Essential Beach Gear (CAN'T PACK EXTRAS)

Updated on March 01, 2011
L.A. asks from Kew Gardens, NY
11 answers


Swimsuits are already hitting hte racks. We've booked a week long vacation in the Carribean with our 9 month old for May. Our darling son is our first. While hubby and I are experienced travellers, we've never done a flight with baby, nor, will we have done the beach/pool with baby. Given the narrow allowances for luggage, what are absolute essentials. What should we leave behind. What would you recommend for local beach outings, that you wouldn't bother taking abroad.

What are little ones capable of at that age? Anything you would recommend we seek out in advance from the resort?

I've seen parents show up with an arsenal of stuff, we won't have the luxury of a wagon in tow. Also, we aren't those sort of parents.

Thanks a bunch and wish me happy shopping.

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answers from St. Louis on

Towels, suncreen, water, hat, I would get him a baby raft like thing with a canopy on it. He can sit in it on the beach and have some shade, also float around in the water in it so you have one free hand. I would also get him a long sleeve type swim top, as long as hes wet he wont get too hot in it.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from St. Louis on

A floatie, sunscreen and a nice wide hat for the little one. I would think you would need a whole lot for him.

Sounds like you guys are going to have an awesome time.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

Sunscreen, umbrella, hat for baby, the obvious of diapers, juice, wipees, baby food, fold up baby tent (well ventilated)... get a super cheap plastic sled to load up with your chairs and gear to pull through the sand. Buy what you can there (or rent) the chairs, umbrella, and throw out the sled when you're done.


answers from Lynchburg on

Hi lori-

We used to rent a house on the beach (stateside) for 2 weeks every summer. The absolute one thing I would not be without is one of those sideless canopy things. We would set it up every morning on 'our' provided shade for the 'baby'...and allowed a shaded spot for napping...lunch etc. It also was a great way to dry out wet towels...and kept our 'spot' even if we went back to the house...

All packed up...was the size of a large duffel bag as I recollect...

Have fun!



answers from Kansas City on

At 9 months they aren't going to need much. A canopy is probably a good idea, but you have to figure out how long you're going to be out on the beach. If you're only going out for a few hours each day, I don't think it's necessary, besides, as others mentioned, you can probably rent a cabana or something from the hotel. I would call ahead on that though. I would bring one bucket and a shovel or two. If you have room to pack them do, it is probably cheaper if you get that at home, but since you only need one it certainly won't break the bank if you get it there!

I would take a beach blanket and bag. If you have a mini cooler you can pack easily that might be nice for some snacks/formula/milk whatever. He will probably enjoy going in the ocean so be sure to have lots of sunscreen and a hat. I doubt he'll wear sunglasses, I wouldn't even spend the money.

I would pack a few tried and true toys in the suitcase, but honestly you won't need many. You will be so busy and probably only be back in the room around nap time, there won't be a lot of opportunity to play with toys. I would take a travel high chair. They are cheap and even if you can rent one, I'd rather take my own. They are very handy and you could even take it to the beach if it was during a meal time. I would take the easiest stroller to use and a few toys for on the plane. Most likely your son will sleep. He's still at that age where the white noise will knock him out, so I don't think the plane ride will be a big deal.


answers from Columbus on

Make sure to take something he will like to suck or chew on for the plane, and have a couple of new little toys he has never seen before...and plenty of snacks.

The regular stuff, of course (diapers, etc.), plus bathing suit, t-shirt, large towels, sunscreen, wide brimmed hat, a small shovel and baby powder (magically gets sand off!) We have a beach bag with too many things to name for more local travel
I recommend those sunscreen sticks, they make it a lot easier to apply to the face w/o getting any in the eyes :)

I said a shovel because when we took my daughter to the beach at that age, she was scared of the water and only wanted to move the sand back and forth with a shovel.

The only special thing I can think of that you would need to request of the resort would be a crib. If they don't have laundry facilities, take at least 3 more outfits than you think you will need, and double up on beach clothing for the little one

Also, it's been a few years for me, but when I last checked into it, it was really expensive to rent a carseat (it would be cheaper to buy a moderately priced one for a week some places), BUT the carseat doesn't count as luggage so I always take mine along so I don't have to worry about that.

Have a super fun time!!! I'm so excited for you!


answers from Los Angeles on

The first thing I would do is call where you will be staying and find out if the nearest beach has beach umbrellas.
Essentials for us are: (she's 2)
Beach hat, swim suit, disposable swim diapers, diaper garbage bags, wipes, sunscreen, a towel, sunglasses, beach shoes (great for hot sand), a cheap small beach play set (found this years at target for 2 bucks), snacks, and a sippy.
In the trunk of my car I keep a few regular diapers and a normal outfit for when I want to change her out of her swimsuit.
When she was younger and I was formula feeding, anytime I traveled or went anywhere I took single serve formula packets. It was easy to just pour bottled water in the bottles, add a packet and shake. Oh and believe it or not...disposable bottles (for the big trips). I hated having to worry about cleaning her bottles well enough while traveling.
Have fun! =)



answers from New York on

Call the hotel and see what they can arrange for first:
- crib
- stroller
- car seat
- cabanna/ beach umbrella
**Most vacation spots are able to make arrangements for you to rent these items**
- sun screen
- hat
-sun glasses
- swim diapers
- swim suit
- t-shirts/shorts
- light sweater for cooler nights
- comfy shoes or socks (not for walking, but to keep his feet covered if you go out)
- small toys and books to keep him entertained on the plane

**This is actually a really easy age for travel b/c they aren't completely mobile and are interested in everything around them!


answers from San Antonio on

I bet the sun will be quite different on his little eyes. In additon to what's already mentioned, I'd bring some sunglasses if you think he will wear them.



answers from New York on

I agree with what the ladies already mentioned. I wouldn't worry about toys, you can bring a water bottle and a spoon and he'll have fun!! I'm sure the gift store will have some cheap water toys.

You may want to call ahead to see if you can rent a canopy or umbrella for the day/week. It may be cheaper to just buy one there and leave it.



answers from New York on

Sun tan lotion, a hat, a pail or a few small containers, swim diapers, regular diapers and wipes. Some type of umbrella, tent, ect that will keep him out of the sun. A large tote.

Note: the regulations for luggage on international flights is different from domestic and varies from country to country. Check to see what your regulations are. (we went to Brasil and were allowed 2 bags each weighing up to 70 lbs each - at no additional charge)

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