10+ Absolute Beach Essentials You Need For An Amazing Beach Day!
If you plan on hitting the beach to wave summer officially goodbye, allow me to pass on some “must have” essentials to make your beach day a million times better!
A Solid Beach Umbrella
Trust me on this one. I always feel sorry for the poor souls baking in the sun all day long. I know some people love it…but the Florida sun is blazing, smoking HOT.
You NEED an umbrella or canopy for a reprieve. If you hit touristy beaches like Cocoa Beach ( P.S. Head to Lori Wilson Park), you will be able to rent an umbrella…but get there early.
If you plan on being at the beach for more than one day, you will be better off financially by investing in one. We love our Nautica beach umbrella. It has seen countless beach days, and we have definitely gotten our$50 bucks worth versus renting every time.
But, you can definitely find an umbrella a bit cheaper if you are only staying a couple of days.
Also, take a cue from our playbook and really glamp it up with a table for your umbrella. I purchased one after our first beach trip with kids. Who needs sand in their capri-sun?
Duh. A bit obvious…but, shockingly, I have forgotten these…and deeply regretted it. Mr. L has a thing for sunglasses. He has a ton of pairs and would pay out the wazoo for them…if I let him.
His new prize are some Ray-Bans that he was able to snag from a lost and found pile after the appropriate “statute of limitations” had passed. Cha-ching for him. ( P.S. I am not allowed to touch them) Needless to say, I refuse to pay over $15 for sunglasses. I am not that careful with them and, frankly, I don’t want to feel sick to my stomach if they end up in the ocean.
Duh, again. But I can’t overestimate the importance.
Skin cancer is nothing to be messed with and when you have pale, Irish skin like I do…sunscreen is imperative. Due to the different skin types in my family, we have several go-to’s.
I LOVE Neutrogena Dry-Touch Sunblock. I pull out the big guns and get the 100+ SPF, because otherwise I burn in a matter of seconds. It is non-greasy and will last for hours without re-applying. A little goes a long way, and since it is a bit pricier, I use it mostly on high exposure areas like my face, neck and shoulders.
Jessie has really sensitive skin, and for her my favorite is Babyganics mineral-based sunscreen, which is the only type that hasn’t caused her to break out on her face. All of us can use good ole Banana Boat on the rest of our bodies and remain sunburn free…so long as we re-apply accordingly.
If you do experience a sunburn, I share what I do to find relief quickly in this post.
I know. It seems strange. Seriously, though, a friend shared this tip with me and I thought it was brilliant! Before returning to your car, sprinkle some cheap-o baby powder on your sandy hands, legs and feet. When you shake off the powder, all the sand will come with it! As Jessie would say “Nice and easy, lemon-squeezy.” I love a good #lifehack
I love a cute beach bag. Something fun and tropical to cart all of your essentials…is also an essential in itself! You want something easily washable, and large so that you can fit everything, including beach towels, in one easy to grab spot. We actually keep our beach bag stocked, so when we decide to go on a whim, everything is ready. You can buy beach bags at any price point, but I personally love the bags below that are each less than $15. Kudos to you if you don’t mind sand in your Coach, though.
Whether you are lounging on the sand or drying off, you need a large oversized beach towel. Smaller bath towels would work…but the size and material of an actual beach towel will be more versatile on the sand. Plus, it is a super fun way to show your personality!
Another #lifehack courtesy of me. Pack a travel size soap and shampoo. It takes up no space, and if you are lucky enough to be at a beach with a public bathhouse, you will be able to get cleaned up enough to not feel gross when you are enjoying the “catch of the day” at a beachside restaurant for dinner.
I try to be thrifty and resourceful in this area, so I always grab extra hotel soaps when we travel. I have a decent stash now for the beach that I just toss when we are done.
Kids love digging in the sand, building sandcastles, and the occasional game of “bury the sibling”. The Dollar Tree is my one-stop shop for this. For just a few George Washingtons you can stock up on pails, shovels, those sifty-things…and your kiddos will be happy as clams.
If sitting in the sand isn’t your thing, you are gonna want a beach chair. We actually prefer camping chairs, as they are bit easier to carry over the shoulder in their carrying bags.
Because no beach day is complete without snacks, you are going to want a cooler that can cart chips, pretzels and, most importantly water. I struggle with drinking plain water, but force myself on beach days because the heat will lead to dehydration quicker. We use a soft-sided cooler for our needs, which is nice because it is easily portable over the shoulder. But, I am pretty sure if a Yeti cooler ever becomes part of our lives, Mr. L wouldn’t mind carting it to the sand. #weloveYeti
Okay. So, probably more of a luxury item and less of an essential…but they are so fun! We live closest the Atlantic Ocean, which tends to have the best waves. ( P.S. The Gulf side generally has some calmer water…and nicer sunsets) The kids have not yet gotten into Boogie boards yet, but Nate and I enjoy ours. If you find good waves, you will be able to find one for between $5-$20 (depending on size) at a beach-side shop and will definitely get your money’s worth for even one day of enjoyment. Cheaper than renting a canoe, I say. We bought ours at the Cocoa Beach Surf Company, but you can get them online, as well.
That’s my list! Even if you forget your house keys…if you have these items in the trunk of your car, you will have an amazing beach day! You can always call the locksmith later. What essentials are on your list? Let me know in the comments!