Packing the Perfect Beach Bag


Packing my beach bag ranks up there with packing for Ravinia, and packing for a trip for me.  As savvy as a packer I can be, (wink wink) I do tend to overpack (yes, shocking, I know)…which means I end up carrying things that are heavy (or Kev or Patrick has to carry for me), so I probably need to rein this in, and do a better, well-thought out job of planning and packing for a day at the beach…or 6 weeks at the beach.  I have been savvy enough to make my beach bag, my carry-on, for the plane for my in-flight amusements, so that’s helped “lighten the load”, if you will.    #easilybored.

The following is a great post on packing the perfect beach bag from Kalyn at Creative Savings.  My comments are not in italics.


While I love spending a day in the sun and sand, I don’t necessarily love all the stuff we have to cart with us. From beach chairs, umbrellas, and towels, to body boards, and all sorts of beach toys, it can turn into a bunch of clutter that you may or may not always need to bring.

However, a beach bag is a completely different story. This stylish accessory is absolutely essential to carry along, and can make or break your entire trip.With the right tools in your tote, you will be prepped and organized to make your day it’s very best, and the following tips on how to pack the perfect beach bag will help you know exactly what to pack!


How to Pack the Perfect Beach Bag

Choose the Right Tote

Beach bags come in all shapes, sized, colors, and materials, and you should purchase one based on the characteristics that are important to you. I like to quickly run through this list of questions depending on which beach I’ll be relaxing at:

  • Will I need multiple compartments to organize supplies?
  • Will it get really wet, and should I use a water resistant material?
  • Do I just want to be stylish today and coordinate with our swimsuits and towels?

Whatever beach bag you decide to use, just make sure you don’t mind sand in every crevice!

Ugh…I don’t like sand in any crevice, but do love looking at the ocean.  using baby powder will help the sand fall right off your body, and those crevices!  I have cute beach bags listed later on in the blog.

Stash a Mini Pouch

After you’ve chosen your tote, make sure you pack a mini pouch too. I used to waste time searching for my chapstick or phone because it inevitably would drift the very bottom of the beach bag and I always had to dig for it.

Now I keep a small pouch to carry both, as well as a variety of tools I think I’ll need, such as hand sanitizer and wet wipes, sunglasses, hairbrush, bobby pins, and a credit card. Another idea is to stash some bandaids and antibacterial ointment in there as well, just in case you have an incident with a sharp rock or broken shell.

I use my handy plastic zip totes, I got at Neiman Marcus.  I use them for my liquids when I travel, and use to hold “necessities”  so switching purses is easier…and will use in my beach bag.



Use Plastic Bags

In addition to the mini pouch, I like to use plastic bags to work double duty and protect my electronics. This not only keeps them from getting wet, but also eliminates potential scratches created by sand and shells.

Snack bags are also really handy for children who want to collect and save their shells {just make sure to rinse them thoroughly when you get home so they don’t smell!}, and I always try to include a few plastic grocery bags to hold wet clothing, swimsuits, and towels to keep them from soaking other items.

Bring extra plastic bags and plastic grocery bags…If you think you’ll need three, bring five!

Pack Extra Towels

I used to only pack one towel per person when we went to the beach, but then I realized I liked having extra towels on hand so I didn’t have to mix the ones we laid out on with the ones we used to dry off. It’s not fun laying on a wet towel!

Now I pack a few extra, and roll them tightly to save space. I like to stand them inside the bag so I can quickly grab one to set out once we arrive at our perfect spot.

One beach towel per person, is never enough.  We have a bag for towels alone.



Bring a Beach Read

What is a beach bag without a good book? There’s no better moment than being lost in a book while the waves are crashing in the background. It’s super relaxing and enough to put me to sleep sometimes!

It might not seem like it matters, but I try to be really selective about which book I bring. It shouldn’t be super intensive because there are bound to be interruptions. Instead, make it a fun read as a special treat, and keep it in a plastic bag if you’re afraid about the pages getting wet.

I like to take my basic Kindle because the cover protects the inside and the screen is easy to read in the bright sun.

What I like about “beach reads” is they are light and easy to zip through.


Don’t Forget the Sunscreen

Sunscreen is the most essential item you can have in your bag. Even if you tan more than burn, you still need protection from the harsh rays of the sun.

Choose an SPF that you feel most comfortable with, and apply it right after you get to the beach, and again after you’ve been in the water for a little bit. I’ve found that even water resistant sunscreens still come off and can leave fair skin vulnerable to burns.

My favorite is Australian Gold.




Plan for Drinks and Snacks

If you want to bring drinks and snacks along, either wrap the water bottles or cold soda cans in the towels to catch condensation, or pack an entirely separate tote bag or cooler.

Have a plan to dispose of everything when you’re finished, as no one likes a beach filled with trash. Pull out a plastic bag from your stash to collect all garbage, then tie tightly and drop off in a garbage bin before you leave.

We take a separate cooler for food and beverage…and always bring more water bottles then we envision using.  We also bring swedish fish (they won’t melt in the sun), carrots, celery and dip, chips, sandwiches and fruit.

Now that you know exactly what sort of beach bag to choose, how to pack it, and what to include, you’re ready to spend your perfect day at the beach!   Thanks Kalyn!



b426c8974c44140602393ba3240206cb (1)



87398e67ee3b9f567a1e44eb6405d2f7 7d696fbb1f8fc74155dcd892761ee7e4 c8aea2fdb9f37c81578f8600adabdd5b f0c9076dad2e53a7cb42e40b85299484 5c4d8a85b086e0f56ecec06dd4845f5e












_9024692 (1)


b65756f777cb2b744a604c9b0ecc7dba 3f3c90ae46a09c7cf5210434d01f30e5 0dcb8c6618a70f6679c56ee196327567 42b85f3b2e1b0dd664735be99b903eaf 6b7e6ecae631fb128cc1164d1cc02ff8 35c6fcb5b717f8a2b1085ce1edceba16 29db2f0f3ba41f3a81a367394d8f824c



While I was coveting the Chanel beach bag, the price tag of $2300 was a tad bit steep, so I just ordered the above one from Amazon, for $139.  #savvyshopper  #savvypacker


Be careful what you wish for! 🙂

taking a break beach


Song of the Day:  Beach Baby by First Class.

Best line of the week, from my sister Megan, in regards to my blog , Clearly You’re Not Speaking to Me?.  “Hey, if you’re going to dance on a bar, I think you have to expect that people are going to call you out on it”.  #whatever  #sisterlylove.  And, she does happen to be right, btw.  Of course she added, “How many other moms are cool enough to dance on a bar”?  Well, I happen to know many…and not sure I can be categorized as a “cool mom”, but I’ll take it nonetheless.  Thanks Meg!  🙂

48103cb100abd5821d9a38ae620bd0d7 (1)


Peace, love and fun in the sun…my new mantra, btw.





Related Posts:

Life’s a Beach

Great Beach Reads

Beauty and the Beach



be happy (1)





This, is true, btw.  #eatinganythingthatdoesn’tmove



Leave a Reply