Gearing up to hit the beach? Whether you’re headed to the municipal spit just over the hill or some exotic tropical spread half a world away, you can’t leave home without these six essentials — all of which can fit in a sturdy backpack or beach tote.
Remember These 6 Essentials for Your Next Beach Getaway
- Swim Cover-up
If not for modesty, do it for your own comfort. The sea breeze cuts deeper once you’ve had a soak, doubly so once the sun starts to set. Plus, not every beach side cocktail bar or clam shack cottons to bikini-clad diners fresh off the sand. A light cotton cover-up will do wonders for your beach town look — not to mention your rear end.
- Flip Flops (for Him and Her)
Bare bikinis might be a bridge too far, but even the snootiest beachside restaurants tend to make peace with the flip flop crowd. If you’re planning a couple’s escape, check out Faveable’s roundup of comfy flip flops for guys — you’d be surprised how few dudes remember to pack this essential summer wardrobe item. For rocky beaches or pre-dip hikes, bring a sturdier pair with enough traction to navigate the trickiest headlands.
Don’t let those trade winds fool you. The sun is a cruel mistress, particularly at low latitudes. You can get away with far more direct sun exposure in Maine or Michigan than Aruba or Cancun. Let your itinerary guide you: a personal parasol might do just fine for a mobile beach vacation, while an oversized sunshade that stakes deep into the sand is better for outings with the whole family.
- Beach Towel
Don’t count on finding a suitable substitute at the hotel. For a multi-day beach excursion, you need a multi-use beach towel — a sturdy, sand-repelling spread that’s as gentle on your legs and rear as your bathing suit. Look for lightweight options that dry fast and shake out well.
- Clothing Bag
No matter how careful you are, your street clothes are almost certain to get wet at the beach. Bring a plastic bag to keep damp (or soaked) shorts, dresses, and T-shirts separate from, well, everything else. Bonus points for a handful of single-use detergent packs; they really come in handy after a messy day in the muck.
- Water Shoes
All beaches must end. Unless you have soles of steel, you’ll need sturdy water shoes to brave the outer edges of the shore shelf — and, if you’re really feeling adventurous, the tidal pools further back. Those rocks are probably sharper than they look.
It’s Always Summer Somewhere
You can bet your last dollar that it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere.
Not always right where you want to be, though. The vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean has more than a few lonely time zones.
One thing is for sure: it’s always summer somewhere nice. When winter gets you down, your essential beach packing list comes through in the clutch. No matter where you live or what time of year it is, your next date with sun, sand and surf is only a daydream away.