One of my favorite things about living in Florida is being so close to amazing beaches — there is truly nothing I love more than being able to kick back and spend time with my toes in the sand.
Longer days and endless sunshine are just a few of the things that make summer so amazing. But there is nothing worse than being unprepared for a summer getaway, and getting to the beach without everything you need to enjoy the perfect day. It’s important to have all these items on hand just in case, because you never know when you might need something. After all, it’s worth it to pack your beach bag to the max.
Here are the things I put in my beach bag, broken down into essential must-haves and optional items.
These are things that may seem super obvious beach essentials, but really they are non-negotiable items that are necessary if you want to have a good beach day.
The Bag Itself — every summer adventure needs a nice big bag to stash all of your must-haves in. It’s important that it is big enough that it can fit what you need, but not so big that it’s too heavy to carry. I always look for something that is bright and stylish without being too over the top or flashy.
BillaBong Island Time Straw Tote Bag
Swimsuit — how can you expect to enjoy the waves or get your tan on without the perfect suit? In my opinion, I love a bathing suit that is both flattering and comfortable, because you will likely be in it for a large portion of the day. I sometimes pack an extra suit too because I hate sitting in a wet bathing suit.
Sunscreen — there is nothing more important than making sure you protect your skin while at the beach. The UV rays in the summer are especially strong, so make sure you find a sunscreen that you love and don’t hate putting on. I’m a fan of spray on sunscreen because it means I don’t have to get the grease on my hands.
Towels — Giant beach towels are another must-have item because they make picnicking and drying off that much easier. I always bring extras so I can lay a few down on the sand and have some for swimming as well.
Target Cabana Stripe Beach Towel
Sunglasses — It’s also important to protect your eyes from the sun (and be able to see properly). Along with UV protection, I of course love to always match my sunnies with my outfit in order to make sure I’m keeping it stylish.
Waterproof Case — This is a definite necessity in order to make sure your valuables are kept safe — keys, money, phone, etc. I like to keep these things all in one place so I don’t have to frantically search my bag thinking I’ve lost something important.
Tory Burch Tilda Nylon Cosmetic Set
These items are things that are second in command to the essentials. These are nice to have but not necessary, and definitely make beach trips much more fun.
Lip Balm — don’t let your lips get get burnt or chapped! Instead, pack your fave lip balm but ensure it has SPF in it (trust me, there is nothing worse than having a sunburn on your lips!).
Jack Black Moisture Therapy Lip Balm
Hairbrush — crazy wind and ocean water can have your hair looking crazy, which is why it’s important to bring a brush so you can tame your locks. I love to run a brush through my wet hair after getting out of the water so that it doesn’t get too tangled.
Change of Clothes — especially when at the beach, clothes often get wet or dirty, so it’s important to bring at least an additional cover up. It’s easy to throw on and doesn’t take up that much room either.
Forever 21 Abstract Shirt Dress Swim Cover-Up
Koozie — If you want to keep your drinks cold, a koozie is the best way to enjoy drinks all summer long. If you haven’t already noticed, this is also my must for poolside hangouts as well!
Activities — playing cards, inflatable rafts, balls, and other items always make beach trips so much fun. Especially for kids, bringing lots of activities keeps them busy and entertained.
Jewelry — Last but most certainly not least, I can never resist bringing some bling to the beach. There are so many great versatile summer pieces that you can incorporate into your beach wardrobe. It gives your beach outfit that extra oomph, and I mean who can resist a little arm candy!?
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So, if bikini-clad beach days and outdoor fun are in your future, make sure you come prepared by following my go-to list for beach packing. Summertime is a state of mind, so I hope you get to enjoy lots of adventure, fun, and sun in the upcoming months no matter where you are!