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The essential beach packing checklist

The essential beach packing checklist

The beach is our happy place - we’ve never met a beach we didn’t love.

And as beach veterans ourselves, we think we’ve got it down pat as to what you need to pack to ensure a safe and fun day for all.

We’re talking beach essentials like bags, towels, and sunscreen, as well as food to keep grumbling tummies happy, and toys and games to keep the kids occupied.

It might sound like a lot, but once you break it down, you really start to see how essential each piece is.

Read on to discover the only essential beach packing checklist you’ll ever need.

What beach essentials do you need to pack?

Let’s start with the absolute must-have beach gear.

Beach towel

Your beach towel is used for more than just drying off. It’s a place to rest your body when you’re not dipping in the waves, and a makeshift bed for a beachside nap under the gorgeous warm sun.

A thick, plush, absorbent towel is a must for your next beach trip.

Discover some of our favourite beach brands from all around the world: shop beach towels in Australia.


The words Slip, Slop, Slap have been ingrained in our minds since childhood (and since then, Seek and Slide, have been added, too) - and for good reason.

It’s estimated that 80% of all new cancers diagnosed in Australia every year are skin cancer.

This is a devastating statistic, owing to Australians’ skin type combined with our proximity to the sun during summer, as well as our position compared to the equator (particularly for Queenslanders).

As such, sunscreen is an essential part of your beach ensemble. However, not all sunscreens are made equal.
Here at Boatshed7, we love supporting reef-friendly sunscreen brands, as well as sunscreens that are free from harsh chemicals, and those which nourish the skin, as well as protect it. Some of our favourites include Sunbutter sunscreen and Cocooil.

For a more comprehensive summary of the best sunscreen for your skin (including dry, oily, and even acne-prone skin), read this blog post.

Beach bag

Wander wet bag for beach

You’re going to need to transport your essentials some way! A durable, purpose-built beach bag is crafted to withstand the elements of the beach, like sand and water, and is perfect for carting around all your gear.

Shop the coolest beach bags in Australia online now with Boatshed7.

What are fun things to take to the beach?

From toddlers and kids through to teens and even adults, there’s no denying many of us are looking for enjoyment and entertainment when we head to the beach!

What should teens bring to the beach?

The name of the game is fun.

From beach floats to a good old fashioned frisbee, teens need games and accessories that will keep active and energised teens busy.

beach packing guide and checklist

Whether that's lolling about in the water or tossing a frisbee with friends, it doesn’t need to get much more complicated than that.

Encouraging group games and activities is a great way to get the blood pumping, and also to instigate some friendly competition.

Looking for a real adrenaline rush? How about:

  • Water dodgeball
  • Ultimate beach frisbee
  • Water cricket

We’ve written a great blog post about these adrenaline pumping games here.

What should you pack for kids at the beach?

While mum and dad might be content alternating between having a dip in the water and relaxing on their towel, we all know that kids need something else to keep them occupied and engaged.

So even before you’ve heard their protests that they’re bored, prepare yourself...

Encourage creative play and imagination with our range of beach toys from the world’s leading brands.

We choose our beach toy brands based on three core components:

  • High quality, durable, and built to last
  • No nasty chemicals or materials
  • Recycled or ethically made wherever possible

The Green Toys range is an all-round crowd pleaser, while your kids can keep their eyes safe with the coolest looking goggles in town from Bling 2o.

What snacks should I take to the beach?

We couldn’t create a list of beach essentials without thinking about our stomachs!

Packing delicious snacks for the beach is easy, though it sometimes does require a bit of prep work.

Where possible, you’re going to want to choose foods that:

  • Are easy to eat (no cutlery or plates required)
  • Are refreshing (particularly when it’s super hot)
  • Are edible while cold (easy to store)
  • Have reduced packaging (better yet, pack food yourself in reusable containers)

Check out this blog post for some simple and easy food and drink ideas for the beach.

What to do before going to the beach

Pack your bags

If you’re heading out early, we suggest packing your bags the night before, to ensure there’s no rushing in the morning.

essential beach packing checklist

Lay out each child’s bathers and clothes that they’ll be wearing, as well as shoes and other accessories like beach hats and toys.

Lather up in sunscreen

Lather up at home and then top up frequently throughout the day.

Most sunscreen advises us to apply at least 20 minutes before sun exposure - so first applying it once you've arrived at the beach is often not sufficient.

Check the weather

Beyond the temperature, look out for things like the UV index and any expected wind, as well as when the temperature will start dropping (should you need extra clothes) and when the sun will set.

Seas the day with Boatshed7

Whether you live closeby to a gorgeous Aussie beach, are heading away on holidays, or simply pining for the day summer returns to your shore, find everything you need for the best beach day out with Boatshed7.

Our extensive range is continually growing, and we love adding new brands to our catalogue that share our goal of sharing high quality and environmentally friendly beach gear with the world.

Shop online now - start here, with our most popular categories.