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Beach Vacation Checklist

Updated on June 3, 2013

We Are Excited About Vacation!

We Are Excited About Vacation!
We Are Excited About Vacation! | Source

Our Master Vacation Check List Has Ten Categories

  • Critical Items
  • Emergency/Medical
  • Electronics
  • Car
  • Baby/Toddlers
  • Children
  • Adults
  • Food/Kitchen
  • Beach
  • House

Our vacation packing is underway. The beach house rental has been paid in full. Hotels for the car ride down have been booked. Ideas for the entertainment for the road trip have been created. The kids are psyched. Regardless of

  • When you vacation
  • Why you are vacationing
  • Where you are going
  • How long you are vacationing for

vacation check lists make the packing process much smoother.

Using Microsoft Excel, I maintain a master vacation spreadsheet for our vacation check list. I copy and paste the main vacation tab into a new tab when packing for a new trip. I delete items that are not pertinent. While heavy jackets are on our master list, we would omit them on our beach vacation check list.

Maintenance of our vacation check list is ongoing. While on vacation or during packing, if when we think of new items, we add them to the master vacation tab.

Consider using our check list as an excellent starting point. Try highlighting our checklists below, copying and pasting into your own Excel spreadsheet. Add or subtract items to suit your family.

Critical Items

There are critical items that are on our vacation check list. Without them, the vacation may not happen! While this list is not completely applicable to our beach vacation, I include our full version from our master vacation check list due to their importance.

Critical Vacation Check List Items

(click column header to sort results)
Critical Items  
Packed Or Completed?  
Boarding Passes
Credit Cards/Cash
Medical Insurance Cards

Emergency and Medical Items

You never know what will happen on vacation. We have had everything from major sunburn to bug bites. Last year my son had about seven splinters from a shoeless slide on a wooden deck. This year we are packing tweezers!

We always pack medicine just in case. Better to be prepared than endure a late night medicine run in an unfamiliar area.

Emergency and Medical Check List Items

(click column header to sort results)
Emergency/Medical Items  
Packed Or Completed?  
Aloe Vera
Band Aids
Chidren's Advil/Tylenol
First Aid Kit
Insect Repellant
Prescriptions and other medications

Electronics Items

We use our electronics in the car and for down time at the beach house. In addition to movies, sometimes we play Wii in the car. We always set up the Wii at the beach house.

We know that our beach house has a DVD player attached to every television. If yours does not, consider bringing your own for a family movie night.

Electronics Check List Items

(click column header to sort results)
Electronics Items  
Packed Or Completed?  
Camera And Charger
Cell Phone and charger
DS and charger
DVD/Blu Ray Player
Ipad Adapter
Ipad and charger
Ipod and charger
Portable Dvd Player
Wii And All Components

Do You Use A Packing Check List For Vacation?

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Car Items

To prevent excessive stops, we pack plenty of snacks, fruit, drinks and entertainment for the road trip. I always pack Windex and paper towels. Sometimes the DVD the kids want to watch next is dirty and won't play in the DVD player. It is great to be able to quickly clean it and get the show started.

Never forget bags for trash. We keep a few from our local grocery store and each time we need to fuel up, we empty the trash. Collecting the trash as we go makes the disposable process quick and clean!

Car Check List Items

(click column header to sort results)
Car Items  
Packed Or Completed?  
Paper Towels
Reading Material
Ziploc bags

Baby/Toddler Items

We don't have any baby items this year, but one year we packed four pack n plays! This year we will only need the bed rail for our two year old. Baby items take up quite a bit of space. Babies and toddlers do not adjust well to change. Sometimes bringing their exersaucer or bouncy chair will keep them happy and allow others to enjoy their vacation.

Never forget to bring their 'comfort' toy or blanket. More importantly, don't forget to bring it home!

Baby/Toddler Check List Items

(click column header to sort results)
Baby/Toddler Items  
Packed Or Completed?  
Baby Bjorn/carrier
Bed Rail
Church Outfit
Favorite Toy/Blanket
Pack N Play
Sippy Cups
Swim Suit
T Shirts

The Kids Are Ready For Vacation!

We are getting ready for vacation!
We are getting ready for vacation! | Source

Children's Items

The children's check list is very straight forward. For our beach trip, they need to have clothes to swim and play on the beach. We always pack at least one sweat shirt and one long pair of pants. Sometimes we will have a cool day. More often we have an over air conditioned beach house. The heat of the beach can be a sharp contrast to an air conditioned house. My kids often have chattering teeth inside the beach house and beg for their sweatshirt. They smile when they see that theirs were packed.

We also pack coloring books and other craft items. The kids love the beach, but everyone needs an hour or so away from the sun. These items keep the kids busy and entertained.

Children's Check List Items

(click column header to sort results)
Children's Items  
Packed Or Completed?  
Beach Shoes
Church Outfit
Craft items (paper, crayons)
Gym Shoes
Long Pants/Jeans
T Shirts
Tank Tops

Adult Items

We pack many of the same items as the children. I never forget my sweatshirt either! We also must remember the bathroom toiletries. I wear contacts and glasses. These are very important to bring along. I like to run on the beach and take morning walks with my family. I never forget my running shoes and my work out clothes. I also make sure that my husband never forgets his baseball hats. He is bald and his head will fry quickly!

Adult Check List Items

(click column header to sort results)
Adult Items  
Packed Or Completed?  
Beach Shoes
Church Outfit
Contacts and solution
Eyeglasses and case
Gym Shoes
PJs/Night Clothes
Tank Tops
Work out clothes/Heart Rate Monitor

Beach Items

The whole point of a beach vacation is to have an amazing time in the sand. We always bring our beach toys, chairs and a beach tent. We like to have fun in the sun, but creating some shade to give ourselves a break from the sun is important, too.

Our group likes to play baseball and corn hole. Don't forget to bring games your children enjoy. On cooler days, we may not be in the ocean, but we will be playing on the beach.

Beach Check List Items

(click column header to sort results)
Beach Items  
Packed Or Completed?  
Baby Shampoo
Baseball Bat
Baseball Glove
Beach Bag
Beach Blanket
Beach Chairs
Beach Cooler
Beach Games
Beach Towels
Beach Umbrella
Blow Up Pool
Boogy Boards
Kid's Floatation Devices Or Noodles
Lip Balm With SPF
Sand Toys
Sun Screen

Food And Kitchen Items

Our beach house is equipped with a gourmet kitchen. To save money, we eat nearly every meal at the beach house. I pack non perishables that I have on hand and then make grocery trips on vacation. We like to pack the spices and grilling tools we need for our evening meals.

Because we make our dinners, we end up with leftovers. It is a good idea to bring Tupperware or Ziploc bags, to store your extras. One of our last days of vacation ends up being a meal of our weekly leftovers.

Food And Kitchen Check List Items

(click column header to sort results)
Food/Kitchen Items  
Packed Or Completed?  
Cooking spray
Grilling tools
Non Perishables (mac n cheese, cereal)
Paper towels
Sponge/wash cloth
Vegetable grill pan
Ziploc bags

How To Stop The Columbus Dispatch While You Are On Vacation

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House Items

Knowing that your house is safe and taken care of when we are on vacation gives us the peace of mind to enjoy the week. We notify notify neighbors prior to our departure. We always mow the grass before we leave, but also make sure it is being watered while we are gone. Ask a neighbor to set up your sprinklers or verify that your sprinkler system is scheduled properly.

We stop our mail via US Post Office Hold Mail option on their website. After keying in your name, address, phone number and email, you select the start and end dates of your vacation. We return on a Saturday, so we like to have all our mail delivered on that day. We find this easier than having our mail picked up daily.

We chose to stop our paper while we are on vacation. You can hold the paper and have all papers delivered when you return. We chose to have the papers that we do not received recycled.

Having our puppy cared for while we are gone is an important consideration. We evaluated multiple kennels and chose to have our Invisible Fence Trainer keep her at her house. This was a less expensive option and may allow them to bond more for better training results.

The most important things we do prior to locking up the house is to turn off the water supply to the toilet and pour in a little bleach. No one wants to return to a house that had an unforeseen and unnoticed water leak. Additionally, no one want to see a science experiment in their toilet due to a week of inactivity.

It is comforting to return from a busy week on vacation knowing that our house was safe.

House Check List Items

(click column header to sort results)
House Items  
Packed Or Completed?  
Adjust Thermostat
Bleach Toilets
Clean Car
Empty Refrigerator
Mow Grass
Neighbor To Pick Up Extra Mail Papers
Neighbor To Take Out Trash
Neighbor To Water Grass
Neighbor To Water Plants
Oil Change And Car Tune Up
Pet Care
Remove All Trash From House
Schedule Sprinkler System
Shut Off Water To Toilets
Stop Mail
Stop Newspaper
Unplug All Electronics In House

Enjoying Summer Vacations

The boys taking a walk with Grandpa on vacation
The boys taking a walk with Grandpa on vacation

A Checklist Makes For Easy Packing

My husband and I have an agreement when it comes to packing for our beach vacation. I create and maintain the packing list and do the packing. His job is to figure out how to get it all in the Surburban!

The days till vacation are being counted down. The kids are anxious. I have not even started packing. I will begin packing a few days prior to our departure. This is never a stressful process. My packing list has been refine over the years. We have packing down to a science.

I bring a copy of our beach check list with us to vacation as well. Not only do we have to bring everything to vacation. We need to make sure we bring it all home!

Let the lazy days of summer vacation begin!

Watch out beach!

Here we come!

© 2012 Karen Lackey


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    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      5 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Rose the planner!

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 

      5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Incredibly thorough! Great hub, thanks for posting.

    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks, Sherry! I will add pjs to the list!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have a master list also. I didn't see jammies/ nite-nite clothes. Thank you for sharing.

    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      We absolutely did. Thanks for reading and commenting, shimlahillstation.

    • shimlahillstation profile image


      6 years ago from India

      Looks like you had a blast with all those kids

    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks, Austinstar. I felt like i was recreating the wheel a little bit so I went ahead and made the spreadsheet. I need to tweak it occasionally, but it works in general. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Austinstar profile image


      6 years ago from Somewhere near the center of Texas

      Nicely done! I do sit down about a week before vacations and write down a list of things I don't want to forget to take with me. You have it down to a science!

    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Davecurrtis, thanks for taking the time to comment! You are correct! It is so important to bring everything home. The last people to leave the house do a great job of making multiple pass throughs to make sure that none of the families have left anything.

    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks, jellygator! Glad you found the lists useful!

    • jellygator profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      That's an amazing list! I'll definitely print and use it.

    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks, trendytripping! I need to pull out the list and start packing! :) Thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate it!

    • trendytripping profile image


      6 years ago from United states

      This is great list twinstime. Your section on emergency and medical check is fantastic

    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks for reading, randomcreative. I tried to use smaller lists and use my memory for the rest and I forgot quite a few things. This makes getting ready for vacation easier. Thanks for the comments, too!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks for this great resource! I don't ever create lists this details, but I almost always make a last minute check list for those little things like the cell phone charger that you may not remember to grab. It would be helpful to use these more comprehensive lists, especially for longer trips with multiple people.

    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks, wilderness. I hope your camping trip goes well! I find that the packing list helps me keep from forgetting the little things. Thanks for commenting!

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 

      6 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      This is great! I think most of us have a vacation packing list, but never so detailed. I like the idea of having one computerized and ready to go.

      We're going camping for a week later this year - I bet I have a spreadsheet laid out well before then.

    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Joaniebaby! It is crazy how much stuff we bring with our family size. You would have even had more! It is a little overwhelming when reviewing...I don't disagree. But, I find it useful when we are ready to pack!

    • joaniebaby profile image


      6 years ago

      What a list. But when you "check" it out, everything looks pretty essential. It almost wears me out reading through it. I do remember those times when our seven children were young and we packed for vacation. I was never as organized as you. Have a great vacation again. Making the master list is such a great idea. Thank heavens for computers!!

    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks, Judi. I would LOVE to pack less, but we have 5 little kids and it is easier to have what they are used to. :) I try to eliminate the planning by maintaining the list. I just pull out the list and start finding all the stuff! Your vacation method sounds awesome, too! Maybe in about 20 years!

    • Judi Bee profile image

      Judi Brown 

      6 years ago from UK

      Wow, that's organised! My goal in any holiday is to take as little as possible, as long as I have the tickets and passports, I am happy. I hate all the planning, preparation and packing. This year we are contemplating taking the dog camping with us, which should complicate matters nicely!

      Useful hub, voted up!


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