Beach Vacation Packing List With a Toddler

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Post author SJ

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

Ever wondered what a beach vacation packing list with a toddler in tow would look like? Here you go; we’ve prepared one for you.

Packing list for a day at the beach with a toddler - 1Packing for a family vacation can be daunting, and even more scary is knowing what to bring on vacation when you have a toddler in tow – they always seem to need something you forgot to pack. We’ve found that our best family vacations have always been when we have planned what we need to bring along with us. We live right by the beach and often go with our son,  so we’ve listed the travel essentials you need for a fun day at the beach with your little one.

And, if you’re thinking of coming to Croatia, here are some family vacation ideas that include activities for kids.


Vacation Packing List

Children’s Bathing Suits

Yes, suits, pack a spare. You never know what little mishap will occur. There are so many sun-safe bathing suits now – and many have fun, colorful patterns and styles. I love these sun-safe suits, which start at just $20.

Nelson Duck Sunsafe Swimsuit                    Vivo-biniya Kid Girl’s Two-piece Set


Other great options include:

Kids Beach Hats

Find a beach hat with a very wide brim. No one wants a little sunburnt face while on your summer vacation. Take a peek at these kids’ beach hats that are both unisex & reversible.

N’Ice Caps Unisex Kids Reversible And Adjustable Cotton Twill Aussie Hat

Brands We Use And Trust


Two Kids Beach Towels

I love beach towels that come with little bags, perfect for little hands to carry! You’ll want one that can be used to lay on and another to dry off. Or if one gets too wet.

Kids Beach Towel Sets

Kids Beach Shoes

These are a must iGet beach shoes that have a solid rubber sole like this. They are also helpful if the sand is too hot. f you are in Croatia on your family vacation, where most beaches are pebbles or rocks.

Children’s Sun cream

If unsure, ask your pharmacist to help recommend a good sun cream.  We’ve tried many sun creams over the years and prefer the thick gooey ones.

Babyganics Mineral has one that is SPF 50.

Others to look at:

BEBEGANIC Baby Skin Soft Suncream – Broad-Spectrum UVA/UVB Protection

Toddler Milk Sunscreen



A day at the beach makes little people (and big ones) famished. Try cutting up fresh fruit, fruit or vegetable pouches, crackers, and granola bars.

Children’s Sunglasses

Be sure to buy the kind that provides REAL sun protection, and not those cheap ones that look good. They should protect you against UV rays.

Children’s sun-safe sunglasses

Girls glasses: Sunsafe girls sunglasses


Insect repellent

There are many available on the market; however, you should speak to your pharmacist about the most suitable insect repellent for your child. Try these: kid-friendly insect repellent. 

Plastic Bags

Add a few plastic zip-lock types to your family vacation checklist. They are helpful to stuff your phone, camera, and other non-water-friendly items into. Plus, take more oversized bags for wet clothes and towels.


A key to a successful day at the beach is having loads of children’s activities. A day at the beach calls for a bucket and spade as a minimum. Plus an array of sand toys you can pick up at the store. If you have room in the car, throw in an inflatable pool, this way, you can sit in the shade and still splash about.

Tip: If you travel a considerable distance and have limited luggage space, buy the beach toys at your destination and leave them behind.

Packing list for a day at the beach with a toddler - Chasing the Donkey

Beach Umbrella or Beach Tent

No explanation is needed here, huh? Just find one that is light and easy to carry. If you have no patience like me – try this pop-up beach tent. Try a kid-friendly pop-up beach tent.

Baby powder

This is a must-have item on this list of vacation packing tips because one thing that annoys me about the beach is when all that sand is stuck to you when you leave to go home. All you have to do with the baby powder is dust on the powder, and the sand will fall off. Just buy one talk free.

Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Dusting Powder Talc Free, 4.5-Ounce


It makes an excellent base to pop under a towel if the beach is very rocky. And can also be used at the end of the day to throw everything into and scoop up your mess instantly.

Try these beach blankets.

Swim diapers

They are expensive, but they are designed not to fill up with water like the regular kind. They also save much-needed time if your little one does a number 2.


Lots of baby wipes. With snacks, sand, sunscreen, and maybe even ice cream, you’ll need a lot of these.

Change of clothes

You never know what will happen on family vacations, so pack some extra clothes for the toddler.

Kids Chair

Not exactly essential to the travel packing list, but hello, it’s très cute and so much fun. Many kids’ beach chairs come with umbrellas – making them ideal for sun safety. This one has an easy-to-fold system – with a bag, so your big kids can help you carry it to your favorite beach spot.






I think that’s about it. Have a fun (sun-safe) day at the beach with your toddler.

What else should I add to this beach vacation packing list?

More Packing List Help is Here

Other packing lists help here:

Ideas For Things To Do In Croatia

Are you traveling to Croatia? Great, we’ve got a stack of suggestions – here are just a few:

Comments (16)

  1. Great list! I will be traveling to Goa with a toddler (just turned 2) and am excited but a bit nervous as well.

  2. I’ve heard about the Baby Powder tip, but I’m always remembering it once I’m already at the beach with my twins. grr! Next time. Hopefully!

  3. Argh, stop making me think of summer! It was -30 in Fairbanks the other day, and I do better at convincing myself I love all this winter if I’m not looking at pictures of sunny beaches.

    1. Oh man, sorry Jess. It’s freezing here too, but not that cold. So, never fret I too am cold.

  4. When our children were young and we travelled the world we always used to say as long as we don’t forget the baby everything else is not that important.

    1. Guess I need more than the baby to have a good time. I like order and hate having to try and hunt down sunscreen at tourist prices at the beach when I can pack it my bag.

  5. Very useful post. We have a new addition to our family: a 6 months-old grandson. I’ll give my daughter-in-law your post for future reference. I’m sure she could use the information. Very good ideas.

  6. If you are not lying about the baby powder….than it is quite possible you have JUST CHANGED MY LIFE!! how did I not know about this? how many times have I taken my son to the beach only to go back home COVERED in sand looking like a fried cutlet and dragging it in everywhere.

    Seriously. BEST tip and list ever!

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