All those years obsessing about summer vacation and quick beach getaways has honed my skills in packing the perfect beach bag. I've had my share of experiences! There were those times when I finally parked myself on the best spot on the beach, only to realize I forgot something in the car or the hotel room. Aaargh! Those days are finally over! Check out my list!
1) The Beach Bag. I prefer big canvas totes. And they don't have to be expensive. Canvas totes are perfect because not only are they spacious, but they're very low maintenance. You can just throw them in the washing machine to launder. The Beach Tote Bag pictured above would be a good buy. Or, check out my fellow etsyan's Floral Reversible Beach Tote at only $10! (Devon if no one is getting it... I will!)
2) Sunscreen. I'm trying to go organic so now I use Aubrey Natural Sun Unscented SPF 20 Sunscreen. I think I'd also like to try Alba Hawaiian Green Tea SPF 30+ Sunscreen next time.
3) Bottled water and fruit. Keep yourself hydrated! Water is still better than any other juice or soda. And instead of messy chips, munch on a healthy apple when you get hungry!
4) Book or magazine. Sometimes it's better to visit a 2nd hand bookstore before your trip and buy a book you feel you won't feel bad if it gets soiled with sunblock or falls in the ocean. Or, you can try something new and get The Beach Book, a water-proof book published by Durabooks.
5) iPod or MP3 player. Make sure your iPod is in a protective case, or a water-proof case!
6) Sunglasses. Don't bother with expensive designer sunglasses. Your sunglasses can get scratched or lost along the way, so better yet, get a cheap one. I think these Jackie O sunglasses are stylish and affordable! Only US$9!
7) Swimsuit. Check out my crochet bikinis! After swimming in them, make sure you have a Ziploc bag to put it in. Or if you want to feel a bit more luxurious, put it in a Wet Bikini Bag.
8) Beach Mat or Sarong. Since I try to avoid carrying a heavy and oversized beach towel, I use a Beach Mat or sarong to lie on the beach. Getting the sand out is a breeze.
9) Towel. Just big enough to wipe yourself with- a hand towel to be exact.
10) Hat. Protect your face from the sun! The hat in the picture is from jcrew.com.
11) Goggles. If you want to go do some serious swimming, packing the Speedo Women's Vanquisher goggles might be a good idea.
12) Say Cheese! If you're a shutterbug, bring your camera but make sure it's in a water-proof encasing! Or, you can just get the Kodak MAX Water & Sport Single Use Camera.
13) Don't forget your wallet! I usually slip it in a sandwich size Ziploc if I feel extra cautious.
It was funny though, I remember taking my perfect beach bag with me when I was visited my then boyfriend (now husband) in Hawaii. We were going beach hopping around the island and despite the sleekness of my packing, he laughed hard when he saw my bag. "You don't need all that!" he said. All he took was a towel! And when we swam, he stuck his flip flops in a coconut tree!