How to Pack a Beach Bag

How to Pack a Beach Bag

Don’t you just love pools and beaches? Even if it’s five minutes from home, going to one feels like a mini-vacation. Let’s talk about how to pack a beach bag to make your day great.

First Things First

When you get to the pool or the beach, you will want to get down to the business of relaxation. Make sure to pack what you will need first last. In other words, make sure that it will be at the top of your beach bag when you get there. These items will vary depending upon your needs, but a beach towel and sunscreen are both good candidates.

Also, make sure that you have secure places for your valuables. Your phone, wallet, keys, and other necessities will work well in an interior zippered pocket to keep them safe. If you anticipate being away from your bag and leaving it unattended while you are in the water, however, consider locking everything except your keys in your car or a secure locker. Attaching your keys to a secure swimsuit strap is an additional option.

What Goes in the Bottom of the Bag?

Always pack the heaviest items in the bottom of your beach tote bag. This is likely to be extra shoes, water bottles, and a first aid kit. You don’t want to risk crushing any items on the top with the heavy stuff. Don’t take hydration for granted. Some locations may not have drinking water available. Check out the availability in advance and bring your own as necessary.

Shield Your Shades

Sunglasses are important for health reasons—and they look so cool with your swimsuit, too! Make sure to protect your shades with a good sunglasses case. There are few things as annoying as finding the perfect sunglasses and then accidentally sitting on them or having something heavy in a beach bag crush them.

If you need to go sunglasses shopping, plan some time for this. To find a pair of shades that will give your eyes the protection they need from the sun (while looking fabulous), you’ll want to be able to try on a variety of sunglasses when you are not rushed. Think about any great sunglasses you have had in the past. Are there specific shapes or colors of sunglasses frames that make you look and feel great? Just like the right color can be flattering (or not), you’ll want to take a little time and find just the right pair of sunglasses for you.

Skin Care Essentials

In addition to sunscreen with a good SPF (and a plan for reapplying it periodically), consider other sun care essentials. Many people like to wear rash guards for their sun protective qualities. The less skin you have exposed, the less potential sun damage you can incur. Especially if you enjoy the beach during high sun hours between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. or like long, leisurely days by the shore, this can be a good option.

After a day at the beach, be sure to shower to remove any sunscreen, perspiration, and salt spray. Treat your skin to a good moisturizer and maybe some essential oil or perfume afterward, too. Protecting and pampering your skin can be a great form of self-care.

Always Available

Always include an extra beach towel in your beach bag. If the first one gets wet, sandy, or something spilled on it, just pull out the fresh one. This has the power to make you the most popular friend or family member on the beach!

Especially if you are going to the beach with kids, make sure to include water shoes for everyone who may need them. Water shoes can make the difference between an exhilarating adventure and an injured foot.

Hot Hot Hot!

Be careful not to let any snacks or cosmetics melt while they are in your beach bag. Consider tucking an insulated lunchbox in your bag for any snacks that will be less than their best at high temperatures.

If you like to have a makeup case with you, be aware that anything with a waxy base to it (like lipstick) is a candidate for melting. An alternative to this is to pack inexpensive versions of the most basic makeup in your beach bag and leave “the good stuff” at home in the air conditioning. The natural look is always a great choice in summer, too!

What’s Up Next?

If you will be heading out to lunch, dinner, or shopping after the beach, pack an easy outfit to change into. Women’s shorts and a T-shirt can double as a beach cover-up and an outfit to wear on the way there and into the evening.

Pack your beach bag and enjoy a great time at the beach or the pool!


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