Pack the Perfect Beach Bag for a Day on Topsail Island

Pack the Perfect Beach Bag for a Day on Topsail Island

Packing for the beach requires skill!

You definitely don't want to bring too much. 

But .... you don't want to leave anything important behind, either. 

Today we will tell you exactly what you should pack in your beach bag (and what you can leave at home). Of course, this list might need adjustments based on the ages and interests of your children and how long you plan to stay on the beach. 

Here are the "must-haves". We will add a few items that belong in the "well, that would be nice" category as well. Print off this list and bring it on your next Topsail Island vacation to make planning your day that much easier. 

⬇ Click this image to print the checklist ⬇

Beach Bag Checklist Printable

A great beach bag

You might prefer a backpack style if your hands are full of other things. Or a water-resistant over the shoulder bag is lightweight and can carry a lot of stuff. 

Sunscreen, lip balm

Consider packing several varieties, including a lotion, spray, and stick for the face and ears.  

Hat & sunglasses

Try to get the kids to wear a hat when they aren't swimming. Some can be dunked in the water for a cool surprise!  


We love the new microfiber ones, where the sand falls right off like magic! 

Safety / flotation devices

Even if your kids are older, a life jacket is a smart choice if they are playing in the ocean. 

Technology of choice

Portable speakers, cameras, and radios can all enhance your beach day. Don't forget chargers & batteries. 

Small first aid kit

Bandaids, gauze, antiseptic, balms and ibuprofen are all good choices. 

Snacks & drinks

You may want to pack a cooler of snacks and drinks in addition to a "beach bag". Water, snacks and more snacks! 

Wet wipes & hand sanitizer

Sand is the trickiest part for many beachgoers! Bring wipes and sanitizer to clean up before your picnic, and consider packing an extra water bottle just for hand-washing. 

Plastic grocery bags or reusable mesh bags

Great for trash, collecting seashells, or gathering beach toys

Waterproof phone case 

Even if you aren't bringing your phone into the ocean, it will probably get wet. 

Beach lock box 

Keep your valuables safe when you are at the beach. Check this link for some recommendations. 

Beach cover-up

Important for both sun protection and modesty while out of the water. 


A simple pail and shovel can really add fun to your day out.  

Tips to make your beach day easier:

😎  Skip the beach wagon. They are hard to pull through the heavy sand and will encourage you to pack too much! 

😎  Apply sunscreen at the rental. Sure, you will need to reapply every hour or so, but this will get you right in the water! 

😎  Make everyone carry his own stuff. This is, of course, not as easy with little ones. But don't underestimate your kids. They can wear their lifejackets, carry a lightweight bag of toys, and walk to the beach with a ring around their waists. No need to play sherpa! 

😎  Prepare your beach bag at night. This includes freezing water bottles and packing your beach bag. 

😎  Try a backpack style cooler or beach bag. This leaves your hands free for other gear. 

😎  Or, put the kid in a backpack (or front pack). Babies and toddlers often need to be carried through the hot sand. 

😎  Consider renting umbrellas & chairs. We have several local companies that will set it all up for you! 

😎  Learn to identify rip currents. Safety is a big deal at the beach. 

😎  Outfit your family in SPF. Wear quality rash guards and a hat with SPF. Sunburns ruin vacations!

More helpful blogs:

Essentials for Making the Most of Vacationing with a Baby

Traveling with a baby or toddler is a whole different ballgame. Read this blog to get some additional tips and resources for a beach day with baby. 

Vacationing with Baby | Island Real Estate

10 Picnic Perfect Recipes You Can Eat On The Beach

Elevate your beach day with these delicious ideas for a grown-up beach day! 

You might even want to steal these recipes for your next backyard barbecue. 

Picnic Perfect Recipes | Island Real Estate

The Best Tips for Surviving a Family Vacation

Here are some more tips to help you not only survive a family vacation... but thrive! 

Yep, it's possible. 

Survive a Family Vacation | Island Real Estate

See you on Topsail Island! 

If you need help booking a vacation rental, we are always just a phone call or email away. Here is our contact information for Island Real Estate. Please let us know how we can help! 


Office Phone: (910) 328-2323 or (800) 622-6886

Email:  [email protected]

Address:  405 Roland Avenue, Surf City, NC 28445

Pack the Perfect Beach Bag for a Day on Topsail Island

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