15 Essentials to Pack on Your Next Beach Vacation

A.k.a. how to relax without wifi 101.

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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). Ahead, the best accessories to bring with you for your next trip to the beach.

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1 A Cute Towel
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Bando, $40

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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.

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2 A Towel Carrier
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The Beach People, $40

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The definition of bougie: beach edition—a towel carrier to keep your beach blanket perfectly rolled from the parking lot until you reach the sand.

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3 A Beach Blanket
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Las Bayadas, $68

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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.

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4 A Waterproof Speaker
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Ultimate Ears, $100

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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.

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5 A Canvas Tote
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J.Crew, $40

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

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6 A Maxi Dress
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Melissa Odabash, $167

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

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7 A Sun Hat
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Caslon, $39

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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.

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8 Hair Oil

Ouai, $28

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

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9 A Portable Printer
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Canon, $130

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Take pictures on your iPhone like you normally would, connect the bluetooth-equipped mini printer, hit print, and voilà you now have physical evidence of your amazing vacation in real-time.

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10 Day-to-Night Shoes
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Marc Fisher, $160

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

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11 An SPF Moisturizer
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Aveeno, $14

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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.

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12 Sunglasses
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Thom Browne, $465

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Invest in a pair of Iris Apfel-esque sunnies that will keep out harmful rays.

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13 A Summer Read
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Amazon, $16

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

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14 Lip Balm Plus SPF

Fresh, $24

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Look chic and keep your lips protected with SPF and antioxidants by swiping on a tinted lip balm.

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15 Sunscreen
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Neutrogena, $16

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The most obvious and most important 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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