Cook Islands

Your Essential Beach Packing List

The summer is here and it’s hot and sunny the perfect day for a trip to the beach. It’s a lot easier if you have a basic list of essential items you will need to make it a lovely day.

There is nothing worse than arriving there getting settled down and finding you have forgotten something you really need.

This is my list of what I need for the beach. Of course, you may want to add to this list especially if you have children I know how much paraphernalia you need with children in tow.

Sunscreen and Lip-salve

Everyone knows these days just how important it is to protect your skin from the sun. So make sure you have your sunscreen suitable for your skin type and apply it regularly.

Also, make sure it is waterproof if you will be swimming in the sea. Don’t forget your lips they can burn very easily I am always applying mine even when it’s not sunny.

The Beach On My To Visit List

Sun hat

Make sure you have something to protect your head. It will stop the nasty headaches too much sun can bring on and it will protect your hair.

It doesn’t matter which type just as long as you can shade your face. If you are going to be sitting with your back to the sun don’t forget to spin your hat around to protect your neck if your hat just has the front peak.



You will need these to stop you squinting at the sun. Again these will stop you getting headaches and also protect your eyes from the sun’s glare. To much screwing your eyes up at the sun will give you premature wrinkles.

The sun reflecting from the sea can be quite dazzling. Wear them when you are taking a dip in the sea too. If your sunglasses are expensive you can buy some cheap ones just for swimming.

Beach towels and Swimwear

A bit obvious I know but it’s surprising what you can forget in your eagerness to get to the beach. I usually take two towels per person one to lay on and one for drying off with. Rolled up the second one makes a good pillow too.

On the same note don’t forget your swimwear if you are already wearing it don’t forget to take something to change into for the journey home. There is nothing worse than travelling in wet clothes.


If you are like me as soon as you get settled you start feeling hungry. Of course, you might be on a beach with its own snack bar but it can work out expensive.

I always take some kind of food with me depending on the beach, it’s either a full pack up or just some nibbles until I leave the beach for lunch.

Make sure whatever you take it’s suitable for heat. There is nothing worse than a melted chocolate bar it gets everywhere. Fruit is particularly good for the beach such as apples and pears they are quite refreshing on a hot day.


Water is an essential item particularly if you are going to be on a beach with no facilities. It can be heavy to carry, but you will need it.

If it’s a very hot day you can easily become dehydrated which will make you feel ill and ruin your day.

The first signs of this are thirst usually followed by a headache. If you have run out of water then you need to leave the beach and find somewhere to drink.

Antibacterial Gel and Tissues

I never go anywhere without these they are not just for the beach. I find public toilets on beaches are not particularly clean with the amount of people using them.

So always use my hand gel and especially before eating. I always carry handy pack tissues too so I never get caught out. I’ve been on foreign holidays where you get charged for two sheets of toilet paper.


Don’t go without these you don’t want to spend all day feeling sticky and salty after your swim and fruit can be quite messy. Good for cleaning up grubby children too after they have eaten.

Good Book

reading in beach

It is nice to sunbathe, but it can get a bit boring after a while this is where having your book comes in handy.

It’s a chance to catch up with your reading which sometimes a busy life gets in the way of.

Whether it’s a paperback or an electronic book it doesn’t matter just be careful of getting sand on your e- book it will scratch.

Player or Ipod

You’ve had a swim in the sea and had your lunch and now you are feeling a bit sleepy.

Now is the time to settle down for a snooze with your favourite music to blot out the beach sounds. Make sure you are in the shade though. I have seen so many people fall asleep in the sun and wake up extremely burnt.

Also, make sure the tide isn’t going to come in while you are asleep it’s not a lot of fun to wake up in the sea.

Waterproof Beach Shoes

This does depend on the beach you go to. If it’s very sandy with no pebbles or shells then normal flip-flops are fine. However, many beaches are covered in shells and small pebbles which can be quite painful to walk on.

Make sure your shoes have backs on if you are going to be swimming in them you don’t want them floating off. It’s particularly important to wear shoes in the water if you don’t know the beach.

I found out the hard way on holiday when I went paddling and discovered rocks under my feet I ended up with a very painful and bruised foot.


Don’t forget your camera you want to have plenty of memories of your lovely day at the beach. Most mobile phones come with camera’s now which is handy, but I still prefer my camera.

Beach Tent or Umbrella

Beach Tent

This does rather depend on which beach you are going to. If it’s isolated without beds or umbrellas for hire and no convenient trees to sit under then you will need something to provide shade.

The little beach tents that around now are very good. They just pop up and have an open front. I prefer these as they are really good for putting all your beach things in and if it’s a bit windy you can shelter from the sand blowing around. They usually have little pockets in them which you fill with sand to weigh them down.

Large Beach Bag with pockets

There are lots of good beach bags around but for me it has to have a couple of internal pockets to put all my little bits and pieces in. I hate rummaging in a large bag to find my tiny lip-salve.

It must have a zip too so I can zip up all the things I’m not using on the beach such as underwear and clothes. It would be rather embarrassing running down the beach after your underwear which the wind has blown away.


Make sure you take enough money as beach snacks and drinks can be quite expensive. On the popular tourist beaches, there are usually beds and umbrellas for hire which does make your day a lot more comfortable but they do come at a price. Of course, if you have young children with you then expect to spend a small fortune.


Always be aware that on the beach there will be people looking for the opportunity to steal your things. Never leave your belongings unattended. It does mean one of you has to sit there while the others go for a swim.

If you are all going to the snack bar for lunch take one beach bag with all your valuables in it. I learned the hard way by having my camera stolen. I left it in a zipped up bag while I went for lunch and even though I could see my things from where I was sitting someone still managed to steal it.

You could ask the people sitting next to you on the beach to keep an eye on your towels and general beach things, but it would be unfair to expect them to look after your valuables.

Chowdhury Shahid-uz-zaman

Chowdhury Shahid Uz Zaman Russell is a blogger who loves to explore new things. His passion for helping people in all aspects of daily things flows through in the respected industries coverage he provides.  He graduated from Open University with major in marketing. He writes for several sites online such as,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.