What to take to the beach – your ultimate guide

The last thing you want to happen when you get to the beach is to realise you’ve left a beach essential at home. So when you are planning what to take to the beach, use this guide to make sure you have everything you need for a blissfully relaxing day in the sun!

My problem as a solo traveller is often deciding what to take to the beach – do I take my camera and get some nice shots of the beach sunset? Or do I go without any valuables so that I can swim in peace knowing my valuables aren’t at risk of being stolen?

Fortunately, I have discovered a few brilliant ideas to solve this dilemma which I will share with you today. They make deciding what to take to the beach MUCH easier!

No time to read it now? No worries, pin it for later!

So here is my list of things you need for the beach to have a perfect summers day.

What to take to the beach – your beach packing list

Practical things you need to take to the beach

A sand-free, quick-dry, antibacterial beach towel.

Hands up who seems to always get sand absolutely everywhere?

Yep, me too.

However, one thing that helps me limit the damage is to use a sand-free beach towel. One quick shake and the sand is gone meaning that my beach bag stays sand free at the end of the day.

When choosing a beach towel, make sure you get one which is quick-dry and antibacterial specially if you are travelling between places and need to pack your towel away each night.

These days there are some really nice beach towels that are practically fashion statements as well as functional items.

Here are just a few you can choose between;

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Reef safe sunscreen

So much of the world’s coral has been damaged and discoloured over the past few decades that we should all be trying to limit the damage we do to our environment.

Sunscreen is one of the things which is damaging our marine coral but luckily there is an alternative – reef-safe sunscreen.

Make sure you put this on your beach packing list!

If you plan to be doing a lot of swimming in the sea, make sure you use this sunscreen to help protect our planet. You can keep your other sun screen for days around the pool instead.

Sun Bum Original SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion | Vegan and Reef Friendly (Octinoxate & Oxybenzone Free) Broad Spectrum Moisturizing UVA/UVB Sunscreen with Vitamin E | 8 oz

  • ORIGINAL SPF 30 SUNSCREEN LOTION . This is the stuff we use every day. It’s the formula that started it all. People say it smells like summer. We like that. Whether we’re spending a lazy day at the beach or just hangin’ out, our Original formula is definitely our fav.
  • MOISTURIZING SUN PROTECTION. Dermatologist and Sonny approved, this non-comedogenic sunscreen delivers UVA/UVB protection and is packed with Vitamin E. Our oil-free, water-resistant and reef friendly SPF 30 Lotion is great for all skin types.

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Plenty of water

Did you know on an average day, we should be consuming 2 litres of water a day? When you go to the beach, you are more likely to get dehydrated so you need to drink more than this – closer to 3-4 litres.

Therefore when planning what to take to the beach, make sure plenty of water is on the list!

Save money and help the environment but getting a reusable water bottle with a filter so that you can fill it up from any source (except the sea) safely.

LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle with 2-Stage Integrated Filter Straw for Hiking, Backpacking, and Travel, Blue

  • Reusable LifeStraw Go BPA-free water bottle filters water while drinking; great for travel, backpacking, camping, and emergency kits
  • Award-winning LifeStraw hollow fiber membrane water filter removes bacteria and protozoa from lakes, streams to ensure safe, clean drinking water
  • 2-stage activated carbon filter reduces odor, chlorine and leaves zero aftertaste
  • Removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria, and 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites without chemicals, iodine or batteries
  • Durable, 23-ounce, leak-proof bottle made of BPA-free Tritan and features a food-grade silicone mouthpiece; replacement filters available separately

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A swimsuit

Putting a swimsuit on your beach packing list goes without saying really! You’re going to want a dip in that inviting water, especially on a hot day! Here are a few of my swimsuit picks;

Tempt Me Women One Piece Swimsuit High Neck V-Neck Mesh Ruched Swimwear Black L

  • High neck design with a padded push-up bra and neck hook closure provide support and shaping.
  • The see-through mesh style and deep plunge back design amp up the bathing suit, to be more flirty, awesome, and chic.
  • Excellent quality: The smooth fabric material is stretchy, comfortable, and soft, ensuring you will thoroughly enjoy wearing it. Note: Regular size: XS,S,M,L,XL. Plus Sizes: 14 Plus, 16 Plus, 18 Plus, 20 Plus.
  • The ruched pattern in the torso accentuates your curves and hides any imperfections perfectly while still being flattering.

View on Amazon CUPSHE Women’s Fresh Leaves Printing Cross Padding Bikini Set (M)

  • Fabric: Chinlon,Elastane
  • Design: Cross at front and tie at back
  • About Cup Style: With padding bra
  • Garment Care:Hand Wash and Hang Dry. Recommend with Cold Water. Do not Use Bleach.
  • The pattern is one of a kind – The exact pattern you receive will be slightly different than the one shown.

View on Amazon CUPSHE Women’s Shirring Design V-Neck Low Back One Piece Swimsuit (X-Large (USA 16/18), Plum)

  • Fabric: 80% chinlon,20% spandex
  • Front shirring with Lining
  • About Cup Style:With padding bra
  • Garment Care:Hand Wash and Hang Dry. Recommend with Cold Water. Do not Use Bleach.
  • Please Refer To Our Detailed Size Chart below the product description Before You Purchase.

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A hat

Avoid heat stroke and don’t forget to pack a sun hat!

Lanzom Womens Big Bowknot Straw Hat Floppy Foldable Roll up Beach Cap Sun Hat UPF 50+ (X-Khaki)

  • Top quality skin-friendly straw material. Soft comfortable and breathable design. Hand washing only.
  • An essential accessory for your Outdoor Travel/Holiday/Beach playing. Folding Packable design for easy storage in a handbag or backpack when it is not in use. Convenient carrying along!

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A beach cover-up

Take a beach cover-up or sarong for nipping to a beach bar or to cover up in a conservative country.

Women Bohemian Neck Tie Vintage Printed Ethnic Style Summer Shift Dress (2XL, Pattern 18)

  • Various Kinds of style and pattern print, More chioces and more comfortable
  • Dry, laundry or handwash are available

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Things to take to the beach for a fun/relaxing day

A kindle

I love my kindle on holiday. Now they are waterproof making them even more perfect to take to the beach!

You can load them up with a variety of books and magazines before your holiday and pick and choose what you fancy when you are there.

They are also anti-glare so you can read them even in bright sun light unlike other devices like Ipads.

Kindle Paperwhite – Now Waterproof with 2x the Storage – Includes Special Offers

  • Now available in Black or Twilight Blue
  • The thinnest, lightest Kindle Paperwhite yet—with a flush-front design and 300 ppi glare-free display that reads like real paper even in bright sunlight.
  • Now waterproof, so you’re free to read and relax at the beach, by the pool, or in the bath.
  • Enjoy twice the storage with 8 GB. Or choose 32 GB to hold more magazines, comics, and audiobooks.
  • Now with Audible. Pair with Bluetooth headphones or speakers to listen to your story.
  • A single battery charge lasts weeks, not hours.
  • The built-in adjustable light lets you read indoors and outdoors, day and night.
  • Get instant access to new releases and bestsellers, plus over a million titles at $2.99 or less.

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Enjoy some music whilst you are relaxing on the beach – don’t forget to pack some headphones. I usually recommend noise-cancelling headphones which are also perfect on the flight when your neighbour is snoring loudly in your ear!

TaoTronics Active Noise Cancelling Headphones [2019 Upgrade] Wired Earbuds Wired Headphones with 15 Hours Playtime Aware Mode

  • Active Noise Cancelling Functionality: Reduces environmental noise and distractions by up to 25dB for an immersive auditory experience that lasts up to 15 hours per charge
  • Increase Awareness with Monitoring Mode: Clearly hear airline or subway announcements and what’s around you with the press of in-ear monitor button when ANC is on
  • Feature-Packed Headphones: Comes with an active noise cancelling slider, monitoring mode button, inline controls for volume, audio track and calls, also features an airplane audio adapter for convenience when flying

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A snorkel set

If you plan to do a lot of snorkelling on holiday, it often makes more sense to bring your own set with you so put these on your beach packing list. Make sure you choose anti-fog goggles!

WACOOL Snorkeling Package Set for Adults, Anti-Fog Coated Glass Diving Mask, Snorkel with Silicon Mouth Piece,Purge Valve and Anti-Splash Guard.(Blue)

  • ONE SIZE FITS ALL: This snorkeling set for adults comes with fully adjustable head straps and a high-grade silicon face skirt which molds to fit virtually any face shape. The ribbed design provides extra support and ensures a water-tight seal.
  • ANTI-FOG COATED TEMPERED GLASS: Enjoy maximum under-water visibility. Advanced lens shape design and tempered glass with anti-fog treatment means youll have a crystal clear underwater experience, especially for beginners. One piece glass design enables better and wider vision under water.
  • FULL DRY SNORKEL with PURGE VALVE + SPLASH GUARD: The advanced anti-splash system prevents water from entering the snorkel and the purge valve allows for easy clearing and draining water out of the snorkel.

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A self-inflating beach lounger

Save money by not hiring a beach bed but instead bring your own with a self-inflating lounger (which also helps to keep your stuff sand free!)

Wekapo Inflatable Lounger Air Sofa Hammock-Portable,Water Proof& Anti-Air Leaking Design-Ideal Couch for Backyard Lakeside Beach Traveling Camping Picnics & Music Festivals

  • ✔ EASY INFLATION-No pump required.
  • ✔ UNIQUE PILLOW SHAPED HEADREST DESIGN- WEKAPO air lounger has patented pillow shaped headrest design that gives your upper back and neck comfortable support when you need relaxation most.

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What to take to the beach to keep your belongings safe.

As a solo traveller, I often worry about what to do with my belongings when I go for a dip in the sea. Here are some great options to keep your belonging safe!

Anti-theft beach safe

You can now get anti-theft bags which can be locked to an immovable object which are also water resistant and slash proof.

Here are a few options. The latter has better waterproofing and is cheaper but the first is slash-proof preventing anyone from slashing it open with a knife when your back is turned.

Pacsafe Travelsafe GII 5 Liter Portable Safe (Black)

  • Maximum security – 360 degree stainless steel wire mesh embedded in poly canvas fabric is highly cut resistant. Design patented in the USA, by Pacsafe, the original anti-theft brand. Can be locked securely with TSA accepted 3-dial combination lock (incl.).
  • Can be locked to fixtures – bag can be cabled to furniture, pipes, or fixtures when in hotel rooms (I.E. When hotel room safe is too small) and beach chairs or trees to prevent theft when at the beach or by the pool where items need to be left unattended.
  • Compact & light – fits up to two 10 inch tablets/ iPads, Plus Phone, camera, IDs, money, credit cards passports and other valuables. 16.34H x 10.43W x 1D. Lightweight: 1.1 lbs. Comes with a 5-year Pacsafe warranty.
  • Peace of mind indoor & outdoor – bag fabric is water resistant to protect your personal items when traveling. This Slash safe Vault Is made of durable and easy to clean polyester to ensure secure & long-lasting usage. With carry handles for convenience.

View on Amazon WaterSeals Locking Backpack + Waterproof Bag for Women & Men with Ripstop Material & Anti-Theft Combination Lock to Protect Wallet, iPhone or Valuables at the Beach, Pool, Skiing, or Camping, Gray

  • COMBINATION LOCK: Secure Lock Technology with 3-digit resettable combo lock (no key) to secure to any stationary object (bench, golf cart, fence post) to prevent theft; protect valuables at the beach, pool, camping, kayaking, during sports, and more
  • ROLL-TOP CLOSURE: This travel bag has a roll top cinch closure that protects your electronics and wallet from sand, dust, debris and more. A must have portable safe for camping, hiking, traveling and more
  • WATERPROOF: Keep your phone, camera, clothes, and documents dry during boating, beach, pool trips, and much more with this waterproof bag

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A waterproof phone case

Alternatively, you could take your belongings with you when you swim. This only works for smaller items like a phone, money or keys. But since your phone can double as a camera, it may still be a good solution.

You can get waterproof phone cases which also fits your money or keys that attach to your wrist or even around your waist.

Mpow 097 Universal Waterproof Case, IPX8 Waterproof Phone Pouch Dry Bag Compatible for iPhone 11/11 Pro Max/Xs Max/XR/X/8/8P Galaxy up to 6.8″, Phone Pouch for Beach Kayaking Travel or Bath (2 Pack)

  • IPX8 Certificated: fully submersible and waterproof, the waterproof case is designed for extreme condition. Note: Please conduct a safety test before using this waterproof phone case.
  • Free operation and transparent cover: This waterproof phone cover is designed not to hinder touch screen use underwater. Transparent cover to not block the camera use. You can perfectly operate your cellphone but not for touch ID fingerprint.

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Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Freegrace Premium Waterproof Pouch Set with Waist/Shoulder Strap – Best Way to Keep Your Phone and Valuables Dry and Safe – Perfect for Boating Swimming Snorkeling Kayaking (Gray + Waterproof Case)

  • KEEP YOUR VALUABLES DRY & INTACT: Whether were talking about snorkeling, Swimming at the beach, or even diving in the depth up to 32 Feet. this amazing waterproof pouch with Three Ultimate Seals promises to keep your valuables items safe & dry!
  • MULTIFUNCTION and TOUCH-FRIENDLY – Freegrace waterproof transparent pouch is Touch Screen-Friendly, enabling you to text and talk while you soak up some sun and with waterproof case you can take pictures and video underwater.
  • PERFECT SIZE POUCH (9. 0 X 6. 7) can store everything youd normally carry in your pockets including phone, credit cards, wallet, ID, keys Passport; & LARGE WATERPROOF PHONE CASE, This Case Fits All Smartphones Up to 7. 0 Diagonal Size.

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A ‘fake’ sunscreen bottle safe

I like this ingenious way of keeping your belongings safe. This portable safe looks like a bottle of sunscreen so thieves will ignore it, helping to keep your belongings like hotel room keys and money safe.

Oliphant Hidden Sunscreen Bottle Safe – Portable Security Box Protects Money, Smartphone, Valuables

  • SUNSCREEN BOTTLE SAFE – This faux bottle looks like a generic container of sun screen labeled with 30 sun protection factor, but its actually 100% crime-protection factor!
  • LOW-PROFILE PROTECTION – Hide your credit cards, cash and keys inside when youre spending the day on a beach or relaxing by a pool, and youll have access to your necessities while keeping them secure at the same time.

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Best Beach Bags for your beach packing list

Now that you have a complete list of what to take to the beach, you need a pretty bag to put it all in.

Preferably it would be sand-free, roomy and pen wide allowing you to see what’s inside.

I prefer lighter colours so that my belongings are easily visible inside.

Also, look for broader shoulder straps for comfort.

Beach Bag XL. Waterproof (IP64). L22 xH15 xW6 w Cotton Rope Handles, Top Zip, Two Outside Pockets. Vibrant Rainbow Tote Has Waterproof Phone Case, Built-in Key Holder, Bottle Opener

  • ?DURABLE, WASHABLE, WATERPROOF CANVAS-LIKE FABRIC with RIPSTOP construction, protects your items from getting wet or damaged. BONUS WATER/DUST/SAND PROOF PVC CASE, safely keeps your smartphone, tablet, credit cards, cash, jewelry, other valuables. Our fabric can hold 22 pounds (10 kg) easily.
  • ?LARGE & ROOMY with THREE BIG INNER POCKETS (ONE IS ZIPPERED), WATER REPELLANT INTERIOR LINING – sized at L22xH15xW6, there is plenty of space to securely store your wet beach towels, outfits, lotions, lipstick, cosmetics, magazines, other accessories. BUILT-IN KEY HOLDER & BOTTLE OPENER for your complete convenience
  • ?TWO OUTSIDE POCKETS, STURDY & COMFY ROPE HANDLES with knots sewn under the inner lining to avoid any zip hurdles, make ShyLero beach tote a great over the shoulder handbag for women. Outside pocket allows to access easily your water bottle, sunglasses or anything you want to put in there

View on Amazon Travelon Folding Packable Tote Sling, Mosaic Tile, One Size

  • Unzips and opens into an oversized tote ideal for travel
  • Zip up for compact storage
  • Rear pocket and add-a-bag tunnel
  • Light weight water resistant material
  • 5.5x19x15

View on Amazon Women Beach Tote Bag Pool – Extra Large Big Weekender Canvas Cotton Rope Drybag with Zipper Summer (Not Straw Mesh) tone with Beach Towel Hat Green Tropical Hawaii Palm

  • ★UNMATCHED DURABILITY: Stop wasting your money on beach bags that barely last for the whole summer period. This top notch shoulder bag is made of finest quality material that is incomparably durable. Moreover, it features nice, inside lining that adds a luxury touch.
  • ★STRIKING, FASHIONABLE DESIGN: This tote bag is bound to catch everyone’s attention and make you stand out. Its striking white and dark blue color combination, the stripe pattern and the impressive rope handles make it a unique fashion item you must add to your wardrobe.

View on Amazon Rip Curl Junior’s Morning Sky Beach Tote Bag, white, 1SZ

  • Includes twisted rope handle
  • Includes logo patch

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Read Next

  • Long Haul Flight Essentials Checklist
  • Backpacking essentials you shouldn’t leave home without
  • The best cameras for travel

Hopefully you now have a better idea of what to take to the beach to make your beach day hassle free and wonderful!

Bookmark this beach packing list so that you never forget a beach essential ever again!

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