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13 Beach Bag Essentials for a Fun Day in the Sun this Year

Ally Nelson |

Summer is not yet gone, and we know you can’t resist hitting the beach a couple more times before the fall! But are you ready to have some fun in the sun? Are you prepared? Today, we will share with you the ultimate checklist of beach bag essentials that you should gather this season for lovely, comfortable, and cool beach days, whether you plan a summer vacation in a fancy resort or you get ready for a couple more amazing weekends with family and friends on your hometown’s shore!

So, let's see today some beach essentials you should not forget about this year or the upcoming season as well!

Beach Bag Essentials and Some Other Goodies

1. The Beach Bag

Since we are talking about beach essentials, we should start with the beach bag. The perfect beach bag should feature some specific criteria, so if you do not have one or you want to change last year’s one, here is what you should consider:

  • It should be waterproof, sand-proof, and stain-proof;
  • It should be easy to clean after each beach day;
  • It should be large enough to accommodate all your beach bag essentials;
  • It should come in vivid colors to instill joy in your heart.

Following this path will inevitably lead you to a large poly beach tote with long handles (which also makes it an excellent summer day shoulder bag) or an even larger high-quality poly beach bag with heavy vinyl backing and zipper.

As a piece of advice, remember that you don't necessarily have to hit the beach to enjoy some fun, relaxation, and a refreshing bath. You can also go to a pool, a spa, or a waterpark with the kids. In this case, you still need a roomy pool/beach bag. Check out our collection of such bags and pick the one you favor most!

Given the current situation, you might want a little spark of hope, normalcy, and fun to accompany you through the crisis we all face. For this reason, we also encourage you to check out these tote bags with inspirational messages on them that shine some light even in the darkest of times. Going to the beach or the pool might be challenging for most of us, scary even, but as long as you stay safe, keep others safe, and put a smile on peoples' faces, it should be fine.

2. The Towel

Beach towels come in a large variety of shapes and structures. Don’t forget to refresh your collection of beach towels with a vibrantly colored velour terry one in a great size. After all, you need space and comfort for a great day in the sun, don’t you?

Remember to also bring a smaller towel (the face or hand variety). Not too large and not too small, fluffy and soft, it will help you dry quickly if you need to and keep the kids warm if they get the chills when returning to the beach from the sea.

3. Sunscreen & Aloe Gel

Need we emphasize the importance of high SPF sunscreen to avoid sunburns and other health problems? We guess not. You should never forget your sun protection lotion even if you feel that the sun does not shine so hot and bright anymore. UV rays are still there and they can be damaging.

Besides the sun lotion, we do recommend you take some aloe gel with you as well. If you do get a burn despite the sunscreen, the aloe gel relieves the sting, calms down the injury, and soothes the skin. Because of its soothing, moisturizing, and cooling properties, aloe vera gel is an excellent addition to your beach or pool bag. A recognized treatment for burns, it will also keep you safe from sunburns in the open air.

4. Sunglasses

Next on our list of beach essentials are sunglasses. We are sure you already wear a pair when you hit the beach, but let’s face it: long summer seaside days with family and friends can lead to unfortunate accidents (especially when the kids jump all over the place in excitement). Therefore, put a pair of spare sunglasses and consider them beach bag essentials. Moreover, make sure you do not take to the beach your designer shades; if you lose them or damage them, you will be inconsolable.

5. Hat

A hat for each in your group to wear all day long at the beach, we hope we are clear about that. Besides being iconic pieces of fashion, beach hats will make your stay a lot more comfortable and safer.

If you don't have enough room for straw hats or baseball caps for all the members of your beach/pool party, why not consider bandanas? Easy to fold and pack, bandanas are back in fashion - if they ever left, which we doubt. You can get a different bandana for each member of the family and wear it in a different style.

In case of an emergency - say you forgot your facemask at the pool/beach when you want to buy some refreshments from the store - you can temporarily cover your nose and mouth with the bandana and ensure the minimal safety for you and the others around you.

6. Travel Kit

You may have a waterproof case for your phone, but a polyester travel kit with a front pocket will do the trick, and then some! After all, you need to keep your phone, money, cosmetics, headphones, keys, and other necessities gathered in a waterproof container. Nothing beats a travel kit to sit tightly in your beach bag while allowing you full access to your phone and other items.

If you are not very fond of travel kits, you can take things up a notch and take a fanny pack with you. Yes, a portable bag inside a beach bag is among the beach essentials you will love.

Fanny packs are the perfect travel accessory and make excellent choices when you do not want to carry the entire beach bag just to buy a couple of ice cream cones. Fanny packs allow you to carry and safely preserve your money, phone, keys, antibacterial wipes, disinfectant bottle, and facemask no matter how far away from your towel you travel during your beach/pool stay.

7. Books and Music

We assume you already have a special playlist for beach or pool days, but the relaxing sound of waves makes an excellent companion for your favorite seaside reads. If you spend a family vacation with the kids, don’t forget to bring some games or toys as well.

8. Lunch Cooler Bag

An afternoon snack and plenty of water are necessary for a great day at the beach, the water park, the pool, or even the picnic. But to preserve beverages cold and foods fresh, you need to take a lunch cooler bag with you. Granted, it may not fit inside the beach bag, but you can still consider it a critical item on your beach essentials list.

We recommend a large heat-sealed water-resistant cooler bag to satisfy all your needs. It is a superlative choice when you want to keep water, sodas, sandwiches, and other snacks at the beach safe from sand or water.

You can also consider a travel squeeze bottle if you have small children that need plenty of water to drink at the beach (without them making a splash all over the place). Squeeze bottles serve many other purposes as well. If you want to carry a small quantity of ketchup, barbecue sauce, or mustard for your delicious sandwiches, then a handful of small squeeze bottles will do the trick without weighing too much.

If you want to learn more about the best lunch cooler bags in your collection, check out this guide here! We are sure you will find something to your liking, depending on the volume of food/drinks you need to bring or the number of your family members!

9. Inflatable Beach Gear

An inflatable water mat and swimming rings for the kids should also find their place among your beach bag essentials. After all, fun in the sun means fun in the water, especially for the little ones. Don’t forget to bring an air pump as well!

10. Sand Toys

You cannot have beach essentials without sand toys for the kids! The toys may not fit inside the beach bag (especially if they are many), but this doesn’t mean they should not be present. Kids adore them and, let’s face it; adults like to play also (making sandcastles for instance), as a short but sweet reminder of their childhood.

11. A Change of Clothes

Sometimes, you want to leave the beach and return home or to the hotel, but your swimsuit is still wet, or your clothes got sandy and moist. Sometimes you want to go somewhere else right after you leave the beach or the pool, but your sandy flip-flops and tiny shorts don’t cut it. For any dressing needs you might have, a change of clothes is necessary to get you out of any dilemma.

Pack thin and flowy summer clothes and sandals (roll your clothes to occupy a small space and avoid creasing) and keep them in a waterproof polyester drawstring backpack you can carry besides the beach bag. Technically, spare clothes are not necessary beach bag essentials, but if you want to spend a day outside from morning to late night and hit the beach, a restaurant, or a club, you will be thankful for that maxi silk dress you packed or the funky Hawaiian extra shirt you brought on the side.

12. Facemasks

It is uncomfortable to wear a facemask in the summer - and especially at the beach or at the pool - but please have one and keep another one for a spare for each member of your family. If you follow the social distancing rules at the beach, you probably won't wear it. Also, going into the water with a facemask is even dangerous. However, if you have lunch on a terrace, check out the ice cream truck or the hot dog stand, if you enter a store for refreshments, etc. - wear the mask.

You can have a pile of single-use surgical masks, a handful of reusable masks, some you made yourself from cloth scraps, it does not matter as long as you wear one in public spaces.

13. Gadgets and Wearables

Modern dynamic people have plenty of gadgets and wearable technology to make their lives easier and more comfortable. Some of them can be beach essentials this year, especially if you cannot leave the house without your devices:

  • Your waterproof smartwatch, especially if you want to track your swimming performance in the pool;
  • A waterproof and sand proof Bluetooth speaker for the kids to listen to their favorite music or your friends to check out their favorite podcast or news radio network at the beach;
  • A portable charger/power bank for your phone;
  • Headphones, for obvious reasons;
  • An e-reader in case you don't want to carry the latest hardcover novel you are currently reading at the pool/beach;
  • Whatever gadgets you cannot live without even if you spend a day or a weekend at the seaside.


Going to the beach or the pool during these times of confusion is challenging, but not impossible. As long as you add all the necessary safety measures among your beach essentials, there is no reason why you should not enjoy a few more days or weeks of excellent weather.

Now, it is your time to tell us more about your beach essentials! What other beach bag essentials do you take for a full day of fun in the sun? What else do you recommend us to put on the beach bag essentials list this season and why?