Packing for a beach trip is a serious business. After all, once you’re in your bathing suit and settled on a towel in the warm sunlight—or splashing happily through the waves with your friends and family—the last thing you want is to feel like you’ve forgotten something in the car or at home.
What’s in your beach bag? Here are ten essential items to pack when you go to the beach.
Microfiber towels are a great choice for the beach: they’re quicker to dry, more absorbent, and more lightweight and compact than most regular towels. Of course, you’ll want a normal-sized beach towel or two, but don’t forget about smaller microfiber towels, which are fantastic for cooling down after activities and wiping off sand, salt, and sweat right before you leave the beach.
It’s important to hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate again when you’re spending a whole day in the hot sun. Whether or not you bring other drinks as well, it’s always a good idea to have some good old-fashioned H2O on hand to help prevent heatstroke and dehydration. Look for insulated or stainless steel water bottles to keep your water or other beverage chilled for longer.
Protecting your skin at the beach is just as important as drinking enough water. Be sure to pack a bottle of sunscreen with an SPF level of at least 30, and look for options that are waterproof and sweat-resistant. You should apply sunscreen every couple of hours, too, especially if you’re swimming.
If staying cool and in the shade is more to your liking, a floppy beach hat is a perfect addition to your summer ensemble. A foldable sun hat that provides UV protection and also features a wide brim will save your face and neck from sunburn, even if you forget to reapply sunscreen frequently. Plus, it won’t take up too much room in your bag.
Stay cool and look cool with a pair of shades that protects your vision in the sun. You should look for sunglasses labelled with UV protection and polarized lenses, which will protect your eyes from the glare of the sun reflecting off the ocean. It’s also a good idea to bring shades that are scratch-resistant and flexible, so you don’t have to worry about damage.
You may have had that experience of digging your toes into the deliciously warm sand…only to realize it’s actually hot sand that threatens to toast the soles of your feet. Ouch! A pair of casual flip flops is a beach essential that will fit neatly in your bag and guard your feet from scorching sand as well as sharp shells, rocks, or other beach debris. Not to mention, they’re easy to wash sand out of at the end of the day.
If you’re spending all day at the beach, you’re definitely going to want a snack at some point—the ocean breeze tends to give people a hearty appetite. Bring along an assortment of small, easy-to-eat snacks like pretzels and fruit slices in your beach bag. Try packing them in reusable storage bags so you can cut down on shore litter and keep the other items in your bag clean at the same time.
Especially if you’re going with friends or family, your bag should probably include a few necessary items for having fun on your beach day. You might want to pack a frisbee, for instance, or a sand castle kit for the kids. You can even fit foldable pool toys that easily transfer to the lake or the beach. And if peaceful alone time is more your thing, don’t forget a couple of books or an e-reader to catch up on your beach reads.
You’ll be wearing your swimsuit at the beach, of course, but when the day is drawing to a close most people don’t want to wear a damp bathing suit the whole way home. It’s always a good idea to pack extra clothing items, such as a cover-up or even a full change of clothes. If you spend time working out at the beach, you should consider bringing along cooling clothes and accessories like sun sleeves to help keep you from overheating.
Foldable Privacy Tent
Speaking of changing clothes, let’s be honest, no one likes the public bathroom and changing room options that are usually on offer at the beach. But have you ever considered bringing along a convenient changing room of your own? An ultra-lightweight popup privacy tent will fold up neatly and magically spring open into a shelter tent in a matter of moments. You can use these to change discreetly out of a wet bathing suit or as a shower tent.
So, what are your beach must-haves? If you need to restock on some key items, take a look at our summer collection to add to your trendy beach accessories.