I’ve never been super in to the beach. I’m a planner so I have to make sure that we are covered for everything. I need plenty of snacks (my kids totally take after me in that department), plenty of towels, sunscreen, a big hat, a chair, cute towels…The list keeps going which makes the idea of a beach day super overwhelming. Plus I hate coming home and feeling sweaty and dirty. But once I am there, staring out in to the ocean, I really love it. I’m really trying to embrace the beach days this summer and instead of planning on hanging out for hours, we’re going for smaller stretches and everything seems much more manageable. I still have plenty of beach essentials, though. I still probably over pack for the beach but that’s just who I am. I’m so grateful my kids are big enough to finally help carry things!
My Beach Essentials
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I’m OBSESSED with my S’well bottle. Have you heard of them? I wish I could say that I am a person that puts Earth’s needs first and that is why I bought the bottle. But I’m not that deep. If I’m being honest, I got this bottle because it keeps a whole bottle of wine cold for hours and it looks cute. That’s me in a nutshell. But I’ve actually only used the bottle for wine once. Mostly I keep it full of ice water and take it with me when we head out on errands or activities. I’m an ice water fan and when I put it in my S’well bottle, there is still ice 15 hours later. I kid you not. It’s amazing. The 25 ounce size pictured above is perfect for a long, hot day at the beach.
A good sunscreen is a must. A lot of them have a terrible smell and I hate having it on me all day long. I love the Sun Bum brand, though. There’s a slight coconut smell that isn’t overwhelming. And it feels great on the skin. It’s a little bit oily which keeps your skin from feeling sticky like some of the other do. This brand also created some hair care products which have the same smell. This stuff makes me feel like I’m not down the street from my house but on a tropical vacation.
I can’t be without sunglasses. I wear contacts which seems to magnify the glare off of everything. I never leave my house without sunglasses and would probably have to go buy some if I ended up at a beach without them. Of course I want them to look cute, but mostly I just don’t want to have to squint too much or have my eyes water like crazy. Sunglasses are so much more than a fashion statement to me.
Instead of shorts, I love to throw on a cute pair of patterned pants. They are usually made from a lightweight material and if you are going to the beach early in the morning, when there is still a cool coastal breeze, these will keep you comfortable. They are also great to put on to get your legs out of direct sunlit as you head back to the car. I don’t know about you but after a few hours in the sun, I just want to hide from it. I like to cover up and beat feet it home.
I just got my first Colorscience sunscreen and I’m in LOVE! It’s mineral based and it’s perfect for reapplying over makeup. I hate sunscreen on my face. And while I may put it on under my makeup before heading out for the day, I would never reapply later in the day because of my face turning in to a sweaty mess. This mineral sunscreen is easy to brush on and I’m so excited to finally find something I can take with me and use as needed!
Every California girl needs a great pair of flip flops. While there are tons of cute fashion styles, I stick to simple black Havianas. They aren’t super expensive and last for a long time. Flip flops are definitely a beach essential. The sand can get really hot so you’ll probably want to have a simple pair of shoes to wear on your way back to the car. You can also hose them off when you get home to get the sand off of them.
A big floppy hat is a must. And possibly a sunbrella (an umbrella with some UV protection) or a beach umbrella. Anything that will keep that nasty sun off of me. Don’t get me wrong, I love the sun. But it’s bad. So I try my hardest to stay out of it. It’s good to have a place for the kids to get out of the sun also. A large umbrella is a good idea, especially if you have a few extra hands to help carry it. At the very least, a big hat is a must!
You’ve got to tote all that cute stuff to the sand some how. I have a large collection of oversized tote bags for just such thing. They have to be sturdy, with a little give (so I can really cram stuff in there) and be pleasing to my eye. I like to keep a look out for the sales at the end of summer to find great deals.
My mid section isn’t as flat as it used to be so until I get off my lazy buns, a one piece suit is a given! Even though they say stripes aren’t great for making people look slim, the black side panels on this suit create an illusion for the eye. Thanks, perspective!
Towels are just not big enough to keep all my parts from touching the sand. I usually take a tapestry with me (or you can call them beach sheets) to lay on. They are really large (the small ones are at least twin sheet sized) and bright and fun. The material is pretty thin so they fold up fairly small and don’t take up a lot of space in the bag. Of course we need to bring beach towels too, for after a swim, but a large tapestry is a perfect perch for me observe from.
And because I won’t go swimming in the ocean unless I’m on some tropical island, a cute coverup is the way to go. It is unlikely that I will just sit around the beach in only my swimsuit so the cover up is really what people will see. I’ve created quite the cover up collection over the years. And they work well for not only the beach but any trip to the pool.
What are your beach essentials?