11 Beach Essentials for this Summer

beach essentials

Summer is flying by and no matter how much time we have to prepare, it seems we are always running around at the last minute to make sure that we are fully prepared.  Here at ReadPlease we thought we’d put together prep lists to help you get out the door and onto the sand.  Our top picks and recommendations are based on our research from online reviews and personal experience.  Don’t forget these top items to pack whether it’s for a day or a week.   Spend your time in the sand, not at the store trying to pick up what you forgot.  You’ll likely waste time and money if you end up shopping for our essentials in a resort town – or worse, be unable to find what you need!

book on the beach

We’ve made a list for you to double check and print off so that you can seek the sun & fun, not the store!

Beach Bag  
Sunscreen & Sunblock  
Beach Towel  
Cover Up  
Wet Bag  
Water Bottle  
First Aide Cream  
Sun Shade & Umbrella    
Portable Battery    
Hair Conditioner    
Bluetooth Speaker    
After Sun Lotion    


Beach Bag

beach bag

We’ve had so many trips to the beach, we think we’ve nailed down what to look for in a beach bag.  You want to consider a few things that include weight, material, pockets, and handles.  Look for a lightweight bag is a must because you will be loading up the bag and don’t need to add any unnecessary weight to what you are already carrying. You want a material that will not hold sand, will dry easily, and will hold up to the salty air for a few years.  Finally, a zipper closure or snap shut is an excellent feature in our opinion.  It protects your gear from sand inside as well as spilling.  If the top doesn’t have one, look for the option of a zippered interior or exterior pocket.

  • We are loving this Aloha Sugar bag. This lightweight bag is made from mesh so it’s waterproof, and mildew resistant, it has exterior mesh pockets that allow for a lot of storage options – which are see through so you aren’t searching through one big interior pocket for what you need, and it comes with a waterproof phone case.  Did we mention that Aloha Sugar also has a commitment to the environment and has partnered with Eden Reforestation Projects to help reduce poverty and restore the forests in various countries throughout the world?  You’re saving the world while sunning – way to go! Oh, and it’s a steal at under $25!

Sunscreen and Sunblock

While we have our own opinions and preferences for which sunscreen we like to use, we turned to the experts at Consumer Reports for their research on this topic.  You want to make sure that your SPF number is over 30, and that you are being protected from the burning harmful ultraviolet radiation B rays (UVB) as well as the ultraviolet A (UVA) rays that tan and age skin, because BOTH contribute to skin cancer.   Look for a water-resistant blend when you’re spending time in the water!

  • La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk – while perhaps a bit on the higher end of the price range, the La Roche-Posay brand is focused on dermatology and comes highly recommended in all of our research. This blend works for both face and body.
  • Pure Sun Defense Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 – Pure Defense appeals to the kids with their licensed packaging, but the sun protection that they offer should appeal to parents and single adults alike! A top winner in all of Consumer Reports testing, and a bargain at around $13.99!

Beach Towel

beach towel

There are two schools when it comes to beach towels, one focuses on form (or style) and one focuses on function.  We think that you can have both.  When traveling, and since most of us don’t live at the beach, you want something that you can throw in your bag and

  • Dock & Bay Quick Dry Beach Towel – it was the colors that caught our eye first, then we realized that they were a microfiber blend which isn’t your typical towel, but sounds like a great option for a lightweight travel towel or beach blanket since their extra-large size could accommodate more than just one person laying down. Much easier to take this in a suitcase too!
  • Doubling as both a travel wrap or blanket, and beach towel, the Lulujo Turkish Towel in Ocean Blue is perfect for those with limited space and the need for dual functionality. We use ours on the airplane as a blanket, at the beach for a relaxing and drying off, and as a wrap for chilly outside dinners.  You can’t get more multi-functional than that!
  • If you prefer a more traditional towel, with full fluff and larger in size, check out the Utopia Large Cabana towel in sea blue. Made of 100% cotton this is a funky towel that comes in a blue and white cabana stripe, is machine washable, and will dry you off when you exit the pool or ocean and provide you with a perfect place to lay your head while taking a nice summer snooze.



Shades are necessary for not only being able to see without squinting, but are important to protect your eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays just like you protect your skin with sunscreen.  You’ll ultimately choose based on style and a frame that compliments your face, but we have a few suggestions for a classic look.

  • Ray-Ban New Wayfarer Unisex Sunglasses – is anything more classic than Ray-Bans? Made in Italy, and never going out of style (or at least as far as we can see) these sunglasses will go with anything and will show your classic and everlasting style.  the design on these are a bit updated (in our opinion) from the Classic Wayfarer glasses for less of a Buddy Holly look but you can try the Classic Wayfarer if you’re so inclined to choose a smaller frame.  Both are available in a Tortoise or Black option.
  • Ray-Ban Aviators. Talk to me Goose.
  • Want the Ray-Ban style but for a lower price? Look no further – as these or these will do the trick.

Wet Bag

What’s a wet bag you ask?  We wondered too…until we found one, and now we won’t go without it to the beach or pool.

  • Planet Wise makes a variety of these great bags that are not only Made in the USA but also come in the best patterns and sizes. Throw your wet suit, water shoes, shirts, or whatever you want in here and don’t worry about the rest of your goodies and electronics getting ruined in your beach bag.

Water Bottle

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!  When you’re out in the sun and in the salty water, drinking fresh water is as important as sun protection!  Our picks are going to keep your water ice cold for a refreshing break in your day.


Protect your locks and your face with this fun wide brimmed hat! So many fun in the sun sayings!! For those who are less inclined to want to get their message out there, these quick dry ball caps will do the trick.  And since we’re talking about taking care of your noggin’ why not throw in some leave in conditioner and protect your locks as well?  Sun Bum makes a great 3 in 1 leave in conditioner that you can leave in your bag.

After Sun Cream

Your skin needs love after the sun too!  Rehydrate and repair with one of our absolute favorites by First Aid Beauty.  Their Ultra Repair Cream will be your new favorite too – we use it daily year round! Looking for a more tropical scent?  Try Burt’s Bees After Sun Soother.

Sun Shade & Umbrella

beach umbrella

If you’re on vacation, you’re going to need a break from the sun.  No need to leave the beach when you have the right gear!  Tommy Bahama makes a gorgeous umbrella that gives you sun protection with SPF 100+ rating and in a blue & white pattern that makes the sky blue no matter what the weather!  If you have little ones, you can bring the beach onshore with Mulgore’s Baby Beach Tent…add ocean water, then add the baby!

Portable Battery/Charger

Look it’s a pod of dolphins!! Look! I caught a wave!  Wait…my phone battery died.  Ugh.  Don’t let this be you.  Be prepared.  Here’s an affordable option that serves as a charger AND Bluetooth speaker, but if you’re looking for just the charge, go this route by Jackery.

Bluetooth Speaker

While it’s not necessary for a day at the beach, it sure is nice to have some tunes!  The Bose SoundLink is known for great sound, but isn’t waterproof, so be sure to keep it secure if you go that route.  If waterproof is what you’re after, try this model by JBL.

Have fun and be safe in the summer sun!




Author: Danielle G.

Danielle is an Editor for ReadPlease and in charge of product testing...she started out in the IT industry, but then her love of wellness & whole nutrition led her to the Institute of Integrative Nutrition...when she's not reading up on that, she is listening to music, gardening, or trying to meet John Mayer.

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