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Fun in the Sun: What to Pack for the Beach

It's officially summer! And that means that it's officially beach season! If you're lucky enough to live on the coast, like we do in Charleston, you know that packing for the beach is a mandatory skill to have - especially if you want to keep the family happy, hydrated, and having fun all day long. So what do you need to know about packing for a day at the beach? We'll tell you!

What to Pack for the Beach

It's important to be prepared at the beach. If you're on a less developed beach, you might not have restaurants or food nearby. You also may not have bathrooms or changing stations in close proximity, so being prepared is a must if you want to spend more time enjoying the sand and surf and less time running back and forth between the beach and the hotel. Here's what you should bring.

First Aid

  • Sunscreen
  • Aloe vera (for sunburns)
  • Body lotion (for dry skin)
  • Bandaids
  • Aspirin and children's aspirin
  • Extra glasses and/or contacts
  • Contact lens solution
  • Lip balm
  • Insect repellent
  • Any prescriptions you might need


  • Beach sarong (can double as a dress, skirt, and beach blanket)
  • Swimsuits
  • Beach coverups
  • Change of clothes for everyone in the family
  • Flip flops (for the sand)
  • Water shoes (if there are rocks and shells on the beach or in the water)
  • Sun hats
  • Sunglasses

Toys and Outdoor Gear

  • Shovels and pails
  • Sand and water sifters
  • Flotation devices
  • Goggles
  • Snorkeling gear
  • Skim board
  • Boogie board
  • Beach tent
  • Beach chairs (we love the ones that fold up and can be worn like a backpack)
  • Beach towels for everyone in the family
  • Beach bag or beach wagon (if you have a lot of stuff to carry
  • Beach tent (especially great if you're spending the entire day at the beach)
  • Beach umbrella
  • Beach blanket
  • Large cooler or ice chest
  • Fishing pole(s)

Food and Drink

  • Fruit (bananas, oranges, and other types of fruits that will keep well in a cooler)
  • Snacks (pretzels, crackers, granola bars, nuts, etc.)
  • Water bottles (lots and lots of water to stay well hydrated)
  • Sandwiches (if you're going to be staying on the beach all day)


  • Cell phones
  • Video cameras
  • Camera and batteries
  • Books
  • Travel pillow


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