To make sure that you fully enjoy your beach day, we've compiled a list of essential items that should always be in your beach bag.
There's nothing worse than coming home from spending a day at the beach, looking in the mirror and discovering that what you thought would be a nice even tan is actually a bright red splotchy sunburn. To avoid this, make sure you always have plenty of sunscreen in your bag. It's also a good idea to lather up before you get to beach, and to re-apply every hour and half.
Most dermatologists recommend getting a broad spectrum sunscreen with at least 30 SPF. La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk is a bit of a splurge, but there's a reason it's called melt-in sunscreen milk. It's smooth and easily soaks into your skin, while also providing effective protection. Because it's so lightweight, this sunscreen can also be used for your face.
2. ChapstickWhile not everyone's lips are sensitive to the sun, it's always a good idea to protect them just in case, and it's common to get chapped lips at the beach anyway. You can either go for a regular lip balm that has a small SPF, or you can use one with a higher SPF, such as ChapStick's Ultra SPF 25.
Just to make sure you've covered all your sun protection bases, you might want to bring a hat along. Even if you don't start the day out with it, it can provide some much needed shade later in the day if you're feeling crispy. A straw hat is a stylish option for women, and a sporty baseball cap is perfect for men.
4. Water bottle
Instead of spending upwards of $2 for a bottle of water that someone is selling at the beach, bring your own. It's free and will prevent you from becoming dehydrated, which is easy to do after laying in the sun for hours.
Better yet, try a water bottle that will keep your water cool — because we all know that warm water is anything but refreshing when you're sweating it out in the sun. Klean Kanteen makes a 20 ounce insulated stainless steel bottle.
Sitting or laying directly in the sand is something that usually only kids enjoy. An absorbent beach towel will keep you dry and help you fend off (at least some of) the sand. Aurorae primarily makes yoga mats, but they also make beach towels that are large and absorbent, but still lightweight.
If you don't want to be squinting into the sun all day, make sure to bring a good pair of sunglasses to shade your eyes. Ray Bays are a classic brand and the Wayfarer is an iconic style that's been around for decades.
Paperback books and magazines can be tough at the beach; there's always the chance that they get wet, or that it's too windy. Hard cover books, on the other hand, will weigh down your bag. If you bring a Kindle, though, you'll have multiple books at your fingertips and you won't have to deal with heaviness or pages flying in the wind.
Amazon's newest Kindle has a six inch high resolution display, a built in light, and wi-fi.
8. Paddleball set
Paddleball is a great way to combat boredom at the beach — and to get some exercise in. It's like ping pong at the beach minus the table and net. Plus, the paddles and ball are small enough that they won't take up too much space in your bag, like a volleyball would.
9. First aid kit
Hopefully your beach day won't call for any bandaids, but on the off chance it does, it never hurts to have a small first aid kit on hand just in case.