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

beach essentials
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—you deserve some time off after the year we've all had.) 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 Daytrip Lunch Bag
YETI
$79.99

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

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2 Sun Arch Double Gold Beach Towel
Society6
$27.99

Avoid the nightmare of trying to find your towel ("Did someone steal it?? Did my friends move without telling me??") with this standout oversized pick.

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3 Bandwagon Sunglasses
Le Specs
$69.00

Invest in a pair of Meghan Markle-approved sunnies that will keep out harmful rays.

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4 Boom 3
Ultimate Ears
$149.99

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 15 hours.

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5 Ultra Facial Cream SPF 30
Courtesy
Kiehl's
$32.00

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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6 Resting Beach Face Kit
Patchology
$20.00

If you can't get your favorite moisturizing products past TSA due to liquid regulations, Patchology's Resting Beach Face kit includes two sheet masks and two lips gels to keep your face and your lips moisturized. 

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7 Tia Basket
Aaks
$191.00

Books? ✓ Snacks? ✓ Towel? ✓ A tote you can carry straight from the beach to dinner? ✓

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8 Glowscreen SPF 40
Supergoop!
$36.00

The most obvious item on the list: sunscreen. Supergoop's bestselling suncreen is lightweight, adds a glowy finish to your face, and lasts long enough for you to take a dip in the water then re-apply. Thank us later.

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9 Summer Sports Scrunchie
Free People
$8.00

The only thing worse than looking down to a hair tie-less wrist is knowing you left your scrunchie on your dresser. Take this sporty scrunchie with you when you head east this summer, then buy two more for a special three-for-$12 deal. 

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10 'The Other Black Girl' by Zakiya Dalila Harris
$24.84

Summer: The time of the year to catch up on all those must-reads piled in the corner. Bring along a great book like Zakiya Dalila Harris's novel, The Other Black Girl, which is Marie Claire's June book club pick. You can read an excerpt here

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11 Onyx Bottle
S'well
$35.00

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

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12 "It's Brutal Out Here" Bucket Hat
Olivia Rodrigo
$30.00

GOD! It's brutal out here...without a bucket hat like this cute one from Olivia Rodrigo. 

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13 The Ellie Nap Dress
Hill House Home
$125.00

Beach cover-up or happy hour outfit? Condense your packing list with this two-for-one Hill House nap dress that earned a stellar reputation during the pandemic.

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14 Trieste Sandal
Brother Vellies
$285.00

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

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15 Drop Wireless Charger
Native Union
$69.99

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 Native Union portable charger. 

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16 Hair Oil
Courtesy
OUAI
$28.00

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

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17 La Lucia Beach Blanket
Courtesy
Las Bayadas
$50.00

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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18 Wind Challenger Beach Umbrella
L.L.Bean
$69.00

If you're taking a car to the beach, make sure to bring this top-rated, easy-to-set-up L.L.Bean umbrella that offers UPF 50+ sun protection. Fin!

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