The Ultimate Family Beach Vacation Packing List 

beach bag

It never fails, you make plans to head to the beach, pack up kids, and deal with their squabbles in the back only to finally get there and realize that you forgot stuff at home! Not only is it annoying (time to pack up the kids again to head to the store), but it’s also expensive! This is especially true for beach vacations! That’s why I created the ultimate family beach vacation packing list.

The gear you left back at home is certainly going to cost more when you buy it in a tourist area. One way I have found to avoid that happening is by gathering a list of stuff I need and want to take to the beach with us and packing them into the car before we go. This may seem self explanatory but let me tell you, I was WELL into my adult years before I realized how much list making could help me. Maybe it’s just me (I have been diagnosed with ADHD), but my memory is not good at all so I need lists in my life or I simply won’t remember things. In talking to others, it seems like list making is a good idea for just about everyone! 

The Ultimate Family Beach Vacation Packing List 

Here’s a comprehensive beach packing list for a family, be sure to bring enough of each item for every family member. Of course, these items may vary depending on what kind of vacation you are taking. For instance, if you are staying in a hotel room, you may need different items than if your family travel plans include renting a vacation beach house or even camping. There are so many options! For the most part, we are going to talk about specifically a family beach packing list, so be sure and prepare for your lodging necessities in addition to this! 

Also, keep in mind that the following items may change slightly depending on your particular beach destination. The Oregon Coast beaches, for example, are often not hot enough to stress too much about the heat. 

Beach Essentials:

  1. Swimwear:
    • Swim trunks
    • Bathing suits
    • Rash guards
    • Your personal preference for protective clothing for swimming
    • Swim diapers for little ones
  2. Sun Protection:
    • Reef-Safe Sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher)
    • Sun hat
    • Sunglasses
    • Umbrella or beach tent for shade
  3. Footwear:
    • Flip-flops
    • Water shoes
  4. Towels:
    • Beach towels
    • Hand towels
  5. Clothing:
    • Light and breathable clothing
    • Cover-ups
    • Extra change of clothes, extra pair of socks, shoes, etc. 
    • Jacket or hoodie for windy, chilly days at the beach
  6. Safety:
    • Life jackets
    • Puddle jumper for young kids
    • Flotation device 

Beach Gear:

  1. Beach Bag:
    • Large tote bag or beach backpack
    • Dry Bag for items you don’t want wet
  2. Cooler:
    • Packed with ice packs for refreshing drinks and snacks
  3. Beach Chairs:
    • Portable and comfortable
  4. Blanket or Beach Mat:
    • For lounging on the sand
  5. Beach Toys:
    • Buckets and shovels
    • Frisbee
    • Beach ball
  6. Inflatable Floats:
    • Fun for the water

Safety and Health:

  1. First Aid Kit:
    • Bandages
    • Antiseptic wipes
    • Pain relievers
    • Aloe Vera in case of too much sun exposure
  2. Hydration:
    • Water bottle
    • Liquid IV or other electrolyte packets

Entertainment and Electronics:

  1. Good Book or Magazines:
    • Reading material
  2. Portable Speaker:
    • For music
  3. Cell Phone with Waterproof Phone Case:
    • Protects your phone from water and sand

Optional Items:

  1. Snorkel Gear:
    • If there are opportunities for snorkeling
  2. Waterproof Camera:
    • Capture memorable moments
  3. Binoculars:
    • For bird-watching or exploring
  4. Portable Beach Games:
    • Some of our favorite beach games include badminton, beach volleyball, paddleball, etc.

Personal Items:

  1. Toiletries:
    • Toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.
  2. Medications:
    • Any necessary prescription medications
  3. Baby Items (if applicable):
    • Diapers, wipes, baby sunscreen, etc.
  4. Beach Umbrella:
    • For extra shade

Best Beaches to Visit in Oregon

Mcphillips beach

Since we are chatting about beach days, let’s talk about some of our favorite beaches in Oregon to visit!

Cannon Beach: Known for its iconic Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach is a picturesque destination with a wide sandy shore and stunning views. The town itself has a charming atmosphere with art galleries and shops.

Seaside Beach: A popular family destination, Seaside Beach offers a classic coastal experience. The Promenade, a scenic boardwalk, runs along the beach and is perfect for a leisurely stroll.

Manzanita Beach: This is a more secluded and quiet beach, ideal for those seeking a peaceful getaway. The town of Manzanita is small but has a laid-back charm.

Oswald West State Park (Short Sand Beach): For those looking to combine beach time with hiking, Oswald West State Park is a great choice. Short Sand Beach is tucked away in a cove surrounded by lush forest.

Rockaway Beach: Known for its seven miles of sandy shoreline, Rockaway Beach is a family-friendly destination. It’s a great spot for beachcombing and enjoying the coastal scenery.

Pacific City: Known for its giant dune, Pacific City offers several great beaches! And you can visit a brewery and grab a delicious ice cream while you are there! 

McPhillips Beach: McPhillips Beach is located just north of Pacific City and is one of the only beaches in Oregon that you can drive on!

Lincoln City: Lincoln City has many wonderful beaches perfect for a day trip to the beach!

Newport: Newport is also home to several great beaches that anyone would love to visit! 

Gold Beach: This area offers scenic beaches along the Rogue River, with opportunities for beachcombing, fishing, and enjoying stunning views.

Bandon Beach: Known for its iconic sea stacks and large sandy expanses, Bandon Beach is popular for walking, picnicking, and exploring tide pools.

Harris Beach State Park: Located near Brookings, Harris Beach State Park features a sandy beach, tide pools, and sea stacks. It’s a great place for bird-watching and enjoying the coastal scenery.

Coquille Point Beach: This beach is part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge and is known for its picturesque cliffs, sea caves, and wildlife viewing.

Port Orford Beach: A charming coastal town with a scenic beach, Port Orford is known for its unique dolly dock and stunning ocean views.

Crissey Field State Recreation Site: This beach is located near the Oregon-California border and offers a peaceful setting for picnicking and beachcombing.

Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor: While not a single beach, this scenic corridor encompasses several coves and beaches, each with its own unique features and natural beauty.

Check out this post for some more ideas of fun beaches to visit in Oregon.

If agate hunting is more your style when you head to the beach, check out this post for the best places to go.

Remember to check the weather forecast and adjust your packing list accordingly. I hope you have so much fun on your family beach trip!

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