After being cooped up indoors during a long winter there is nothing better than getting out in the warmth and sunshine.  And there is only one place that I want to be and that is the beach.  The sound of the ocean, the sand, and the breeze all serve to help me relax and unwind.  To make the experience everything it can be, there are a few essentials that one must have when they go to the beach.  These are my beach essentials.

Beach Essentials

Sunscreen

The number 1 beach essential you need is sunscreen.  Sun protection for you skin should always be on your mind even whether you are going to the beach or not, if we are being honest.  I apply sunscreen daily to my face and any part of my body that is exposed.  My current favorites are Neutrogena Age Shield for my face and Neutrogena Beach Defense for my body. Beach Defense smells amazing! Don’t forget to apply it to easily forgettable areas like your ears and the tops of your feet and toes. 

Towel

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A towel, obviously, is important in the event you go swimming or get wet.  But, even if you are not going to swim, bring one anyway.  It is good to have on hand in case you need something to sit on, for wiping away sweat, for brushing sand off your body, etc.  There are so many uses that you should automatically include it in your bag whether you think you are going to use it or not.

Beach Bag

You definitely need something to carry all your essentials to the beach.  Get a beach bag that is big enough to hold everything including your towel but make sure it isn’t so big that it becomes too heavy to take with you.  There is nothing less fun then trying to carry all your stuff several blocks to the beach and then lugging it all back at the end of the day.

Hat

I mentioned before that sun protection is really important.  Adding a hat serves 2 purposes.  First, it adds another layer of sun protection to your face keeping it looking young and wrinkle-free much longer.  Second, it keeps the sun out of your eyes which allows to you read, enjoy the view, or people watch more easily.  Also, I’m the queen of wearing sunglasses and the worst thing ever is when you get sun on your face and end up with a sunglasses-shaped white spot on your face.

Sunglasses

Like I said above, I am the queen of wearing sunglasses.  I don’t go anywhere without them even on a cloudy day.  My light blue eyes are very sensitive to light so I would probably wear sunglasses inside most places if I could get away with doing it all the time.  I had definitely done it on occasion.  It will be much easier to see the beauty around you if there isn’t a bright light shining in your eyes. 

Flip Flops

I adore a good pair of flip flops.  They are just so easy to throw on and go with most casual things.  They are essential for the beach.  They keep your feet off the hot pavement and sand until you get to a cooler spot and they are easy to manage.  I have multiple pairs.  Some are better for getting wet then others so choose ones that fit your possible activities for the day.

Water

Anytime you spend a large amount of time outdoors in the sun and heat, you are going to lose water and become dehydrated.  You should always make sure you are drinking water on a frequent basis to rehydrate. 

iPod/Music Player and Headphones

Depending on how long you plan to stay, a music player of some sort is a must.  I don’t always use it as I love just listening to the sound of the waves and the activity around me, but it is nice to have when I just want to zone out with no distractions.

Books/Magazines

I never go to the beach without something to read.  I usually bring whatever fiction book I’m reading at the time.  One of the most relaxing things I love to do is sit on the beach with a good book and the sound of the ocean.  Check out 5 Fiction Books You Should Read for some ideas.

Chair

Some people are fine just sitting or lying on a beach towel, but I have never been able to get comfortable that way.  I always bring a beach chair.  We found chairs that sit low in the sand so we can still lean them back and stretch out if we want to as well as lay on our stomachs without too much trouble.  A lot of these types of chairs come with straps so that you can wear them backpack style when carrying them to and from the beach.

Umbrella/Tent

Once again, this can be filed under additional sun protection.  While I love the sun and can get by with sunglasses and a hat, my husband loves being outdoors but hates direct sunlight.  We started out with a simple beach umbrella that shaded his whole body and eventually bought the Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Tent that works well at the beach and both of our chairs can fit in it.  Now that we have our daughter, it has served us doubly well as now we can keep her out of the sun when she is playing.

Bonus: Cart to Carry it All

While a cart isn’t essential, it will save your back when you have a lot to carry.  If you add a chair, tent, or umbrella to your trip, a cart will be so helpful.  We found this great cart with large wheels that works quite well on the sand and holds all our beach essentials.  I honestly can’t be without it now.

This is a great list to get you started and covers most beach essentials.  Although, you may find that you require other items when you go to the beach so add them to your list as you go.  I keep track of all my different lists (beach list, diaper bag, travel, etc.) on Wunderlist.  You can read more about it in Best List-Making App to Organize Your Life.

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