Must-have beach items for kids and families

Packing for a day at the beach with the family can almost seem like packing for a week long vacation. Between towels, chairs, umbrellas, food, drinks and toys - it can be enough to fill the back of a mini-van.

Whew. There’s no wonder why parents can be worn out before even stepping onto the sand.

Especially when kids are young, remembering all the necessities can make or break a day at the shore.

“If you don’t have the right gear, you all will be miserable,” said Eileen Ogintz, a family travel expert and author of the “Summer Guide to Fun” at “The right gear can really make a difference—and most important, the right gear can keep everyone from getting too much sun and (getting) sun burned. We all know how dangerous a sunburn can be for young children.”

Fox News Traveler rounded up eight must have beach items for families heading to the water with little ones in tow.

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Sun Smarties Infant Cabana

Any parent knows that taking a baby to the beach can turn into a disastrous situation if unprepared. The Sun Smarties Infant Cabana takes away most of the possible worries by providing ultimate protection from the sun as well as a safe place to nap.

Ogintz warns little ones might try to put the sand in their mouths if you don’t keep it out of their reach.

“The thing is you want to keep young kids out of the sun and off the sand,” Ogintz said.  “They’ll eat it!”

The pop-up shade cabana even lets in the breeze to cool off the baby with its mesh panels and ventilated roof. The maker also says it provides 50+ UPF protection and roll down shades for nursing or napping privacy. A toy or mobile can even be hung in the center to keep the baby entertained.

The cabana is available on and retails for $49.95.

Sand-Off! Dry Body Wash

Often, the worst part about going to the beach is what the kids bring home with them: sand! With Sand-Off! Dry Body Wash - you don’t have to take the sand home with you after all. The creators of Sand-Off! say the all-natural, powder-filled mitt can clean off the dusty mess by breaking down the bond between skin and sand.

"We developed this product because we love the beach, but hate the sand leaving with us at the end of the day," said Jason McGowin, the president of Sand-Off!. "We want families to go to the beach together without any hassles and hope that Sand-Off makes a day at the beach hassle-free."

Each Sand-Off! is good for thirty to forty uses.

The single pack of Sand-Off! Dry Body Wash is $7.99 and available on

UV Sun Sense Wristbands

Keeping enough sunscreen on the kids throughout the day can almost take the fun out of enjoying the beach for the parents. UVSunSense Wristbands can eliminate part of that stress. The company says put sunscreen and the wristband on your child. When the band fades to light pink, it’s time to reapply sunscreen.

“UV radiation is dangerous, pure and simple,” said Jon Horovitz, the co-founder and managing member of UVSunSense. “Even the most responsible people who are vigilant about using sunscreen – and especially those who apply it to their children – are at the mercy of factors such as the environment and even the shelf life of their sunscreen. A monitoring device such as the UVSunSense wristband is the only sure way to know when you need to reapply protective sunscreen. There is nothing else like it on the market today.”

The wristbands are $6.75 and available on

Stephen Joseph's Hooded Towels

It can be difficult to pull kids away from the water at the end of the day when it’s time to head home. From the crab to the mermaid look, Stephen Joseph’s hooded towel collection is sure to have a beach towel that will fit your child’s personality.

"Our super-soft towels will keep your kids dry from head to toe and your kids looking adorable," said Wayne Ballard, the director of sales for Stephen Joseph Gifts. "At the end of the day, your kids will run out of the water in no time to dry off with this colorful towel."

The hooded beach towel is $25.99 and available on


It’s hard to stay comfortable in a traditional one size and setting fits all beach chair when trying to look after kids running around along the shore. The ComfortSEAT can accommodate any angle parents need for relaxing or watching their beach babes.

"With 14 positions, beach goers can lay flat for sun bathing or all the way upright for reading or eating - offering far more versatility than standard beach chairs or towels," said George Varga of G2 Products.

The ComfortSEAT is $99.95 and is available on Enter code “summer12” to receive free shipping.

Itzy Ritzy Wet Happened Zippered Wet Bag

Packing up to head home from the beach can be quite a mess. It’s difficult to know what  to do with wet swimsuits and gear. The Itzy Ritzy Wet Happened Zippered Wet Bag can keep the moist beachwear from getting everything else smelly and wet.

"A day at the beach is one of the best summer, family activities but no mom wants to deal with wet bathing suits and sandy flip flops ruining her tote bag and car," said Brittany Sodora, an Itzy Ritzy associate. "Itzy Ritzy is receiving amazing reviews on our waterproof Wet Happened Zippered Wet Bags, as they contain everyone's beach items free from leaks, and messes; no more bursting bottles of sun screen to ruin the day!"

The Itzy Ritzy Wet Bag is $17.95 and available on

SwimZip's "Ruffle Me Pretty" and SwimZip's "Beach Bum Style"

Keep babies and toddlers safe from the sun’s harmful rays with SwimZip swimwear. The UV 50+ protection swimsuits go on easily with a zipper.

“Rash guards and swim shirts can be difficult to put on and especially take off when it is wet, it pulls hair, squishes noses, and yanks on ears,” said Betsy Johnson, SwimZip Founder & President. “It's no fun, and kids dread wearing these.  SwimZip is the only swimwear that features a full-length zipper down the front so it is extremely easy to put on and take off for parents and kids.”

The SwimZip suits are $29.99 each and available for purchase on

SwimWays Flood Force Water Cannon

Be ready for an amazing water fight with the SwimWays Flood Force Water Cannon. The unique design allows for an endless water supply while used in the ocean or pool as it pulls water into the cannon with the hand crank - giving kids continuous shooting action.

"The lightweight product is perfect for children ages 4 and up, and is easy to take from the ocean to the lake for families traveling this summer and then back home for backyard fun,” said Monica Jones, the marketing director for Swimways.

The water cannon is $14.99 and available on