What to pack for a day at the beach

What to pack for a day at the beach

Packing for a beach trip with kids requires careful planning to ensure everyone has a safe, enjoyable, and comfortable time. Here's a comprehensive list of things you’ll need for a memorable day at the beach:

Sun Protection:

  • Sunscreen (with a high SPF rating, water-resistant)
  • Sun hats - look for wide brimmed, UPF50+ protection with glare reduction and breakaway chin straps
  • Sunglasses with UV protection
  • UV-protective swimwear or rash guards
  • Beach umbrella or pup tent for shade


  • Swimwear
  • Lightweight clothing for sun protection
  • Extra change of clothes
  • Jandals or sandals 

Beach Gear:

  • Beach towels (you always use more than you think you will)
  • Beach blanket or mat
  • Beach chairs or portable seating
  • Sand toys (buckets, shovels, molds, etc.)
  • Rugby ball, cricket set, or other play items
  • Beach reads - magazines or books

Swimming Essentials:

  • Swim nappies for infants or toddlers
  • Floaties if necessary
  • Goggles for older kids who enjoy swimming

Hydration and Snacks:

  • Reusable water bottles
  • Healthy snacks (fresh fruit, granola bars, nuts)
  • Cooler bag with ice packs for perishable snacks

First Aid and Health:

  • Basic first aid kit (band-aids, antiseptic wipes, adhesive tape)
  • Any necessary prescription medications
  • Insect repellent
  • Even more sunscreen, this is New Zealand after all 

Personal Items:

  • Wet wipes for quick clean-ups
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Nappies and changing supplies (if applicable)
  • Waterproof bags for wet or sandy clothes
  • Cash for an ice cream 

Remember to tailor your packing to the ages and stages of your kids as well as the destination you’re heading to. If you’re planning on bringing your dog check with local rules and regulations first. Some kiwi beaches have dog-free regulations. 

Preparing ahead of time will help ensure a smooth and memorable beach day for the whole family, don't forget your hat, and always swim between the flags!

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