How To Actually Enjoy A Beach Vacation With Toddlers!

Planning A Beach Vacation With Toddlers?

Remember going on beach vacations before having kids? Sleeping in, chilling at the beach all day, day drinking, having no concept of time…good times. Things look a little different since motherhood huh? But the good news is that a beach vacation with toddlers can still be a genuinely good time!

It may not be as carefree as it used to be, but as long as you go in prepared, you can have a great time and make some amazing memories this summer at the beach with your toddler!

Before we get into the Beach Vacation With Toddlers Packing List, let me start with a few amazing tips and mom hacks!

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Everything you need for a beach vacation with toddlers! This image is on a post that details the fool proof beach vacation with toddler packing list! Includes a free packing list printable to ensure you're prepared for your beach trip.

Toddler Sunscreen Tips

I’ve found that it’s actually easier to put the sunscreen on before putting their bathing suits on. Just give it a few minutes to dry before putting their suits on. 

But my FAVORITE, most game changing mom hack for putting sunscreen on your toddler is USE A MAKEUP BRUSH! It can be helpful on the body too, but it’s especially helpful when applying it to the face. 

I use this flat top kabuki brush and it works fabulously! 

Don’t Over Pack With A Bunch Of Toys

Going to the beach is still a really new and fun experience for our toddlers. We don’t need to pack 10 million different beach toys that we’d then have to haul all the way to the beach. In fact, that sounds absolutely miserable!

This set from Amazon is PLENTY for the whole trip, and it comes with a carrying bag. 

You’ve got your bucket, your shovels and rakes, sifter, watering can, and sand molds. Trust me, you don’t need any other beach toys! 

Click N’ Play Beach Toys for Kids 3-10 – 18pc Sand Toys Including Sand Buckets for Kids with Sifter, Watering Can, Rake, 4 Hand Tools, 10 Sand Molds & Mesh Beach Toy Bag – Sandbox Toys for Toddlers
  • FUN FOR TODDLERS & CHILDREN – Kids 3-10 years old will love the Click N’ Play colorful 18-piece kids beach toy set! Our beach toys are great for a creative day at the beach or can be used in sandboxes.
  • SAFE & HIGH QUALITY – Our sand toys are made with your child in mind and are made from non-toxic, BPA-free plastic.
  • 18-PIECE SET – This set of kids beach toys includes 1 sand bucket with sifter, 2 shovels, 3 rakes, 2 sand sifters, 1 watering can, and 1 mesh storage backpack so that you can easily carry all the pieces with you. Approximate box dimensions – 12.5″ x 7″ x 10.5″
  • CREATIVE LEARNING – This Click N’ Play kids sand toys set includes fun molds that will encourage creative play. The beach toy set includes molds for a sea horse, turtle, octopus, sea shell, duck, starfish, boat, and castle.

Ok, now let’s get into some of the top essentials for your beach vacation with toddlers!

Packing List for Toddler Beach Vacation

Toddler Beach Tent

Babymoov Anti-UV Tent | UPF 50+ Pop Up Sun Shelter for Toddlers and Children, Easily Folds Into a Carrying Bag for Outdoors & Beach
  • Large Outdoor Play Shade – This large tent creates the perfect play area for your baby, while ensuring they are protected from sand, dust, bugs, sun,…
  • Baby Beach Essentials – High anti-UV protection (UPF 50+) baby canopy protects your child from 99% of harmful UV-A and UV-B rays, essential for sunny…
  • Durable & Thoughtful Design – Features a ventilation window for good airflow to keep baby cool on those warm summer days. The fine mesh roll-up…
  • Fold & Unfold in 3 Seconds – Pop-up system makes it very easy to fold and unfold. Tent is ultra-lightweight (1.5 lbs, 39″ x 39″ x 31.5″) and folds up…

This one is pretty non-negotiable. You need a Toddler Beach Tent to give your little one a place to cool off and get out of the sun. 

I love this Babymoov Anti-UV Tent! It has strong UV protection, and folds up into its own carrying case making it super easy to transport to and from the beach! 

Highly recommend it! 

Toddler Rash Guards

Include some long sleeve rash guards in your toddler’s bathing suit collection. This will help protect them from the sun, and also save you the hassle of having to reapply sunscreen so many times. You can get these Carters ones on Amazon for a really affordable price! They have a bunch of styles to choose from. 

Simple Joys by Carter’s Girls’ Long Sleeve Zipper One Piece Swimsuit
  • Pull On Closure
  • Imported
  • 83% Polyester, 17% Elastane
  • Machine Wash

Here’s some great options for the little boys!

Insulated Water Bottle

Don’t forget an insulated water bottle for your toddler so they can stay hydrated! All that sun and beach play will really work up a thirst! Make sure to get an insulated one so it keeps their drink nice and cold. 

These are my “go to” for my toddler’s beach water bottles.

CamelBak eddy+ Kids Water Bottle with Straw, Insulated Stainless Steel – Leak-Proof when Closed, 12oz, Rainbow Love
  • Flip, Bite, Sip: Drink through straw
  • Durable 18/8 Stainless Steel stays dry with sweat-proof vacuum insulation
  • Leak-Proof: Leak-proof when closed, spill-proof when open
  • Easy to Carry: Comfortable Carry Handle
  • Easy to Clean: Cap and vessel dishwasher safe

Hooded Beach Towel/Poncho 

These hooded beach towels are great for a lot of reasons. They offer some extra sun protection over their bathing suits, use them as a picnic blanket on the beach, dry off from the water, and plus they are cute! (Multiple options available for boys and girls!)

Disney Little Mermaid Ariel Cotton Hooded Towel
  • Ages 3-7 years
  • Machine Washable light weight cotton terry fabric
  • Pull-over, hooded
  • Great for use after a bath or a day at the pool or beach


Pack plenty of sunscreen! I always order this 2-pack of Babyganics Sunscreen Spray.

Babyganics SPF 50 Baby Sunscreen Spray | UVA UVB Protection | Octinoxate & Oxybenzone Free | Water Resistant, Unscented, 6 Fl Oz (Pack of 2)
  • All-mineral sunscreen made without PABA, phthalates, parabens, fragrances or nanoparticles. Made without oxybenzone and octinoxate.
  • Made with plant-derived, certified organic and other thoughtfully chosen ingredients
  • Broad spectrum SPF 50 UVA/UVB protection
  • Pediatrician and dermatologist tested
  • Tear-free and non-allergenic

In addition to the genius (if I do say so myself) makeup brush hack, I also always have a couple of these Sun Bum Sunscreen Sticks on hand for some quick application. 

Sun Bum Baby SPF 50 Sunscreen Stick, Mineral Roll-On UVA/UVB Face and Body Protection for Sensitive Skin, Fragrance Free, Travel Size, Unscented, 0.45 Oz
  • BABY BUM SPF 50 SUNSCREEN FACE STICK. Our convenient, get-out-the-door faster format is 100% mineral based protection. The easy roll-on face stick applies and absorbs quickly to face (and body) with a non-oily feel for UVA/UVB protection.
  • GENTLE, PLANT-BASED SKIN CARE. Our plant-based formula contains natural zinc oxide, coconut oil, shea butter and cocoa butter to nourish and hydrate all skin types. Vegan, Cruelty, Gluten and Dye Free to meet the needs of delicate baby skin.
  • HOW TO USE. Chase ‘em down and get their face. Swipe across forehead starting at the hairline and work your way down careful not to miss a spot. Apply 15 minutes before sun. Reapply after 80 minutes of swimming, and immediately after a towel dry.

UV Sun Protection Beach Hat

Connectyle Kids Wide Brim Mesh Sun Hat UPF 50+ Sun Protection Summer Beach Hat
  • UPF 50+ Fabric: Made with premium polyester fabric,breathable,durable,skin friendly.UPF 50+ sun protection blocks 98% of all UVA and UVB Rays
  • Sun Protection: 6.6cm/2.6″ foldable floppy wide brim will help shield your kids skin and offers extra protection
  • Hat Circumference: 50cm-54cm/19.7″-21.3″, one size fits most children ages 2-6
  • Adjustable: Non-scratch hook and loop fastener chin strap holds hat in place and an elastic drawcord with toggle at back for adjustability
  • Breathable: The mesh side vents for superior airflow and internal moisture wicking sweatband keep kids cool and comfortable. Packable for easy on the go

Pack a couple sun hats to help protect the top of their little heads! These are great and come in a bunch of different color options! 

Collapsible Beach Wagon

This will make hauling stuff (and kids!) to and from the beach a lot easier! This beach wagon has nice thick tires, which will make it easy to roll on sand. Be sure not to get one that has narrow tires! 

You can throw in your cooler, snacks, towels, toys, EVERYTHING. Total life saver.

Seina Large Folding Beach Wagon
  • 4 cf of storage capacity
  • 150 lbs weight capacity
  • 2 externals mesh pockets
  • Double Ply 600D Polyester fabric
  • Folds completely flat

Toddler Swim Vest

Safety first! Do NOT forget your toddler’s Swim Vest! This one is great, and highly rated. It comes in tons of different designs that your toddler will love. Toddler’s love playing in water and we love to watch them have fun, but as their mothers, safety is of course a top priority!

Body Glove 13226BM-Mermaid Aquatic Mermaid Swim Life Jacket blue
  • US COAST GUARD AND TRANSPORT CANADA APPROVED – The Paddle Pals is a level 70 (Type V/III) PFD for children 33-55lbs. Paddle Pals meets the U.S.C.G. (and TC) standards of quality providing safety and security for kids and children in water-based activities
  • SUPERIOR COMFORT – Prevents chafing made with durable polyester material and multi-panel design for superior comfort
  • SAFETY SHOULDER HARNESS – Keeps the vest from sliding off during use
  • PLENTY OF DESIGNS TO CHOOSE FROM – We have a variety of different colors and graphic designs to choose from that kids will love!
  • BUCKLED STRAP – Located on the back of the Paddle Pals vest is a strap with a buckle system that prevents children from removing the vest without parental help

Beach Toys For Toddlers

Like I said though, you really don’t need to overdo this one. This set from Amazon is a perfect choice. 

Portable Fan

Beach Vacation With Toddlers Must: Portable Fan

You’ll love this toddler beach essential as much as the kids! The beach feels 10 times hotter when you’re wrangling a crazy little one. Do yourself a favor and pack at least one of these bad boys on your beach vacation with toddlers!

JISULIFE Handheld Mini Fan, 3 IN 1 Hand Fan, USB Rechargeable Small Pocket Fan [12-19 Working Hours] with Power Bank, Flashlight, Portable Fan for Travel/Summer/Concerts/Lash, Gifts for Women(Pink)
  • 【Small In Size, Big On Function】Featuring a Fan, Flashlight, and Backup Power Bank, the JISULIFE F8 pocket bear fan is your summer go-to essential for staying cool on hot days while offering versatile functionality to meet your diverse needs.
  • 【12-19 Hours Cooling Time】With up to 19 hours of cooling time on a single charge, this mini handheld fan ensures you stay refreshed during travel, concerts, and outdoor adventures. Conveniently rechargeable via USB. Your cooling companion on summer vacation.
  • 【A Palm-sized Backup Charger】Designed in a unique palm-sized form, the F8 portable fan easily fits into any bag for on-the-go convenience. Doubling as a backup power bank, it keeps your devices charged when needed, making it your travel and summer essentials.

Snacks and Waters

Load up your Beach Cooler with some sandwiches, chips, carrot sticks, and WATER. (I really like this Beach Cooler!)

These reusable sandwich and snack bags are great! They come in several different designs to choose from. 

Bumkins Reusable Sandwich and Snack Bags, for Kids School Lunch and for Adults Portion, Washable Fabric, Waterproof Cloth Zip Bag, Travel Pouch, Food-Safe, Large 2-pk Unicorns and Rainbows
  • REUSE AND REDUCE WASTE – Bumkins reusable cloth sandwich and snack bags are made from our original waterproof fabric with zippered closure; sandwich bags are large enough to fit a bagel; not just for lunch, they make excellent organizers for storage and travel; stash inside purse, diaper bag, or travel bag
  • ABOUT OUR ORIGINAL FABRIC – 100-percent polyester with embedded TPU for waterproofing; although fabric is waterproof, bags are not completely leakproof due to zippered closure
  • SAFETY TESTED – At Bumkins, we use 3rd party labs to ensure the products we manufacture comply with CPSC and CPSIA standards for BPA, Lead, and Phthalates
  • EASY TO CLEAN – Our fabric is wipeable, machine washable and dishwasher-safe (top rack); turn inside-out to wash; to extend the life of our reusable bags, we recommend air drying our quick-dry fabric

More Other Beach Essentials for Toddlers

Talc-Free Baby Powder

Mom Hack Alert! Order this Talc-Free Baby Powder for your beach vacation with toddlers! It is a total game changer for getting sand off your feet/body. After all, who likes putting sandy feet back into your shoes? Yuck. 

Wet/Dry Bags

Old plastic shopping bags work as well, but these reusable wet/dry bags are just nicer and of course MUCH better for the environment!  

These will come in handy for dirty diapers, clothes that have been spilled on, wet bathing suits, and so on.

Bumkins Waterproof Wet Bag for Baby, Travel, Swim Suit, Cloth Diapers, Pump Parts, Pool, Gym Clothes, Toiletry, Strap to Stroller, Daycare, Zipper Reusable Bag, Wetdry Packing Pouch, Ocean Life Blue
  • PACKING AND TRAVEL – Essential travel organizers for carrying diapers, baby items, parts and accessories, towels, dirty gym clothes and wet swimsuits; not just for wet stuff – must have totes for toys, toiletries, electronics, shoes and more
  • REUSE AND REDUCE WASTE – An alternative to single-use plastic bags, our bags are made from Bumkins’ original waterproof fabric that’s both soft and strong (although fabric is waterproof, bags are not completely leakproof due to zippered closure)

Beach or Water Shoes 

Water shoes are a great idea to bring on a beach vacation with your toddler. We all have experienced that painful sprint on the beach when the sand is scorching hot! Just trying to make it to the wet sand or your beach towel. 

Spare your little one’s feet with these adorable water shoes.

nerteo Boys Girls Cute Aquatic Water Shoes & Beach, Swim, Pool, Water Park & Toddler/Little Kid
  • Non-slip and durable:These toddler water shoes are lightweight, with wear-resistant and non-slip sole, and a soft upper that is not easy to cut.
  • Convenient Design:closed-toe design reducing hurt caused by collision.

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    Everything you need for a beach vacation with toddlers! This image is on a post that details the fool proof beach vacation with toddler packing list! Includes a free packing list printable to ensure you're prepared for your beach trip.
    Everything you need for a beach vacation with toddlers! This image is on a post that details the fool proof beach vacation with toddler packing list! Includes a free packing list printable to ensure you're prepared for your beach trip.