Fun in the Sun: Beach Packing List and Activity Ideas

Look No Further For Picnics, BBQs and Beach Days!

by Lisa Ledoux
parents walking behind children running on sand at beach during sunny day.

Hey ladies! If you’re like me, then you love spending time at the beach.

Picture it- soaking up the sun, reading a good book in a low-profile chair, playing in the waves – there’s nothing quite like taking an afternoon to enjoy some sand and sea, is there? Ahhhh…

In this post, I’ll provide you with all kinds of tips and tricks for making your time at the beach as enjoyable as possible.

I’ll cover:

  • Traveling to the Beach with Kids
  • Traveling to the Beach with Pets
  • Beach-Friendly Snacks and Beverages
  • Beach Activities for Solo Travelers, Families, and Couples
  • The Best Beach Gadgets and Accessories
  • DIY Beach Crafts
  • Beach Meditation and Yoga
  • Safety Tips

And if you’re looking for more things to do this summer in addition to the beach. Check out:

The “Over 40” Summer Bucket List: Mature Women Do it Better

Late Summer Boredom: 11 Fun Activities to Liven Up Summer’s End

Top 15 Family Activities on a Budget

The Best 37 Board Games for Holiday Fun

15 Affordable Family Activities to Offset High Prices

But for now, let’s get into it!

1.) Tips for Traveling to the Beach with Kids

For the ultimate preparation see my Summer Beach Checklist, a free printable just for you!

It includes many of the suggestions in this article and more.

  • Pack extra clothes for kids in case they get wet or sandy.
  • Bring a tent or beach umbrella to provide shade from the sun (essential for full days).
  • Have plenty of toys and activities available to keep kids busy while at the beach such as buckets, shovels, and Frisbees.
  • Make sure kids are supervised at all times, especially while swimming or playing in the waves.
  • Bring along a first-aid kit for minor scrapes, cuts, and stings.
  • Reduce stress- Plan your beach trip in advance and give yourself enough driving, leisure, and beach time, as well as plenty of time to pack up, shower, and dress afterward.
  • Reduce stress- I like to have several “chill times” when we gather in some type of shade, read our books and comics, eat, rest, and refuel before more swimming and activities.
  • Go early- there’s nothing wrong with hitting the beach at 10 am- you beat the crowds, get the best spots, and swim for hours before everyone else arrives- that way you can have your “chill times” when everyone else is swarming to the water.

2.) Tips for Traveling to the Beach with Pets

cute dachshund, black and tan, buried in the sand at the beach wearing red sunglasses with coconut cocktail
  • Bring a kennel or carrier for your pet just in case.
  • Pack plenty of treats, food, water, and toys.
  • Make sure your pet is wearing an ID tag with their name and current contact info in case they wander off.
  • Watch out for seaweed, jellyfish, and other potential hazards that your pet may be exposed to.
  • Pets should be kept on a leash when visiting the beach.
  • Provide plenty of shade and water breaks to prevent overheating.
  • Check local regulations for any pet restrictions before heading out.
  • Be sure to bring a pooper-scooper and bags for waste disposal.

3.) Beach-Friendly Snacks and Beverages

Cold Drinks like:

  • Coconut water,
  • Plain/sparkling water
  • Iced Tea
  • Lemonade
  • and Fruit Juices

-are all great options.

But because I’m an insanely avid coffee drinker, I admit- when I head to the beach there’s nothing I love more (in addition to the cold drinks) than a nice cup of flavored hot coffee.

A young couple having a picnic at the beach

Especially after I’ve been there for a few hours!

So… I always pack a thermos of coffee- it also comes in handy for the ride home 😉

As for snacks:

  • Trail mix
  • Nut bars
  • Fruits (apples and oranges)
  • Hummus and Vegetable Snacks
  • Unsalted Popcorn
  • and Energy balls

-are perfect for quick, non-messy treats.

But if you’re spending the day you may need something more substantial, so check out my Summer Picnic Checklist and On the Go BBQ Checklist for more great food ideas.

4.) Beach Activities for Solo Travelers, Families, and Couples

Solo Travelers:

  • Take a leisurely stroll along the beach and collect shells and driftwood.
  • Read a book in your favorite spot on the sand.
  • Go swimming or try out an activity like kayaking, paddle boarding, or surfing.
  • Pack a picnic lunch and have yourself a romantic beach date with nature!
  • Going for a run, meditation, or yoga session
  • Taking pictures of the beach scenery
  • Exploring tide pools or local wildlife areas
A tidal pool with starfish and seaweeds at Titahi Beach near Wellington in New Zealand


  • Building sandcastles together
  • Playing beach volleyball or Frisbee
  • Organizing a game of tag or hide and seek
  • Doing a scavenger hunt on the beach
  • Stargazing together


  • Taking romantic walks along the shoreline
  • Swimming, snorkeling, or renting a paddleboard
  • Enjoying a picnic on the beach
  • Watching a beautiful sunset together
  • Going for a romantic moonlit stroll (and skinny dip).

These are just a few ideas that can help to make your beach trip more enjoyable and memorable! Be sure to also check local regulations to find out what activities are allowed.

5.) The Best Beach Gadgets and Accessories

Are you looking for the perfect beach gadgets and accessories for your time at the beach?

Here are some of my top picks:

Outdoor beach cart wagon, beach tent sun shelter, stand up paddle board and beach umbrella on a sandy beach near the ocean.
  • Waterproof phone cases
  • Portable speakers
  • Low-profile beach chairs and umbrellas
  • Coolers and beach towels
  • Floating cooler rafts
  • Sand games and toys
  • A waterproof camera for capturing memories
  • Snorkeling masks and fins
  • Sunshades or beach tents for additional shade
  • Portable hammocks for relaxing
  • Waterproof binoculars for spotting wildlife or beautiful seascapes.

6.) DIY Beach Crafts

Seashell Jewelry: Collect some beautiful seashells on the beach and turn them into jewelry. Use colorful beads, wire, twine, or thin rope to string them together in a fun pattern for earrings, necklaces, and bracelets.

Painted Beach Rocks: Collect some rocks from the beach and bring them home to paint. Use acrylic paints and a brush or sponge to make patterns, designs, or messages on the rocks for decorating your house or giving as gifts.

Seashell Wind Chimes: Collect various sizes and shapes of seashells to make a decorative wind chime. Drill small holes in each shell and add a string with fishing line for hanging. The shells will make a beautiful, calming sound in the wind.

Sand Art: Fill different colors of sand into small bottles or jars to make unique pieces of art for your home or to give as gifts. Use food coloring, glitter, and other decorations to customize your design.

Memory Box: Collect items from the beach such as shells, driftwood, and rocks to make a beach memory box. Decorate an old box with paints and stencils for storing all your beach treasures in one place.

With these DIY crafts, you can keep the memories of your beach trip alive forever! Enjoy crafting and have fun!

7.) Beach Meditation and Yoga

Woman sitting on beach sand and relaxing at sunset time

Beach Meditation

The beach is the perfect setting for meditation, with its calming sound of waves and soothing smells of saltwater in the air.

Take a few minutes to sit still and connect to your breath while observing your surroundings.

Focus on positive thoughts and feelings, while letting go of any negative emotions or worries that may arise.

You can also find guided beach meditations online or in meditation apps for an even deeper experience.

Beach Yoga

The beach is the perfect place to practice yoga, with its soft sand and open space for movement.

  • Find a spot near the water and tune into your breath before beginning your practice.
  • Start by warming up with some simple poses such as Cat-Cow, Downward Facing Dog, and Warrior.
  • Then progress into more challenging poses such as Plank or Inverted V if desired.

Engaging in beach meditation and yoga practices will take your relaxation to the next level and reap all the health benefits.

Enjoy the beauty of nature and relax your mind and body on the beach!

8.) Safety Tips

  1. Be aware of any signs or warnings about dangerous conditions at the beach before entering the water.
  2. Always swim with a buddy and stay within arm’s reach of smaller children when in the water.
  3. Wear protective clothing such as wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and long-sleeved shirts.
  4. Don’t stay in the sun too long; take breaks in shady areas to avoid heat exhaustion.
  5. Follow local guidelines for swimming, boating, fishing, etc., on the beach.
  6. Be mindful of any wildlife or plants near the beach that may be sensitive to human contact.
  7. Carry a first aid kit for any minor injuries or illnesses.
  8. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen!

By following these simple safety tips, you can enjoy your beach vacation without worry.

Summer is so fleeting and such a wonderful time- I truly hope these summer-centered blog posts help you make the most of this AWESOME time of year.

And here are some style-inspired summer blogs:

I truly LOVE summer- after all, summer was the inspiration- so many years ago- that led me to make this blog today.


And Thanks for Reading!

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