There's nothing quite like getting ready for a full day at the beach. You've got your favorite swimsuit and a base layer of sunscreen on, with the sound of crashing waves on your mind. Heading out your front door knowing that all you have ahead of you is salt air, sand between your toes, and an entire day of fun in the sun is a magical feeling. Packing the right items can help you ensure that the magic lasts all day, rather than having to cut your plans short because you left something essential at home. Read on for the best items to bring along to maximize your full day of beach magic.
While you'll likely already have your first layer of sunscreen on under your swimwear, it's essential that you reapply it throughout the day, especially if you're going in and out of the water or sweating at all. That's why extra sunscreen is a must-have when you're packing up your beach bag. Since space in your bag might be somewhat limited, we recommend packing a high-SPF travel-size sunscreen or a sunscreen stick. Sunscreen sticks are also great because you won't run the risk of any messy sunscreen spills, but you can also opt to keep your tube sunscreen in a reusable baggie. Keep your sunscreen easily accessible so you can reapply seamlessly between dips.
It's no wonder that a beach towel easily makes this list. If you have space in your bag, you can also bring a separate beach blanket to sit on throughout the day. Having both a classic terry cloth beach towel and a beach blanket means you'll have a dry, sand-free towel to dry off after a swim or splash session, which is always such a luxury when it comes to a full beach day. For your beach blanket, pick a fun design that'll make the day even more festive, like tie-dye or colorful stripes, and opt for a comfy material like Turkish terry cloth or absorbent cotton. Try rolling your towel and your blanket up at the very bottom of your bag to maximize space!
Bringing a pair of water shoes can be a game-changer when it comes to capturing all of that beach day magic, especially if the beach you're heading to is rocky or if the day is particularly hot. Water shoes are comfortable and can keep your feet protected both in the water and on the hot sand. Having an alternate shoe option in your bag means you can keep your sandals dry and bring those really cute ones, knowing they won't get ruined. Opt for a cute and simple slip-on pair of water shoes that you can swap out your sandals for once you set up camp and start your day.
Bringing snacks is essential when packing for a full day at the beach. While some beaches might offer a few food options nearby, having the right grub within reach will allow you to maximize your beach time. Pack your beach bag to the brim with goodies like fruit or dried fruit, chips, or crackers, and even a sandwich or wrap so you can enjoy a proper lunch and get back to the waves. It's also just as important to bring enough water or your beverage of choice for hydration, so bonus points if you can fit an insulated lunchbox in one of your bags! If not, simply opt for a refillable water bottle that'll keep your drink as chilled as you'll feel after an epic beach day.
One thing that's key to enjoying a full beach day is sun protection. With that in mind, a beach cover-up definitely makes this list. No matter what you wear to the beach, bringing a simple swimsuit cover-up in your bag will allow you to enjoy the day in comfort, style, and the ease of knowing that you won't be dealing with a sunburn when you get home. Throw your beach cover-up on between dips if you want to take a walk along the shore or just want an added protective layer as you lounge. This will also allow you to keep whatever clothes you wore to the beach dry in your bag for the trip home.
With these five items on your packing list, you'll be ready to bask in all of the glory that is a full day at the beach. We hope that you'll be feeling the sun on your face and that refreshing salty ocean spray in no time!