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20 Beach Essentials to Pack the Next Time You Head to the Shore

Pineapple, Bromeliaceae, Illustration, Plant, Fruit,
Design by Morgan McMullen

So, you've taken the first step and planned out your summer vacation days (I'm giving you a digital high-five). Up next: finding the must-haves to stash in your bag (and later asking yourself why you packed so much). Here, the best accessories to bring with you for your next trip to the beach.

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1 Luxe Pineapple Float
SunnyLife Shopbop

*Insert pineapple under the sea Spongebob reference here.* The answer is, yes, the beach is always better when you have a pineapple float with you. Sorry, I don't make the rules. 

2 Cooler Bucket Bag
SunnyLife Shopbop

The number one beach essential? A safe place to store snacks. Keep 'em cool in this cute bucket bag, then surprise your friends when you take out the subs and they're still cold. Who's the real MVP now?

3 Wish You Were Here Towel

Avoid the nightmare of trying to find your towel ("Did someone steal it?? Did my friends move without telling me??") with this soft, standout "Wish You Were Here" terrycloth pick.

Adult Poncho
Docks and Bay

When the 3 p.m. sun hits and you know you're already burnt to a crisp (please see slide 20 to prevent this), throw on a lightweight poncho equipped with pockets to shield yourself from the rays. (It's a much better alternative to sadly attempting to cover your body with your too-short towel.) You can also use it as a cover-up on cooler days, or during the time between the beach and dinner. 

5 S'well Insulated Water Bottle
S'WELL Nordstrom

Hydration is key while spending a full day in the sun. Keep yourself and your water cool with an insulated S'well bottle. 

6 Scrunchies
Free People

The only thing worse than looking down to a hair tie-less wrist is knowing you left your scrunchie on your dresser. This one's called the Hamptons scrunchie for a reason—take it with you when you head east this summer, then buy two more for only $12. 

Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
Ultimate Ears Amazon

When you're floating and decide you've had enough alone time with your thoughts, whip out this portable waterproof speaker that lasts up to 10 hours.

8 Back Me Up! Mobile Phone Charger
Ban.do Bloomingdales

The problem with a dead phone is a) no Instagram pictures and b) no use for that bluetooth waterproof speaker you just brought with you. Avoid both situations with this cute "going places" portable charger. 

9 La Lucia Beach Blanket
Las Bayadas Shopbop

Pro tip: Use your towel as a pillow and place a blanket underneath you so you can splay like a starfish during your afternoon nap.

Anouk Tote Bag
Sans-Arcidet Anthropologie

Books? ✓ Snacks? ✓ Towel? ✓ A tote that fits all of the essentials? ✓

11 Lace Maxi Dress

Beach cover-up or happy hour outfit? Condense your packing list with this two-for-one crocheted maxi dress.

12 A Pair of Slides
ST. AGNI Net-a-Porter

Slip on these blister-free mules for lunch on the water (piña colada in hand) or dinner and drinks in the evening.

13 Modern Stripe Floppy Hat

Attention pale people with burn-prone skin (a.k.a. me): Here's one of many sun hat options—from baseball caps to straw boaters—that keeps your head covered and easily fits in your beach bag.

14 Sunglasses
Sunday Somewhere

Invest in a pair of chic sunnies that will keep out harmful rays.

15 Hair Oil
Ouai Sephora

A hydrating oil that protects color-treated hair from sun exposure and nourishes salt-stiffened strands.

16 Canon Mobile Mini Photo Printer
Canon Amazon
$99.99 (22% off)

Take pictures on your iPhone like you normally would (that is, as long as you have the portable charger with you), connect the bluetooth-equipped mini printer, hit print, and voilà you now have physical evidence of your amazing vacation in real-time.

Ultra Facial Cream SPF 30
Kiehl's Sephora

Too much sun exposure can strip your skin of moisture and its essential oils (not to mention...wrinkles!). A powerful moisturizer should be at the top of your packing list, like this one that also doubles as a sun protectant. See our full list of options here.

18 'Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life'
$10.97 (39% off)

Summer: The time of the year to catch up on all those must-reads piled in the corner. Bring along an uplifting book like Cleo Wade's collection of poems, Heart Talk.

19 Sugar Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15
Fresh Sephora

Keep your lips protected with SPF and antioxidants by swiping up a tinted lip balm.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen
Neutrogena Amazon
$8.97 (64% off)

The most obvious item on the list: sunscreen. Choose a formula like Neutrogena's ultrasheer dry-touch. It's lightweight and lasts long enough for you to take a dip in the water then re-apply. Thank us later.


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