I'm A Floridian, And These Are All The Things You’re Forgetting To Pack In Your Beach Bag

Beyond just the sunscreen.

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Beach Packing Tout

L.L Bean

I grew up in Florida, surrounded by white sugar beaches and sweltering humidity. The way to survive the summertime is to pick the nearest body of water and go. With sometimes only minutes to pack and dozens if not hundreds of beach trips under my belt, I’ve gotten pretty savvy at assembling my beach bag. Whether you’re escaping winter or cooling off from the encroaching springtime heat, here’s everything you’re forgetting on your packing list for your beach vacation.

L.L Bean Boat and Tote®, Zip-Top

L.L Bean

The Beach Trip Packing List Essentials

Let’s start with getting to the beach. First, you’ll need a chunky, timeless, and sturdy tote that can easily haul your stuff over the rocks and sand. The L.L.Bean Boat and Tote series is a classic for a reason, and the extra-large size is only $55. Available in eight striking accent colors, this is a beach bag for any style preference. 

When you plop down on the sandy shore, lay out a beach towel or two like these 25 percent off beauties, set up a sturdy yet attractive chair, or grab a big ol’ floatie for when you need the ocean to cool yourself off. Bonus points for this flag-shaped floating raft being absolutely perfect for America’s holiday in July. 

Although we love that sweet spring and summertime heat, you will want to ensure you’re protecting your skin from harmful UV rays that can negatively impact your health and physical aging. Pick a strong, waterproof sunscreen like this discounted Banana Boat spray pack for yourself and those around you, and don’t forget the aloe gel for soothing any mistaken burns, so you can get right back to sunbathing, playing, and relaxing the next day, too. Reapply, reapply, reapply! 

  • Large Tote: L.L.Bean Boat and Tote Zip-Top Extra Large Canvas Bag, $54.95; llbean.com
  • Beach Chair: Threshold Five-Position Beach Chair, $70; target.com
  • Sunscreen: Banana Boat Sport Two-Pack Sunscreen, $12.74 (orig. $17.99); amazon.com
  • Beach Towels: Great Bay Home Cotton Printed Two-Pack Beach Towel, $29.99 (orig. $39.99); target.com
  • Float: Big Mouth Giant Waving American Flag Pool Float, $38.99; nordstrom.com
Igloo Special Edition 25 Quart Full Sized Picnic Basket Hard Side Insulated Cooler with Molded in Side Handles


The Beach Trip Packing List for Entertainment and Comfort

Next, it’s time to find your bliss while you lay out. A cooler (named one of Southern Living’s Best Coolers of 2023) packed with snacks and sandwiches plus this popular insulated tumbler from Stanley—filled to the brim with sweet tea or a margarita, take your pick—will complete the refreshment, so you don’t have to go back to the condo until the sun dips below the horizon.

Of course, you’ll want to fill your time with all your essentials, like an adorable pack of cards to entertain your friends or family, a can’t-put-down page turner you’ve had on your bedside table for months, and a waterproof (and sandproof) speaker with the soundtrack for the day.

  • Speaker: JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker, $89.95; amazon.com
  • Kindle: Kindle Paperwhite 8GB E-Reader, $139.99; amazon.com
  • Books: Book of the Month Subscription Box, starting at $9.99; bookofthemonth.com
  • Playing Cards: Game On! Waterproof Playing Cards, $14.95; bando.com
  • Aloe: 95% Aloe Soothing Gel, $15; ulta.com
  • Cooler: Igloo Retro Picnic Basket 25-Quart Cooler, $54.99; amazon.com
  • Insulated Drink Cup: Stanley Adventure Quencher H2.0 Flowstate 14 Oz. Tumbler, $20; stanley1913.com.
BOHO ME Lace Trim Cover-Up Tunic Top

Nordstrom Rack

The Beach Trip Packing List Style Essentials

While you’ll likely plan on spending the entire day in a flattering yet adventurous swimsuit, like this stunning yet classy Melissa Odabash one-piece for 75 percent off, you’ll also want a lightweight coverup for those “no shirt, no service” lunchtime establishments if you venture away from your setup for some delicious fried seafood. This gauzy tunic with lace trim, now 56 percent off, will surely do the trick. A stylish hat like this $29 straw visor from Nordstrom can also help shield you from that sunshine. Of course, a comfortable pair of versatile flip-flops will do you plenty of good. Pair ‘em with anything—it’s your moment to wear flip-flops with absolutely every outfit. And everything looks better with a suntan.

  • Sunglasses: Kaliyadi Polarized Semi-Rimless Sunglasses, $14.99; amazon.com
  • Hat: San Diego Hat Ultrabraid XL Sun Brim Hat, $53; nordstrom.com
  • Visor: Nordstrom Plaited Straw Visor, $29; nordstrom.com
  • Sandals: Reef  Women’s Cushion Breeze Flip Flop, $34.35 (orig. $40); amazon.com
  • Cover Up: Boho Me Lace Trim Cover-Up Tunic Top, $27.97 (orig. $65); nordstromrack.com
  • One-Piece Swimsuit: Melissa Odabash Naples Plunge Cotton One-Piece Swimsuit, $63.75 (orig. $255); nordstrom.com
  • Bikini Top: J.Crew Bow One-Shoulder Bikini Top, $75; jcrew.com
  • Bikini Bottoms: J.Crew Hipster Full Coverage Bikini Bottoms, $49.50; jcrew.com

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