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Beach Breaks

The Ultimate Family Beach Vacation Packing List

Cast your cares away

The Vacationeer
Waves washing ashore the beach at sunset with painted skies.

With summertime family vacations on the horizon, millions of Americans have their sights set on the beach.

Anytime you travel with kids in tow, it pays to prepare. 

From essential family beach gear to beach vacation must-haves for your Hilton Grand Vacations suite, we're taking the guesswork out of preparing for your trip.

Here's a complete beach vacation packing list, so you can focus on kicking back, reconnecting and making family memories. 

Family Beach Gear Essentials      

  • Shelter. Find a beach umbrella, tent or canopy that suits your crew's needs where everyone can enjoy the shade simultaneously. 
  • Beach chairs. Go for models with cup holders and an over-the-shoulder carrying strap.
  • Beach blanket. Create a space for the whole family to spread out.
  • Towels. Pack at least one per family member. 
  • Sunscreen. Depending on where you're traveling, you may need mineral sunscreen. For example, sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate are banned in Hawaii due to the damage they cause the region’s coral reefs. Pro-tip: Keep your sunscreen in the cooler to make reapplying sun protection a refreshing treat in itself. 
  • Lip balm. Make sure it has a minimum of SPF 15.
  • Sunglasses. Protect your tribe's eyes and cut the glare from the sea. 
    Two young girls enjoying frozen drinks on the beach outside a Hilton Grand Vacations Myrtle Beach resort.    
  • Sun hats. Select styles with wide brims that cast-off lots of shade.      
  • Lots of water. Dehydration can sneak up on you during hot days outside, so plan on packing more H2O than you think you'll need. 
  • Cooler and ice. Beat the heat and keep all your food and beverages nice and cool. 
  • An extra layer.  Keep an extra lightweight cover-up on hand for unexpected temperature dips.  
  • Beach sports gear and water toys. Inflatable balls, sandcastle molds, toy shovels and buckets, boogie boards, frisbees — whatever suits your clan.
  • Beach bag or utility wagon. Choose an option that allows you to take everything in one trip. If you're from a colder climate and don't have a beach wagon, don't fret. Believe it or not, a plastic sled is an efficient and convenient way to tote a ton of stuff across the sand. 

Beach-Baby Essentials      

  • Diapers. Keep little ones comfortable by having both swim and regular diapers on hand. 
  • Wipes. Baby bottoms aside, wipes have various uses like wiping faces, surfaces and messes. 
  • Rashguard. Protect babies younger than six months who don't yet use sunscreen. 
  • Bottles or sippy cups. Keep the littlest beachgoers hydrated. Top off their favorite cups and bottles with milk, formula, water or juice. 

Fun and Helpful Packing-List Extras for Your Family Beach Vacation

  • A kiddie pool. It's a safe and easy alternative to an ocean or lake for wee ones. (Use the bucket to fill it with water.) 
  • An extra bucket. Keep the sand at bay with a bucket of water by your basecamp. Rinse sandy hands and feet before eating or settling down on the blanket. 
  • Life vests and flotation devices. Add an extra layer of protection for children who don't know how to swim yet. 
  • Beach towel clips. Say goodbye to the hassle of chasing towels that have been carried away the sea breeze.  
  • Deflated balloon. Blowing into a balloon can help clear water from waterlogged ears. 
  • Portable charger. It's never a bad idea when you'll be away from an outlet for a while. 
  • Hand sanitizer. It's a must when sinks and soap aren't within easy reach. 
  • Waterproof phone case. Keep phones safe from sand and water with a special case or sealable plastic bag. 
  • Face wipes. Freshen up before you get a proper shower. 
  • Baby or talcum powder. Both are great at removing stubborn sand. Just air dry for a bit before rubbing the powder onto sand-coated skin. 
  • Mesh laundry bag. Throw sandy toys in it, then rinse everything off before heading to the car (or back up to your suite). 
  • Plastic bags. Store wet clothes, oily sunscreen and more.  

Stock Your Hilton Grand Vacations Beach Resort Suite

If you're planning to stay with us during your beach vacation, consider packing these items to keep in your suite. 

  • Provisions. Take advantage of your fully equipped in-suite kitchen and stock up with beach-friendly foods that you can prep ahead and put in your beach cooler, like sandwiches, cut fruit, chips and trail mix, for example. 
  • Swimsuits. Pack an extra suit (or two), so you can hop from pool to beach to your suite as many times as you please in a day before having to do laundry. 
    Young girls in pajamas looking out to sea on a Hilton Grand Vacations Myrtle Beach resort private balcony.    
  • Beach shoes. Flip flops and water shoes are your best bet. They protect feet from hot surfaces without collecting sand and make slipping your shoes off for a stroll on the sand convenient. 
  • Entertainment and electronics. Enjoy a little bit of downtime after a day exploring the shore. Tablets, vacation reads, and headphones or earbuds are nice to have so everyone can unwind. 
  • Aloe vera. It's the perfect salve for soothing dry or sunburned skin. Try freezing some in an ice cube tray for ultra-cooling relief.
  • First-aid kit. Must-haves for your kit include a thermometer, band-aids, antibiotic cream, pain relievers, antacids, nasal aspirator, saline nose drops and petroleum jelly. If you're traveling with an infant, add diaper cream, a baby thermometer and a baby pain reliever to the pack. 
  • Insect repellent. It's a lifesaver if the bugs are out in full force. 
  • Medications. Keep any needed medications in a cool, dry place. 

Upgrade Your Family Beach Vacation with Hilton Grand Vacations Timeshare

Families who own Hilton Grand Vacations timeshare have a growing list of popular family-friendly beach vacation destinations from which to choose and a long list of benefits that make vacations unforgettable. 

Cross off the beach umbrellas, chairs and towels from your packing list when you stay at one of our beach resorts. Towels are complimentary and convenient beach rentals run the gamut from chairs to cabanas (resort offerings vary). 

Not only is packing less stressful with vacation ownership, but your crew can retire to a spacious, condo-like 1-, 2- or 3-bedroom suite, complete with a full kitchen and private laundry facilities — steps from the sand. 

Read on to discover how Hilton Grand Vacations timeshare works.


The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer is a collective of Hilton Grand Vacations storytellers whose goal is to inspire travelers to go further. We're always on the lookout for new destinations to explore, useful travel tips, and unique ideas to help you plan the most memorable vacations possible.

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