The feeling of sand between your toes.
The sound of waves lapping against the sand.
The smell of fish ‘n’ chips and salt in the air.
Have we got you dreaming of a beach trip already?
Well then… here are all the beach bag essentials you should bring with you!
Beach Bag Essentials Packing List
Jump to your destination:
Jump to your destination:
Obviously you’ll want some kind of swimming gear with you even if it’s just to sunbathe in. Girls – have you seen this fun tropical print bikini on Amazon? I am in love. Men – we think you’ll look great in a pair of these boardshorts.
Towel & Towel Clips
Whether you’re going swimming or just lazing on the beach, a towel is the ultimate beach bag essential. Did you know you can even buy towels that are not only quick drying, but that have also been especially designed to leave the sand on the beach?! Tesalate has perfected this type of sand free towel and they come in a huge range of designs and colours for both men and women.
How often is your towel as beautiful as your beach bag itself?
If you’re hiring a sunbed at the beach, you should also think about taking a pair of towel clips with you to keep your towel from slipping down your seat.
Flip flops (or thongs if you’re Australian) are made for beaches! They’re easy to slip on and off when you’re walking across sand and don’t take up much room in your beach bag. We can’t resist a pair of Havaianas; we think they’re the absolute best!
Sun hats help keep your head cool while shading your eyes and sensitive facial skin from the sun. Straw hats are all the rage right now and come in so many different styles. For women, we can’t resist a floppy hat like this one. And for men, we love a straw trilby like this one.
As shown in our sun safety tips below, sun lotions are not just about the SPF rating although this is important. On the back of the bottle, you’ll also find a UVA star rating, which shows the quality of the sun lotion’s UV protection. Look for a sunscreen or sun lotion that has both a high SPF rating and UVA star rating for maximum protection. We think Nivea’s range is pretty good.
SPF Lip Balm
In very hot and sunny climates, your lips will easily dry out and even start to crack if you don’t intervene. Look for a lip balm that also has SPF protection to help keep your lips kissable! We can’t fault the lip balms by Malibu or Nivea.
This is usually one for the women. Whether it’s in aid of covering up your “wobbly bits” or protecting your skin from the hot sun, a cover up is a proper beach bag essential. Try this beach dress from Amazon.
Although some beaches offer parasols for hire, not all do. That’s why we don’t go anywhere without our travel parasol that we bought from Amazon. It folds up small, isn’t especially heavy and is perfect for beachy days.
When you’re bored of sunbathing and swimming, there’s loads of other things you can bring with you to keep yourselves entertained. Here are some of our favourites:
- Beach ball or soft football
- Snorkelling gear – check out our snorkelling tips here!
- Inflatable rubber ring and other inflatables like this funky pink flamingo
Cooler Bag & Ice Packs
Even though you might be okay with grabbing some food at the local beach bar or restaurant, we think nothing beats a beach picnic! Grab your cooler bag, load it with ice packs, and grab all your favourite drinks and snacks… what could be better?
Taking a portable barbeque to the beach is a great idea for when you’ve got a big group of friends or family with you – burgers anyone? Just remember to check the rules of the particular beach you’re going to as some don’t allow BBQs.
Wet Wipes or Sand Removal Powder
Some beaches have especially fine sand, which can get stuck in all kinds of nooks and crannies. Disinfectant wet wipes are a great and cheap solution, but you can also buy special sand removal powder like this one.
Dry Bag and/or Waterproof Phone Case
To protect your beach essentials from the water and splashes, you can buy specially designed dry bags like this one from Amazon. And if you need to be able to take your phone, money and keys into the water with you, then these waterproof phone cases by Aquapac are a seriously amazing invention!
Five Super Quick Sun Safety Tips
Tip #1: It’s not all about the SPF in sunscreen
The SPF level of sunscreen is certainly important, as it helps give you an idea of how much protection that particular bottle will give you from the sun.
But it’s not the only factor to consider!
On the back of the bottle is the UVA star rating, which shows the quality of the sunscreen’s protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays. This star rating is regardless of its SPF rating, so you should opt for both a high SPF and UVA star rating for maximum protection.
For instance, a bottle with an SPF rating of 30, but only 3 stars is not as good for you as an SPF rating of 30, but with 5 stars.
Your best bet?
Pick the SPF factor that’s right for you, but don’t forget the star rating on the back.
Tip #2: Avoid sightseeing from the hours of 12 – 3pm
This is the advice your mum always gave you isn’t it? Avoid direct sunlight when the sun is at its highest (and hottest) during the day.
The Italians do this ever so well by having 3 hour siestas. During this time, they eat and drink with their friends and families before heading back off to work or sightsee for the rest of the day.
But okay, if you absolutely must go out in direct sunlight during these hours, read on…
Tip #3: Covering up will always be your best protection
If your skin isn’t under the harsh glare of the sun, then you’re fairly well protected. Options to cover up with include a wide-brimmed hat, light shawl, wrap or cardigan and long, lightweight trousers.
If lazing on the beach, try to stay in the shade. Some beaches will offer sunbed and parasols for hire and some will have natural shade spots near to cliffs. But if in doubt, you could always buy a travel parasol to take with you.
You should also never neglect your feet, which are also prone to burning if left unprotected. At the very least, slap some sunscreen on them!
Tip #4: Remember the golden rule of timing when applying sunscreen
Using sunscreen effectively is also about the timing of it. Remember to apply it 15-30 minutes before going outside.
As for how often you should apply it after that, every cream and spray is different.
One tip is to consider the SPF: an SPF of 15 allows you to stay out 15 times longer than without any cream at all, whilst an SPF of 30 lets you stay out 30 times as long. You could use this to gather how often you should apply the cream, but who wants to do maths on holiday?
Some manufacturers recommend reapplying sunscreen every 2 hours and straight after being in the water. Whilst others recommend re-applying the different SPFs per minute (i.e. reapply SPF 30 every 30 minutes, SPF 50 every 50 minutes etc).
Either way, sometimes it can feel a bit like trial and error to get the timing right.
Our advice? Err on the side of caution – too much sunscreen is better than not enough. Also, dermatologists advise that you should use the guideline of “1 ounce – enough to fill a shot glass” per patch of exposed skin.
Tip #5: Keep yourself fresh and hydrated – your body will thank you for it
Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day (water – not caffeine or booze). Not only will this keep you hydrated, but it will also keep you fresh and raring to go (rather than prone to napping).
One tip we have is to keep a normal 500ml bottle of water in the fridge ready to take out with you, alongside a litre bottle kept in the freezer overnight.
By the time you’ve finished with the smaller bottle early on in the day, the larger bottle will have started to melt, whilst still keeping your water cool. After all, no one wants to drink warm water on a hot day!
A Few Final Words
Tesalate kindly gifted us a beach towel each in exchange for this blog post. However, we would never recommend something to you that we haven’t used or love ourselves. As always, what we have written about the towels and everything else in this blog post is entirely our opinion and based on our own rigorous product testing!
Now you know what to bring to the beach for a day, you need to know where all the best beaches are! Check out some of our guides below:
Did you find this blog post and printable beach day packing list helpful? Why not share it around?!