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Beach Day Must Haves

Beach vacation must haves

It's PRIME DAY and I just got back from the beach. Here are a few of the things that helped our family to relax and enjoy the day - and not come home feeling annoyed, crispy and dehydrated! 

Gone are the days of simply grabbing a towel and spending the day at the beach! I'd love to say that I only need one thing and I'm ready to bask in the sun for hours on end. But the reality is, there are a few certain requirements, and a few "nice to haves" that make a day at the beach so much nicer! And BONUS - they are ALL ON SALE (as of the time I'm writing this!)

We've used everything on this list, and know they're worth it! They have helped us to simplify the packing, lighten the load, and best of all, leave the sand where it belongs - at the beach!

Get these must haves now and they'll be delivered in time for your next beach day!


Umbrella - Get one that is NOT the classic blue beach umbrella - trust me! When you're walking back from the ocean with the sun shining in your eyes, you want something easy to spot! This umbrella has great UV protection for when you're not working on your tan, and comes with it's own handy carry bag. It's simple to set up, and keeps you cool even as the sun shifts with it's adjustable tilt. 

(It can be helpful to use one of these corkscrew umbrella holders, and we usually toss it in the bag with the umbrella to streamline our packing!)



Sunscreen - choose a mineral barrier that rubs in completely like Ethical Zinc Natural Clear Zinc Sunscreen. Barrier sunscreens are safer for sea life and better for your body, as they don't contain hormone disrupting chemicals. This is one of the few zinc sunscreens I've found that really rubs in and doesn't give much of a white cast. 

Chair - A chair that's high off the ground is essential, so I don't feel like you need to hoist myself up after relaxing with my music and beach read? Sign Me Up! 😂 Special bonuses - this chair is lightweight, HAS BACKPACK STRAPS to make it super easy to carry, has a cup holder, AND has an adjustable pillow to take your relaxation to the next level!

Towels - Is it possible for a towel to change your life? It is if you don't have to lug bulky, sandy, HEAVY towels to and from the beach anymore!

I LOVE these Peshtemal Turkish Towels! They are so incredibly lightweight and packable!! We bring these towels EVERYWHERE with us. I can fit four of them in my beach bag in the space that used to only be able to carry one. Though we used to enjoy the giant, fluffy towels, I am here to tell you - these are a great alternative, especially if you are traveling. You could pack 2 for each person and they STILL take up less space than a standard beach towel. They dry in a flash just tossed over the back of your chair or laying out in the sun. Sand shakes out of them in a snap, even if they are wet!! We give each of the kids one to pack in their suitcases, even if we're flying to a beach destination - they're that easy!

Water Cup - this one looks a whole lot like the IG famous cup, but from my favorite brand for high-color ultra performance water vessels, Simple Modern. Get this in gorgeous hot pink, or you can pick it up in up to 22 other colors! This is a MUCH less expensive alternative with the same performance!

We usually fill a couple of our 32 oz bottles or 40oz bottles for refills. If you fill with ice & water, these will keep water cold for so many hours, especially if you keep them in the shade under your umbrella! 


Cooler Back Pack - We have used this lightweight cooler back pack for years on the sidelines of tournaments in the July sun, we've used it on the beach in Florida (Tip - pack it as one of your kids "personal items" and it can travel with you anywhere!) and we've carried it through amusement parks, zoos and so many other outdoor activities! Big enough to fit cold drinks and some lunch essentials but not so cumbersome that you're doing rock paper scissors to decide who has to carry it. I would buy this cooler again and again! 


Ice Packs - These ultra thin, super cold ice packs have served us well for the last 3 years with no sign of stopping! They are the perfect size for lunch boxes, our favorite cooler bag, and can be used for boo-boos in a pinch! We use the larger sizes for our big coolers, too! The coolest part about them is they arrive dry. Meaning you can pack these flat if you are headed on a plane, and fill with water - following included instructions- and freeze once you reach your destination. I've heard that if they are frozen solid they're allowed through TSA but I haven't tried this myself yet. When they thaw (in 8+hours) I recommend giving them a little pat to bring them back to flat, and putting them in the freezer laying flat. This is the easiest way to keep them compact to slide right into the bottom and sides of your cooler or lunch boxes. 


Beach Bag  Obviously, you need a way to carry it all.  Why I like this one:

Long Shoulder Strap! Once this is loaded down with the essentials, it won't dig into your shoulder. Have you every tried to put a loaded beach bag onto your shoulder when it has only the short handle straps when you're hot, sandy, and possibly carrying a kid, too? It's as simple as threading a sewing needle with piece of yarn. This bag also has longer carry handles that you can slip over your shoulder.

The whole bag is mesh. That means with a few good shakes, you can leave the sand where it belongs - at the beach! (Remember you picked up those towels and they don't hold sand either!) The plastic mesh dries in a flash so you don't have to worry if the tide comes up a bit too close - you won't spend the rest of the day with a soggy bottom. 

Pockets!! There is something extra annoying about digging around in the bottom of the beach bag for the missing goggles, lip sunscreen or hat when you just want to relax for a few minutes on what is supposed to be your "vacation." Keep everything orderly by separating into pockets and you can just grab and go!

Nice-to-Have - Outdoor Speaker - Small and lightweight, this slips right into your beach bag or use the hook and attach it to your backpack chair. The sound from this little powerhouse is incredible. Clear sound without blasting your beach chair neighbors in the next tent over. We've had this bluetooth speaker for about 5 years and it's been fantastic. It always gets stowed in the carry-on luggage, and we have it ready for the moment we arrive! There are other waterproof bluetooth speakers out there, here is one that's a smaller commitment, but I promise, the Bose is worth it - treat yourself! (Also makes a great gift!!)

Nice-to-Have - Beach Sandals  - Are you tired of trudging through the sand as your flip flops spray hot particles all over the backs of your legs, and get stuck every other step. No? Just me? Well, over 10 years ago I found the solution for my plantar fasciitis plagued feet, so I could walk in the sandwithout getting stuck and through water parks, zoos, busy cities (even all over Disney) without pain. I truly believe these are more comfortable than sneakers!! I love them because all the straps are backed with a super soft cushioning, which means no rubbing, even on the first wear. I have them in black but am ready to get another color, I just love them that much. You may not win any fashion awards for these shoes, (though there is an equally functional yet slightly less bulky looking version that I have my eye on here) but your feet will thank you as you strut across those hot dunes, or anywhere you need some support but your tootsies want to breathe! 


Hope you find something you like! As always, I only recommend products I like, have used, or intend to use, that have made my life easier, have improved my happiness or supported my wellness! 

This post contains affiliate links for which I may receive a small commission - at no cost to you - if you make a purchase. Rest assured, I recommend products I have used myself, and/or have researched and would use for myself or for my family. 

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