Beach Vacation Packing List With a Toddler

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Packing for a family vacation can be daunting, and even more scary is knowing what to bring on vacation when you have a toddler in tow – they always seem to need something you forgot to pack. We’ve found that our best family vacations have always been when we have planned what we need to bring along with us. We live right by the beach and often go with our son,  so we’ve listed the travel essentials you need for a fun day at the beach with your little one.

And, if you’re thinking of coming to Croatia, here are some family vacation ideas that include activities for kids.

Children’s Bathing Suits

Yes, suits, pack a spare. You never know what little mishap will occur. I love these sun-safe suits, which start at just $20

. There are so many sun-safe bathing suits now – and many have fun, colorful patterns and styles.

Nelson Duck Sunsafe Swimsuit                    Vivo-biniya Kid Girl’s Two-piece Set


Other great options include:

Kids Beach Hats

Find a beach hat with a very wide brim. No one wants a little sunburnt face while on your summer vacation.

Take a peek at these kids’ beach hats that are both unisex & reversible.

N’Ice Caps Unisex Kids Reversible And Adjustable Cotton Twill Aussie Hat

Two Kids Beach Towels

You’ll want one that can be used to lay on and another to dry off. Or if one gets too wet. I love beach towels that come with little bags, perfect for little hands to carry!

Kids Beach Towel Sets

Kids Beach Shoes

If you are in Croatia on your family vacation, where most of the beaches are pebbles or rocks, then these are a must. They are also helpful if the sand is too hot. Get beach shoes that have a solid rubber sole like this.

Children’s Sun cream

If you’re not sure, ask your pharmacist to help recommend a good sun cream.  We’ve tried many a sun cream over the years and prefer the thick gooey ones.

Babyganics Mineral has one that is SPF 50.

Others to look at:

BEBEGANIC Baby Skin Soft Suncream – Broad-Spectrum UVA/UVB Protection

Toddler Milk Sunscreen


There is something about a day at the beach that makes little people (and big ones) famished. Try cutting up fresh fruit, fruit or vegetable pouches, crackers, and granola bars.

Children’s Sunglasses

Be sure to buy the kind that provides REAL sun protection, and not those cheap ones that just look good. They should protect you against UV rays.

Children’s sun safe sunglasses

Girls glasses: Sunsafe girls sunglasses

Insect repellent

There are many available on the market; however, you should speak to your pharmacist about the most suitable insect repellent for your child. Try these: kid-friendly insect repellent. 

Plastic Bags

Add a few plastic zip-lock types to your family vacation checklist. They are useful to stuff your phone, camera, and other non-water friendly items into. Plus, take bigger bags for wet clothes and towels.


A key to a successful day at the beach is having loads of children’s activities. A day at the beach calls for a bucket and spade as a minimum. Plus an array of sand toys you can pick up at the store

. If you have room in the car, throw in an inflatable pool, this way, you can sit in the shade and still splash about.

Tip: If you are traveling a considerable distance and you have limited luggage space, buy the beach toys at your destination and leave them behind.

Packing list for a day at the beach with a toddler - Chasing the Donkey

Beach Umbrella or Beach Tent

No explanation is needed here, huh! Just find one that is light and easy to carry. If you have no patience like me – try this pop-up beach tent. Try: a kid-friendly pop-up beach tent.

Baby powder

This is a must-have item on this list of vacation packing tips because one thing that annoys me about the beach is when all that sand is stuck to you when you leave to go home. All you have to do with the baby powder is dust on the powder, and sand will fall off. Just buy one talk free.

Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Dusting Powder Talc Free, 4.5-Ounce


It makes an excellent base to pop under a towel if the beach is very rocky. And can also be used at the end of the day to throw everything into and scoop up your mess in an instant.

Try these beach blankets.

Swim diapers

Seriously, they are expensive, but they are designed not to fill up with water like the regular kind. They also save you much needed time if your little one does a number 2.


Lots of baby wipes. With snacks, sand, sunscreen, and maybe even ice-cream, you’ll need a lot of these.

Change of clothes

You never know what will happen on family vacations, so pack some extra clothes for the toddler.

Kids Chair

Not exactly essential to the travel packing list, but hello, it’s très cute and so much fun. Many kids’ beach chairs come with umbrellas – making them ideal for sun safety. This one has an easy to fold system – with a bag, so your big kids can help you carry it to your favorite beach spot.






I think that’s about it. Have a fun (sun-safe) day at the beach with your toddler.

What else should I add to this beach vacation packing list?

More Packing List Help is Here

Other packing lists help here:

Ideas For Things To Do In Croatia

Are you traveling to Croatia? Great, we’ve got a stack of suggestion – here are just a few:


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