8 Beach Essentials From a Beach Bum

by Amy Anne
Beach Essentials List

Essential Beach Items

We’ve all been there, so excited to get to the beach and when you finally do – uh-oh, you forgot something. What a bummer. You maybe even had that feeling on the drive over… “I feel like I forgot something…”

I absolutely LOVE the beach, beach days just give me life. I have spent years trying things out to see if it was going to be a permanent addition to my beach bag. Getting the designation of ‘permanent beach bag item’ is like a very distinguished opportunity for things. I am very picky, I need my drinks to be cold and sand free. I need things to be pretty set up. I don’t need to go glamping for a day at the beach, but having those things ready to grab makes planning and enjoying my beach time easy. 

My top items that I need for a day at the beach, minimally, include 8 items:

Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links. If you purchase a linked item, I will make a commission, at no extra charge to you.  Updated February, 2021

Beach Bag

Beach BagI like to have a designated beach bag that I can fit everything else inside for a grab-and-go type of situation. I like this bag because it is made with mesh sides for water and sand to sift out of on the walk back to the car – plus you can fit a 6-pack plus ice in the insulated bottom part for cold drinks on the go! You can get the whole bag here at goBeachBundle.com like I did!

Insulated Water Bottle

Water bottleIn my opinion you have to have a HUGE insulated water bottle in order to have enough. I live in Hawaii and even though it’s a paradise and the weather is almost always pleasant, it gets hot and I need to hydrate. I like this bottle because it works and it’s tough. It is also slim enough to fit in any drink holder on a backpack or in the car too. 


Pool LoungerI mean who doesn’t want to get that picture on the donut floaty? Depending on the day and conditions of the water, I like to have 2 floats on hand: the donut and the lounger. The donut is better for having drinks, talking with friends, and floating on waves. The lounger is good for calm conditions where you want to lay and be still. 


SunglassesFuture so bright right? I always need to have sunglasses during the daytime and if you’re around the water the sun’s glare off the water can really do extra damage to your eyes and I just don’t think squinty tan lines are ever going to be “in”.

Beach Towels

Turkish Beach TowelOf course you have to have beach towels when you go to the beach or pool. I would get SO frustrated when I carried those big bulky terrycloth towels, they were always wet and took up so much space. The trend in the towel scene is all about the Turkish cotton towel. I have made the switch and I’m currently in the process of switching EVERY towel I own over to these types of towels because they are more eco friendly (use less water to wash), they are easier to carry (don’t take up space), and they are versatile! You can wear it as a bathing suit cover up wrap around skirt. I love these things. 

Can Coolers

Can CoolersKoozies! Can coolers are a MUST. They keep your drink cold and keeps your hand from all the condensation that your cold drink is making outside in the warmness. I cannot drink out of cans when the can gets warm and warms the liquid inside, no matter what it is, yuck. 

Waterproof Cell Phone Pouch

Cell Phone PouchOkay this one is a little bit nerdy, but I go to the beach weekly and I never leave without my cell phone pouch. I may look a little like a dweeb, but my cell phone is safer with me in a waterproof pouch than it is on the beach. I mean ALL my stuff is on my phone so I can’t risk losing it. This also enables me to take water pictures with my cell phone too. So it’s a win-win situation.

Reef Safe Sunscreen

Reef Safe SunscreenSunscreen is a no brainer. I like to get at least SPF 30 and remember to reapply often especially after getting in any water. Please, please, PLEASE be label conscious and use REEF SAFE sunscreen

Do a Bundle

You can get the whole shebang here with free shipping or customize and piece together on your own. I strongly suggest keeping it all together so you can easily grab and head out to having fun on the water! 

These are my ESSENTIALS to go to the beach, the bare minimum. What are some other things you absolutely NEED at the beach or a day on the water? 

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