What to Pack for a Beach Day: 11 Essentials for Your Beach Bag

Spending a day on the beach is one lifes free of luxuries, but if you’re not prepared you can come home burnt, blistered, dehydrated and covered in bites. to avoid all this you need to know what to pack for a day at the beach. So I’m here to help you with what to take to the beach.

I live in Perth, Western Australia where I believe some of the best beaches in the world are located.  As such, part of our culture is spending lots of days at the beach.  Therefore, I have spent many years perfecting packing for a beach day.

I’m going to share with you what to bring to the beach, for swimming, to protect you from the sun and to keep you hydrated and fed throughout the day. Plus some fun things to keep you entertained and speciality items for bubs and tots.

In this Article Learn Which Essential to Pack for the Beach

beach towel, rashie, goggles, sunscreen and waterbottle all essentials to pack for the beach
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Beach Swimming Essentials

Basically, the whole point of going to the beach is to swim and you’re going to get wet.  So you will need these swimming essentials:

  1. Bathers (call them what you will: swimmers, togs, cosi, swimming costume, bathing costume).
  2. Thongs/flipflops
  3. Towel
    • Traditional beach towels tend to take up the majority of your beach bag.  But I have recently been given a new beach towel by Tesalate to try out.

About Tesalate

These full-sized (160x80cm or 63x31in) Tesalate beach towels are made with AbsorbLite microfibre instead of traditional towelling and fold up to the size of a clutch bag.  Being made of this unique fibre also means that these colourful Australian-designed beach towels are super absorbent yet dry quickly and even repel sand.

There are over 20 vibrant Tesalate beach towel designs to choose from, that are available in 70 countries around the world.  Check which Tesalate design suits your style HERE^.

Top Trip Tip: I prefer to change into my bathers before leaving home for the beach, this saves having to rely on finding a beach with change rooms and then I can be straight on the beach with my towel.

Essentials to Pack for a Beach Day

People sitting at the beach under shade of umbrellas
Stay sun smart at the beach

One thing that’s a given when you spend a day at the beach is that you are exposed to natures elements.  Your beach towel will protect from the hot sand, but you need more than that to protect yourself from the hot sun and wind.  Include on our beach day checklist:

  1. Hat
  2. Sunglasses
  3. Sunscreen
  4. Rash guard long-sleeve shirt
  5. Kaftan/sarong
  6. Shade (umbrella or sunshade)
  7. Drink
    • Water is better, you don’t want to get dehydrated out in the sun
  8. Food
    • Keep yourself nourished during your day at the beach.  I like to pack crackers and fresh fruit.

Top Trip Tip: A small cooler bag* is great for keeping snacks and drinks fresh and cool.

Fun Things to Take to the Beach

Kids boogie boarding in the beach waves
Boogie boarding at the beach

Swimming in the beach is fun but the salt water can sting your eyes and sometimes you just need a break from the water.  Include in your beach bag:

Top Trip Tip: Some of these may just be too bulky to add to your beach bag so consider a separate string bag or proper boogie board backpack

Beach Essentials for Toddler or Baby

Toddler at the beach with bucket
Taking the kids to the beach

If you are taking a baby or toddler you will need to include.

  • Swim nappy/diaper
    • Back when my son was a baby I just bought the Huggies disposable swimmers.  But in hindsight, I think one of the reusable swim nappies* would have been more economical in the long run.
  • Floaty
  • Nappy/diaper rash paste or cream
  • Clean dry nappy/diaper
  • Clean clothes to put on after the swim.  Swimming really wears out little kids.  They usually fall asleep on the way home.

Top Trip Tip: Remember to ALWAYS watch your children when they are swimming.  Lifeguards cannot watch everyone at once.

Handy Items for After the Swim

Many beaches provide large changing room blocks.  So you may like to take these extras for when you have finished your day at the beach and are ready to go onto your next activity feeling clean and refreshed.

  • Towel
    • If you’re planning on packing a second towel for the shower you’ll really appreciate having those compact Tesalate towels.
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Shower gel
  • Clean underwear
  • Dry clothes
  • Shoes and socks

Top Trip Tip: Pop these into a separate waterproof bag within your beach bag to keep them clean and dry.

The Beach Bag

To make it really easy to get down to the beach pack all these items into beach bag.

Choosing the right beach bag helps set the tone of your swimming day.  Start by using a bag that will fit everything you need for your day at the beach.  Seriously size does matter when it comes to choosing the right beach bag.  So, whilst a single person may only want a cute tote bag, as you’re only taking one of everything, a family will need to pack multiples of the same items (one for each person) in their beach bag and therefore require a bigger beach bag.

Top Trip Tip: Remember at the end of the day you will be repacking the beach bag with wet and sandy items.  Choose a bag that can stand up to being a little wet and that the sand can be shaken out of easily

By the way, this beach packing list would make a great accompaniment to the Ultimate Trip Packing List and the Tesalate towel would make a great gift for the backpacker or nomad in your family.

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  • We were gifted the “Ride the Rainbow” Tesalate^ beach towel to review.
  • Featured image credit: Canva
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