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How to Prepare a Beach Vacation Checklist

You can have everything you need for a fun-filled trip to the seashore, as long as you do a little advance planning. Don't miss a beat with these beach vacation packing tips.


  • Step 1: Use a template Start your checklist by searching online for a beach vacation checklist. Copy the template into a word processing program. This way, you don't have to start from scratch and you can edit the list to meet your needs.
  • Step 2: Categorize your list Organize your checklist into categories to leave no item behind. Sample categories include: clothes, toiletries, entertainment/toys, food, sun protection, beachwear, beach lounging equipment, camera equipment and other electronics.
  • Step 3: Visualize your destination Envision the accommodations, location, and planned activities for your trip to get an idea of what to write under each category. You won't need a beach umbrella or beach towels at a five-star beach resort hotel, but you might if you're renting a private home. If you will be snorkeling, plan on bringing your fins and mask.
  • Step 4: Pack based on length Customize your checklist for each vacation according to the length of the trip. If you are staying a week in accommodations without a washer and dryer, pack seven to eight changes of clothes and at least three swimsuits. If you are learning how to scuba dive, don't forget to put your wetsuit and underwater camera on the checklist.
  • TIP: Use 3X5 index cards for each person to make packing for the whole family a cinch. Write what each person needs to pack on their own card and check items off as they are packed.
  • Step 5: Don't forget medications Be sure to include medications, aloe vera, other health items, and a first-aid kit on the checklist. This way minor scrapes and sunburns won't send you into a tizzy.
  • Step 6: Highlight last minute items Do most of your packing the day before departure. Highlight any remaining items that you need to check off your list, such as toiletries or favorite toys, to refer to the next day so you don't forget them as you rush out the door!
  • FACT: The U.S. has more than 12,000 miles of coastline, including Alaska and Hawaii.

You Will Need

  • Categories
  • Template (optional)
  • 3x5 index cards (optional)

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