16 Beach Bag Essentials for a Fun, Stress-Free Day

Beach Bag Essentials

How many times have you arrived at the beach giddy and drunk on sunshine only to discover that you forgot about 10 essentials upon arrival? Nothing can ruin a beach day quite like being parched, sunburnt, and without a book to read. On second thought, there's not very much that can really, truly ruin a day by the ocean, but we think you catch our drift: A beach day is much more enjoyable when you have all the little basics to keep yourself comfortable and entertained. 

So to make sure you never have to run home when you're already halfway there, we came up with a comprehensive packing list of 16 beach bag essentials. Keep this handy next time you head to the watery parts of the world. 

A Large Tote

Cabas Leather-trimmed Straw Tote
Hereu Cabas Leather-trimmed Straw Tote $315

First things first, you'll need a spacious carry-all to fit all of your essentials in. Opt for a straw bag to give your outfit beach-appropriate. 

A Beach Towel

Artist stripe beach towel
Paul Smith Artist Stripe Beach Towel $95 $66

Being completely covered in sand is fun for a select few. If you are not one of those people, you will probably want to remember to pack your beach towel. This may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how many times I've turned up without one by accident. 

Face Sunscreen

Umbra(TM) Sheer Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30 3 oz/ 90 mL
Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30 $34

Even if you apply some SPF to your face before you leave the house, it's important to reapply throughout the day as you sweat and swim it off. This face sunscreen from Drunk Elephant is top-notch. 

Body Sunscreen

Spf30 Organic Sheer Sunscreen Mist
Soleil Toujours Spf30 Organic Sheer Sunscreen Mist $34

If you've ever turned up to a beach day empty-handed and hoping a friend will lend you their SPF, you might get lucky. But you also might end up getting some side-eye, or worse, having to settle for tanning oil with SPF 4. 

A Bag for Keepsakes

Printed fabric pouch
Miu Miu Printed Fabric Pouch $220

Keep your valuables safe and clean in a small compartment or bag. Think keys, phone, credit cards, and other essentials. We love bright pink pouch and we'd definitely bring it with us to the beach and beyond. 

Beach Games

Mikasa Beach Classic Volleyball $44

Bring something to play! Whether you prefer paddle ball, spike ball, or volleyball, having some sports equipment on hand will keep you busy and entertained until the sun sets. 


Apple Air Pods $159 $139

Nothing is better than falling asleep on the beach to some relaxing music. If you have AirPods, make sure you charge them beforehand. 

Wine Carrier/Cooler

Uashmama Wine Bag and Cooler $26

The beach isn't all about tanning and surfing. Sometimes the best moments happen when you just pack a picnic for sunset on the shore. With that in mind, these stylish wine bag coolers are sure to come in handy. 

Portable Speakers

P2 Speaker in Lilac
B&O Play P2 Speaker $175

If you're planning on enjoying the beach with some friends and loved ones, considering bringing your portable speakers along! It's not an absolute essential, but the right tunes can definitely bring things up a notch.  

Stylish Sunglasses

50Mm Mod Star Round Sunglasses -
Quay Australia 50Mm Mod Star Round Sunglasses $55

This is probably the second most important yet most forgotten beach essential on my list (the towel takes the cake). Opt for a pair that protects your eyes from the sun but also earns you some style points. 

A Change of Clothes

Pixie Market Carla Rust Midi Button Dress $114

You definitely don't need to bring a change of clothes, but I usually throw in a lightweight dress or cover-up if there's room. It's nice to have the option in case your other clothing gets dirty or wet. 

Leave-In Conditioner

Su Milk
Davines Su Milk $32

Consider bringing some leave-in conditioner to apply at the end of the beach day to restore moisture. 

Easy Sandals

Lily Matte-leather Flip Flops
Tkees Lily Matte-leather Flip Flops $55

Bringing a change of sandals is always a good call. These are easy to slide in and out of, and you won't have to worry about getting them super sandy since that's what they're made for. Even better, they take up barely any room in your beach bag. 

Reading Material

Christine Mangan Tangerine $17 $12

A great beach read will keep you busy while also taking you on a mental vacation. There's nothing that's more relaxing and exciting at the same time than reading while lying in the sun. 


'Mita' Packable Raffia Visor -
Helen Kaminski 'Mita' Packable Raffia Visor $175

If you're someone who likes to keep their face of out the face, don't forget to pack a hat. We love classic wide-brim sunhats but visors are also making a comeback, so give this one a try. 

Reusable Water Bottle

Bkr 16-Ounce Glass Water Bottle
Bkr 16-Ounce Glass Water Bottle $38

Fill up your reusable water bottle before you make the trek so you stay hydrated all day long. 

Ready to for a swim? These are the most beautiful beaches in the U.S. to visit this summer. 

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