What to Include in a Beach Vacation Packing List

Heading to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach for a family vacation gets the entire family excited.

Wading in the Gulf, building a sand castle, eating fresh seafood, working on a tan – these are just a few of the things everyone looks forward to in a beach vacation. However, before you can do so, you have to pack. And, try as you might, inevitably something gets left behind.

To help make sure you have everything you need for your next beach vacation on the Alabama Gulf Coast, we’ve put together a checklist for you. Yes, some of these items are no-brainers, but, hey, when you’re trying to pack for everyone in the family, it’s easy to forget the most obvious items. However, there are some other items that may be new for you. Either way, we hope it’s helpful to get you on the road to having a great time.

Girl on Gulf Shores beach vacation

Beach Basics

Every beach vacation traditionally means hours spent in the sun. Therefore, you cannot have too much sunscreen with you. Bring a waterproof brand, and, because you need to reapply often in the Alabama Gulf Coast sunshine, you will need an ample supply. Something else to battle the sun? Sunglasses for the entire family.

Although many Orange Beach hotels and Gulf Shores resorts provide complimentary towels for use at the hotel pool, these towels are not for beach use. As such, you’ll need to bring your own beach towels with you.

Plan to bring some type of seating. For some, that means beach towels or blankets, and for others that means beach chairs. To create your own shade, consider bringing your own beach umbrella or canopy. Of course, you can always rent chairs and umbrellas directly at the beach.

To carry all your stuff to the beach, don’t forget a large tote bag or beach cart. Make sure to bring a sturdy one that’s up to the task of carrying a lot of items – some heavy – over uneven terrain.

Spending a lot of time on the beach with kids means you’ll need lots of water and snacks. It’s crucial to keep everyone hydrated while playing in the sun, and parents know that kids get hungry seemingly every 10 minutes.

While there are folks who are content to spend hours sunbathing on the beach, there are many others who want more entertainment. Bring along beach toys and games as well as a favorite book or some magazines.

You may think you won’t forget them, but you’d be surprised at how many people forget to pack swimsuits, cover-ups, flip flops, sandals and hats. Including them in your packing checklist ensures you will be dressed for the beach. If you do forget them, there are plenty of options for shopping. Traveling with infants? Don’t forget the swim diapers.

Beach umbrella

Specialty Items

When you start considering everything you need to pack for a family beach vacation, the resulting group of items can be overwhelming. However, it doesn’t have to be! The good news is you don’t have to bring everything and the kitchen sink when traveling to the Alabama Gulf Coast. There are a number of rental companies supplying everything from baby cribs and wheelchairs to kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and beach chairs. Visitors can even rent golf clubs from area golf courses. Visit Specialty Rentals on the website to check out beach vendors, and find exactly what you need to make the most of your Gulf Shores and Orange Beach vacation.

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