Beach Bag Vacation Essentials

The Cuties are on Spring Break next week and so I’m starting to get us organized for another adventure.  I thought I’d share my favorite essentials for packing a bag for a warm vacation spot.

Let’s start with a tote bag ~ You can’t beat the bags from Scout.  I’ve had mine for years and years and they are still in great shape.  I have two different ones and I use each with a different purpose in mind.  For trips to the beach in Kiawah, when I need to schlep four towels plus all the other essentials, I use an Original Deano bag.  After a day at the beach, I just shake it out and occasionally wipe it down and it’s as good as new.



For trips to the pool or at a resort, I prefer the Pocket Rocket bag.  I carry sunscreen and water bottles in each of the outer pockets, as well as my cell phone and keys for easy access.  The interior is plenty big enough for iPads, magazines, snacks, and anything else we want to bring with us for the day.



Because iPads and Kindles are sensitive to excessive heat and sand, I keep them in wet bags from Itzy Ritzy.  A medium-sized bag will easily hold two iPads, and I use a Snack Happens Snack & Everything Bag in my beach bag for cell phones, keys and wallets to keep them together and accessible {you always want to be prepared for either the ice cream truck on the beach or a sudden rainstorm departure!}.  The best part about packing the medium wet bags on a flying vacation is that it gives you somewhere to put your wet bathing suits in your suitcase from a last minute dip!



I love to be outside at the beach, pool or on a boat, but I take sun protection really seriously.  We religiously apply sunscreen to The Cuties and ourselves several times a day.   I prefer a high SPF water-resistant sunscreen for our bodies and use a broad spectrum sunscreen with zinc oxide on our faces.  The Cuties adore EOS lip balms and the lemon drop flavor has SPF in it.

Most importantly, we wear hats in the sun.  The Cuties have worn these hats from Garnet Hill for years, which completely shade their faces.



I am especially partial to Helen Kaminski hats, which while pricey, last for years.  I bought this hat almost 18 years ago while shopping for our honeymoon and it is still a powerhouse.  It rolls up and packs in my suitcase, and springs back into shape.  The strings adjust the size, and there is a soft liner inside at your forehead for comfort.



In effort to avoid the never-ending onslaught of wrinkles marching across my face, I wear big sunglasses pretty much whenever I’m outside.  I wear them in the water while playing at the pool and beach as well because I wear disposable contact lenses as I am seriously vision-impaired.  I figure it’s easier {and cheaper!} to pop in a new pair of the lenses than to get prescription goggles just to go down a water slide with The Cuties.  I do, however, wear a sunglass strap, and have somehow never lost a pair of glasses.  And of course, my strap is Lilly Pulitzer.



For beach/pool shoes, you can’t beat Havaianas.  They come in every color of the rainbow and you can even customize your own.

When staying at a resort, I think it’s important to consider what kind of cover up you pack.  A simple sarong usually won’t do if you want to go into the lobby or cafe for lunch {of course, the husband has it easy and just has to throw on a shirt!}.  I prefer long tunic-style cover ups that completely cover our bottoms for me and The Cuties.  For them, Boden, is my go-to source.  They are just transitioning from Mini Boden to Johnnie B in sizes and taste, and this year I bought this one.  I also think it would also look adorable with skinny white jeans.



Because we live at the beach all summer, I have quite a few cover ups.  My rule of thumb is that they have to be both long enough that I get appropriate thigh coverage riding my bicycle {being short helps!} and long-sleeved.  I like our cover ups to be long sleeved so we can throw them on for sun protection when it’s an especially long day in the sun and we want more coverage.  Of course I have several Lilly Pulitzer ones, but this Mud Pies one is a favorite.



So those are my must-haves.  I am a reformed over packer.  I pretty much pack the above plus a few sundresses and sandals and I’m good to go for a week at the beach.  I think dresses are the absolute easiest way to go when it’s hot ~ they’re comfy, nothing to match, and in a pinch, you can pretend it’s a nightgown and go to sleep in it that night.

Not that I’ve ever done that or anything. 😉


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2 Responses to Beach Bag Vacation Essentials

  1. Kay says:

    I am ordering those waterproof bags. Love the scout bags and may eventually get one but have not been able to justify when I have several great lands end ones

  2. Smichel says:

    I love long sleeve dresses, nice. I would love to buy something like the in picture.

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