Bare Basics Beach Packing List

We just had the sweetest little family vacay on St. Simons Island. My in-laws rented a house within walking distance of the beach for themselves, our little crew, + my sis-in-love and her husband to stay in all together. SSI holds a special place in our family’s hearts, something I was very grateful to catch myself early in my relationship with David. This trip was extra special because it was the kids’ first visit to the island. 

Auntie E, Little Miss, Pops, J-Boy, Grammy B, & David

Last year we sort of “met in the middle” on Orange Beach, AL., and I completely over-packed! It was our first beach trip with kids, and we thought we needed it all plus some. This year, I said, “Less is best.” I just couldn’t bring myself to spend the fortune we had last year on a hundred things we didn’t need. Nor did I want to figure out how to pack it all again…

So, this is what this year’s Bare Basics Beach Packing List looked like… 

  • 4 beach towels
  • 2-3 swim suits per person (+ 2 cover ups for me)
  • 1 laundry ball + 1 tube of oxy-clean stain remover
  • 2 life-jacket-floaties (which we realized an hour into our drive that we had forgotten to pack, so we ordered them via Amazon Prime to be delivered to the beach house)
  • 4 bottles of sunscreen (various SPFs and formulas) + 1 bottle of after-sun care gel
  • 1 bike stroller-trailer (my in-laws already had our bikes, so they brought them for us)
  • 1 pair of clothes per person for each day we were there (4 full days + 2 half days)
  • 1 dress-up outfit per person for family pictures
  • 3 pairs of shoes per person (included at least one pair of water shoes)
  • 3 pairs of pajamas per person
  • 4 sippy cups
  • 1 noise maker
  • 1 iPad
  • 1 travel bed bumper
  • Basic toiletries + meds
  • 1 12-roll pack of toilet paper (for the beach house, because you never want to get to the VRBO and find yourself lacking toilet paper before the first grocery run!)
  • 2 beach bags
  • 2 chilly pads
  • 1 bag of toys (indoor toys like play-doh and color wonder and outdoor like bubbles and de-flated pool floats)
  • 1 cooler (with ice packs)
  • 1 booster seat for Little Miss (the house came with a high chair for J-boy)
  • 1 box of day diapers + ½ pack of nighttime diapers + 1 pack of swim diapers
  • 3 packs of diaper wipes
  • 1 baby monitor
  • 1 extension cord

And that is basically it! (We did have a few other things that were packed just for the car ride, like snacks, hand sanitizer, and books for the kids.)

We knew we weren’t going to camp out on the beach for hours, so we intentionally didn’t bring our beach tent or beach chairs or even beach toys. (I did wish we’d brought a beach umbrella, however. Thankfully, our in-laws had one that J-boy retreated to.)Our kids are just too little- they can’t hang that long in the heat whether there’s an umbrella or not. Since the beach is so close to our house, they’ve been getting their beach fix early in the morning before lunch and then again after dinner. All the time in between has been spent at the house either in the pool or napping. 

For years I packed with a mission-trip mentality…

 “If I am going to be spending the night in the middle of the jungle, I’ll want to be sure I’ve packed xyz because there’s not going to be anywhere to buy it!

This has come in handy many times, I will say, and it was also really good for when we were traveling with infants. You really do just need a lot of stuff when you’re traveling with babies that you don’t want to have to buy when you get there purely because of how expensive baby stuff is.

This bike stroller-trailer was an investment and 100% worth it!

I am grateful to be able to shift my mindset into more of a minimalist packing approach now that our kids are getting a little older. Or maybe I’m mellowing? Who knows! But either way, I hope this list helps those of you who are preparing for a beach trip this summer with littles too. 

Until next time,

❤ Lindsay