10 Beach Bag Essentials


The number one reason summertime is awesome? How about getting the golden glow of a nice tan – a great pick-me-up to leave those doldrums of winter behind.  If you’re going out to the beach this summer, make sure to take these along with you:

1. Oversized tote.

This J.Crew tote is neutral enough that I wouldn’t feel guilty passing it off to Darren if I got tired of carrying it *ahem*. I like the versatile look of this one from Land’s End, which will take you into fall and beyond. Need something punchier? This Target tote has a fun print and won’t break the bank, and this PVC one will keep your goodies dry.

2. Oversized beach towel.

It’s happened to us all- you fall asleep on the beach, roll over, and face plant into a mouthful of sand. This towel is 39″ x 67″, so no sand-munching. I also like the tassels on this preppy number. Not big enough for you? This blanket has weighted pockets to hold down unruly corners, and this one folds into its own pocket.

3. Sunscreen.

I’ve tried the spray kind, and while convenient, it just doesn’t offer adequate coverage for me. This Neutrogena one can be used on both face and body (it’s non-comedogenic). If you tend to get sweaty, I recommend a waterproof + sweatproof option. I also use this on my face before I run outdoors, and it doesn’t budge. Don’t forget to protect your lips either! And if you’re still not an SPF believer, hopefully this NYT article will convince you otherwise.

4. Floppy hat.

Your skin isn’t the only thing that can burn. Protect your tresses and face with a wide brimmed hat. I have this one from J.Crew, but also love this striped number. Need more color? This coral one has a lovely nautical rope accent, and this patterned floppy comes in multiple colors.

5. Anti-bacterial hand wipes.

You’ve been throwing sand at your friends all day, and suddenly it’s lunchtime. Naturally, shoving your grimy hands into that bucket of Boardwalk Fries seems like a great idea…right? Gross. Wipe your paws! These organic ones are a good option for the environmentally-conscious.

6. Waterproof camera bag.

I have a terrible fear of dropping my camera – or any electronics – in the water. I purchased this Lewis N. Clark waterproof pouch for my point-and-shoot last summer, and it’s also useful for stashing credit cards and other important items (and only costs $8.95). Have a DSLR? This pouch has received solid reviews, and costs much less than an actual waterproof case. I’m contemplating buying one for my Sony NEX.

7. Hydrating mist.

When you need a refresher from the sticky hot heat, a mist is a nice pick-me-up. I use this Evian spray, which has an ultra fine mist and doubles as a makeup setter. This one by Mario Badescu has a chock-full of good-for-you ingredients.

8. Water bottle. 

It’s easy to get dehydrated when you’re out in the sun all day. To cool down your water, stick an aluminum bottle like the Kleen Kanteen in the ocean for a quick second. Or just use an insulated bottle.

9. Sunglasses.

Ever since I got LASIK 1.5 years ago, my eyes have become more sensitive to light. Walking out into the sunlight = instant squint (or maybe that’s just me being Asian). Even if you aren’t sun-sensitive, it’s still a good idea to protect your peepers. I like the surprise inside of these Ray-Ban classics, and the color isn’t as harsh on the face as the black ones.These slightly-vintage-slightly-dorky Persols are fabulous (and pricey!), and these cat-eyes will keep things sassy.

10. Ziploc bags.

Ziploc bags have so many uses at the beach! Sure, you could use a bikini bag for your wet clothing articles, but you can do the same with a ziploc AND bring snacks AND drag home all those cool shells you found. Ziploc bags rock.

And that’s our list!  What else can’t you live without at the beach?  Let us know in the comments below.  Now get out there and enjoy the sun!

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