It’ll soon be a year since we spent few wonderful days at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort on Florida’s Atlantic Coast! So whilst I’m wishing I was back there, I thought I would share my beach bag essentials!
It had been a long time since we’ve had any sort of beach getaway, and it made a change from our usual annual holiday to Orlando and Walt Disney World (although we did go there afterwards – read my trip report here!)
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Beach Bag Essentials
The two men in my life – my husband and son, do need not much more than a towel and sun lotion to keep them happy. Me on the other hand needs slightly more! Actually, it was only when compiling this list of things that I take with me to the beach that I realised just how much I do cram into my beach bag!
Generally, when it comes to a day at the beach (or pool, or water park), we all go dressed with our swimming costumes underneath our clothes. I tend to wear a maxi dress; the boys will have shorts and a t-shirt on. I have always found it easier, at the end of the day, to dry off in the sun and throw those clothes back on to go home and shower properly there. A change of clothes rarely comes with us to the beach! With that information about us out of the way, here are my beach bag essentials…
- Beach Bag – I always try to buy a mesh or plastic bag to use as a beach bag as they’re easier to keep clean. Has to be nice and big to keep everything in – hate having to be lumbered down with lots of smaller bags!
- Beach Towel – the brighter and bolder the better for me! Plus you need something unique to claim your beach lounger and mark your territory!
- Sun Lotion – the sun is a dangerous thing, and you need to protect your skin from the harmful rays. I buy the spray type as they’re easy to apply. My favourite is a brand called Coppertone, I’m not sure if you can buy in the UK – I stock up in the States because it’s so fantastic. A waterproof suncream is a must if dipping in and out of the sea, but always re-apply it – and especially onto your children. Additionally, it’s good to have a lip balm to keep your lips soft; one with a built in SPF is good as it will protect them from getting burned too.
- Kaftan – when the sun is high in the sky and it’s beating down, it’s good to cover up for a while. I remember as kids our mum making us all put t-shirts on. I’ve got some lovely kaftans that are loose and cool – they’re also stylish, so win/win!
- Flip Flops – the one and only time I wear these is at the beach! They’re so cheap (unless you want to splash out of course) and you can easily pick up a pair for a couple of quid. Good for protecting your feet on the hot sand!
- Sun Hat – another stylish accessory to shade you from the sun. White will reflect the sun’s rays. I love ones with a big rim – makes me feel all glam!
- Sun Glasses – try and buy those with UV protection to protect your eyes. I wear prescription glasses and always get a pair of sunnies made at the same time when buying new ones.
- Hair bands/clips – when it’s hot, I prefer to have my hair tied up off my face and neck. I always carry spares!
- Waterproof Camera – you want to be able capture moments of your holiday, so don’t ruin the photographs by having water or sand destroy them when you’re having a day at the beach. Invest if you can, in a waterproof camera. We have owned a Panasonic Lumix FT5 for a few years now and it’s fantastic! Some cameras do have protective casings that you can buy, so you can always look to that for a cheaper option.
- Music – when I’m at the beach I love to hear the sounds of the waves crashing on the shore, but sometimes it’s nice to just lie back with some of your favourite tunes. Load up an iPod or other music player with some summertime tracks!
- Magazines/Books – I don’t read magazines much these days, but when spending a day at the beach, I throw a few into my beach bag to read whilst catching a tan. Quite often a puzzle book will be in there too! Of course, if mags aren’t your thing, don’t forget a good book instead! If you’re okay with taking your iPad or tablet with you, why not try the Readly app?
- Water – lying on the beach doing nothing can be hard work! You must stay hydrated, so take a huge bottle of water with you. My top tip is to freeze about half a bottle of water, then top up with water just before you leave – giving you iced cold water (for at least a little while!)
- Snacks – like I said, it’s hard work doing nothing, so keep your energy up with some healthy snacks – watermelon is a family favourite! I have fond memories of childhood beach holidays and munching on a huge slice of watermelon. But other portable fruit – grapes or peaches are fab. Something like a fruit and nut mix would be great as they don’t need to be stored somewhere cool.
- Picnic Cooler – Okay, so this isn’t going to go in your actual beach bag, but if you want to save some money on food and drinks for the day, pack up some sandwiches, fruit and drinks in a cooler so that they all stay chilled and fresh.
- Baby Wipes – great for cleaning up messy hands and faces after snack time or applying sun lotion.
- Money – if you’re at the beach all day, you may want lunch, or an ice-cream, or another bottle of water, so have some cash to pay for these things. Don’t take more than you really need though – you don’t want to run the risk of losing it – eek!
- Games/Toys – I don’t care how old you are, you can resist playing a game of bat and ball on the beach, or throwing a frisbee? Don’t forget buckets and spades for the kids and inflatable toys too!