Summer Beach Bag Essentials

We just planned a spontaneous beach trip next week. I AM BEYOND THRILLED!!!!! I only got one decent beach day last summer, and that’s criminal when you live within 2 hours of the Jersey Shore. (Don’t let the show fool ya. The Jersey Shore is GORGEOUS and there are many lovely areas. We will be going to Cape May, one of my favorite Jersey beaches.)

I’m already planning what to pack, and I thought that sharing my beach bag essentials would be the perfect topic for this week’s Beauty Buzz! Here’s what I plan to carry in my beach bag.

beach bag essentials

Summer Beach Bag Essentials

1. Mexitan Tropical Sands SPF 30 All Natural Biodegradable Water Resistant Sunscreen: Phew! That’s a mouthful! Naturally, sunscreen is at the top of my list of summer beach bag essentials. I’m very particular about the sunscreen I put on my family, and I rely heavily on Katie’s diligent research every year to guide my choices. Succinctly put, I do not buy chemical sunscreens; I prefer mineral-based sunblocks. Sure, they are expensive, and they leave a white film on the skin, but I believe they are much safer than the typical drugstore sunscreens. Since my old favorite was so rudely discontinued, this year I decided to try the Mexitan Tropical Sands after carefully combing Katie’s post and reading all about her recommended products. So far, I’m pleased.

2. Ban Total Refresh Cooling Body Cloths: I discovered these through a sponsored campaign with Mom Trends, and I love them. I keep a pack in my purse and one in my pool bag (which is suddenly becoming my beach bag!) They’re perfect for freshening up when you don’t have time to get a full shower. Read my full review.

3. Fresh Sugar Lip Balm: Mine came in a gift from QVC, and I absolutely adore the product. Since I’ve been using it, I’ve seen it recommended a lot by other blogger and beauty product junkies. I have the un-tinted one, but one of the tinted ones would be nice if you don’t want to wear lipstick to the beach.

4. Blot Powder: This stuff is amazing. I will use my beloved Supergoop CC Cream in the morning when I apply my beach makeup routine, but that will stay at the hotel. I do always carry my MAC Blot Powder in my purse, and I make sure to have it when I go anywhere that I might sweat. Read my full review.

Beach Bag Essentials: Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

5. Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle: An insulated water bottle is a must for the beach, and this one boasts a double wall vacuum insulation, premium grade 18/8 stainless steel that is BPA free, a powder-coated matte finish exterior that never sweats, AND a lifetime warranty. My son has one, and it is fantastic. I’m about to order one for each of the rest of us.

6. Baseball Cap: I know a lot of fashion-forward ladies wear stylish sunhats, but I’ve never found one I like. I prefer to wear the “baseball cap” that I run in. Mine is white and lightweight and helps shield my face from the sun.

7. Sunnies: Of course you can’t forget your sunglasses! I have two pair, but for the beach my favorite sunnies are these Tory Burch polarized cat-eye framed glasses. They were a birthday gift from my husband a few years ago. My other pair doesn’t have polarized lenses and I find myself squinting when I wear them, so I take these with me to the beach.

Beach Bag Essentials: Vera Bradley Beach Towel

8. Beach Towel: A few years ago, my friend Kim got me a Vera Bradley beach towel for Christmas. I use it all the time, and it’s held up great. It’s large, thick and absorbent. And also, CUTE!

9. Flip Flops: I love Havaianas. They have so many cute and colorful options, they hold up well, and the price tag won’t break the bank.

10. Cute Coverup: I usually wear a tank top and cut-offs over my swimsuit, but you can take a look at my post 33 Stylish Coverups for Under $50 for lots of affordable options.

11. Snacks: I love The Gluten Free Bar. Peanut Butter is my favorite for snacking, and I like Oatmeal Raisin for a quick breakfast-on-the-go.

The Perfect Beach Bag + Beach Bag Essentials

12. A Great Beach Bag: Of course, having a great bag is half the battle. This year I’m loving my Stella & Dot Avalon Tote as my pool bag, but I’m not sure I want to take it to the beach. I’m afraid the sand will ruin it. Instead, I would recommend one of the expandable Getaway Bags or perhaps the How Does She Do It. I love that the How Does She Do It Bag has a built-in cup holder. Make sure you also grab a matching Hang On, the perfect thing to organize your toiletries, keys and iPhone so they don’t get lost in the depths of your beach bag.

That about covers it, dontcha think!? With this list, you’ll have everything you need for a perfect day at the pool or beach.


  1. says

    We just got back from the Jersey Shore on Thursday, and I so want to go back! These are great ideas for readers to have when they are at the beach. I used the beach makeup routine when we were down there, and it took me 7 minutes to have a nicely made up face for the beach and boardwalk. Have fun!

  2. Gayle says

    I thought I saw you post on Facebook/Instagram/your website where you are staying at Cape May. We have some friends who are looking to visit there this summer for a few days, and I wanted to suggest the place you like. Can you please let me know the name of the hotel/resort?

  3. Jen says

    That water bottle is the best for summer. Even on 90 degree plus days the water is still cold the next day. The only bummer is they cannot use them at school. But great for summer activities. I also agree on the baseball hat.

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