What exactly to pack for the perfect beach day
In theory, the beauty of a beach day is all about the sun, sand, and smell of salt water. In execution, it requires a bit more, especially at the moment you realize you could use a snack or need a break from UVA/UVB exposure. It’s then that a small, but thoughtful, number of items come in handy as you make plans to swim, surf, or laze about by your favorite coastline.
Ahead are 11 essentials that check all the boxes. Naturally this includes sun protection and a cooler to keep your drinking water cold. But to further ensure comfort, safety, and good vibes for hours and hours, we’ve also curated the accessories and even electronics that help you make the most of your next beach day. And, subsequently, many more to follow.
Sun protection is a non-negotiable — be it at the beach or not — but be sure to step up your SPF number when spending extended time directly in the rays. Don’t forget to reapply throughout the day according to the product directions.
SHOP: Sun Bum Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50, $14.99, available at Ulta
Yeti is a brand known for its impressive line of coolers, designed specifically to keep ice intact for days inside its storage. This Roadie style is created to be a bit more compact and light — ideal for schlepping drinks and snacks to your beach spot all the way down on the water’s edge.
SHOP: Roadie 24 Hard Cooler, $199.99, available at Yeti
This two-tone, gingham design by Summersalt is a unique and playful choice of swimwear, especially if you’re looking for an alternative to the classic black one-piece suit.
SHOP: The Ruched Backflip, $125, available at Summersalt
Don’t forget a terry cloth towel to lay out on or wrap yourself into after a dip in the ocean. This ‘70s rainbow design is an especially eye-catching choice.
SHOP: Alisa Galitsyna Retro 70s Color Palette III Beach Towel, $29.99, available at Society6
If you know the pain of losing a pair of prescription glasses to the waves or scratching the lens when they inevitably drop in the sand, then you’ll want to opt for contacts for your next beach excursion. Peruse your options, even find your prescription, right on the 1800CONTACTS site. New customers can score 25% off contacts with free shipping at checkout until May 18 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
SHOP: 1-Day Acuvue® Moist®, $31.19 per box after discount, available at 1800CONTACTS
Connect this speaker to your phone via bluetooth to play music that sets the relaxed, peaceful mood for your beach-day hang.
SHOP: iLive Waterproof Bluetooth Wireless Speaker, $45.99, available at Macy's
Waterproof and non-slip, these slide-on shoes will be a necessity when you need to walk across the scolding hot sand. Not to mention, they help make sure you don’t carry too much of said sand with you back into the car.
SHOP: Freedom Moses Moses Two Band Slides, $50, available at Shopbop
Be sure to select a carry-all tote that can actually fit the items you need for the day. We suggest one with an easy-to-hold handle and fabric that won’t be damaged if it gets wet or sandy.
SHOP: Anya Tote, $142, available at Hat Attack
If laying on the sand is your thing, more power to you. If you need a more supportive seat, this lightweight beach chair is a simple solution. The fabric is removable and machine-washable as well.
SHOP: The Inside Cabana Chair, $129, available at The Inside
Sunscreen should never be overlooked, but it's not the only option for protection. Rashguards with ultraviolet protection are the solution for those who surf, swim, or simply would prefer a physical barrier between them and the sun.
SHOP: Whole Hearted Long Sleeve UPF 50 Rashguard, $35, available at Roxy
You’ll be thankful you packed an umbrella for the beach as it allows you a cool, shady spot to read a book, out of the heat of the sun but not too far away from it.
SHOP: Heininger Holdings LLC 8' Beach Umbrella, $126.99, available at Wayfair