Five essentials to fill your beach bag with this summer


The above items are all examples of beach bag necessities which make your trip to the beach as easy and enjoyable as possible.

Caroline Ogulnick, Features Editor


When planning a trip to the beach, organization is key.  While some people are able to hop in the car and take a day-trip with just a bathing suit and a towel, others need to do a little more packing. The beach bag is not only a bag that you bring with you to the shore—it carries all of the essentials that you need for your day, and its contents ensure that you will be hassle-free, without a doubt.  Packing a light beach bag is easy, as many often forget the little things that they cannot spend the day at the beach without.  If you pack these five essentials in your beach bag this summer, you will not have to second-guess yourself once you arrive at the sandy dunes.

1. Sunblock. Sunblock is mandatory if you are going to the beach, or if you are going to be exposed to the sun in general.  Often times, people leave their sunblock at home because they want to get tan, and sunblock “prevents you from tanning.”  This is completely false.  Many assume that by wearing sunscreen they will not tan.  In reality, sunblock solely protects your skin from the damage the sun can cause.  While you may not be crisp and brown, you will have an alteration in your skin tone, and you will not return home a lobster. In addition to sunblock, wearing a hat is important too, and it will keep your face even more protected from the sun.

2. Towels.  While towels may seem like they are an obvious essential, people often neglect this item.  It is widely believed that a person needs only one towel to go to the beach.  That assumption is also wrong.  Imagine this scenario: you have been tanning on your beach towel (with sunscreen on) for the past hour and are feeling over heated, so you decide to take a dip in the ocean.  Once you return from the ocean, you feel a little chilled, so you dry yourself off with that same towel.  When you turn to lie back down on said towel it is wet and you no longer want to use it.  What is the solution to this problem?  Simple—always bring two towels to the beach.  Even though you will have to carry extra in your bag, you won’t become frustrated when you have to use one towel for two different purposes.

3. Snacks. Snacks are always important to pack in your beach bag, especially if the beach you are going to does not have a snack bar or restaurant nearby.  Because you will be in the sun all day, it is good to keep your body fueled by eating during your stay.  Packing food will be different for everybody, and will depend in part on how long you are going to be at the beach for.  If you are making a whole day-trip, you should pack a complete lunch, but if you are just going for a couple of hours, snack foods are more reasonable.  Consider bringing fruit, vegetable, nuts, and chips.  Always remember to bring water.  Bring a bottle or even two with you to the beach so that you can keep yourself hydrated.  Although you may be going to hang out by the ocean, I can assure you that you will not be drinking that water.

4. Something to do.  When going to the beach you should have something to occupy yourself with.  While people claim that they can sit and bask in the sun for hours, it is easy to get bored after remaining still for so long.  What to do at the beach depends on what your interests are.  Bringing an iPod and speakers is a great way to keep you and a group entertained while hanging out.  Books, newspapers, and magazines are also good, as they can keep you busy for a longer period of time and will be easy to concentrate on while being in such a relaxing environment.  Even bringing along a camera with you can keep you busy for hours.  At the end of the summer, you can compile your pictures from each trip to the beach and make a scrapbook or collage.

5. An extra set of clothing. People often cut themselves short in terms of the clothes that they bring.  Even though you wear one thing to the beach, you may not want to leave the beach in that same attire.  There is a useful method to make sure that you are bringing enough clothing without packing your complete summer wardrobe.  On the way to the beach, wear your bathing suit and some type of cover up, such as a light dress or shorts and tank top.  In your bag, you should pack another set of clothing, including undergarments.  This way, if the original clothing you wore becomes wet or sandy, you have something to easily change into.  Using this method will save you a lot of aggravation and time, especially if you are planning to go out to eat after your stay at the beach.