What to pack for a day at the beach holiday cottages

Coastal Holidays

What to pack for a day at the beach

Emily 22 July 2022

For many, a day at the beach comes high on the list of summer days out! Sunbathers can get lost in a good book, adrenaline-seekers can hit the waves, youngsters can splash in the sea and adults and children alike can play ball games, build sandcastles and enjoy quality time together. Not only that but in the UK, we are fortunate enough to have many magnificent beaches with long stretches of glorious sands that are simply perfect for a traditional day at the beach.

We have compiled a list of what to pack for a day at the beach, but we have also included a few things you might not think to take with you. Make sure you are fully prepared for your next beach day with our handy beach day packing list! 

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Beach essentials

While it’s unlikely you’ll forget essentials like water and food, it’s worth considering what you’ll pack them in – a reusable, thermal water bottle will keep your drinks cool and refreshing! We’ve also included a few things you might not think of but will find really handy like a bag for your rubbish, cash for ice creams and talcum powder, yes really. It dries the moisture out of your skin, so the sand just brushes away – game changer!

Beach essentials packing list

  • Water in a reusable, thermal drinks bottle
  • Food to keep energy levels high 
  • Cool bag/ box to keep snacks and drinks cool and fresh
  • Towels that are lightweight for quick-drying, and different colours to avoid confusion 
  • Beach Bag that is spacious to avoid multiple trips to the car
  • Sun cream that is a sensible factor and waterproof 
  • A bag for your rubbish so you can take it home with you
  • Cash – Although most places will now accept cards, Apple Pay etc. you don’t want to be caught out. 
  • Antibacterial hand gel to keep hands clean when handling food
  • Talcum Powder to help get sticky sand off your skin
  • First aid kit with plasters and antiseptic cream in case of any accidents 
  • Wipes to clean up any spillages or sandy hands

Clothes & Personal items

Make sure you have all the right clothes and items for a day on the beach – we all know someone who’s left their swim clothes behind! We’ve covered the obvious like, swimwear, sunglasses and flip flops but don’t forget water shoes for doing activities, a bag for wet items, and warm clothes for when it cools down. If you plan to make the most of a summer’s day on the beach and stay until late, you’ll find the temperature will drop, and you’ll be grateful for that hoody you packed or the blanket to wrap up little ones. 

Beach clothes and personal items packing list

  • Swimwear that’s practical for swimming, paddling, or sunbathing 
  • Swimsuit cover-up that’s easy to throw on when you nip to get ice creams 
  • Water shoes to protect feet when swimming or doing water sports
  • Sun hat that will protect delicate skin and keep you cool – especially for children 
  • UV protection Sunglasses to protect your eyes and avoid squinting 
  • A bag for wet clothing and towels so you can separate them at the end of the day
  • Warm clothes like jumpers and pashminas if you’re still on the beach as the sun goes down
  • Spare outfit because you never know when you’ll need one – especially for children
  • Flip flops that are easy to slip on and will protect your feed from hot sand 
  • Hairbrush & scrunchies to keep long locks under control  

For fun

The ultimate beach day should be full of fun and games so we have included all the items we could think of that both children and adults will love on our beach packing list. On the list, you will find everything from buckets and spades to paddling pools and ball games, and for those hoping to sit back and relax, books and magazines are on there too!

Fun beach items packing list 

  • Buckets & Spades – ideal for all ages from babies on their first beach visit to competitive adults who want to hold a competition
  • Fishing net for exploring rock pools with the children
  • Ball games like frisbee, bat and ball, volleyball or football or set up a game of cricket or rounders
  • Paddling pools are a good alternative for really little ones who aren’t on the 
  • move yet – you can also keep them well shaded
  • Books/Magazines to while the hours relaxing in the sunshine
  • Goggles/snorkel to see what delights lie beneath the waves
  • Inflatables like rubber rings and lilos are a great source of fun in the water 
  • Armbands and floats for the less experienced swimmers in your group.

For comfort

Whether you love having sandy toes and salty hair or would rather not touch the sand, there are plenty of things you can take to the beach to make your visit more comfortable. A source of shade is always a good idea, especially if you have young children with you, while chairs, blankets, mats, and beach breaks will help you create a little haven on your beach day out!

Items to take to the beach for comfort packing list

  • Umbrella / Shade tent to shield yourself and little ones from direct sunlight – babies may even use it to take a nap
  • Bamboo/neoprene beach mats so you don’t have to sunbathe on wet or sandy towels 
  • Beach chairs for members of your party who don’t want to sit on the floor or don't like the sand
  • Blankets – for extra protection, and to wrap up little ones if you’re on the beach in the evening
  • Sandwich bags have several uses from protecting your smartphone from sand and seawater to keeping jewellery and valuables safe while you swim
  • Windbreak & mallet to shelter your camp for the day – don’t forget something heavy to hammer it into the sand


While water and technology don’t always mix, there are plenty of items you can pack for a day at the beach that will help keep your digital life safe! We know you won’t want to part with your phone, and music always helps to set the vibe; things like waterproof dry bags, speakers and case will be a must! You might even like to go a step further and buy yourself an underwater camera.

Technology to pack for a day at the beach

  • Waterproof phone case/pouch that offers full use of your touchscreen – perfect for keen Instagrammers seeking the perfect shot
  • Underwater camera and go that step further capture all kinds of cool photos and videos in the sea
  • Float straps for devices are a great safety measure to prevent valuable sinking to the bottom of the deep blue if you drop them
  • Waterproof speaker many waterproof speakers offer high-quality sound and decent battery life
  • Portable charger so that you're always prepared for when your devices run out of juice and take a portable battery charger with you
  • Waterproof dry bag – This is useful for anyone who is heading off on an extreme adventure during their day at the beach – find one that is 100% waterproof and will protect your personal items

What to pack for a day at the beach downloadable PDF

Has this helped you plan what to bring to the beach? We hope you will find our beach day packing list useful for your next day at the seaside. If you're yet to book your holiday by the sea, take a look at our collection of large coastal houses in the UK.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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