Taking a road trip to Florida (or anywhere else) and renting a beach house? My family took a road trip to Florida recently where we rented a beach house on the panhandle of the Gulf of Mexico. I’m sharing my Road Trip Packing List for a Beach House Rental in Florida to help other moms prepare for a similar family vacation. Every family needs different things, so take my list and modify it to fit your own family’s needs. If you are renting a beach house, there are many things to remember to bring along. Read below so you don’t miss a thing when packing. I hope you find these packing hacks helpful!
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Wherever you are renting, here is a list to help you. Having a list to work from for packing is the best mom hack for travel.
Sharing Mom Hacks: A Road Trip Packing List for a Family Vacation
We rented a Suburban to drive down to the panhandle of Florida where we rented an amazing beach house. It was right on the ocean and a pure slice of heaven. LOVED IT! We bought most of our food at a store in the town near the beach house rental, but I did pack a few items we already had at home. Here is the list of what we packed up. Remember to check the rental listing to see what supplies your rental will provide because this will help guide your packing list.
Check the description and listing for your specific beach house. Here are some questions to help guide you in your thoughts.
What do they provide?
What amenities do they offer?
What will you need to bring along or buy based on their amenities?
Do they have a dishwasher?
Will you be allowed to use the washing machine and dryer?
Do they provide a boat or boogie boards for usage?
Do they provide fishing poles?
Do you need to bring your own bags and paper products?
Here is the list of items I either packed from home or bought in Florida:
- laundry detergent
- dish soap
- spray stain remover (hello, this is a necessity with kids, am I right???)
- garbage bags
- resealable bags for storage of leftover food (the beach house we rented had zero plastic containers…seriously, OMG! to store leftovers in so I was so happy I had packed gallon-sized sealable bags to store leftovers in for moments when I didn’t want to cook)
- facial tissues
- wine bottle opener/corkscrew (they did have one, but I was glad I had mine along just in case so I could enjoy some wine on vacation)
- paper towel roll or two
- can coolers
- paper plates
- tin foil or other food wraps
- I almost bought dish towels as they NONE at the beach house, but they had a scrubber brush so I just made it work…but really, no dish towels?????
And here too…
Packing List for ON THE ROAD…ROAD TRIP!!!
Kids need to be occupied during the drive. Here are some of the things we brought for entertainment and to make the long road trip more tolerable for all five of us.
- Travel games bin
- charger cords for phones, iPads, Chromebooks, DVD player
- Outlet to plug into the vehicle so we could plug things in during the drive
- snacks: crackers, string cheese, chips, grapes, apples, fruit snacks, nuts, rice cakes, yogurt and Go-Gurt, Go-go Squeeze, granola bars, beef sticks…I’ve got lots of hungry males to feed!
- drinks: water bottles, sports drinks, soda pop, iced tea
- cooler for the drinks, cheese, beef sticks, yogurt
- throw blankets
- travel pillows
- a plastic bag just in case someone gets car sick, a sealable one is the best in my experience
- hand wipes
- alcohol hand sanitizer
Looking for more ideas to make your road trip better? Check out my post about The Ultimate Road Trip Packing List for Teens: How to Survive Family Travel
See the short video of the calm ocean shore here, YouTube link: Carrabelle, Florida beach
Items for Recreation and Entertainment While at the Beach House Rental
The beach house we stayed at had five kayaks. These were a giant hit for my three boys. They used the kayaks every day, multiple times a day. They paddled around on them and fished from them. My husband did too. They had a blast! The boys caught fish so my husband fried up a fresh fish dinner for them one night.
Again, if your beach house has any of these items below, just skip it! Leaving things at home that you don’t really need makes more room in your vehicle for what you do need.
Here’s the List of Items We Brought: Road Trip Packing List
- boogie boards
- goggles/snorkel set
- longboard or skateboard (if the driveway is paved)
- rollerblades (if the driveway is paved)
- camera with camera bag, lenses, extra battery, and battery charger
- toys for the yard and beach: football, frisbees, Bocce ball game, bean bag toss, sand toys (some rentals may have some of these items)
- lifejacket— if planning to use kayaks or any boats or for kids who aren’t strong swimmers
- floaties for the ocean or pool (if your beach house rental has one)
- games to play at the beach house: Apples to Apples, Uno, Yahtzee, your favorite games
- fishing poles, fishing tackle, filet knife
- flint and steel or lighter for bonfires…we had a bonfire on the beach too, was fantastic!!
- headlamp for light when walking on the beach
- hammocks if there are trees or a deck to hang them from
- books, books for 9-year-old boys, books for teen girls and moms
- tree saw, in case wood is available to cut for bonfires
- hatchet (same reason as above)
- lighter fluid
- big shovel (my son wanted to dig holes in the sand so we brought a large shovel, which was great because he also made sand chairs!)
For Protecting Yourself from the Elements
We had bugs. There were lots of bugs around while we were in Florida. It was the month of March, so we were very happy to have bug spray along. We were also plagued by sand gnats which did bite us. Don’t forget the elements of where you will be staying when determining your road trip packing list.
You will need protection from the sun, wind, and water (ie. in the form of goggles). My son got bit by something and the bite became infected, so I was super happy to have antibiotic ointment along from the first aid kit.
- sunscreen: lotion, stick, spray
- bug spray
- first aid kit
- waterproof phone pouches
- sweatshirt or light jacket
- beach chairs
- swim shirts
- battery operated lantern or flashlights for use on the beach after dark
- hats or visors
- goggles and/or snorkel gear
- Benadryl cream or spray
- aloe spray for sunburns
- Aquafor for sunburn relief and wet swimsuit chafing relief
- lip balm for sunburned lips
- skin calming lotion for sunburns
Electronics and Other Essentials
Electronics are a must these days. We all have them. I used my laptop a lot on the trip. My boys used their phones and Chromebooks too, especially on the long drive of the road trip.
- laptop and charger cord (for minor things for work, otherwise no working on vacation! Though I finished up writing my next book while on vacation, but, I love to do that, so it’s not like work to me:)
- passwords for logging into accounts for work-related issues
- video camera and charger
- sand vial to collect souvenir sand for our travel display at home
- cell phones, make sure you have these!
- purse and wallet, make sure you don’t leave without these for sure!
- trip documents
- change for tolls
This is a list of the usual standard stuff needed for going on a vacation.
- beach towels
- long sleeve shirts
- tennis shoes
- sandals or slip-on shoes
- bathroom/self-care supplies: deodorant, lotion, toothbrush/toothpaste, floss, contact lenses cases and solution, glasses, liquid or bar soap, hair products, comb/brush, razor, shampoo, and conditioner
- OTC meds: ibuprofen, motion sickness medication, meds for GI troubles, cold medicine and allergy medicine, all just in case
- tank tops
- hair ties for me (I’m the only girl in my family)
- makeup (again, only for me!)
- diapers or bed pads for bed-wetters and younger kids
Ideas for Food
I wanted to keep it simple, so I chose easy meals. We also did lots of grilling. Having a full kitchen available in the beach house was awesome because we didn’t have to eat out every meal, though we did go out to eat a few times to local places that sold seafood and for pizza. Though I love to cook, and cook gourmet, I wanted easy meal prep meals so when we were ready to eat it was easy and not time-consuming. It was so lovely!
Here are the food items we bought and the meals we enjoyed for the week:
- coffee and filters
- pizza: homemade, frozen, or order takeout/delivery
- Caesar salad
- vegetables for snacking: cucumbers, red and yellow peppers
- grilled meats and spices, plus dry rub or wet rub/sauces
- meat: we grilled chicken, burgers, pork
- Vegetarian Marinated Portabella Mushroom for a meatless burger
- fish fry supplies
- bread and buns
- mushrooms for topping burgers
- potatoes roasted in the oven with onion soup mix
- baked potatoes
- sub sandwiches: sandwich meat, mustard, mayonnaise, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes
- green olives
- tacos and all the fixings, salsa and tortilla chips
- bagels and cream cheese
- donuts (gotta have some of these)
- eggs and bacon
- granola bars
- shredded cheese and tortillas for breakfast tacos (we added leftover meat and veggies to these and eggs)
- cheese and crackers
- English muffins
- salt and pepper
- drinks: sports drinks, soda, water bottles, milk, orange or apple juice
- Ingredients for Spicy Comfort Food Baked Hash Brown Casserole
- popcorn over the bonfire
- smores supplies: marshmallows, graham crackers, milk chocolate bars, and roasting sticks too
- fresh lemons for lemon water
- popcorn popper for over the bonfire
- popcorn kernels
- the beach house had a Keurig coffee maker, so we bought the little coffee cups (this was fun because we don’t have a Keurig coffee maker at home, but we plan to get one now!)
- coffee creamer
This is the one for the beach house, it is now on my birthday list🙂 Yummy!
Beverages for Adults:
My husband and I loved enjoying beverages on the beach, on the deck overlooking the beach, and at bonfires.
- low-cal alcoholic lime seltzer with fresh lemon wedges (YUM!)
- bloody mary’s
Enjoy your vacation!
We loved renting a beach house. It was a very enjoyable vacation, and very relaxing. I loved having a kitchen so we could enjoy meals at the beach house. Having separate rooms for kids was also a huge plus in renting, especially with teens who want some alone time and space. The beach house we rented had two bathrooms and this was perfect for our family of five.
I hope you have found this road trip packing list helpful.
Looking for more vacation tips? Check out these Family Travel Posts:
Have fun! Eat well and enjoy life!
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