School’s out and I don’t know about you but I can’t wait to go to the beach. It’s hard for college students to find time to go to the beach with friends between all of our summer jobs and internships. To make the best of your day off, here are a few things that you need to remember to pack in your beach bag.
Having a big, roomy beach bag is absolutely essential. I don’t want to have to leave something I may need later on at home because my bag isn’t big enough. When you’re looking for a new beach bag keep in mind that it needs to be big and that it’s more than likely to become wet or dirty at the beach—either from sand, your wet towel or bikini, or that notorious a leaky bottle of sunblock.
Slip some flip flops into your bag to make walking on the hot sand bearable. There’s no way I can walk across a beach without having something on my feet. Not only will these shoes protect your toes from the heat but they’ll also ensure you don’t cut your feet on rocks, shell fragments, or broken glass.
I need a massive towel to lie out on when I go to the beach. I use part of my towel to put all my stuff down on to at least try to minimize the amount of sand that will get in my bag. Big towels are awesome. It’s nice to have room to stretch out in the sun or share and hangout with a friend. When you’re using it to try off, a huge towel feels just like a cozy blanket.
I feel bulky enough with a big beach bag, I don’t want to bring my purse to the beach as well. I just want to bring something that will hold some cash, my ID, and my phone. Bringing a wristlet or a clutch is just enough to hold what you need and is super easy to throw into your beach bag.
Sunglasses are one of my favorite accessories. They’re practical, can take any outfit to a new level. It’s hard to show off your style when you’re limited to a bikini. Show off of your personality with some bold-colored lenses or unique frame shapes. Make sure to also bring a case so that your sunglasses don’t get squished by all the other things you have in your beach bag.
Sunscreen or sunblock? You choose. Either way, there’s no way you can survive a day at the beach without some SPF. I have been blessed with Irish skin that only burns so I tend to go for a 50+ SPF. Choose an oil-free formula for your face to help prevent breakouts. Your lips need coverage too—be sure to bring some lip balm with SPF to keep them moisturized and protected. Whatever SPF you use, remember to reapply every few hours to ensure you protect your skin all day in the harsh summer sun.
Bring a cover up to wear to protect yourself from the sun or in case a few clouds roll in and the beach gets a little cooler. Find the perfect cover up to match your style and comfort—high-waisted sheer pants, a lightweight scarf, or a more traditional cover up dress.
Bring a hat with you to the beach to help protect your face from the sun’s damaging UV rays. Throw on a classic baseball hat or go for something bolder—with more coverage—like a big, floppy hat.
This is probably this most important thing to bring to the beach behind SPF. To prevent dehydration, have a full water bottle at all times —even if you’re just at the beach to layout. Bring your own bottle or tumbler cup for easy refills.
The beach is the perfect place to take summer pictures with all your friends. Bring a camera in a waterproof case to take some cool pictures in the water or bring a Polaroid camera for images with more of a retro feel.
You may want to keep your hair down to let it lighten in the sun or just to show off some beachy waves. In case having your hair down gets too hot, you’re going to want to bring a few hair accessories. Make sure to bring a few ponytails or a headband to keep your hair off your face and neck when it gets too hot and throw a comb or brush in your bag to make pulling your hair back easier.
Lying out on the beach is awesome, but I’d rather be listening to some mellow music than the kids screaming a few feet away from me. Bring headphones to drown out any less than pleasant beachgoers around you. I keep all my music on my phone, if you’re going to do the same and rely on your phone for entertainment, it’s a good idea to have a waterproof case and to throw a portable charger into your beach bag. Bring your favorite magazines or a book to do some relaxing reading. Before you head to the beach, make sure to check out Studentrate for deals on books and magazines.
Aside from the main necessities that should be in your beach bag, there are little things that you probably didn’t think about, but are definitely much needed:
- Snacks. How do you go anywhere without snacks? You won’t have to pay the jacked up prices of restaurants or snack bars on the beach. You’ll also probably end up eating much healthier than you would have if you bought food there. Bring foods that will sustain you like fruit, trail mix, or protein bars.
- Wipes. The last thing I want at the end of a beach day is to know I’m driving home covered in sweat and sunscreen. Throw some wipes into your bag so you can freshen up throughout the day and wipe off all of that grime when you’re ready to leave the beach.
- Hand sanitizer. This will allow you to quickly clean your hands off after applying sunscreen or before you eat lunch.
- Aloe Vera. If you’re like me and go from pasty to burnt, with no in between, aloe vera is your best friend. The aloe gel creates a soothing, cooling sensation when placed on sunburns. Sunburns hurt and make my body so sore; I’d rather not wait to have relief so I like to throw some into my bag just in case. You can find aloe vera in some moisturizers, or by itself in a gel form at most drugstores.
- Moisturizer. Being out in the sun all day can seriously dry out your skin. Bring moisturizer in your beach bag so you can nourish and revitalize your skin at the end of the day. By moisturizing sooner rather than later you’ll also be able help to extend the life of your tan.
- Change of Clothes. After a day at the beach, all I want to do is change into some super comfy clothes. Nothing feels better than stripping off your bikini and putting on something made of soft, breathable cotton. Make sure to throw an over sized T-shirt and some shorts in to your beach bag to change into once your beach day ends.
This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
Julia is a junior Media Studies & Journalism major at Saint Michael’s college. Her minors are psychology and art history. She likes fashion, spending too much time on the internet, crafting, and pretending she has her life figured out. Julia strives to be like Leslie Knope in everything she does.