Beach Bag Essentials

Are you getting ready for a beach day with your friends soaking in the sunshine and swimming in the waves with your friends. We know it can be easy to worry about what to bring to the beach because it’s a hassle to drive home or go buy something you forgot, that’s why we researched all of the beach bag essentials you need to have a perfectly relaxing day at the beach.

To make sure you’re covered, we made a beach bag essentials list for you to reference before your next beach day and compiled our top tips for how to plan the perfect beach day for friends. You’ll never have to scramble for things to bring to the beach again.

Our Top Beach Bag Essentials

We know you’ve got your sexy bikini ready for your next beach day, but what else do you need to bring in your beach bag? Below are our top beach bag picks.

A Cover-Up

One lightweight piece of beach clothing you should always throw into your beach bag is a cover-up. Cover-ups can add glamour to your beach trip and can be a versatile piece that takes your look from day to night (just add cute shoes and jewelry)

A cover-up that has a tightly woven fabric can also protect your skin from the sun’s rays. We’re big believers in always putting on sunscreen regardless of wearing a cover-up, but having that extra protection can only help.

If you leave the beach to run into a beachside store or restaurant, all you need to do is grab your cover-up out of your bag, throw it on, and you are ready to go. You’ll never be denied service from an establishment that won’t serve beachgoers who are only wearing a swimsuit.

Not only that, but cover-ups are also flattering and can instantly elevate your look, even with sand in your hair! If you’re looking for light and airy styles to give your beach day look an extra dose of design and fashion, then look no further. We have cover-ups in a number of styles, including tunics, sheaths, oversized blouses, dresses and rompers. You’ll never have to face the struggle of planning how to fashionably transition from the sand to your post-beach adventures.


Another beach bag essential is sunscreen because it is so important to protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun. When picking the right sunscreen, make sure you select a broad-spectrum sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher, water resistant, and protects against both UVB and UVA rays. When you are applying sunscreen at the beach, always make sure that you cover all of your exposed skin with an ample amount of sunscreen. Don’t forget your neck, ears, legs, tops of your feet, and backs of your knees! These are commonly forgotten areas that can lead to a painful day after you visit the beach. Keep in mind that you will need to reapply your sunscreen throughout the day to maintain its effectiveness in preventing a sunburn. We recommend reapplying your sunscreen every two hours, depending on the specific kind you have.


Your skin isn’t the only important part of your body to protect, it is also vital to make sure you protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. When you are sitting by the ocean enjoying your day at the beach, the sun’s powerful rays are reflecting off the surface of the water, which can be harmful to your eyes. Of course, sunglasses also add a dose of style to your beach look and anywhere else you go. We never leave home without a favorite pair!

Beach Towel

One must-have item for any good beach day is a beach towel. Picking the perfect beach towel should be about style and function. We recommend making sure that your beach towel is large enough that when you roll over or move, it doesn’t cause sand to get all over your towel. You should always look for a high-quality beach towel that is made out of soft, durable materials and will last for several years rather than just for one summer.

Reusable Water Bottle

When you are at the beach all day sitting in the sun, you can be at risk of becoming dehydrated. To counteract this, we recommend staying hydrated by packing a reusable water bottle full of fresh water before any big beach day. Reusable water bottles are not only better for the environment, but they will also help keep your water cold and fresh all day long so you can stay cool and hydrated. No one likes drinking warm water when they have been sitting in the sun all day!

A Good Book/E-Reader

If you’re sitting on the beach, you might spend some of the day in the ocean or strolling along the shore, but there will be times you are sitting on the beach and looking for a way to relax. We always pack a good book or an e-reader. A quality book has a way of feeling luxurious in its own unique way. Books are easy to pass up in the normal hustle and bustle of life, with many of us accumulating a stack of books to read on our next vacation or free day. Grab one of the books you’ve been meaning to read and throw it in your beach bag to be your perfect beach day companion.

A Sun Hat

When you are sitting at the beach all day, you might want your body to get a bronze glow from the sun, but don’t want the sun beating down on your face. The face on your skin is more prone to getting sunburned, so it is important to protect it with sunscreen and a hat you can throw on. Choosing a wide brimmed hat will ensure that all of your face is protected. There are many adorable styles of sun hats to make sure your hat only elevates your beach day style rather than detracting from it.

A Battery Pack (and Charging Cable)

No one wants to be caught with a dead cell phone when there are plans to be made and photos to be taken! We recommend packing an external battery pack and charging cables for your favorite devices to make sure you always have the battery life you need. Thankfully, battery packs are affordable, compact, and easy to toss into your bag for your next beach day.


Finding good food and snacks to eat when you are at the beach isn’t always possible, so it is important to come prepared with snacks and food that you can eat throughout the day. Not only will the snacks and food you bring likely be much healthier than the options you could purchase, but they will also be much more affordable. We recommend packing snacks and food that will do well sitting in the sun all day or else you will also need to bring a small, portable cooler to keep them cold. We love trail mix, dried fruit, granola bars, nuts, and pretzels.

How to Plan the Perfect Beach Day With Friends

{Photo by: @beccatilley & @tanyarad}

Now that you know the essentials you need to pack for your next beach day, we also wanted to provide you with a few tips on how to plan the perfect beach day with friends. Below are our top tips to make sure you have a fun, enjoyable beach day with your friends without unexpected surprises or issues.

  • Choose the Location: The first step to planning any beach day is to pick the beach that you want to go to. Each beach spot will offer different access to amenities, views, and activities, so you will need to choose according to what you plan to do during your beach day. Do you and your friends want to go surfing? Do you want to soak up the sun and swim past the wave break? Do you want to leave the beach during the day to go grab drinks and food before returning for a sunset swim? Are you set on playing beach volleyball during the day and having a bonfire at night? Perhaps you need to pack a resort dress to pop over your swimsuit? 
  • Always Check the Weather: Now that you’ve found your spot, we recommend always checking the weather forecast to narrow down what days will be best for a beach visit. You don’t want to schedule a beach day and show up only to find that there is chilly wind or a storm is rolling in.
  • Pick a Time: Once you’ve picked the place and checked for ideal weather conditions, the next step is to pick a time that will suit the activities you are trying to do during the day. Going for a swim? Early morning is your best bet. Looking for a killer sunset? The later afternoon may be a better starting time. Don’t forget to check with your friends to see their schedule availability to the time chosen lines up for everyone attending.
  • Bring the Essentials: Whether you are packing for vacation or simply a beach day with friends, it’s always important to remember to bring your beach day essentials. If you will be going with a group, there are few additional essentials that may be useful to pack for the day, such as beach chairs, an umbrella, and any activities you would want to partake in. In addition, you’ll likely need food and snacks for the whole group, so be sure to coordinate food with your friends to make sure you can stay at the beach without worrying about finding something to eat.
  • Relax and Enjoy Your Day: Once you have all the details ironed out, all that’s left is to relax! You’ve prepared the perfect beach day and now you get to enjoy. You can soak up the sun, swim in the sea, and take in all of the beauty around you. What could be better?