Beach Breaks

The Ultimate Family Beach Vacation Packing List

Everything you need to enjoy time with loved ones (and how Hilton Grand Vacations can help)

The Vacationeer
Aerial view of Virginia Beach and Oceanaire, a Hilton Vacation Club

Millions of Americans have their sights set on the beach for their summer family vacation. As any parent knows, it pays to prepare when you travel with kids in tow. 

We take the guesswork out of preparing for your trip — from essential beach gear, must-haves for your Suite and items Hilton Grand Vacations’ properties provide.

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

A family of four walks on a beach in Kihei, Maui, Hawaii 

Family Beach Gear Essentials 

  • Shelter. Find a beach umbrella, tent or canopy that suits your crew's needs and lets everyone enjoy the shade simultaneously. 
  • Beach chairs. Go for models with cup holders and an over-the-shoulder carrying strap.
  • Beach blanket. Create 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 to the region’s coral reefs. Stick to reef-safe sunscreens. Insider tip: Keep your sunscreen in the cooler to make reapplying sun protection a refreshing treat. 
  • Lip balm. Make sure it has a minimum of SPF 15 since lips are vulnerable to sunburn.
  • Sunglasses. Protect your eyes and cut the glare from the sea.    
  • Sun hats. Select styles with wide brims that cast lots of shade.   
  • Rashguard. Add to your bag for babies younger than six months who don't yet use sunscreen.   
  • Lots of water. Dehydration can sneak up on you during hot days outside, so pack plenty of water. 
  • Bottles or sippy cups. Keep even the littlest beachgoers hydrated. Top off their favorite cups and bottles with milk, formula, water or juice. 
  • Cooler and ice. Beat the heat and keep 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. Entertain kids with inflatable balls, sandcastle molds, toy shovels and buckets, boogie boards and frisbees.
  • 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. A plastic sled is a convenient way to tote a ton of stuff across the sand. 
  • Diapers. Keep little ones comfortable with swim and regular diapers on hand. 
  • Wipes. Baby bottoms aside, wipes can clean faces, surfaces and messes. 
  • Plastic bags. Store wet clothes, oily sunscreen and trash to keep the beach clean.
A young girl carries a pink inner tube on the way to the beach at Flaming Beach, a Hilton Vacation Club in Sint Maarten, Caribbean 

Extras To Consider For Your Family Beach Vacation

Here are some bonus items to add to your list, depending on your family’s travel style.

  • An extra bucket. Keep sand at bay with a bucket of water by your base camp. Rinse sandy hands and feet before eating or settling down on the blanket. 
  • A kiddie pool. Use the bucket to fill it with water as a safe and easy alternative to an ocean or lake for wee ones.
  • Beach towel clips. Say goodbye to the hassle of chasing towels carried away by the sea breeze.  
  • Life vests and flotation devices. Add an extra layer of protection for children who don't know how to swim yet. 
  • Portable charger. It's never a bad idea when you'll be away from an outlet for a while. 
  • Hand sanitizer. Disinfect hands 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. 
  • Mesh laundry bag. Throw sandy toys in, then rinse everything off before heading to the car (or back up to your Suite). 
A family enjoys breakfast in their Suite at Royal Palm, a Hilton Vacation Club in Sint Maarten, Caribbean 

Stock Your Hilton Grand Vacations Suite

If you plan to stay with Hilton Grand Vacations 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 prepare for your beach cooler, like sandwiches, cut fruit, chips and trail mix. 
  • 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.    
  • Beach shoes. Flip flops and water shoes are your best bet. They protect feet from hot surfaces and make it easy to slip off your shoes off for a sandy stroll. 
  • Entertainment and electronics. Enjoy a little bit of downtime after a day exploring the shore. Tablets, vacation reads and headphones or earbuds are nice so everyone can unwind. Host a movie night with the family and make popcorn in the in-Suite microwave.
  • 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, bandages, 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. Ward away bugs to avoid pesky bites. 
  • Medications. Keep any needed medications in a cool, dry place. 
Two children excitedly run into their Suite at The Grand Islander, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club in Oahu, Hawaii, with their parents in tow 

Upgrade Your Family Beach Vacation With Hilton Grand Vacations

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

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

Not only is packing less stressful with Hilton Grand Vacations, but your crew can retire to a spacious 1-, 2- or 3-Bedroom Suite, complete with a full kitchen or kitchenette and other great amenities — all just steps from the sand. 

Read “Why My Family And I Love Vacation Ownership With Hilton Grand Vacations” for one Member’s story.



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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