Essentials for the Perfect Beach Day

After hibernating for many months during the long, cold Winter, Spring has finally arrived! It’s time to make the best of the short time that we enjoy the warm weather and hit the beach! Whether young or old, solo or with friends and family, there is no better way to spend a hot Summer day than at the beach.

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If you are wondering how to make the most of your beach time, there are a few other beach essentials (other than a swimsuit) that you will need to pack in order to enjoy your beach day to the fullest. There is nothing worse than arriving for a fun-filled beach day with family and friends only to realize that you’ve forgotten to pack some major necessities.

I grew up in an Ontario small town, living right on the beach. While I was able to throw on my swimsuit and run across the sand to the water any time I wanted, not many are lucky enough to be able to do this. Spending a full day at the beach does take a little bit of preparation in order to have a worry-free, fun filled day, but it is well worth the small amount of effort.

So, grab your BEACH BAG and let’s get packing!

A SWIMSUIT is an absolute beach necessity

It is true that most of us wear our swimsuit to the beach, but this may not be possible in all cases. If you are hitting the beach after work, you definitely need to have a swimsuit packed in your beach bag. In any event, it never hurts to pack an extra swimsuit just in case you have a swimsuit malfunction (yes it does happen).

Change of Clothes

To be on the cautious side, I recommend packing a change of clothes to take to the beach, just in case the clothes you are wearing get too wet.

Beach Cover-Up

A beach cover-up is a beach necessity as many indoor restaurants, bathrooms, etc., require clothing to be worn. A beach cover-up will also help to protect you from the sun if you are playing beach volleyball or building sand castles.

Beach Towel

You will want to pack at least one large beach towel to dry off after a dip in the lake. You may also want to pack a smaller towel to dry yourself completely if you are planning on changing out of your swimsuit.

Beach Chair

A beach chair is must especially if the beach doesn’t have soft sand to lay on. I keep my beach chair packed in my car year round.


The beach is the perfect spot to catch up on some zzz’s (what’s better than falling asleep to the sound of waves?) Don’t forget to pack a blanket to nap on. I find that a cotton blanket is the best for hot days as it helps to keep you a little cool. If there are no picnic tables at the beach you are at, the blanket will also come in handy if you’ve brought a picnic.



Sunscreen is a definite must to have packed in your beach bag. Other than a swimsuit, the sunscreen is the most important item to have packed in your beach bag. Don’t leave home without it! It is recommended that the sunscreen should have a minimum SPF of 30. This will block 97% of the UVB rays. It is important to remember that if you are swimming, a water resistant sunscreen will protect you for approximately 40 minutes and a waterproof sunscreen will protect you for up to 80 minutes. In any event, sunscreen should be re-applied at least every 2 hours.


It is important to wear a hat when at the beach in order to protect your head from the sun and avoid heat stroke. It will also add extra protection for your face so that you won’t get burned.


Most of us carry sunglasses with us year round, but it is especially important to bring a pair to the beach in order to protect our eyes from the sun. If you wear glasses, it is highly recommended that you invest in a pair of prescription sunglasses.


Pack a ton of water when spending the day at the beach. Even when the sun isn’t shining in full force, the UVB rays are still there. And believe it or not, it is still more than possible to become dehydrated even when swimming.


I don’t know about you, but there is something about the fresh air that makes me incredibly hungry. If you are spending an entire day at the beach, If spending an entire day out in the sun and fresh air, it is important to pack snacks to bring along with you. On super hot days, fruit is my snack of choice. It’s nutritious and it also quenches your thirst. Apples, melons and berries are the perfect fruit to pack for a day at the beach. Even though fruit is the perfect beach snack, it certainly won’t fill you up if you are planning on spending an entire day at the beach. Veggies and dip, energy bars, cheese and crackers and sandwiches are the perfect picnic food for a day at the beach.

Portable Barbeque

If you are unfamiliar with the beach that you will be spending the day at, you will know if there are barbeques available. If there aren’t any, then pack up a portable barbeque to take along with you. Afterall, nothing says Summer quite like a barbequed hot dog.

Beach Toys

It goes without saying that beach toys are a must when spending the day at the beach with kids. but even for us big kids beach toys can be fun. Pack up a floaty to float around in the water. Or bring a soccer ball, volleyball, or ball and glove. This will not only provide hours of fun, but you will also get your exercise in while spending the day in the sun at the beach.

If fishing and boating are available at the beach, you might also want to pack up your fishing gear. Many conservation areas also have kayaks and canoes available for you to rent. I recommend checking the website prior to heading to the beach to see what amenities are available. This will help you plan your day at the beach accordingly.


If going to the beach alone, this is the perfect time to relax and catch up on some reading. For those beaching it with the family, bring some games to entertain the kiddos. Whether beaching it solo or with family and friends, the beach is the ideal spot to relax and detach yourself from your cellphone and electronics.

Beach Tent

If you are spending an entire day at the beach, it is wise to have a beach tent with you so that you can escape the sun for a bit. This is especially true if there aren’t trees at the beach….which most beaches don’t.


While most of the time a day at the beach won’t cost a thing, there are times when you might want to buy a hot dog or ice cream cone or maybe rent a canoe. Many stores and beach rentals don’t accept any form of payment other than cash, so it’s always wise to have a little money on hand.


It is true that the majority of us will be wearing our sandals to the beach, but if not, it is an absolute necessity to have a pair packed in your beach bag. Trust me, you don’t want to be going barefoot into the public restrooms.

Hiking Boots/Sneakers

Are there trails at the beach you are going to? If so and you are an avid hiker (like myself), you definitely want to have a pair of comfortable, closed toed shoes with you. It is unsafe to go hiking in flipflops (although I have done it 🙂 )

Are you feeling a little overwelmed with the amount of stuff that you have to pack into your beach bag? Not to worry, just grab your free checklist so that you remember to bring all of your beach essentials that you’ll need to have a fun day at the beach.


Kelly xo


29 thoughts on “Essentials for the Perfect Beach Day

  1. Chelsea

    After the long weekend, I definitely agree with these beach day essentials! Sunscreen and snacks are an absolute must. I would only add a beach umbrella that connects to your beach chair! They’re fully adjustable as the sun moves throughout the day and fold up almost to the size of a regular rain umbrella.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Get Lost

    This beach packing list is great! I don’t get to the beach very often so I usually forget one thing or another when we do get round to going. This packing list will be a great resource for my next visit! I love those beach tents! If I visited more, I would definitely invest in one! Thanks for the great guide!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. marianne

    Great list! We just icked up a beach tent for this summer. We happened to be at a beach on a breezy day, and the blowing sand was not pleasant! Hopefully this works for wind AND sun!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Valentina

    Loved this article. And I must say, well done about adding comfortable shoes to reach the beach. A lot of people just leave the house wearing sandals without thinking if they have to walk on a very difficult foot path to reach the beach.
    Well done, this article is a gem!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Agnes

    Great tips for summer on the beach! I plan to spend the next few months in Mexico, so this list will be handy because I plan to go for a walk on the beach every day. I will consider purchasing a beach tent as it protects skin from the sun.


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