With Memorial Day just a few short, yet-oh-so-far days away I thought now would be a perfect time to share our beach bag essentials with you all. This weekend will mark the “real” start of summer and hopefully most of you will be venturing out to a beach somewhere at some point and this list will help you know what to pack! My husband and I live just up the road from Lake Erie and a gorgeous beach where we try to spend as much free time as possible. We have packing our beach bag down to a science and it sits, ready to go, right next to our front door in case some unplanned free time springs on us! We’ve discovered some pretty good finds over the years and all of these are our “must-haves”!
1. Music is probably the most important thing to bring with you to the beach, it provides all the entertainment! We have several iPods so we just keep an iPod Touch (find it HERE) loaded with a mix of music in the bag.
2. We bring headphones and another iPod in case we don’t feel like listening to the same thing, but since that rarely happens we finally purchased a portable speaker. It’s called the Music Bullet Max (find it HERE) and after reading lots of mixed reviews we got one and really love it! It’s inexpensive so you don’t have to worry about getting sand in it, it’s tiny but plenty loud and has a retractable cord that plugs into the headphone jack of the iPod making it really easy to take on-the-go.
3. We’re all about unisex sunglasses because we swap back and forth. We have two pairs of Ray Ban Wayfarers (black ones found HERE and tortoise shell found HERE) and a pair of Gucci Aviators (find them HERE).
4. We have two oversized towels that I sewed pockets into the bottom (find the DIY HERE) that we lay on and then we bring two more smaller towels to dry off with after swimming.
5. This year Victoria’s Secret came out with a new suntan lotion (find it HERE) and I am obsessed with it. It’s an broad-spectrum SPF 24 and it’s super thick which means I don’t ever miss a spot while applying and it has tahitian monoi oil in it which makes my skin super soft. The only problem is it’s not waterproof so I wear this too the beach and then after we get in the water I apply Coppertone’s Sweatproof 30 SPF (find it HERE)
6. Yes, these are swimmies and they’re not for what you think Lol. I cut them in half (along the sealed strip where they bend) to make an inflatable pillow. I then made covers for them using THIS tutorial but used towels instead of fabric. Everything folds flat, then when we get to the beach we inflate the “pillows” and slip them into the covers. The covers get thrown in the washer with the towels when we get home and the “pillows” just get wiped clean!
7. I am loving H&M’s bikinis this year… probably because not only are they cute but most pieces are just $4.95! This top is one of my newest ones (find it HERE), I’m digging the fringed bikinis (I also have THIS one). I have using pashminas as short sarong cover-ups, just tying them around my hips on one side, H&M also has some and you can find this one HERE.
8. These were the greatest find EVER! They’re vinyl pouches with an interlocking top that rolls down and velcros for extra protection. They have a cord so you can wear it around your next and they are PERFECT for your iPhone. Seriously, go to Target immediately and get one… they’re in the $1 Spot and I’m sure will be gone soon! They not only protect your phone from sand and water but you can type through the vinyl which is amazing!
9. Right before we got married we bought this Kodak Waterproof HD Video Camera (find it HERE) to take with us on our honeymoon to Mexico. It’s such a great camera… not only does it shoot in HD (and take still photos too), it has built in stabilization, it’s tiny and easy to throw around!
10. Last summer my digital camera broke and I knew I’d be getting a Nikon soon so we decided to replace it with a waterproof digital camera. We ended up getting this Fujifilm FinePix (find it HERE) that’s not just waterproof but dirt and shock proof (which is how we broke the old one lol).
11. I got this texturizing spray because my hair is naturally curly and I like to just get out of the water, spray and scrunch it and then let it air dry in the summer. This brand is just okay (find it HERE), but I usually make my own spray and keep it in this bottle because it has a lock on it and that way I can throw it in the bag and not worry about it. To make your own just fill the bottle about 3/4 full with hot water then add in 1 tbsp sea salt, 1 tsp coconut oil, the juice from 1/2 a lemon and a tsp of hair gel.
12. You never know what can happen at the beach so we keep a little travel first aid kit (find it HERE) for little cuts and things!
13. This is our beach bag and unless it falls apart I will never get a new one… this one is perfect! We got it in Miami many years ago (though they have the same one in different patterns now, find it HERE) and I loved the bright colors on it. It’s big enough to fit everything we need without being too big and it zips closed which is nice. I wash it with the towels at the end of every weekend and it’s held up amazingly! Don’t forget to attach a bottle opener to your bags zipper!
15. This is the only flavor ESOS lip balm that I like (it’s tangerine, find it HERE) and it’s great to throw in the bag to use because it has an SPF 15 in it!
16. Magazines are a must for us at the beach! We set them aside all week long and then it’s like our “reward” on the weekends. We have a lot of magazine subscriptions and most of them are digital on our iPads but since we never bring those to the beach it’s nice to have an actual copy of them to throw in the beach bag.
17. We each have them but we usually just bring my husband’s G-Shock watch to the beach. It’s great to keep track of time and the fact that it’s waterproof and we can just wipe it clean is a big bonus!