our packing list for the beach

Thank you all for our comments on yesterday’s post. It seems like no matter if we have all girls or all boys a lot of us can relate to each other. This is why I love blogging.

Since going to the beach a few weeks ago, I have gotten a few emails asking for tips on what to pack for the beach. So I’m going to go through our packing list, which will no doubt seem excessive. But we did need and use everything we packed.

Thank goodness we now have a very large SUV. One child requires a lot of gear. Two kids require a whole lot of gear. For airplane trips to visit family, we aren’t able to bring quite as much, obviously. We have flown approximately 25 times since Hudson was born, so we are seasoned travelers with babies.

My parents have a pack n play at their house along with an activity gym and a bouncy seat. The hardest part, to me, about traveling with an infant is what to do with them when they aren’t sleeping and you aren’t holding them. You need a blanket to lie them down on the floor. Or bring your bouncy seat if you can.

But this time we were staying in a condo- just our little family of four. We had no idea what the condo already had there for us.

I made a list in my “Vacation Planning” section of my home organization notebook. So many of you gave excellent recommendations on what to bring to the beach and they were all so helpful! I used all the comments when packing my packing list.

So this is the packing list (not including items for TC and me):

Clothes for both boys (pajamas and one outfit per day)

A pack of diapers for each boy- regular diapers and swim diapers- (you just never know how many you’ll need. You can always buy them when you get there if there’s a good store where you’re going.)

Swimsuits for both boys

Swim shirts for both boys- I love those SPF protectant shirts. We’re a fair-skinned bunch and it would absolutely terrify me if my boys got sunburned.

Beach towels

Hayes’s bath seat– for him to sit in while on the beach

Baby pool- for filling up on the beach for Hudson to play in

Tailgate tent- we ended up using our tailgate tent because it was big and provided lots of shade. It was easy for all of us to sit under it.

Baby pop up tent- this is the tent that Hayes slept under. We kept it under the big tent and we could close the flap to keep sand and wind off of Hayes.

Activity gym- we were able to lay Hayes down on the floor to play while we were in the condo

Hudson’s favorite movies- we brought Finding Nemo and The Lion king

Portable DVD player- for the drive and in case the condo didn’t have a DVD player

Beach cart for transporting the tents, towels, shovels, chairs, etc. – this made our lives so much easier! I love this thing and will not take a beach trip without it!

Pail and shovel for the beach- Hudson loved shoveling the sand and collecting shells

Small folding chair for Hudson

Large folding chairs for TC and me

Battery operated stroller fan– this clipped on to Hayes’s bath seat and gave him a little bit of relief from the heat

Sunscreen- duh.

Pack n Play- Hudson had his own room and slept in a twin bed there, but Hayes slept in his Pack n Play so we didn’t have to rent a crib

Bottles- I brought enough bottles for a day so I didn’t feel pressure to wash them as we used them.

Bottle Warmer- My baby likes his bottles the way he likes his bottles– warm!

Formula- There was a very small grocery store that didn’t sell our formula, so I’m glad we brought a full case.

Toys- We brought a couple of Hudson’s favorite puzzles and his Schleich animals for him to play with at night and in case of rain.

White noise machines for both boys

A small fan for Hayes’s room


Baby Bjorn

Water wings for Hudson

Baby floatie for Hayes

This was everything we brought. For a normal trip (where we could get to a Walmart or Target), I wouldn’t bring so much formula or as many diapers. We also wouldn’t need the tents. If I’m flying, I don’t bring the pack n play or the activity gym. We just get a crib from the hotel if we’re going to a hotel and use a hotel blanket for Hayes on the floor for him to roll around.

Small babies need a lot of stuff and traveling can be very overwhelming just because of everything you need to pack.

I’ve tried to do a “flying with babies” and “road trip with babies” post a few times, but even writing the post overwhelms me! Ha! It’s really not that bad, but you just don’t want to forget anything, if possible. And the good news is that if you do forget something, you can pick it up on the way or when you get there!

Do you have any tips to share?

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  1. says

    We went to Disney World with our two toddlers and newborn last December, and I swear that I brought my whole house (fortunately my in laws went with us and had plenty of room in their car for all of our extras)! We’re going back in two months, and I’ve already started my packing list – even though I know I’ll need less, I don’t want to forget anything! Traveling with kids is definitely different than traveling alone!

  2. Teresa (a.k.a. Older mom) says

    No real advice to share, but I well remember driving to Disney World with a five year old and twenty month old in our then-new minivan, complete with pack and play, diapers, and more clothes than we could possibly need. Now, that minivan, which we will replace soon, goes to Litchfield filled with bikes, boogie boards, and other beach toys. I’m glad I never flew with babies (most close relatives within three hours of us), but the boys did well on their first flights this summer. Their dad, a business traveler, refused to check luggage, so we had to be able to carry everything with us. The boys did great carrying their duffel bags through the airports, but they were a bit heavier on the trip home as they were filled with Legos from Toys R Us in Times Square.

  3. Allyce says

    Always appreciate posts like this. I’m sure someday in the next 6 months we will travel with our young baby (as my husband’s family lives in another state) and I will be overwhelmed with what to bring. Thanks for the tips!

  4. says

    We’re a less is more travelling family. I’m usually of the opinion that if there is something we forgot, we can usually buy it at our destination. We did check a bag for our trip to Atlanta this month though, it was our first flight with two and it was nice to have less to carry on since I had Tate in the Moby.

  5. says

    Did you go to Wild Dunes? I think you did – there is a Target pretty close by across the connector. I travel with way too much stuff! I love the idea of the bath seat on the beach – that is amazingingly useful . . . maybe I will remember that for our next beach trip. We are heading to Charleston in November which involves flying and driving since we live so far away now! It will be my first time flying with both kids by myself. Scary! Evie flies great but it makes me so nervous to do it with two kids solo. Hubs in meeting us in Charlotte after I visit with my family. I love the picture of the back of your car and I am so glad that I am not the only one who travels with a white noise machine. Great tips, I am saving this post for next summer! Thanks, Erin.

  6. Olivia says

    I like to always bring a night light. When my kids were babies, it was helpful for getting up in the middle of the night without stumbling around. Often I don’t need it, but I’m always glad I have it when I do need it. The other thing I love for travelling, and really everything else, is the Medela steam sterilization bags. Great for cleaning pacifiers if you have access to a microwave.

  7. RLR says

    Olivia (above) mentioned steam sterilization bags for pacifiers. Those are great, but we have also used efferdent tablets to clean pacifiers and bottle/sippy cup parts when we were on the go. So easy to pack and they work great!

  8. says

    Your list looks very similar to ours! 🙂
    One thing we have started doing is packing the kids daily outfits in gallon sized ziplock baggies. I include the outfit, socks, bloomer, bow, etc., for the outfit all in one bag. Each morning we just grab a bag out and either Josh or I can fully dress Brody and Jillian without having to dig around in a suitcase for things we need to complete the outfit. It also helps save room on packing because you can squeeze out all the air and everything packs flat!

  9. says

    Great tips! Would love to see the flying with babies post! We will be going on 7 flights in 15 days with our 6 week old baby over Christmas. Yikes! We must be crazy!!! Including one 9 hour flight and one 12 hour flight from LA to Zurich. Wish us luck haha!

  10. says

    WOW this is such an awesome list. We’ve done a couple of overnight trips with Peanut but most of them are only a couple of hours away and we have lots of stores to get anything we forget. I’m terrified of flying with her – but so far we haven’t had the need. Thankfully…..

  11. Kelli says

    If we are going for more than a few days we like to find a place with a washer and dryer in the room so we don’t need to pack a ton of clothes. Also dishwashers are a mothers dream on vacation, especially if you don’t have one at home. We also bought a really nice cabana for the little man to sit in the shade, we got a Coleman that is large enough that all three of us can sit in, incase of an afternoon storm.

  12. says


    We are gearing up (literally) for a trip to the beach and even though we did it last year, travelling with a 1.5 year old will be a lot different than a 6 month old. Thanks for posting – this was crazy helpful!

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