Vacations are a time for rest and relaxation, but there’s always a list of beach must-haves that you should check off. From calming beachside activities like reading to having fun in the sun with music and a drink, you’d want to be prepared for everything.
That’s why we’ve compiled this comprehensive list of beach essentials to make packing for your next vacation a breeze. So read on and make sure you’re taking notes!
A great beach blanket is roomy, so it would fit a few people with their belongings, soft, so it would be comfortable to sit and play on, and sand-proof, because who wants sand in their stuff?
That’s what we like about this extra-large beach blanket from Wekapo. It measures 9×7 feet but folds up to fit inside a small pouch. It comes in 3 different colors and other sizes are available in 5 colors. And to anchor it in the sand, it comes with 6 small stakes that fit inside loops in the blanket.
Since it’s 100% nylon, it’s completely waterproof and won’t get waterlogged with extra moisture, which maintains its portability. It’s also super easy to dust off once you’re ready to go!
For a little more luxury than sitting directly on the sand, you should try this folding chaise lounge from Rio. It has multiple settings for sitting upright, reclining, and laying flat for tanning, what else could anyone need?
This awesome contraption weighs only 9 pounds but has a maximum weight capacity of 250 pounds! It also sits 11 inches off the ground if you’re worried about it being too close to the hot sand.
Having lunch or playing a game of cards on the beach can be exponentially improved upon if you have a small table to put everything on. Well, this aluminum camping table from Trekology is perfect for the beach because of how easy it is to set up and use.
It’s waterproof and super light to carry, and not at all like other camping tables that are clunky and difficult to use. You also don’t have to worry about corrosion from exposure to seawater or wet sand over time, because aluminum remains in tip-top condition even when exposed to the elements.
If you don’t like the fuss of setting up a beach umbrella, but don’t see yourself roasting in the sun, then a beach tent is the right choice for you!
The beach sun shelter from Coleman is perfect for a day of playing, swimming, and staying out of the sun. It’s conveniently set up in about 5 minutes, and comes with ground stakes and pre-attached guylines.
What we love the most about it is the integrated storage pockets and the dry line where you can hang your wet clothes. The height of the tent at its highest point is 4’9”, which is more than enough for comfort while sitting inside to make use of the 50+ UPF sun protection.
This neoprene beach bag from Qogir is the perfect solution for all the issues that come with a regular cloth beach bag. Does it get waterlogged? No. Does it hold on to the sand for dear life? No. Does it waste space on useless separators? No.
Aside from fitting your sunscreen, swimsuit, beach blanket, sunglasses, wallet, and phone, you don’t have to lug around a heavy bag with your stuff in there. And the best thing about it is that to clean it, you can just put it in the wash with everything else.
Sunscreen is a crucial beach essential that protects you from the sun’s damaging effect on your skin. It’s not enough to worry about sunburns only, it’s also the changes on the cellular level that can cause anything from premature aging to skin cancer.
Thankfully, this Supergoop! PLAY sunscreen protects the skin while not drying it out or washing away in the pool or seawater. It’s non-greasy, so you don’t have to worry about breaking out when you use it. It’s also not too watery that it runs into your eyes after you break a sweat from your beach volleyball tournament.
If you enjoy getting a tan but don’t want to burn to a crisp under the hot sun, this tanning oil is for you!
This tanning oil is weightless, quickly absorbed, and best of all, has an SPF of 25 to prevent sunburns and adverse effects of tanning.
If you’re new to tanning, you can mix the oil with some sunscreen to protect your skin while it darkens. Just remember to tan responsibly and avoid getting burned by the sun at all costs.
Those who want their drinks to maintain their ice-cold freshness after a day out in the sun absolutely have to try this Yeti 10 oz tumbler.
It has a cute stemless glass look to it, keeps your drink cold (or hot) for a super long time, and doesn’t take too much space out of your beach bag. Perfect all around!
Keeping on top of whose drink is whose can be tough. That’s why these genius, yet absolutely adorable, starfish sand coasters are lifesavers! You can assign a color to each person and play all you want without getting your drinks mixed up.
A huge bonus is that no sand will be getting on your cans and getting stuck on the outside for eternity. We all know how annoying it is to try to get sand off your hands while holding an ice-cold drink!
Hydration is super important when you’re on the beach all day. But you know what else is important? Having all your stuff, like car keys, cards, and maybe a little emergency cash, stashed away in a secret compartment in your water bottle.
That’s right. You can use this Bindle insulated water bottle as a safe of some sort, where you can place valuables discreetly and just carry on with your day. The great thing is it’s not a gimmick, as it keeps drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours. Pretty neat!
If you want the benefits of a cooler without having to lug around a cooler, then this Tourit backpack cooler is perfect for you. This model fits 30 cans and weighs a little more than 1 pound.
It’s perfect for packing lunch and a few drinks for a picnic on the beach and having everything stay nice and cold even in the hot summer sun. It also has two mesh pockets that can fit water bottles or a few more drinks.
Who doesn’t love those cute Instagram photos where you’re just lounging around in a fun floatie? None that I’ve heard of. This adorable unicorn floatie is perfect for these moments of pure fun for both kids and adults.
This cute beach ball is the same as the floatie, but with a little more bounce and a lot more glitter! Take this with you for a tournament for beach ball that will catch the eyes of everyone on the beach, young and old.
Playing in the sand and building sand castles is always a fond childhood memory, so if you have kids, this is your turn to make these memories for them.
This set of absolutely precious beach toys includes 18 pieces the kids can use to play and build for hours on end. The mesh backpack the toys come in also ensures you don’t take a bunch of that sand back with you into the car.
There’s nothing better than vibing on the beach to your favorite music. Thanks to this waterproof Bluetooth speaker from JBL, it can’t get any easier!
All you have to do is charge the speaker at home, then pair it with your phone for up to 12 hours of continuous music play on a single charge! The speaker also has a built-in microphone if you want to take a call while playing with your children in the sand.
Polarized sunglasses protect your eyes from the harmful effects of UV rays, and these have the added bonus of making you look super cool in the process.
The great thing about these sunglasses is that they’re unisex and have a timeless design, so you never have to worry about them going out of style.
Channel your inner Audrey Hepburn and take the perfect beach selfies with a sun hat and wayfarer glasses. Simply because brimmed sun hats are an absolute classic look that doubles as effective protection against the sun.
This gorgeous straw hat gives a sophisticated vibe while looking simple and effortless at the same time. It comes in 10 different colored ribbon sashes and in 3 different sizes for optimal fit and comfort. Tres. chic.
I don’t think there’s anything I can say that will convey how much I absolutely love this concept. If you want a beach towel that doubles as not just one, but three game boards, you got it!
You can use this super cute towel as a board for chess, checkers, and backgammon. All you have to do is carry the pieces, and the board can be conveniently folded and thrown into your beach tote after the game is done. Or you can towel yourself off with it first!
Using your phone on the beach, where you run the risk of dropping it right into the ocean, is a major cause of anxiety. Well, what about if you just put it inside a waterproof phone pouch that can protect it from falls and water contact, while also having the phone be completely usable?
This geckobrands phone tote is perfect for that! You can use your phone to text, take pictures, and play games all while it’s inside this safe cocoon of a waterproof pouch.
Running out of battery is awful, but having to haul around a brick of a power bank is just as unpleasant. But thanks to this Anker power bank that has the dimensions of a lipstick tube, you’re set for the day.
This power bank is small but mighty, as it holds a whole extra phone charge for the day, which will easily tide you over till you’re back to the land of electricity. You can also use it to charge other devices, like Bluetooth speakers, to keep the party going.
Reading on the beach is such a simple, yet deeply relaxing activity. Just the sound of the waves crashing and birds looking for food nearby is enough to provide the best soundtrack to the page-turning novel or self-help book you always wanted to read.
If physical books are your jam, that’s great! But to prevent accidents like the pages getting waterlogged when put next to a wet towel, a Kindle is a perfect companion. It’s lightweight, easily readable in daylight, and can hold all your favorite titles without weighing down your beach bag.
Surfing, swimming, and staying in the sun can take a toll on your skin, causing burns, rashes, and skin irritation. While a wetsuit can protect you from all of that, it can be too constricting and difficult to move in for some people.
That’s where rashguards come in handy. They’re protective, light, and super easy to move around in. They’re also cheaper and smaller to carry around and take off than a wetsuit when you’re done with them, so that’s always a plus.
Walks on the beach can be super romantic and fun, but not when your tanned skin that was stripped from its moisture by the ocean water rubs against itself.
Using an anti-chafing stick on the areas where you feel the most friction can provide instant relief from irritation, as well as prevent blistering against your sandals or dry clothes. It’s also much easier to carry than a tube of moisturizer or body lotion that can get all over your other stuff.
Fun in rocky or coral beaches is tied up with how easy you can walk on the shoreline, and water shoes can make that a breeze. They should fit well, protect your feet against the hot sand and sharp rocks, and are safe to wear in the water while swimming.
These Ning Meng water shoes fit great, are easy to walk in, and provide ultimate protection against cuts or heat. They also don’t get weighed down when wet, so you can swim comfortably in them.
Having fun in beautiful destinations includes seeing all the greatness Mother Nature has to offer. This includes all the gorgeous coral that grows underwater and provides a home for many types of fish and sea creatures.
If you’re too scared to scuba dive, snorkeling is another activity that doesn’t require that much equipment, yet still allows you to enjoy the beauty under the surface. This snorkel set from Greatever will help you achieve just that with its superior fit and watertight silicone trim.
For those who’ve never snorkeled before, getting used to breathing through your mouth can be difficult at first, but then it becomes second nature. I know it took me some time to adjust, but I got there in the end!
When you’re underwater, it can sometimes feel so surreal that you don’t believe what your eyes are seeing. Well, that’s why it can come in handy to have a waterproof GoPro on hand to capture all that greatness for future viewing!
This HERO9 action camera is waterproof for up to 33 feet underwater right out of the box. It also has the following features:
All of this lends itself to an easy, yet rewarding photography experience even when you’re underwater. It also allows for easier sharing when you’re done taking all your photos and video.
After a day in the water, hauling around a bunch of wet swimsuits and towels is no fun. That’s why you need to bring a mesh duffel bag that can let all the excess water and sand drip out before you get to your car.
This XXL mesh duffel bag from Bulex is lightweight, but super sturdy. It’s also long enough to fit any swimming fins and snorkeling equipment you have on hand. It’ll also not get weighed down by wet clothes inside it and instead will allow it all to drip out.
It’s also super versatile, so you can take it with you to the gym when you’re done with your beach vacation.
Speaking of being weighed down. Traditional cotton beach towels are super absorbent, but they also hold onto the water for dear life. I literally had a terry cloth cotton towel that wouldn’t dry for two days in a hot desert destination. That wasn’t fun.
That’s where modern technology kicks in! Now we have amazingly compact, yet super absorbent microfiber towels that dry to a crisp in such a short time you won’t even believe it.
These quick-drying towels also save you the trouble of hauling around a huge beach towel so waterlogged it weighs 4-times its original weight. Instead, all you have to do is wring out the microfiber towel really well, allow it to dry for less than 15 minutes, and voila! A dry towel you can use over and over again.
This Rainleaf quick-drying towel also comes with its own carrying pouch, which doesn’t take up any space inside your beach bag. They also come in different sizes to fit your needs.
Wet swimsuits, towels, and water shoes are things you don’t want to mix with your electronics or books. That’s why having a dry bag that can carry every wet item and keep the inside of your beach bag, and the trunk of your car, dry, is super important.
This Heeta waterproof dry bag can accomplish just that. It comes in several sizes that can fit up to 4 people’s wet swimsuits and towels, and it’s perfect for use at the gym as well as at the beach.
It’s sturdy and well-made, so you don’t have to worry about undone stitches, and compact enough not to take up any space in your car. Perfect!
Last but certainly not least, this portable safe from SAFEGO is just what you need to keep all your valuables in one place. With a bike chain-like anchoring mechanism, and protected by a sturdy combination lock, you can rest assured your phone, wallet, and car keys are safe.
Just make sure the safe is on you at all times so no one can snatch it away from you. Or anchor it to a safe place where there’s plenty of visibility or a security camera.
No matter what beach you plan on visiting, whether it be Big Island Hawaii, Oahu, or Kauai, you’re going to want to make sure you pack the right beach items for your visit.
You may not necessarily need them all, but we know every time we head to the beach we have at least half of these packed with us!