Beach vacationing with a toddler is not the same vacation I took pre-baby. Back then I had 10 swimsuits and they all fit and all I cared about packing was snacks, water, and a towel. Post-baby beach vacationing, whether it’s for a week or a weekend, the packing list has gone from 3 important items to about 50! It’s enough to drive anyone crazy!
My family and are about to go on our annual Captiva Island summer getaway. For over 10 years, my husband and I have been joining his family on their week-long beach vacation for some good quality family time as well as some much-needed sun soaking, sand between the toes time. We’re also planning a weekend with my side of the family in Daytona Beach this summer.
Both beach vacations will involve a whole lot of packing and a whole lot of stress wondering if I remember to pack everything. So, I’ve come up with a Beach Vacation Packing List for Toddlers- 32 Must-Have Items you can’t forget.
Beach Vacation Packing List for a Toddler- 32 Must-Have Items:
- Waterproof Blanket with Shoulder Strap
- Beach Cart– whether you’re walking 50 feet to the beach or 500 feet, this is a must-have to carry all your crap!
- Umbrella, Beach Tent, or Canopy- I would never have brought this on vacation pre-baby but now I realize how important it is to protect my son from the harsh UV rays.
- Kids Beach Chair
- Cooler- large coolers are great for long days at the beach. If you don’t have a large cooler, any size will do. We love our soft-sided Yeti cooler and bring it on all beach trips.
- Snacks- lots and lots of snacks! Fresh fruit, cereal, yogurt melts, goldfish, granola bars, protein bars, and fruit pouches.
- Drinks- water, water, water. Sippy cups with water and juice.
- Beach Toys in Mesh Tote– Bring familiar toys from home that are beach friendly. My son loves his cars and trucks so I always bring them. I love my mesh toy tote because I can easily shake off unwanted sand when packing up.
- Mini Pool- this comes in handy on hot Florida summer days. Fill with pool water (if pool is close to the beach) and toys so your tot can relax and cool off when it gets too hot.
- Bubbles- bubbles are always a fun beach treat for toddlers. And it’s fun for parents to watch them chase them all over the beach. Talk about a great vacation picture!
- Waterproof Cell Phone Bag
- Sun Hat/Sunglasses- mine son hates anything on his head but I’m still waiting and hoping for the day when he’ll wear them, especially to the beach for sun protection.
- Water Shoes– tiny feet can burn on the hot sand. Water shoes can also protect against sharp shells or beach litter.
- Life Jacket/Swim Floaties
- Hooded Beach Towels
- Misting Fan
- Baby Powder- this is the magical remover of unwanted sand. I don’t know how, but it works!
- Sunscreen- lots and lots of sunscreen.
- SPF Lip Balm
- Wet Washcloth- this not only keeps hands and faces clean but can also be used to cool an overheated toddler.
- Spare Clothes or Swimsuit- accidents happen, so be prepared.
- Extra Swim Diapers & Wipes
- Johnson’s Hand & Face Wipes
- Babyganics Bug Repellant– deet free, natural repellants are the safest option for children.
- Anti-Itch Cream/Calamine Lotion- just in case the all-natural stuff doesn’t work!
- Hair Detangler- this will come in very handy for long locks that are sure to tangle in the wind, humidity, and salt water.
- Rash Cream- not only soothes diaper rash but great for chaffing legs, feet, etc.
- Exercise Ball and Pump– this will substitute for a rocking chair if your toddler still relies on motion to sleep.
- Pack n Play with Foldable Mattress– I love my foldable memory foam mattress. It comes with a travel bag and it’s perfect for vacations or daily use. It’s so much more comfortable than the thin piece of board that comes with the play yard. With this combo, your toddler is sure to sleep great on vacation. Don’t forget an extra sheet.
- Pacifiers/Blankets/Stuffed Animal/Sound Machine- remember all their familiar things to help make vacation feel like home.
- Story Books/Bath Toys– other important items for mimicking your home bedtime routine.
For stress-free beach vacation packing, print this Beach Vacation Packing List for a Toddler- 32 Must-Have Items.
For a great beach vacation with your toddler, make vacation feel as much like home as possible. While mom and dad may be looking to forget the chores, the mess, and the cooking, your tiny tot will feel safe and happy with their familiar routine.
What’s your packing routine? What’s your must-have beach vacation item? Share in the comments below.
Check out the other posts you might like, Packing for Florida-5 Essential Items for Summer Vacation, Must Have Baby Gear Items, or 6 Tips for Planning a Baptism.
Meagan is in her mid-thirties and has been married for almost 10 years. She is a proud boy mom, happily navigating her way through the toddler years. She met her husband 20 years ago in high school; they got married 10 years later after graduating from the University of South Florida. Meagan currently helps run a family business with her parents and sister, while blogging about her life and taking care of her three-year-old son full time (at work)!
When she isn’t chasing her son around and constantly picking up Matchbox cars, she enjoys spending time with her family on a beach anywhere. She also loves decorating and organizing her home, delving into fun DIY projects, bargain shopping, and eating at unique restaurants. She also loves Barbecue anything and a good show or movie on Netflix.