Summer is finally here, and that means it’s time to dust off the old beach bag and start updating my beach bag must-haves. I LOVE THE BEACH, and I have never lived more than a few hours from one. Growing up, we lived just five hours from Virginia Beach, and we went to the beach every summer of my childhood. When I went away to college in Massachusetts, there was a beach just 10 minutes from my dorm. Then when I got married and moved to Philadelphia, I discovered the Jersey Shore. (Don’t believe all the stuff you see on TV. There are some really nice areas at the Jersey Shore, and we try to get down there a couple of times every summer.)
Then of course there’s the swimming pool. My kids have been begging to go to the pool since it opened on Memorial Day weekend, so I’ve been gathering all the essential items that I’ll need for a new summer of pool days and beach trips.
Every year I replace my old sunscreens and lip balms, and I like to get a new water bottle. I also stock up on snacks because I hate paying snack bar prices, and I try to control the amount of junk that my kids consume, although that is a losing battle as they get older, let me tell you.
Here’s what I’ll be toting in my beach bag this summer.
Summer Beach Bag Essentials
1. Sunscreen: 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 on the EWG Guide to Sunscreens to guide my choices each year. My old favorite was discontinued, so I’m currently on the hunt for something new. I ordered this SkinCeuticals SPF 30 Sunscreen on Amazon, but it’s tiny, so I will be looking for something more affordable. It does work well, though. I tried it out when I was at a a music festival, sitting in the direct sun for the entire afternoon, and it definitely does the job. Unfortunately, $30 for 1.7 ounces is not gonna cut it with 3 kids needing sun protection all summer long.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Straw Hat: This is on my short list of things I need this year. I usually wear a ballcap, but I really want a cute straw fedora or floppy sun hat for the beach this year.
6. Sunnies: Of course you can’t forget your sunglasses!
7. Beach Towel: A few years ago, a friend gifted me with 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!
8. 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.
9. Cute Coverup: For more choices, see my post 33 Stylish Coverups for Under $50.
10. Snacks: My latest obsession is these Wild Garden Hummus Snack Packs, an all-natural, healthy snack for families on the go. These are great to throw in your bag for the beach or pool. They also make a great little snack for the kids to take to school.
11. A Great Beach Bag: Of course, having a great bag is half the battle. I love the Stella & Dot Avalon tote (pictured above). This crisp and modern perforated tote in the trendy blush color is gorgeous, and it includes a pouch perfect for your keys and phone. I couldn’t help but picture it in my collage above. But honestly, that’s a pretty hefty price for a bag that’s going to be drug through the sand. A more practical and affordable bag is the How Does She Do It. The navy and white Ikat is great for summer.
Or check out Target’s great selection of straw beach bags.
12. A good book. Check out my list of great summer beach reads.
That about covers it, dontcha think!? With this list, you’ll have everything you need for a perfect day at the pool or beach.