Beach Accessories Guide – What gear to bring to the beach

Taking a trip to the beach is the best way to recharge the batteries and spend time with family and friends. To make your vacation relaxing and comfortable, make sure to bring the right beach gear with you. Here our team lists all the must-haves and accessories that will guarantee you have the most enjoyable experience by the sea!

Beach tent and canopy

Beach canopy, cabana, tent or sun shade, no matter what type of sun protection equipment you prefer, be sure that there is some kind of shelter among your beach gear that will keep you safe from the harmful UV rays as well as allows some privacy while resting or changing clothes.

Blue beach tents at the beach

When buying a sun shade, the most important is to find one that is strong and durable but easy to set up, because I bet you don’t want to spend long ours with installing and removing it.

Since high winds can occur anytime near the ocean, we recommend choosing a tent or beach canopy with sand pockets so you won’t need to carry any extra item to fix the tent. A beach tent that fits in suitcase is ideal for those who regularly travel.

Sun umbrella

One of the most classical beach accessories is definitely the beach umbrella. They are available in different sizes, colors and in a wide price range, so finding one that fits your needs shouldn’t be a problem.

Rainbow large beach umbrella

If you live near the ocean and are a regular beachgoer, it is really worth investing in a sturdy wind resistant beach umbrella that won’t turn upside down from the first breeze. If you usually air travel for your beach vacation, get a travel beach umbrella that fits in suitcase  or a clip on umbrella so you can save a lot of money not renting one.

Whatever model you choose, check if it has high UPF rating but still take care of additional sun protection since no umbrella alone provides protection for extended UV exposure.

Chair

If you are not keen on sitting in the sand, get a comfortable sun lounger so you will be comfortable. From back support beach chairs to heavy duty and extended height ones, the selection is so wide that everyone can easily find the perfect one.

Beach chairs on the shore
A chair with canopy provides you with protection against the strong UV rays, but if you love reading and sunbathing the entire day, a face down sun lounger is the best for you. There are lots of different options available, but since you’ll spend long hours in it, a quality sun chair is something that definitely has to be part of your beach gear.

Beach bag

When it comes to thinking about what to bring to the beach, one of the first items you should add to your beach gear list is a beach bag that will fit all your stuff. There are several factors you should consider when choosing one, such as the material, size, straps and its packability.

If you are going to the beach alone and wish to look chic, a stylish straw bag or a string bag is a good choice. They can hold only the essentials, but are lightweight and easy-to-clean.

Beach bag in the sand

Large mesh tote bags are popular among those who carry lots of accessories or beach gear for kids. Check if it has reinforced, wide straps so it will be durable and easy-to-carry.

Those who love keeping their stuff organized find models that come with zipped pockets or extra compartments (that are sometimes waterproof too to protect electronics or store wet beachwear). If you like 2-in-1 solutions, get a beach bag with cooler section so it will keep your refreshments cold while you are sunbathing.

Cooler

Light meals and drinks are essential to have a good day by the sea, but nothing is worse than finding lukewarm items in your bag instead of ice-cold beverages and yummy sandwiches when craving for some snacks.

To avoid this situation, get a beach cooler so you can enjoy having cold refreshments even on the hottest days of your coastal vacation.

Couple with cooler at the beach

There is a plethora of models, sizes and price points. Insulated tote bags and collapsible coolers are popular because they are compact and budget-friendly. For bigger groups and families, rolling coolers offer the best comfort.

Wagon and Cart

Carts and wagon are must have beach essentials that will make transporting all you gear effortless from your house or car to your lounging spot.

A lightweight yet sturdy beach cart with sand wheels is ideal for beachgoers that look for an accessory to move around their chairs, cooler, umbrella, towels and other necessities.

Beach wagon on the sand with umbrella

Families with children should opt for a beach wagon for sand that comes with large wheels. These types roll smoothly on all terrain and besides making hauling your beach items easy can carry kids too (some of them even have seat belts and canopy).

For those who bring overweight stuff for example gear for beach activities we recommend choosing a beach wagon with balloon tires that are the best to roll heavy loads over soft sand.

To sum it up, wagons and carts are gamechangers on any beach trip, you just need to decide which one you need.

Sunscreen

Sun safety has to be your top priority when heading to the beach even if you plan just relaxing under the umbrella or cabana. You can get sunburn in the shade too since your skin will be still exposed to the reflected and indirect UV rays.

Therefore, make sure that any beach essentials list – no matter you just spend the afternoon at the seaside or going for a week-long tropical vacation – includes high-quality sun care products.

Sunscreen bottle in the sand at the beach

Applying sunscreen is even more important when swimming or doing water sports since your skin will be exposed directly to the harmful sun rays. Buy trusted products that offer high-level protection (SPF50+) and are skin-friendly, but make sure you choose an ocean friendly sunscreen.

Sun Hat

Head coverings play a critical role when it comes to sun protection. A sun hat that protects your scalp, face, ears and neck is a must-have beach accessory to prevent sunburn and sunstroke. When looking for the best models, consider factors such as UV protection level, comfort and style.

Girl wearing sun hat

Putting on an UPF baseball cap might seem to be a convenient option, but the drawback is that it won’t protect your ears and neck. Well, it still better than wearing nothing on your head, but it is recommended to opt for a wide brim hat. For ladies with long hair,  sun hat with ponytail hole is a great choice.

Because they are lightweight and packable, a bandana or sun protection head scarfs are also popular and available in a wide variety. Find one that suits you the most, the important is physically cover up as much of your skin as possible.

Sunglasses

Let’s be honest, how many pair of sunglasses have you damaged while at the beach over the years? I bet a lot! The beach is a place where it doesn’t take too much to ruin your favorite sunnies; the humid air and salt water damages sunglasses, the lenses can scratch when falling accidentally in the sand, and we haven’t even mentioned yet how easy is to lose them in the water.

Sunglasses on a bag next to the sea

Due to these facts, you might think that the best is to get a very cheap model when spending time by the ocean, but we don’t recommend doing this. The best sunglasses for the beach are the polarized ones that thanks to the special coating on the lenses help to see the colors, contrasts and contours better and reduce glare on top of offering 100% UV protection.

For those who do water sports there are special beach volleyball sunglasses and even surf sunglasses with strap, so always do your research and get a model that will support your beach activities the most.

Towel

Towels are among those things that come first to everyone’s mind when thinking about what to bring to the beach, but it really does matter what you pack to dry yourself off after taking a dip in the sea.

People with towels standing at the beach

Heavy, bulky cotton towels that once wet, the sand sticks to them and they often start smelling. But fortunately, you can get now sandless beach towels that not collect sand, are quick-drying and lightweight so fit even the smallest backpack or purse.

If you love practical beach items, a beach towel that converts to bag is a cool choice so you won’t need to worry about how to carry your stuff. Whose favorite seaside pastime is lying on a beach chaise lounge chair can make their sunbathing time super comfy with a fitted lounge chair cover.

Table

Beach tables are beach vacation must haves that make the time spent by the sea more comfortable and enjoyable by keeping your food, drinks and other valuables safe from sand moreover provide a place where you can eat or play games.

Beach table with chairs

Should you look for the lightest, most compact solution, a beach umbrella table tray is a good choice that will easily attach to the pole of your sun umbrella and can hold cups and small accessories.

If you don’t want to carry a table at all but still want to keep your drinks and personal items away from sand, get a beach spiker drink holder!

Hair and skin care products

The combination of sun and sea damages the skin even if you don’t get a sunburn, makes it dehydrated and dry. Therefore, it is essential to have a simple yet effective ‘before’ and ‘after’ beach skin care routine that focuses on preparing your skin before going to the beach and restoring its natural barrier, keeping it moisturized after the holidays.

Woman with black hair is staring at the sea

Salt water ruins your hair too, not only your skin. If you don’t want to return home from your beach vacation with lifeless, rough and tangled hair, double check that among your beach must-haves there are products to protect hair from salt water.

Insect repellent

Insects can easily ruin any vacation causing itchy and painful bites. If you learn why are so many bugs near the water and what attracts them you will know how to keep biting flies away at the beach so you can enjoy a relaxing time.

Mosquito is biting on the skin

Besides wearing long-sleeve clothing that covers your skin, the most effective method of protecting yourself is getting a repellent for beach flies. Such products contain active ingredients like DEET, picaridin, IR2525 or oil of lemon eucalyptus that prevent mosquitos, biting flies and fleas from landing on your skin by forming a barrier.

Fan

Everyone loves spending time at the beach, but when temperatures reach a certain point, especially on a heatwave day or when there is no wind, the air gets so hot and muggy so you need to find a way to stay cool. With a personal fan among your beach items, you can enjoy a fresh breeze no matter where you are.

Outdoor beach fan

Luckily, there are a wide variety of handheld, wearable and portable beach fans available that are small, lightweight yet powerful and most importantly, battery-operated so perfect for travel and to use outdoors.

Throw it in your bag and switch on whenever you or your kids feel hot so you can stay comfortable outside without overheating!

Portable shower

Taking a shower after a dip in the ocean is the best way of keeping sand off your skin and stuff, but not all beaches are equipped with bathrooms or outdoor showers. Luckily, you can get a portable beach shower that will take your beach experience to the next level.

Girl taking shower at the beach

With a beach rinse kit or sprayer, you can easily wash yourself off with fresh water and desalinate your accessories, water sport equipment and wetsuit so you can avoid creating a mess in your bathroom at home.

Such products are compact and easy to use so you can take them anywhere and the best is, that some of them can heat up the water by absorbing solar energy proving you with a very pleasant shower experience on chillier days.

Anti-theft beach items

Beach thefts can occur, especially at popular, crowded places. If you have ever ended up the victim of thieves and your money, smartphone, jewelry, camera or accessories got stolen, you know that such a situation can ruin the whole vacation.

Surfer leaves his bag at the beach

The easiest way of keeping your stuff safe at the beach is if you never leave them unattended, but of course, it is not always manageable for example when you are alone, or you need to supervise your kids in the water.

Instead of following the classic trick of hiding your valuables under the towel or inside shoes that even amateur beach thieves know, invest in an anti-theft beach bag and/or portable safe that are designed specifically to hide valuables at the seaside or near the pool.

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