Everyone loves a day at the beach. But when you head to the beach as a family, with friends, or even on your own, then if you don’t come prepared then it can quickly turn from being a dreamy day, to a bit of a nightmare. Luckily for you, something as simple as carefully considering what to bring to the beach and having a beach holiday packing list to hand can make a huge difference to everyone’s experience.
Read on for a guide to all the beach bag items you might need for your perfect day by the sea. We’re focusing on beach gear for adults here, and most of the items we mention will apply to beach-lovers of all genders.
If you’ve always just been the type to head to the beach with just a towel and a good book, then read on for a few more essentials you should be adding to your beach bag checklist.
Beach holiday packing list: start with the beach bag
Before you can start worrying about your beach day essentials, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got the right bag. You’ll need a capacious beach bag that either doesn’t show the dirt or can easily be thrown in the washing machine. Cute totes always work well. Bonus if it goes nicely with your beach outfits!
Beach bag necessities: sun safety
First things first. When you’re planning on going on a day trip to the beach, sun protection needs to be a priority. No matter what your skin colour, you need to apply sun cream to block those UV rays, but it’s those with the fairest skin who need to be most careful about not overexposing themselves to sunlight.
So, make sure you’ve got a good quality (preferably planet-friendly) sun cream for your body in your bag, as well as a special one for your face.
An attractive, wide brim hat or cap both keep your skin out of harm’s way and is also a great way of protecting your hair in the sun.
When you’re thinking about what to pack for a beach holiday, make sure that you’ve also got adequate eye protection. Too many people neglect their eyes wearing cheap sunglasses, when investing in a good quality pair is like making an investment in your future sight.
Beach day packing list: a sarong is your best friend
If we’re sharing a beach bag essentials list, then we can’t go on for too long without mentioning the trusty sarong.
A sarong is the ultimate beach accessory and should be on everyone’s beach holiday packing list. We think that sarongs are far better for the beach than towels, as they’re quick-drying and multipurpose. They dry in the sun in a matter of minutes and, when you’re done lying around on them, they can be worn over the top of your swimwear for a great beach style.
Beach bag supplies: make sure you’ve got plenty of water
Hydration should be almost as much of a priority as sun protection. Don’t go anywhere without at least a few litres of water for each person, and make sure it’s kept out of the sun.
A good trick, if you have a freezer in your room at your accommodation or hotel is to remember to fill your water bottle the night before and freeze it, so it gradually melts during the day.
The best food to bring to the beach
When you’re thinking about what to bring to the beach in terms of food, make sure you’re being practical. Don’t bring anything that’s going to suffer too much in the heat, and make sure you don’t under cater. All that salt water and sea air will mean you work up an appetite.
We always think that a selection of dips and savoury snacks is the best food to bring to the beach, along with some refreshing fruit.
Your list of things to bring to the beach isn’t complete without a good book
Are you a Kindle fiend, or do you prefer physically turning the pages yourself? We think Kindles are great, but there’s nothing better than getting sand stuck in between the pages of a good book at the beach.
However you like to read, a book needs to be at the top of your beach checklist. Make sure it’s nothing too hard-going and something you can lose yourself in.
Anyone who wants to take it even easier and doesn’t want to hold a book or kindle aloft should try downloading a few audiobooks, and not forgetting their headphones.
Beach holiday essentials
Whatever you do, when you’re assembling your beach day necessities in the morning, don’t forget to pack spare underwear.
It’s easy to stroll or drive down to the beach and leave this essential behind, which can mean your journey back is less comfortable than you’d like it to be if you haven’t yet dried off properly.
Cool things to take to the beach in case you get bored
If you’re worried that swimming in the sea, reading a good book, snacking and soaking up the sun won’t be enough to keep you occupied, then you might be looking for a few ideas for cool things to bring to the beach.
If you’re on a beach in Spain or the Canary Islands you’ll probably see lots of people playing beach tennis. You can pick up a pair of rackets anywhere near the beach, and they’ll keep you entertained for hours. As long as it’s not too windy, a pack of cards are great entertainment, too.
Beach day ideas: have a day off-grid
Sometimes it’s not what you do pack, it’s what you don’t You might need your phone to listen to all those audiobooks you’ve downloaded or to remember the way too and from your hotel, but when you’re actually on the beach, your mobile phone is not an essential.
Airplane mode is your best friend if you really want to enjoy the day rather than worrying about Instagram. Turn your beach day into a social media detox.