The 14 Must-Have Essentials You’ll Find in Our Publisher’s Beach Bag

beach bag essentials

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Planning a trip to the beach? Make sure you pack all your beach bag essentials. Sass Magazine’s creator and publisher has been visiting Rehoboth Beach, Delaware her entire life, so she knows a thing or two about packing for a fun-filled day at the beach! From sun protection to beach towels, here’s a list of the top items you will find in Kim’s beach bag.

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Sun Protection Essentials

Sunscreen is definitely a must-have, essential item in my beach bag, in fact, I usually carry a few different ones! Several family members have been diagnosed with skin cancer, so this is a non-negotiable when I visit the beach or pool. It’s best to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF and apply it generously to all exposed areas of your body. If you go with a sunscreen spray, make sure you still rub it in for overall coverage. Get those easy-tp-burn areas like your ears, the tops of your feet, and that sensitive area between your arm pit and boob!  Don’t forget to reapply every few hours, especially after swimming or sweating. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to sun protection! Here are the sunscreen products I swear by:

beach bag essentials sunscreen

Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Sunscreen

Unfortunately I have a tendency to break out when I use certain sunscreens on my face, so I appreciate this product specifically designed for faces. It feels light-weight on my skin and doesn’t clog my pores.

Sun Bum Spray Sunscreen

I typically have a spray sunscreen that’s minimum SPF 30, but I also carry a 50 SPF (especially in the beginning of the summer, before I have a nice base tan!). I love the Sun Bum spray sunscreen because it feels light on my skin, gives my skin a nice glow once applied, and it smells amazing! Plus, Sun Bum products are vegan, cruelty-free and paraben-free.

sun bum spray sunscreen
sun bum spf lip balm

Sun Bum Lip Balm

OK, did I mention I love this brand? Our lips are an area that are prone to sunburn, but we often think it’s just chapped lips. I’ve been using an SPF lip balm for several years and it’s been a game-changer! The Sun Bum SPF lip balm comes in several great smelling scents like coconut, banana or watermelon.

Sun Bum Leave-In Conditioner

So, while this isn’t technically a sunscreen product, it is still important for sun protection. I love carrying the Sun Bum Conditioner spray with me to the beach or pool, and spraying just a bit in my hair after jumping in the water. It smells amazing, leaves my hair detangled and feeling soft and healthy, plus it smells amazing!

sun bum spray conditioner
costa sunglasses

Costa Sunglasses

Sunglasses are an essential beach bag item. Not only do they shield your eyes from UV radiation, but they also reduce glare and improve visibility in bright conditions. I used to buy sunglasses based on their style, not their function, until I got a pair of Costas. These sunglasses are definitely expensive, but  they have 100% UV protection and polarized lenses for the best sun protection. Additionally, they are extremely light-weight, so I can wear them all day long without getting that painful over-the-ear pinch.

Beach Entertainment

kindle at beach

Kindle Reader

I do not go to the beach without a book, period! And a Kindle reader makes it easy to take several books (or magazines or newspapers) with me on vacation without filling up my suitcase. Plus, the glare-free screen makes it easy to read even in bright sunlight. It’s lightweight and compact, making it easy to bring along and enjoy your favorite books while lounging on the beach.

Yeti Colster

Want to keep your drinks cold and refreshing all day long? Go with a Yeti Colster, I promise it will be life-changing and keep your drinks cold for hours! The insulated can cooler is designed to fit standard 12-ounce cans and bottles, but also comes in a slim size for hard seltzers. The Colster features a double-wall vacuum insulation and a No Sweat Design, so your hands stay dry and your drink stays cold. Yes, these Colsters are a little pricey, but they are game changers for keeping your drinks cold (not cool, but actually COLD!). Whether you’re sipping on a cold beer or enjoying a refreshing soda, this is the perfect accessory for a day at the beach.

yeti colster cooler
waterproof speaker for beach

Bluetooth Speaker

If I’m going to the beach with friends or family, I love playing some tunes while soaking up the sun. There are lots of waterproof, portable bluetooth speakers on the market, so find one that works best for you. Look for something that is small, compact and lightweight so it will fit in your beach bag! But, be considerate of others around you and make sure your speaker volume is at a minimal sound level.

Cover Ups

kimono beach coverup

Kimono-Style Coverup

A kimono swimsuit coverup is a stylish and versatile addition to your beach bag and I, personally, love these flowy styles from Breezy Lane. These coverups come in a variety of colors and patterns, and are super lightweight, so they dry quickly and keep you cool. Plus, they also look great with a pair of jeans and t-shirt, so they’re a bonus addition to your summer wardrobe too!

AFTCO Shorts

While these shorts are technically made for fishing, I’ve found them to be the BEST beach shorts! They have a hidden elastic waist as well as a zip fly, not to mention they are super lightweight, stretchy, stain resistant and uber comfortable. Plus, they come with lots of pockets to hold your cell phone, keys, money or even a tampon!

beach shorts for women

Beach Towel Accessories

beach towel mat

Beach Mat with Stakes

Growing up, my family would always take an old sheet to the beach, but it was hard to anchor down in the sand, got too sandy, and also stayed really wet after a jump in the ocean. So, in addition to grabbing a few beach towels, I also never leave home without a beach mat. Finding an option that allows you to put stakes in the sand will keep your beach mat on the ground, so you don’t have to worry about a beach breeze blowing anything away!

Towel Clips

You know how frustrating it is to get your beach chair in exactly the right spot, drape a towel over it, only to sit down and have your towel fall down or blow around…repeatedly? Yeah, I hate that. So, I never leave home without a set of towel clips. Seriously, do yourself a favor and and these to your beach bag essentials, it will make your visit to the beach so much more chill and relaxing!

dolphin towel clips

Cleansing Wipes

face wipes for beach

Neutrogena Cleansing Wipes

I love the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Facial Cleansing Towelettes to wipe my face or neck off if I’m going straight from the beach to the boardwalk or for a quick snack run. They help cleanse my pores of any sweat or residual sunscreen, helps with breakouts, and just gives me a nice refreshing feeling. But, if you use these wipes and go back to the beach, don’t forget to re-apply your sunscreen!

Deodorant Wipes

Along the same lines as the face towelettes, I also like to carry some deodorant in order to stay fresh and comfortable throughout the day. But, instead of traditional stick deodorant, try some convenient, easy-to-pack deodorant wipes. They’ll help combat sweat and odor while you enjoy your time in the sun, plus they won’t melt or get messy in your beach bag!

deodorant wipes at beach

Kim Dow Sass Magazine

Kim is the owner and publisher of Sass Magazine, as well as the owner of Sass Studios, a boutique graphic design studio in Frederick, MD. When not in the office, Kim can be found doing some of her favorite hobbies—reading a book, dancing, traveling, or playing with her rescued pitbull.

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