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The ultimate spring break beach trip packing list

Alvina Wang/BestReviews

What are the top beach essentials for a fun spring break trip?

While spring break is a popular vacation week for families and college kids, everyone can use a sunny vacation after a harsh winter or a stressful season at work. With spring break 2024 quickly approaching, it’s a good idea to double-check your travel arrangements and make a list of the top beach essentials, so you can relax at one of the most beautiful beaches in the U.S. without worrying about something you forgot. Whether walking down the street, driving over the state line or flying across the country, here is the spring break beach trip packing list you need.

Shop this article: Supergoop! Play Everyday Lotion SPF 50, Elite Trend Microfiber Beach Towel and Bogg Bag Original X-Large Waterproof Tote Bag

Tips for planning spring break trips to the beach

Don’t be afraid of a budget

Budgets often get a bad reputation for being constraining or keeping you from enjoying extras, but a budget can also be helpful when planning a beach vacation. A strict budget can help narrow down the beach destination or accommodations. It’s also an excellent tool that allows you to enjoy your must-haves.

For example, if you’re most excited about hanging out by the ocean and don’t require expensive food or activities, set a strict budget for those items and opt for an upscale beach resort. On the other hand, if you prefer to do more activities on beach vacations, set a small budget for your accommodations and designate a more significant portion for those extras.

Be flexible

Whether you’re driving or flying, staying in a hotel or rental house, it's inevitable for a few details to change, such as a flight delay or traffic jam. So, being adaptable during a trip is the best way to keep a positive attitude and make the most of your vacation. For instance, if one of your beach days gets rained out, look for an indoor arcade or local movie theater to create some memories. Or, if a flight gets canceled that causes you to stay overnight, think of it as an opportunity to explore a new area.

Keep it simple

While you don’t want to be caught without an item you need, you also don’t want to overpack and be stuck with extra bags to haul. Depending on where you’re staying, some places may offer beach gear and accessories for you to use, such as a beach cart, canopy, beach chairs, games or beach toys. Also, if you’re most excited about hanging out on the beach during spring break, don’t worry about packing your schedule with extra activities.

Ultimate spring break packing list


Gear and accessories

Beach essentials for your spring break trip

Supergoop! Play Everyday Lotion SPF 50

Since it’s water- and sweat-resistant for 80 minutes, you can focus on relaxing and having fun instead of constantly reapplying this sunscreen. This sunscreen is also free of oxybenzone and octinoxate, making it reef-safe. Plus, it’s broad-spectrum and protects against UVA and UVB rays.

Elite Trend Microfiber Beach Towel

Thanks to two-sided printing, you get two beautiful designs in one when you pick up this extra-large beach towel. The microfiber material dries three times faster than cotton, so it’s an excellent choice to bring to a spring break vacation with many a day at the beach.

Bogg Bag Original X-Large Waterproof Tote Bag

Effortlessly carry towels, snacks, water bottles, beach toys and more with this extra-large beach bag. With waterproof material and conveniently designed holes in the bag, it’s perfect for items that may be damp or sandy and simple to keep clean.

Creative Green Life Jumbo Insulated Cooler

The sun, water and sweating make you dehydrated quicker than usual, so it’s important to carry ample liquids during beach trips. While this jumbo insulated soft cooler can keep up to 30 cans cold all day, it also folds up for convenient traveling. 

JBL Flip 5 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker

This portable JBL speaker fits snugly in a carry-on or road trip bag and has up to 12 hours of playtime for most listening and less charging. It’s rated IPX7 waterproof, which covers splashes or immersion in water up to 3 feet deep.

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