Listen up, beach bums. This one is for you.
Now that the sun is out and scorching hot, one of the best places to get away and relax with a breeze is the beach. Especially with the current heatwave sweeping the country, many are searching for a way to stay cool while enjoying the fresh air.
Well, pack your bags, because the beach is calling. After picking out your favorite bikini or swim trunks, some sandals and a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes (and look super cool doing it,) the next step is to gather the rest of your beach day essentials.
There is the obvious, including a towel to dry off with, a cold bottle of water to stay hydrated and some strong SPF sunscreen, of course. To make your day even brighter, be sure to also think about a cooler for some yummy snacks and drinks, a source of shade for when the sun gets to be too much and some games to keep the party going all day long.
Read on to see our ultimate beach day packing list, complete with the categories above and more. Just make sure your bag is big enough and you’ve brought enough sunscreen for a full day at the beach.
A big beach bag to pack into:
Paravel Cabana Tote, $165
If Oprah loves it, we know you will too.
The Cabana Tote from Paravel is a stylish way to take all your belongings to the beach and back, in a variety of colors to match your suit. The monogrammed beach bag has a water-resistant lining made of recycled bottles, keeping them out of the ocean you are about to swim in.
We’ll be totally transparent with this recommendation.
The FUNBOY transparent beach bag adds a pop of color to your beach or pool day, while also allowing you to see what you packed and help remind you what you may be forgetting. The bag also comes with a bonus — a matching envelope bag to store sunscreen and other small essentials.
This striped bag from Food52 is a cute and casual way to bring your stuff to and from the beach. It is made of 100% Turkish cotton canvas, built to last trip after trip. For a matching set, make sure to check out the rest of the Turkish T collection on the site.
Beach Picnic Tote Bag, $22.99
Keep is simple. That’s what beach life is all about.
This basic striped beach bag from Wayfair is an easy way to keep your beach items safe and secure. It comes in a variety of fun colors, each of which has a zipper closure to keep clothes in and sand out.
A fluffy towel for a beach picnic and drying off:
Don’t just wait for a rainbow to appear, bring one to the beach.
This oversized beach towel is a great item to pack for both laying out in the sun with friends and then drying off after a dip in the water. The Pottery Barn Teen towel is made of 100% cotton, now on sale for just $35, down from $59.
Tan, play, swim, repeat.
This towel from Anthropologie is a two-in-one delight. Lay out and enjoy the sun and then grab a friend and play checkers or backgammon with the included game pieces.
Keep your toes in the sand but your head in the clouds.
Sand Cloud towels are super soft, big enough to accommodate your whole beach crew and they help better our planet. 10% of their profits go toward marine conservation, so you can dry off when it’s time to head home knowing you helped save the fishies.
Wrangling the kids out of the water may have gotten just a touch easier.
This set of two kids’ towels is a must-have for beach-going families. The two-pack comes in popular cartoon designs, from Baby Shark to Barbie, including one character towel and one striped in a matching color.
A set of beach chairs for lounging:
These chairs were made with the beach in mind and the ocean at heart.
4ocean products remove one pound of trash from our water with each purchase, so you can sit back and enjoy the sun knowing that you did a good deed. This chair gets even cooler, as it can fold into a backpack for easy transport and has five lounging positions.
Catch some rays, but not too many.
Relax pool or beachside with this adjustable and portable gravity chair from Wayfair. The lounger comes with a sun visor as well, protecting your face from the sun while letting your body tan.
Two is better than one.
Grab a two-pack of these comfy beach chairs from Walmart and then go take your bestie to the beach. They come with cupholders for your favorite beach drink as well as a carrying pouch for easy transport.
A cooler to keep food and drinks chilled:
This cooler bag from Herschel is a cool-looking way to bring snacks and drinks to the beach without having them heat up in seconds. It can hold up to 30 drinks, or a mix of your favorite dips, fruits and ice pops for the kids when they get out of the water.
A fun day at the beach? You’ve got this in the bag.
The Cotopaxi cooler bag is an easy way to transport your drinks to and from the beach, especially when your hands are full with towels, toys and kids. The bag comes with an adjustable side carry strap, as well as a pocket for an extra water bottle and a welded, waterproof liner.
YETI Tundra Haul Wheeled Cooler, $399.99
An all-day beach adventure calls for a heavy duty beach cooler.
Yeti is ready, with the only Yeti cooler on wheels. The Tundra Haul can hold all of your snacks and drinks with plenty of room to spare for ice, made of extra-thick walls to keep the cool in and the sun out.
Pelican Dayventure Backpack Cooler, $249.95
Head back to the beach this year with your hands free and your favorite food and drink loaded up.
The Pelican brand backpack cooler is one of the easiest ways to pack for the beach without having to worry about a cumbersome bag or your drinks leaking through your tote. It comes in tan or gray, both of which have adjustable straps, insulated interior and more.
Take your beach day back to a simpler time.
The Igloo Retro Picnic Basket can hold up to 25 quarts of ice, drinks and good times at the beach. Not only is it a beach day staple and will keep food and drink safe and cold, but the fun neon colors make it a conversation starter wherever you lay your towel.
The aforementioned food and drinks to pack:
Pipcorn Heirloom Snacks, $14.99
Pip, pip, hooray.
Pipcorn is an easy and delicious snack to take to the beach, sold on Amazon in packs of three. With so many flavors and textures to choose from including jalapeño, truffle and classic cheese, the whole family will have something to munch on in between dips in the water and laying in the sun.
Naturebox Bestsellers, $33.99
While swimming in nature, you may as well eat in nature too.
Naturebox’s Bestsellers Box is an easy way to have a little bit of everything at the beach. The box comes with honey dijon pretzels, cheddar cheese bites, smoky BBQ lentil loops and shortbread cookies, for a bit of salty, sweet and of course some cheesy goodness.
SkinTe Collagen Sparkling Tea, prices vary
Hydrate and take care of you skin while at the beach with SkinTe.
The drink is infused with 3000mg of collagen, as well as antioxidants and vitamin C. The drink comes in four fruity flavors for summer, including Green Tea Grapefruit, White Tea Ginger, Hibiscus Vanilla and Lemon Lime.
Aura Bora Herbal Sparkling Water, $29.99
Make sure to bring plenty of water, and then some sparkling water, too.
Aura Bora sparkling water comes in some crazy fun flavor combinations to bring some spark to your beach day snacks. Sold on Amazon, choose between the Lavender Cucumber, Basil Berry, Cactus Rose, Lemongrass Coconut and Peppermint Watermelon, all of which scream summer fun.
Some shade for when it gets too hot:
The U-Stand Umbrella Holder and Umbrella, $89.98 for both
We know you understand how annoying it is when the wind blows your umbrella away.
Grad a U-Stand and a matching umbrella and that issue will be gone with the wind. Simply fill the stand up with sand or be extra cool and fill with ice and drinks to double as a cooler. Then insert your umbrella or a new one from the company and enjoy a relaxing day in the shade.
Leiker 67” Beach Umbrella, $29.99
We love the sun, but sometimes you need a break.
Make sure to pack this umbrella from Wayfair, providing 67 inches of protection from the rays while you get ready to go for another swim. The umbrella comes in three fun colors, all of which can be tilted at an angle to shield you from the sun as it moves across the sky.
Lay back and relax, no umbrella needed.
The Sun Shelter from Ozark Train is a super cool hybrid of a beach mat and an umbrella, creating a tent for you and your friends to lay down out of the sun. The shelter is sold at Walmart, coming with the steaks, shelter and sandbags to make sure it doesn’t blow away while you’re in the water.
Clip it and forget it.
This easy-to-use beach umbrella can clip onto anything, including your favorite beach chair, a wheelchair or even your cooler. The umbrella provides 43 inches of sun protection, more than enough to cover you from the harmful rays, and comes in four colors sold on Amazon.
Sunscreen is a must:
Sunscreen is so important, we already wrote an entire article on it.
Make sure you cover your body too, using a good moisturizing product like Disco. This will provide 30 SPF protection, but it also stimulates collagen protection and evens skin tone, making this a three-in-one beach must-have.
Have a super day at the beach with Supergoop!
The three-pack was designed for the beach and everyone in your beach day group. The set comes with two bottles of Supergoop! Play Body Mist, with SPF 50 and vitamin C, as well as one Everyday Lotion with SPF 50 and sunflower extract.
Cocokind Daily SPF, $24
Be kind to your skin, even while at the beach.
Cocokind daily SPF is really meant for daily use, at the beach and otherwise. The mineral-based lightweight formula provides protection from the sun, pollution and even blue light, so be sure to lather up while researching your beach trip, too.
Safe for babies and perfect for the whole family.
Pipette Mineral Sunscreen is SPF 50, fragrance-free and totally clean, making it safe on your baby’s skin when you bring them on their first beach day. It’s also reef-friendly, so you can be gentle with your baby and with the planet at the same time.
Fun games and activities for the sand and sea:
Have a wicked good time at the beach this summer.
Make sure to pack the Wicked Bog Sports Takraw set, sold on Amazon and now on sale for $28. The set comes with the net, net stand, court lines, stakes, ball, pump with needle and a carrying case to set up and take down your game all summer long.
Can you jam with us?
Kan Jam is a bestselling game, perfect for the beach. Sold on Amazon, all you need is the set with the two cans and the disk and some buddies and you’re all set.
Play all day at the beach and never get bored.
This set from Walmart comes with ten pieces of beach day fun for the kids, including a basket for easy cleanup and transportation. All pieces are safe for the sand and water, including buckets, shovels, toy boats and more.
A day at the beach isn’t complete without building the best sandcastle ever.
Make it a bit easier on yourself with a set of molds from Uncommon Goods. The set can be used in the summer at the beach or even in the winter with snow, keeping the castle fun going all year long.