How to Pack a Cooler for a Trip to the Beach

A trip to the beach is meant to be fun, and of course, you will need to pack a cooler for such a trip, especially in the summer. Packing a cooler is not a challenging task, but loading it properly takes time and effort. Hopefully, this summer, everyone will get to go for beach trips. 

Summers are fun, but it takes strategy and skill to keep all your snack and drinks cool when going to the beach. This is why we are here with some tips and tricks for adequately packing a cooler for this fantastic trip. And don’t forget to apply sunscreen before stepping out of your house. 

Where to Buy
IRIS USA TB-42 Stack & Pull Storage Box, 12 Qt, Clear, 6 Count
Wowfit 200 Count 5x7 inches Clear Cellophane Plastic Bags, Resealable Self-Sealing Cello Bags Good for Cookies
Sport-Brella Premiere UPF 50+ Umbrella Shelter for Sun and Rain Protection (8-Foot)

Some Hacks for Packing a Cooler for a Beach Trip Properly

Some Hacks for Packing a Cooler for a Beach Trip Properly

A stocked-up cooler means a great beach day. With these cooler hacks, you will be able to enjoy your trip to the fullest. A day at the beach means you will probably be staying there for a whole day; this is why it is advised to pack enough for two full meals for a family of four or five, with snacks. 

  • Pack the Food that is Easy to Travel With

Do not fill your cooler with food that is more likely to be destroyed or squished, such as cakes or other bakery items. Foods such as pasta, salads, crackers, cookies, chips, nuggets, etc., are easier to carry, and you will not have to worry about them being squished in a moving car. 

Make sure whatever you are packing is substantial and enough for all your family members/friends. 

  • Pack All the Food in Clear Containers

Clear containers and re-sealable bags save a lot of time. You can easily see through them and know what’s in there. This way, you will not have to open different containers to find what you are looking for. This doesn’t just save time but also preserves the chill of the cooler. 

  • Chill the Cooler before Packing Food in It

You can chill your cooler with the help of a block of ice. Pre-chilling the cooler helps in keeping the food cool for a longer time. If a big group of people is going for the trip, consider getting another cooler for drinks. This way, the food container will not be opened repeatedly and stays chilled. 

  • Do Not Pack Hot Food

Do not pack food that needs to be warm for eating. Choice of food matters a lot while filling your cooler. Make sure that you chill all the food and drinks before you pack them. You can also freeze the drinking water in bottles or jugs; this way, you can use these bottles or jugs as ice blocks. 

  • Make a List of Everything That Needs to Be Packed

A list will help you track what you have packed and what still needs to be placed in the cooler. This way, you will not forget to pack anything and will be able to enjoy the trip to the fullest.

  • Pack Your Stuff Smartly

If you pack all the food and drinks properly, you can pack a lot more than you think. Sometimes people don’t think about the way they are placing the food items in a cooler. However, the order matters a lot, and if the things are not correctly set in the cooler, they will take more space than they require. Here is the proper order to help you pack more food in your cooler. 

  • Place the ice packs at the bottom of the cooler.
  • Now you can place the meats – cold cuts, or cold chicken, whatever you like. 
  • Add some more ice.
  • Now you can place the dairy products, snacks, salads, and other things. 

For drinks, it is recommended to get a separate cooler. 

  • Keep the Cooler in Shade

After you reach the beach, do not place the cooler under the sun. Ensure that you keep it in a shaded area so that the ice in it does not melt faster and the things stay cold for long. You can use an Umbrella Shelter to keep your cooler(s) in the shade. 

  • Clean the Cooler after the Trip

Don’t forget to clean the cooler after arriving home. Wash it with soapy, warm water, and let it dry before you put it away. This way, it will always be ready for another trip to the beach. 

Some Food Ideas to Pack for Your Beach Trip

Some Food Ideas to Pack for Your Beach Trip

Now that you know how to pack the cooler, it’s time to understand what you can load it with. Here are some food ideas which are great for beach trips.

  • Wraps and Sandwiches

Wraps and Sandwiches

Nothing can beat cold sandwiches and wraps when it comes to beach trips. All the fillings are tucked in and safe and yummy, of course. You can go for turkey sandwiches, chickpea feta wraps, broccoli, and mozzarella sandwiches, peanut butter or banana wrap, or whatever you like. 

  • Pasta Salads

Pasta Salads

Salads are literally the best thing you can pack for any trip. They are easy to pack, and they can easily hold up at the beach. Some pasta salads you can try are; pesto pasta salad, pasta salad without mayo, salmon spring pasta, Sicilian pasta salad, etc. 

  • Cookies and Treats 

Cookies and Treats

No trip is complete without treats. You can add oatmeal cookies or no-bake cookies to the meal you are taking to the beach. Both kids and adults love treats, so it’s a win-win. You can also add cold brownies, pie bars, and rice crisps to the treats. 


We all love a fun beach trip with family or friends, and when there is enough food for everyone, it just becomes better. Planning for trips isn’t easy; it requires a lot of management and strategy planning. From planning the trip to packing for food and drinks, everything takes time and effort. 

Beach trips are not like other trips, as they are a summer thing, and you need to put more precautions to ensure that the food and drinks are perfectly chilled. You can follow all the tips and tricks we shared and enjoy a perfect day at the beach.