20 Beach Bag Essentials I Always Pack

I'm a sucker for the beach. It's just like ice cream ... if you dangle the thought in front of me I have to have it.

I live in NYC which is about an hour away from the beach by train ... perfect for a day trip. Day trips I take a lot. So I've mastered the art of exactly what to bring for a day at the beach.




1. Sundress. I got this lightweight one from Victoria's Secret like a million years ago and it's still my fave. Great for the day or going out.

2. Silky scarf. I picked up this baby in Rome just outside the Vatican. Not only is it functional (see 15 ways to wear it) but it reminds me of my travels abroad.

3. Sandals. Duh. You obvi need them for walking too and from the beach but also to protect your toots from lava-hot sand.

4. Wallet. Get a fancy one that can double as a clutch for going out straight from the surf.

5. Baseball cap. Perfect for shielding your mug from the sun.

6. Stainless steel water bottle. Won't spill or get crushed in your bag and the stainless steel keeps it cooler longer. Trick: Stick your bottle in the cold ocean for about 10 minutes to cool it down.

7. Reading material. My list ... Vanity Fair, Elle, and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

8. Bathing suit. I always head to the beach (it's about an hour away) in my undies (clothes too) and change when I get there. That way, I can change back post-beach so I'm not sitting in a wet suit. Note: Pack a plastic bag to stash your wet suit in.

9. Wet face wipes. Clean off your face, body, and sweaty pits (shhh!) with refreshing wet wipes.

10. Hair accessories. Stretchy headbands keep fly-aways at bay and a claw clip is gentler on your locks than a hair tie.Toss in a small comb for after your swim.

11. Electronics. iPod and cellie are a must.

12. Moisturizer. My go-to is cocoa butter. Great for healing burns and making you smell yummy.

13. Sunscreen. Don't judge me ... I use tanning lotion with SPF 4. Let's me tan my Italian skin without any burns.

14. Soap. Near an outdoor shower? Clean off with a travel-sized soap.

15. Hand sanitizer. I always carry this no matter where I'm going. 

16. Makeup. All you need is a tinted moisturizer to even out skin tone and a lip balm.

17. Scented oil. Skip the perfume at the beach so you don't attract buggies but spray some on for hitting up the town post-beach, but slather on a scented oil so you smell good even after sweating. Coconut oil is my fave.

18. Gum. I'm addicted. Fresh breath!

19. Sunnies. I just broke mine and currently looking for a new pair stat.

20. Beach towel. I like over-sized ones so I can cuddle up to my guy and roll around without worrying about getting all sandy.

What's in your beach bag?


Image (top to bottom): ComunicaTI/Flickr; Brianne DiSylvester

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