It’s officially ‘local’s summer’ in San Diego, which is the best part of the year here. It’s still hot, the tourists are gone, and the beaches are chill. Our whole family loves the beach and it also wears out the kids, so we try to go a few times a month. We’ve got an efficient packing list at this point – we try to only bring the essentials since it’s always a pain in the ass to carry. Keep reading for the details!

Beach bags: We use the TL totes for most of our stuff. I also love this mesh beach bag for the kids sand toys, wet swimsuits, etc.

Toys for the kids: Walker always needs trucks, and we also bring a mix of regular beach toys. I have these mesh bags for Capri to collect seashells and treasures. Also want to call out this surfer toy because it keeps the kids entertained forever in the water.

Wagon: Depending on the beach / parking situation, we throw all our shit & kids in our wagon.

Food: Snacks are an obvious must. I like these containers for the kids or their lunch boxes since they have lids. I usually pack some stuff for the adults in our backpack cooler.

Water bottles: These insulated tumblers for Paul and me, and these for the kids.

Towels & blanket: We always bring the TL towels. We also usually bring this waterproof blanket for the kids to hang on – sand comes right off.

Sun protection: First up, the entire family lives in hats at the beach to protect our faces. I despise the feeling of SPF on my face. Paul and the kids use Sunbum for SPF, and I’ve been obsessed with this tanning oil with SPF and their spray SPF for my body. I like this clear lip oil with SPF or this zinc balm for my lips.

Umbrella / tent: More sun protection! Especially if we plan to beach it all day, an umbrella or tent is key. We use this super easy little tent to keep all the food out of the sun, and it’s a great spot for the kids to eat without getting sand on everything. 

Detangler spray: Both Capri & Walker’s hair gets extremely tangled if they’re playing in the water, so I’ve learned my lesson. I bring a mini brush and a detangler spray to tame things as needed.

Crocs: If Walker wants to climb on rocks or the sand is hot, his Crocs are perfect.

Post Beach / Clean Up: We fill up a gallon of water that we keep in the car to rinse the kids before they get their sandy feet in the car. This works great if there’s no shower at the beach. We also have an extra change of clothes with tons of wipes on deck so they can be comfy and warm. We keep a portable toddler potty with extra bags in the car because the public bathrooms with kids that touch everything are just gross.