Beach Day Essentials: What to Pack

Beach Day Essentials: What to Pack

Make the most of your next beach day with a well-stocked canvas tote bag or another sturdy, water-resistant bag. Keep reading to discover our favorite beach-day essentials, which can also work for a day at the pool.

Beach Cover-Ups

One of the most important items you’ll want to include in your beach bag is a beach cover-up for everyone in your group. There are rash guards for women, men, and kids in all sizes, and they come in styles ranging from long-sleeve hoodies to dresses in knee- and ankle-lengths. Rash guards are usually made from a polyester/spandex blend, which is a breathable, fast-drying fabric. Plus, it provides UPF 50 for covered areas—as do many swimsuits and various types of sun protection clothing. You’ll still want to wear sunscreen, which brings us to the next must-have on our list.


Even with the previously mentioned cover-ups and rash guards, it’s still important to wear sunscreen. There are plenty of formulations out there, so you can find one that suits your skin type and sun care needs. When shopping for sunscreen, you’ll find lotions, sprays, and even modern powder formulas that don’t leave a greasy residue on the skin.

There are swimsuits made from chlorine-resistant fabric that withstand sunscreen chemicals, saltwater, chlorine, and sweat. What makes this type of suit so special is the addition of Lycra®XtraLife™, a type of spandex that delivers 10 times the wear of regular spandex and excellent color retention.

Water Shoes

Protecting your feet from hot sand and sharp shells is a must for the beach, which is where water shoes come in handy. This summer footwear comes in different colors to complement your swimsuit, and the material that water shoes are crafted from dries fast so there’s no worry of mildew. After wearing them, you can simply rinse your water shoes with cool water and let them air-dry—much the same way you’d rinse and dry a bathing suit. Perforated water shoes let air flow through so your feet stay cool. Look for a pair with a rubber sole to prevent slipping on wet surfaces, such as a beach or pool locker room with showers.


Safeguard your eyes against damaging UV rays with a pair of sunglasses. Oversized styles provide ample coverage, and they’re on-trend. When it comes to frame shape, there are plenty of options. Cat-eye frames have a retro look, while round or rounded-square sunnies are always a classic option. Aviators are another type of sunglasses that work for almost everyone—and they never go out of style.

You can match the color of your sunglass frames to your swimwear for a coordinated look. Sunglasses come in many frame colors these days, so you could wear a pair of turquoise frames with a matching tankini top or a white-framed pair with a white bathing suit or one with a print featuring white. Black, brown, and tortoiseshell are three frame colors that go with virtually every piece in your summer wardrobe, and you can wear them during other seasons, too.

Beach Towels

Something you definitely don’t want to forget is a comfy beach towel for drying off and lounging on the sand. There are oversized beach towels the size of blankets and those that can be personalized with a monogram. Hooded towels are great for kids, and they come in many cute styles. To fit enough towels for the whole family in your beach bag, roll them up before packing. If you’re hitting the beach with a relatively large group and can’t fit everything in one bag, give everyone their own beach bag filled with sunny day essentials.

Books and Magazines

If you’re not the water sports type, bring some light reading to enjoy. Whether you prefer the latest thriller or a romance novel, there’s nothing like a good beach read. Or bring the latest issues of your favorite magazines to browse through while you relax by the water.

Snacks and Drinks

Although there are often concession stands at beaches and pools, you might want to bring your own snacks and beverages along. Choose foods that won’t spoil in the heat, such as a bag of pretzels or baked potato chips. Drinks and snacks you want to keep cool—such as sliced fruit and veggie assortments—can be toted to the beach in an ice-filled cooler. Bring along a drink holder that keeps your beverage cool, or use an insulated tumbler that keeps liquids at the preferred temperature for hours.

These are just several ideas for packing your beach bag. Your beach-day bag might look slightly different; for example, you might pack beach toys for the kids to keep them occupied when they’re not swimming. With a little preparation, you can pack a beach bag that keeps you and your family comfortable and entertained all day.


Related Articles