it’s got to fit all your stuff).  Be sure to grab some reusable ice packs, as they tend to last longer and leak less than ice.


A Beach Wagon: Sick of feeling like a Sherpa in Nepal? A beach wagon can reduce the number of trips you need to take back and forth from the car or parking lot. Look for a wagon with big, rubber tires, that can handle both hard wet and soft dry sand.


Reusable Water bottles and Insulated Cups: Cut down on single use plastic waste by filling reusable water bottles before you leave. Stick them in the fridge or freezer the night before to get a jump on cold water. Remember, glass isn’t allowed on the beach, so consider insulated cups for your cocktails as well.


Sunscreen: Even on a cloudy day, you’re at risk for UV exposure and sun burn. Keep your skin healthy and your vacation pain free by packing a variety of sunscreens with different levels of protection. Spray sunscreen works well for wiggly little bodies, while sticks are great for faces and lips. Acne prone teens and young adults might benefit from a formula designed for sensitive or breakout prone skin. Don’t forget the aftercare- aloe, lotion, and lip balm all go a long way towards easing some pain. Bonus beach pro tip: throw some baby powder in your bag. Apply to dry sandy feet, wipe off, and you’ll cut down on the amount of sweeping and vacuuming you’ll do.


Now that you’re ready for your day at the beach, what else do you need for your vacation? Most houses come equipped with linens, towels, and standard kitchen appliances, pans, and dinner ware, so you can focus on the fun.


Games Packing List VacationGames: Vacation is the perfect time to unplug your device and connect with your family and friends. Board and card games are perfect after dinner activities. Outdoor games, like corn hole, bocce, football and soccer can be played on property or at the beach.


A good book: Now’s the time to catch up on your reading. Whether you choose a “beach read” or something a little weightier, books are always better on the beach. Not a reader? Grab your air pods and hook up to a podcast or audio book for a little concentrated “me time”.



Patience and flexibility:  The Emerald Coast is having a busy season, so be prepared for longer waits at restaurants, crowded grocery stores, and competition for parking spots. Be gentle with staff, and remember the everyone is trying to have a good time. A little grace and compassion goes a long way towards a more pleasant experience for everyone.