Summer is here, and you know what that means: time to put away those bulky purses and swap them out for the beloved beach bag.
Packing a beach bag is somewhat of a fine art. If your approach is too minimalist, you’ll end up missing out on some key essentials. If you prefer to pack everything but the kitchen sink, you’ll spend more time rifling through the goods to find your sunscreen than you will actually enjoying the beach!
Strike a perfect balance by keeping these must-have items stocked and ready to go in your beach bag.
Squinting and wincing is no fun—and neither are the wrinkles they produce over time. Even on an overcast day, you never know when the sun will peek out, so always keep a pair of sunglasses on hand. Better yet, pack two pairs: a high-quality fashionable pair that works well and makes you feel great, and a cheap pair to toss on in settings where the glasses might get lost or damaged, like in the water.
This one is a given: you need to slap on sunscreen regularly throughout the day, so keep a bottle tucked into your bag. Don’t forget to check the expiry date—yes, sunscreen expires! Toss in a lip balm with SPF to prevent sunburns and protect your lips.
If you’re getting your hair wet at the pool or at the beach, bring along a plastic or nylon hairbrush. Detangle your hair as soon as you get out of the water to prevent nasty knots at the end of the day. A mini-bottle of leave-in condition is another good tress-saver to pack if you have a little extra room.
Staying hydrated is an absolute must—always pack a big bottle of water and sip on it throughout the day. Fill your bottle half full with water, and place it on its side in the freezer overnight. The water should not totally cover the mouth of the bottle. In the morning, fill the rest of the bottle up with water: the ice will keep the water cool, but you won’t be stuck with a block of ice that takes forever to melt.
Sweat, saltwater, and sunscreen make for a sticky concoction on your skin. If you’ll be popping into town before you can shower, simply give your face a quick wipe-down to feel instantly refreshed. Wipes are also great to have on hand before noshing on lunch.
Throw a spare pair of undies into your beach bag. Most people wear their swim suit straight to the beach, but if you’ll be stopping off to run errands on the way home, you probably won’t want to do them in a wet, sandy swim suit.
Protect your face from the harsh rays of the sun with a stylish and practical hat. As an added bonus, it’ll keep your hair under control until you can get yourself in front of a mirror.
A day out in the sun can suck the moisture right out of your skin, so keep a travel tube of moisturizing lotion on hand to keep your skin hydrated and supple. Your hands and feet will be especially prone to dryness.