28 Dollar Store Must-Buy Items for Beach House Vacation

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Dollar Store Must-Buy Items for Beach House Vacation

Make sure you plan for a trip to the dollar store before you head to your beach house vacation! The dollar store is an excellent place to find all kinds of essentials for your time on the beach and in the beach house.

In earlier posts, I have shared our favorite dollar store Disney trip items and dollar store Disney Cruise items. The dollar store (we usually shop at Dollar Tree) is the PERFECT place to shop before a big trip no matter where your destination might be. There are so many items that are pretty brilliant bargains at $1 each or even $1 per pack.

Plus let’s face it – many times when you travel, you come home with less than you started out with. For example, toiletries and toothbrushes and Ziploc bags… these are all things that you are actually going to USE during your trip and possibly dispose of before heading home. I always head to the dollar store to pick up certain items before a beach vacation. If I don’t find what I am looking for at the dollar store, only then will I check out the big box stores, etc.

Here are some other beach-related posts I have written that you might find helpful:

Scroll to the bottom of this post for a list of supplies that you can copy, paste and print.

dollar store beach house must buy items

Beach Vacation Dollar Store Supplies

1. Ponchos – We can almost always count on at least one rainy day (or part of a day) when we spend the week at the beach.  Ponchos are a great idea to have on hand for talking a walk in the rain or if you find yourself outside in a downpour.

Rain poncho

2. Toothbrushes and Toothpaste – Unless you’re a couponer and you work the drugstore and/or coupon deals to get free toothbrushes, you know that buying toothbrushes for the whole family can add up. I tend to replace our travel toothbrushes after most trips because the thought of them rolling around the toiletry bag for months grosses me out. Pick up toothbrushes on the cheap at the dollar store for trips. You won’t feel terrible throwing them out at the end of vacation because they didn’t cost much. Save the costlier toothbrushes for your home bathroom. For a week or so away most of us can settle for a simplistic model.


3. Glow Sticks – Beach trips for our family usually include walks on the beach after the sun has set. We look for ghost crabs and just enjoy the sounds of the ocean as we stroll along the sand.  Glow sticks are fun, sure, but they also give added visibility to your kiddos so you can spot them easily and make sure they aren’t wandering too close to the water or getting too far ahead of the group.

glow sticks at dollar tree

4. Cups, Tumblers, Water Bottles – Most beach houses have a supply of cups and dishes.  However I like to pick up water bottles for the kids to use on the beach, etc.  Consider disposable cups for easier cleanup and travel mugs if you like to take a walk with your coffee in hand!

Cups and tumblers

5. Snack Containers and Plastic Snack Bags – These are great for tossing random snacks in for the kids. I use gallon sized bags for packing individual outfits, toiletries that I am worried might leak, etc. I ALWAYS pack an extra gallon bag into the diaper bag for holding dirty diapers, clothes that diapers have leaked on, wet clothes and bathing suits, emergency barf bags, you get the idea.

Bumps and bruises can be soothed with instant ice packs – just put ice into a sandwich bag. I pack individual road trip activities in different sized bags as well.

Plastic bags are great for many uses on the beach.  Put phones or other items inside bags to keep water and sand OFF of them.  Collect shells and other beach treasures in a gallon bag.  I recommend buying a box or two in sandwich, quart and gallon sizes.

snack containers plastic bags

Plastic Baggies

6. Tissues, Hand Sanitizer, and Wet Wipes – Boogers, snot, phlegm, poop, pee. Add dirt, blood, excess suntan lotion and more to that list. You can never have enough tissues, wipes or sanitizer!! Stock up at the dollar store.

For tissues, I like to get a couple big packs of the smaller travel packs. I stick the smaller packs EVERYWHERE – one in the diaper bag, purse, car, different luggage pieces, etc.

Soap and water are always going to be your best line of defense against germs, including the dreaded norovirus that likes to fly around ships. In a pinch, hand sanitizer will do the job.

tissues sanitizer wipes

7. Mesh Bags – But not just for your dirty laundry!  These bags are a total Godsend when it comes to beach toys.  How many pounds of sand do you typically dump in your car thanks to sandy beach toys?  Next time you head to the beach, tuck a mesh laundry bag or two into your beach bag. As you pack up for the day, put the beach toys into the mesh bags.  The majority of the sand on the toys will shake off and stay on the beach as you walk back to your house, hotel or car.

mesh laundry bags

8. Pill Organizer – Great for vitamins and other medications, but think beyond that!  These little boxes are wonderful for things like safety pins, travel sewing kit pieces, etc.

They also come in handy for kids’ crafts you might be packing for boredom busters.  Rainbow loom bands, beads, Shopkins and other little novelties will fit in these compartments.

pill organizer

9. Baby Powder – Kids coated in sand?  Baby powder works wonders for sand removal from skin!  Pick up a bottle or two and keep one in your beach bag to remove as much sand as possible from their sandy skin.

10. Nightlights and Flashlights – Maybe you have a kid who is afraid of the dark, maybe you don’t. If you do, pick up a little nightlight before you head out on vacation so you’re not scrambling at bedtime.

If you DON’T have a kid who is afraid of the dark, consider picking up a small flashlight. These are nice to leave on the nightstand in the event that your kid wakes up and needs to get to the bathroom, etc. in the middle of the night. Unfamiliar surroundings and furniture can lead to bumps and stubbed toes!

flashlights and nightlights

11. Trash Bags – It’s always a great idea to pick up a box or two of trash bags. They are so helpful for collecting that unavoidable mountain of dirty wash throughout your trip. Many beach houses come with a starter supply of trash bags but it’s always smart to have extra.

Trash Bags

12. Batteries – You probably make sure that you have packed your eleventy billion charging cords for everything from phones to tablets. But don’t forget to throw some extra batteries in your bag for any random electronics that you might want to run and not be near an outlet (like those flashlights I mentioned above).


13. Bubbles – Because, well?  They’re fun!  They’re also great boredom busters.  Let the kids blow some bubbles on the porch while adults finish getting ready to go out to dinner.  If you’re blowing bubbles on the beach, be mindful that they aren’t blowing into your neighbors space!


14. Over-the-Door-Hooks – These hooks are sanity savers! They help give our towels, bathing suits, backpacks, camera bags, WHATEVER, a spot OFF of the floor. Pick up a few and toss them on the bathroom doors!

Over the Door Hook

15. Sponges and Washcloths – Half of my family prefers bar soap and washcloths… the other half prefers sponges and body wash. Pick up a couple of each and toss ’em out at the end of the trip. At just $1 each they will work great during your trip, but they are totally disposable and there’s no lugging anything wet home in your luggage.

sponges and washcloths

16. First Aid Supplies – Extra thermometer, bandages, triple antibiotic cream… all are good ideas to toss in your toiletry bag. Pick up many of these standard items at the dollar store at a super low price.

first aid dollar store

17. Chapstick – Keep those lips moisturized! They will certainly need it after even just one day on the beach in the salty air! I always take a least one chapstick or lip balm with me!

chapstick dollar store

18. Reusable Bags – Bags are great for pool and beach bags!  They are also handy for packing all of the groceries and toiletries that you typically take for a week at the beach. At $1 each, pick up a few bags before you start packing!

Disney bags

19. Deck of Cards – Cards are a great and easy way to have some fun at night or during rainy beach days.  Pick up a few new decks at the dollar store in case your beach house does not have any.

playing cards

20. Hangers – In my past experiences across many beach houses and vacation rental homes, hangers are typically scarce. Sometimes there are a couple of hangers in each closet, other houses have ZERO.  So grab a pack or two of cheap hangers if you are packing any clothes that you’d prefer hang in the closet instead of in a dresser drawer.

Plastic Hangers

21. Plastic Tablecloths – You might encounter a yucky dirty picnic table or simply want to cover the kitchen table for easy cleanup.  Whatever your reason, pick up a couple plastic tablecloths for convenience.

Plastic Tablecloths

22. Doormat – What’s the one thing you can count on when you’re at the beach?  Sand, sand and more sand will get dragged into the house whether you like it or not.  Cut down drastically on how MUCH sand comes inside with door mats.  I pick up a mat or two for multiple doors.  I put one inside the door and one outside.  Shoes (flip flops) typically stay outside on the deck and I encourage foot wiping on the mats both outside the door and inside again when coming up from the beach.

Door Mat

23. Clothesline and Clothespins – There’s nothing worse than heading to the beach or pool with a towel that is still wet from the day before because it sat in a crumpled heap on the floor all night.  Hang up towels as soon as possible for a dry start the following day!


24. Dish sponge or brush – Pick up an extra sponge or two in case your beach house does not come with any.  (And actually, I always prefer to have new ones anyway – using someone else’s dish sponge would give me the shakes.)

dish brushes

25. Aluminum Foil and Saran Wrap – These are two items that you just never know whether or not will be supplied with your beach house rental!  These items come in handy for BBQing (foil) and they are both great for storing leftovers in the fridge.

Also Paper Products – Again, never a bad idea to pick these up before you head to the rental house.  You never know what supplies will be included with the house and paper products make quick and easy meal cleanup.  Don’t forget some extra toilet paper while you’re at it!

Aluminum foil

dollar store paper products

26. Beach Toys! – Dollar stores have LOTS of great toys for sand and water play! Find buckets, dolls, goggles, pool floats and noodles and lots more.

Kids on Beach Outer Banks

p.s. Dollar store beach buckets are perfect for serving our favorite No Bake Sand Cake!!

No Bake Sand Cake Bucket Dessert

27. Bottled Water – We take MUCH water with us when we travel.  Camping trips, beach house stays, etc – always lots of water in tow! We usually take a few bigger bottles like these and then we’ll grab a couple cases of smaller water bottles at Walmart, ALDI or BJs.

Crystal Geyser Spring Water

28. Random Beauty Items Including Hair Ties – If we’re beaching it, Lily and I are definitely rocking the ponytail day after day.  Rather than try to pack up hair ties from around our house, I always pick up a new pack before we go on a trip and stick it in our toiletry bag!

Hair Ties

Are there any beach house dollar store must-have supplies that you would add to our list? Drop us a comment and let us know!

Dollar Store Beach Shopping List:

Toothbrushes and Toothpaste
Glow Sticks
Cups, Tumblers, Water Bottles
Snack Containers and Plastic Bags
Tissues, Hand Sanitizer and Wet Wipes
Mesh Laundry Bags
Pill Organizer
Baby Powder
Nightlights and Flashlights
Trash Bags
Over-the-Door Hooks
Sponges and Washcloths
First Aid Supplies
Reusable Bags
Deck of Cards
Plastic Tablecloths
Clothesline and Clothespins
Dish Sponge or Brush
Aluminum Foil and Saran Wrap
Paper Products
Bottled Water
Hair Ties
Beach Toys!

Heading to the beach with a baby? Make sure you print our free beach with baby packing list!

beach supplies for baby packing list


28 Dollar Store Must-Buy Items for Your Beach House Vacation

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beach house

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