The Ultimate Sustainable Packing List For a Beach Vacation

Packing list for beach vacation.
Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / Chen Mizrach

We’ve put together an eco-friendly packing list for a beach vacation so that you can enjoy your free time without compromising on your green ideals!

Heading to the water is a quintessential summer experience. Trying to wrap your head around everything you need can be overwhelming, especially if you want to keep things as green as possible. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of eco-friendly items that should definitely be added to your packing list for a sustainable beach vacation.

Beach Vacation Packing List Basics

A swimsuit is a necessary item to add to your packing list for a beach vacation.
A swimsuit is a necessary item to add to your packing list for a beach vacation. (Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / Julia Kicova)

Creating a packing list is a good way to ensure you don’t forget anything. Whether you’re heading to the beach solo, with a group of friends, or taking your family out for a day of fun, make sure you have all the basics included.

  • Beach Bag: Start with a large beach bag that’s big enough for everything you need.
  • Beach Blanket: Bringing a large blanket along can help keep sand from getting into everything once you’re at the beach. You can use any blanket you have at home or a large beach towel.
  • First Aid Kit: Accidents can happen anywhere, so it’s good to be prepared. A first aid kit is an essential item to add to a beach vacation packing list. Particularly plasters, as these will stop sand getting into any injuries.
  • Hand Sanitizer: Washing your hands is always best, but it isn’t always possible. You can make your own hand sanitizer or bring along any that you have at home.
  • Swimsuit(s): Depending on how long you plan on spending at the beach, you may wish to bring more than one swimsuit, so you’re not stuck sitting around in a damp one (or, bring a spare pair of underwear). If you’re in the market for a new bathing suit, look to buy some sustainable swimwear.
  • Toys for Kids: If you only go to the beach once or twice a year, consider sharing beach toys with other families. This saves you from going out and purchasing something that won’t get used very often. You can also bring sandbox toys along — ask your kindergarten or preschool if you can borrow some over the summer vacation.
  • Wet Bag & Dry Bag: In order to ensure you don’t get sand all over your valuables, it’s a good idea to add a wet and/or dry bag to a packing list for your beach vacation. You can put your wet and sandy towels and swimsuits in one, and phone/wallet in another to save hassle.

Packing List for Beach Vacation: Sun Protection

Add sunglasses to your packing list for your beach vacation so you don't need to purchase cheap plastic ones at the beach.
Add sunglasses to your packing list for your beach vacation so you don’t need to purchase cheap plastic ones at the beach. (Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / Ethan Robertson)

If you’re headed to the beach, you definitely need to be prepared when it comes to sun protection. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a spot that provides a bit of shade — but you can’t always plan on it. To keep things as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible, remember to pack the following items:

  • Reef-Safe Sunscreen: This should be at the top of your packing list for your beach vacation. If you don’t already have some, you will need to purchase it — you can use up your other sunscreen while you’re doing other outdoor activities away from water. Chemical sunscreens contribute to coral bleaching, so in the interest of the planet, only use reef-safe sunscreen at the beach.
  • Sunglasses: It may seem like a no-brainer, but don’t forget to add sunglasses to your beach vacation packing list. This will prevent you from needing to purchase a cheap throwaway pair from beachside shops.
  • Aloe Vera: If you get a bit too much sun despite seeking out shade and lathering on the sunscreen, it’s a good idea to bring some 1-ingredient aloe vera gel along with you.
  • Umbrella: Finding shade can be a difficult task, so if you want to get out of the sun while keeping your spot on the beach, bring an umbrella with you. A parasol is a natural choice, but if you don’t already own one, simply swap in your rain umbrella instead.

Packing List for Beach Vacation: Food Supplies

Don't forget to add a cooler to your beach vacation packing list.
Don’t forget to add a cooler to your beach vacation packing list. (Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / Sandrene Zhang)

No trip to the beach would be complete without plenty of snacks and drinks. Consider adding the following to your packing list for your beach vacation to help keep your trip sustainable:

  • Reusable Water Bottle: It’s especially important to bring water along to the beach. Hydration is key when you’re spending your day out in the heat, and tap water is safe to drink in most of the country, so clean your water bottle and bring it along.
  • A Vegan Picnic: Nothing works up an appetite more than being out on the water all day, so add a vegan picnic to your beach vacation packing list. Be sure to pack all your goodies in reusable containers to keep this part of your getaway zero waste.
  • Cooler: Not only is a cooler a good idea for storing food, but you can also put your sunscreen and phone inside to help keep them from getting too warm.
  • Homemade Electrolyte Drinks: Every time you sweat, your body loses electrolytes. Make sure they’re replenished and keep your body hydrated with homemade Gatorade.
  • Reusable Utensils/Straws: Skip the single-use plastic by bringing your own cutlery and reusable straws from home. These items are staples when it comes to zero waste travel.

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