How to pack for your beach vacation with a toddler

Everyone knows that before you leave for vacation you have to pack.

This is the next installment of the How to enjoy your Oahu vacation with a toddler series. Before kids, my husband and I could pack our bags the night before a trip no problem. Now that I have a munchkin, I begin planning days in advance. Here are a few things that made packing for our trip a little easier as well as some essential items you will want to have with you on your beach vacation.

How to pack for your beach vacation with a toddler. Free printable packing list + bonus travel hack.

Packing tips and gear

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which means if you buy something through my link, I may get a small share of the sale. I appreciate it!

Packing cubes
This is the first time I have used packing cubes and all I can say is, “Where have you been all my life?” These cubes made keeping our bags organized a breeze. This set comes in 3 sizes. I packed all of Genevieve’s clothing and swim suits into one large cube. It was so nice to be able to look into our bag and know exactly who’s stuff was who’s with out having to dig through the bag.

How to pack for your beach vacation with a toddler. Free printable packing list + bonus travel hack.
Our luggage. You can see the travel cubes and grocery bags. It is so nice to open your luggage and have it nicely organized.

Toiletry bags ready to go
My husband and I have toiletry bags with our travel essentials ready to go. I also started keeping all of Genevieve’s toiletry items in her own little bag. Having all of her toiletries together in one bag saves lots of time. Since you are not searching for all of the random items when you are packing. If you will be doing carry on luggage only, have your toiletries in a zip lock bag in an easy to reach area. Then pack items into your luggage AFTER security.

Grocery bags
When packing shoes I like to put them into grocery bags. This keeps dirty shoes from touching your clean clothes. You can bring extra grocery bags to carry your dirty clothes when you travel home.

Car seat Travel bag
We recently bought a new car seat. I was not about to allow this expensive piece of baby gear be thrown around without some sort of protection. This bag worked perfectly. Having straps on the back makes this car seat travel bag easy to transport. If you will be checking your car seat at the gate you will have to have the bag removed when going through airport security. This bag also can provide you with an awesome money saving travel hack! (Subscribe to find out how.)

How to pack for your beach vacation with a toddler. Free printable packing list + bonus travel hack.
The car seat travel bag is awesome!

How to pack for your beach vacation with a toddler. Free printable packing list + bonus travel hack.

What to pack

Clothing
When it comes to clothes you want to make sure you have an outfit for each day, a few back up outfits, swim clothes, rash guards, a good sun hat, and at least one long sleeve outfit for the plane ride. I brought Genevieve one pair of beach slippers (flip flops), one pair of nice sandals and some tennis shoes.

Kitchen gear for the munchkin
We were staying in a location with a kitchen so I brought 2 bowls, a few spoons and sporks, our very favorite sippy cup and easy to clean bibs. They are light weight and all fit into one large zip lock bag.

Genevieve eating breakfast. (She wanted to wear the go pro head mount. lol)
Genevieve eating breakfast. (She wanted to wear the go pro head mount. lol)

Food
Because our family is gluten free there are a few things that I decided to bring with us. I brought a few days worth of baby food pouches as well as our Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Steel cut oats. My overnight steel cut oats are a great breakfast dish to have ready to go every morning. I also brought these gluten free tamari travel packets. These were so nice to have! I kept a few in my purse and pulled them out when needed. We all know that snacks are a must have when traveling so I made sure to bring plenty of those for the plane ride and some extra for the trip.

Baby’s toiletries
Be sure to bring all of creams, prescriptions, vitamins, medicines and a thermometer. Genevieve sadly came down with something halfway through our trip. She had a fever, was restless and chewing on everything. I suspect it was teething. I was beyond thankful that I had everything I needed with me!

What to pack for the beach and sunny weather

Beach bags
That’s right BAGS, plural. I wanted to make sure that Genevieve’s diaper bag did not fill with sand. So we made sure to have a separate bag for the beach. We used this beach bag. It is a great bag and great for travel. I then used a drawstring backpack for all of Genevieve’s gear, and a bag for sunscreens.

How to pack for your beach vacation with a toddler. Free printable packing list + bonus travel hack.
Ready to go to the beach.

Baby Powder
Have you ever tried to get sticky sand off of baby skin. It is the worst. Baby powder is a life saver!!! Simply apply to the skin and gently rub the sand away. This is now a must have for our family any time we go to the beach!

Fitted sheet or beach blanket
Our new favorite beach gear is a fitted sheet. Put your weighted items in the corners of the sheet to help it is lay flat. This would be especially nice for pre-crawling babies to have a place to lay down free of sand. If you have a mobile toddler it will probably get sandy since they will be going on and off of the sheet. It also serves as a nice place to keep all of your stuff together.

How to pack for your beach vacation with a toddler. Free printable packing list + bonus travel hack.
Here is our fitted sheet beach blanket.

Stroller canopy extender
I love our umbrella stroller. But like many umbrella strollers is does not have a very large sunshade. We used this stroller canopy extender on our Hawaii trip and it was a life saver!

How to pack for your beach vacation with a toddler. Free printable packing list + bonus travel hack.
This canopy extender was very helpful on extra sunny days. Genevieve liked to play peekaboo with it.

Infant life vest

An infant life vest is a very good idea if you think your little one will be in the water a lot. It was very nice to have that added protection. We used one like this. Having the handle at the top made it easy to always have a hand on Genevieve while still allowing her to play independently.


How do you like to prepare and pack for a vacation? What are your families must have items? Coming up next I share our tips on flying with a toddler.

If you found this post helpful then be sure to check out:

11 Helpful tips to flying with a toddler, challenge accepted

Waimea Valley, don’t miss out on this family fun

Gluten free options for your Oahu vacation

3 of the Best Kid Friendly Hikes on Oahu

3 of the Most Amazing Kid Friendly Beaches

34 comments: On How to pack for your beach vacation with a toddler

Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published.

Site Footer