Inexpensive Beach Essentials You Should Pack This Summer : The Saturday Weekend Review #227




Planning a road trip to the beach is like camping for a day in the sand which means packing all of your beach essentials, including the kitchen sink. Add kids to the mix and you’re sure to have your hands busy, but it’s all about family fun.

Laugh away but I’m sure many of you are guilty of bringing too much stuff to the beach as if you were next in line to be stranded on a desert island. Not a dessert island a desert island even though hanging out on an island filled with sweets wouldn’t bother me one bit.

The point…

Don’t Pack too much unless you are going to a remote location with no amenities for miles.

My wife is the worst at over-packing to go ANYWHERE! If it’s not her purse bulging at the seam her luggage (laundry basket) is filled to the top with clothing just for a simple few days away from home.

“You never know what you will need”, she always says but also notes how often she hardly puts a dent in that white laundry basket. If you think carting around a laundry basket is funny she used to bring a fan when she was away from home to blow-dry her long, thick, curly hair.

“I can’t apply heat or my curls will frizz”, she would say with a touch my fan and die look on her face.

If there was ever a time I was red-faced embarrassed was watching my wife gleefully carrying her fan into our hotel and having the staff just stare at us. I just smiled and said, “It’s her hair dryer”.  They smiled back probably thinking, “Weirdos”.  That’s fine though, we’ll never see them again. Life is good.


Back to the beach


Beach essentials will be different for everyone especially for those who have special needs or for those with children. Listen up, don’t make the same mistakes we did the first time we brought our son to the beach. Boy oh boy did we feel naked and unprepared some summer sun and splashes.

Mrs. CBB is unable to go without wearing sunglasses to the beach or anywhere during the summer months because of an eye condition she has. Considering your options when packing beach essentials is imperative because once you’re out there in the hot sand the last thing you want to do is go back for stuff you forgot.

You probably already know we’re heading off on holiday shortly to the UK and another secret hot almost 5-star destination filled with tonnes of things for our little guy to do. The biggest reason I booked the vacation was because of the gorgeous beaches and pools surrounding the hotel property.

Living in Ontario we are blessed to have beaches just about everywhere you can shake a stick. During the summer months we always take at least 4 trips to the beach as a family. Since becoming parents we’ve learned the hard way what we should and shouldn’t bring to the beach.

Beach essentials are just that, essential. This means you will likely need the beach essentials at some point during your beach stay. Going away on holiday we’ve had to think about beach essentials that we can buy in Canada because it will cost less than purchasing it abroad.

Mrs. CBB says I’ll choke when I do the math conversions in the UK now that I’m earning a Canadian income. I keep saying we’ll buy stuff there but she says, No you won’t. She knows I’m frugal but she’s probably right. I’ll get back to you on my first trip home in over 10 years and let you know how hard it hit me financially.


Gucci it up or Old Navy it Down


So our question to the fans on Facebook for our What’s For Dinner chat last week revolved around beach essentials. I was looking for tips and ideas just to make sure we weren’t forgetting anything. It’s always nice to hear about experiences on the beach especially with kids. Parents have all the good, the bad and the ugly scenarios to share and we wanted to hear about them.

Below you’ll find our top 10 list of inexpensive beach essentials all of which you can purchase at your local Dollar Store or find at Costco, Old Navy and other big box stores. If you opt to go Gucci style you probably wouldn’t be reading this but here’s something for you,”No one cares how much your beach hat cost you”.

Enjoy your time away at the beach and soak up the sun not the dollars.


 Inexpensive Beach Essentials To Pack


The list I’ve created is by far inclusive rather it’s a basic list of beach essentials that you might want to consider before heading to the sand and water. Remember always check prices, price match if you can and shop used or garage sales first.


Beach Hat


Taking care of your eyes in the sun is important as is sunscreen to protect your body from UV-Rays. What most people tend to forget is that the sun beating down on our head is uncomfortable. A wide beach hat or ball cap will help protect your hair, eyes and skin from damaged Ultra Violet Rays.

I’ve seen loads of beach hats at the Dollar store and Value Village so shop around for the best deal.


We go to the beach often and we’ve learned quickly to stop taking bottled water and just bought camel backs. Even when our 7 and 12 year-old grand-kids are along they pack one for themselves albeit smaller than the adult ones. We also learned to take a compression sack which is agreat way to pack up all that wet/sand covered clothing and towels. –Heather Salter


Beach Toys


Head over to the second-hand shops, garage sales or even The Dollar Store to pick up beach toys for the kids and adults. A beach ball is great to pack for travelling as are some beach tools and small bucket.


Back up cell-phone battery pack


The last thing you will want is for your cell-phone to die just as you are finishing up a phone call or you must have it on for business reasons. The battery pack is fairly cheap as we bought one on Amazon for under $20 for the Samsung 7.


Safety First


If you are bringing your kids to the beach always make sure to have safety vests/Life Jackets or blow-up floaters. The small costs for these items are nothing compared to what life is worth.


Cell-phone wrist-let/wallet


Mrs. CBB purchased a wrist-let from Amazon Canada for $12. Inside she can keep her Samsung Galaxy 7, debit card, credit card and some small cash and coin if need be. It’s also a way that she is responsible for her cell as she is always putting it down and forgetting where it is.

The wrist-let will help protect her phone and keep it safe around her wrist. Take caution though that if you all plan to go into the water that any electronics, purses, wallets etc. are waiting to be scooped up by the beach bandit. Don’t be the next victim.

If you plan to take a nap turn your phone off and sleep on it. You can also sleep on your wallet by putting it under a towel wrapped up. Even better, just forget about it all and leave it locked in your safe at a resort or at home.




If you forget your sunglasses be prepared to battle the sun in your eyes most of the day at the beach. I read an article once somewhere that wearing sunglasses from a young age will help keep the eyes safe. Our son has a pair of sunglasses and he loves them. We picked them up at Value Village for $2.


Cold Beverages


Unless you’re staying at an all-inclusive resort where servers are taking care of your every need then you will need to bring beverages with you to the beach. The most important beverage to pack is water to help combat dehydration in the sun. If the kids don’t fancy water then pack some sugar-free juice boxes and you’re all set. (If beer is allowed…. drop a 12-pack in the ice-bucket)




A huge beach towel is a must but for cuddling a blanket is even better especially if you want to cuddle up with your loved one or the kiddos. Something inexpensive from Value Village or other second-hand shops will fit the bill. At a cost of under $10 for most second-hand shop blankets you can’t go wrong.


Beach Towel


We made a pit-stop to Costco this week and picked up 3 super-large Beach Towels that were 100% cotton and so soft. They are NOT like those cheap beach towels that feel scratchy and dry nothing. Feel free to be frugal and get your beach towels at the Dollar store but be warned they won’t dry as well.

The cost for each towel was $17.99 which I thought was a pretty good investment for a summer towel for each of us. We will bring our towels with us to the resort even though they provide towels. No one likes those tiny towels… nah!


Beach Umbrella


Resorts may have beach umbrellas on the premises or other shady areas they have created for their guests. Not everyone likes to bake in the sun so a large umbrella is great. If you’re off to a local beach you will fin that you need to bring what you need. You can pick one up for under $30 dollars or just about every shop that caters to summer in the sun. A great investment.


Beach Chairs


Don’t bring lawn chairs to the beach! How uncomfortable. Opt for those travel chairs in a bag that are cozy and reasonably priced at around $10-$15 for kids and adults. You can also find some pretty cool pimped up beach chairs for under $40. First stop is to check on Kijiji or any other auction or sale sites to see if anyone is giving them away free or for a cheap price. Garage sales are also a great place to score deals on summer essentials.




Whatever you do, Don’t Forget Sunscreen. You can buy sunscreen at the Dollar store but I’d urge you to look for deals in the weekly flyers and buy a brand you trust. If you find it at the Dollar shop then you’re good to go. We did that once and paid the price. Now we keep a few bottles handy.


Insect Repellent Spray


off-bug-sprayIf you plan to be at the beach until the sun goes down you may want to bring along some insect repellent. I hate getting bit by any bugs because I swell up so fast. I have had bad reactions to mosquito bites ever since I moved to Canada. Bites can range in size from a golf ball to a baseball.

We picked up a 3-pack of After Bite from Costco for $9.99 and spray bottles of Off and Off Woods on clearance at Food Basics for $1.00. Typically a bottle will run you under $10 but worth it. You can also find insect repellent at select Dollar Stores.

The bug spray is also part of cottage beach essentials or camping trips.


Baby Care Items


Whatever your baby will need- bring it. If you forget diapers, wipes, sunscreen you’ll pay for it by having to go buy some at expensive costs from a local small shop. Most beaches are surrounded by small independent businesses where tourism is their high-season in the summer and the prices will reflect that. I remember our trip to Tobermory and the cost for a large bag of Doritos was going to run me $6.99! Ouch.


Going to the beach with kids can be a hectic… blanket, towels, sunscreen, snacks, drinks, beach toys, chairs, more snacks… I feel like we are packing for the apocalypse!- Andrea Ryan


Sanitary Products


You will always need tissues, paper towel, hand sanitizer, soap, bathroom rolls and personal care products. Don’t assume that the beach bathroom facilities are stocked up.


Pack a lunch/Snacks


No, you don’t have to bring a crock-pot full of meatballs unless of course you plan to eat lunch on a picnic table away from the sand. Some people also like to BBQ at the beach and pack enough food for the entire day.

If you’re simply going to the beach for some sun and water play pack healthy snacks into an ice-filled cooler such as fruits, crackers, cheese, tortillas, sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, chopped veggies etc.

Everyone will get hungry at the beach at some point and you don’t want to be eating from the pricey concession stand if you don’t have to. If you bring along foods that will satisfy your tummy and cravings you’ll save money and time from having to order food. That way you can spend more time on the beach.


SPF Lip balm


I don’t know about you but I sure do get dry lips during the summer and the winter. I always have lip balm with me for this reason and another reason I added it to the beach essentials list.


Beauty essentials


I know this seems odd but if you have long hair and can’t live without your scrunchie or other hair-ties then bring along spares. My wife has very long hair and has a bunch tucked away in her purse and jackets. You never know when they will come in handy.

Packing deodorant, make-up, hair-care products and shower essentials should only be needed if you plan to use a public shower afterwards. If you plan on using tanning lotion bring that along with you to the beach. You may also want to bring along some moisturizer.


I like to bring a round laundry basket with holes in it which is great to put everything in and I can shake the sand out. With daycare I need towels, toys, life jackets, sunscreen, drinks, food, baby powder (gets sand off their feet), blanket, camping chairs, diapers, wipes. I bought a collapsible wagon for this summer…it’s going to come in so handy!!- Samantha Joan


Reading material


Forget about your cell-phone when you are at the beach or on holiday with your family or loved one. If you plan to enjoy yourself close your social media accounts and check email and texts as needed just in case. Bring along those novels you’ve meant to read but haven’t gotten a chance to. I know of a few personal finance books that have collected dust the past 3 years that I’ll be packing.


Beach footwear


Walking on hot sand is not fun especially for the little ones. Water shoes are inexpensive to buy or even Crocs for kids and adults are a simple solution if flip-flops don’t work for you. Simple sandals that will protect your feet and are easy to wash off any sand with water is a yes.


Spare clothes


Don’t be a fool and not bring a change of clothes with you to the beach other than what you wore on top of your swimming suit. Anything could happen so packing one extra set of clothing for yourself and the kids is a smart idea. Keep it light, it’s hot out after all. Packing a hoodie and relaxed comfy pants will also help when the sun goes down to cover up. You might also consider packing spare bathing suits.


Leave-In Conditioner (you know who this is for)


The beach water and sunshine can really turn hair frizzy and dry so applying some leave-in-conditioner will help to keep the moisture in your hair.


The kitchen sink


Oh, and if you like your tunes like we do a small radio would be a great way to get motivated and have fun. If you have a cell phone you can download music or stream it.

Discussion Question: What other beach essentials have I missed? Do you bring beach essentials that are out of the ordinary just to enjoy your beach visit? Share your experiences in the comments below.

Mr. CBB.


A Week In My Life


Trust me when is say this week has had its ups and downs from celebrations of joy as our friends had a baby to planning our holiday. We’re a bit late with all the last-minute planning but we’re getting there.

While we are away I won’t be posting any Saturday Weekend Reviews. 🙁 sorry.  Vacation calls and I’m not one of those bloggers who plan months and months with posts. I like to post about life as it comes.

Anyhow, I will be scheduling some posts on the blog to go LIVE whilst I’m away. If anything should happen, sorry. I will try to check in every now and then but I’ve got a good team for support. I’m going to bundle the Grocery Game Challenge for the upcoming weeks. This means I plan to have 2 grocery game posts scheduled but for 4 weeks of shopping.

We’ve done this before where you just post your shops in the comments for 2 weeks shopping and I moderate. You will still get your ballots for each post. Where are all my GGC players? Missing your posts. Don’t give up!! I know during the summer months it gets hectic but stick to your financial obligations because they never go away.

There will also be some guest posts from some of my personal finance friends and Nicola has a couple of recipes up her sleeve. I hope you don’t miss me too much. 🙂

Oh, Nicola will be kindly be taking over my Facebook pages and helping me out. Have fun and if you can help CBB by sharing your favourite CBB posts from the blog when I’m gone I’d appreciate it.

Have a great month and chat to you all soon!! I’m sure I’ll have LOTS to talk about and some good news. Shh!!

Mr. CBB.


CBB Published Posts


Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Tots 3 FBIf you have a question that you would like to ask me fill out the Contact Mr.CBB form on the blog home page and I’ll do my best to reply to each question.

If you would like to share a story via a Fan Question please ensure that there is minimum 500 words and lots of details…we love details!

Contact me for more info at or you can find me on Twitter (@Canadianbudgetb), Google Plus, Facebook, Tumblr, Stumble Upon, Flipboard.

Top Post This Week: How Much Should My Grocery Budget Be?


Top Finance Weekly Read


I absolutely loved this post, “How My $140 Jeans Are A Frugal Buy” over at The Luxe Strategist. The moment I saw the title I knew I had to read it. I’m the same way as the writer of this  post. I wear jeans just about every chance I can get.

Wearing a uniform to work and coming home and getting comfy in a nice fitting pair of jeans is my style. Like the writer I will spend over one hundred dollars on a pair of jeans. I will also repair my jeans and once it gets to R-rated I buy new jeans. I typically have a few pairs in my closet stock though to rotate.  Excellent Read!


Making a difference (MAD) 2017


Making A Difference Canadian Budget Binder MAD

Welcome to the 2017 Making A Difference series! Join the networking movement of Personal Finance Bloggers around the world.

If you are a personal finance blogger and would like your blog to be featured simply drop me an email. I’m currently booking  late July/August 2017-Limited spots.

Personal Finance Bloggers and Fans: I’m currently recruiting for guest posts on the blog while we go away on holidays. This is your opportunity to get published on CBB. If you have a topic idea and interested please contact me via email. let’s talk.

Note: There is no MAD feature this week and won’t be until we get back from holidays at the end of July. If you’ve already participated in MAD I would appreciate the support in networking with some of your personal finance friends. Send them my way please. Thanks.










Share to...

Similar Posts


  1. I think you covered all the beach essentials. For me, since I have to take public transportation to get to the beach, I need: blanket, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, snacks and water.

    And thanks so much for the mention! I LOL’ed at how you refer to crotch blowouts as ‘R-rated’.

  2. Aahh, the beach! My favorite spot of all 😀

    We usually go on 1 day trips to the beach, so packing light is essential to us. Beach towel & umbrella are a must, so is sunscreen. Since we pack cold beverages, we also throw in some fruit in our cooler bag, it’s refreshing after a while in the sun 🙂

    1. I agree it is refreshing but I can’t do it day in and day out. Our holiday is a resort but we’ll be touring the country instead of hanging out at the beach all day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.