The Ultimate Beach Packing List

If you always feel like you’re forgetting something when you go to the beach -- a pair of sunglasses here, a water bottle there -- make it your business this summer to relax without the drama. How, you ask? We put together a list of our 20 absolute “can’t-live-without-em” beach necessities. This is everything you need to bring to the beach for a perfect no-stress day of fun in the sun...

If You Only Have Room For The Essentials:

  1. Swimsuit
    Figure out what you’ll be doing at the beach before you choose which bathing suit to bring that day. It’s no fun trying to body surf in a swimsuit built only for lying in the sun! Cupshe’s array of swimwear includes styles perfect for active beach visits, as well as bathing options better suited for simply chilling out. 
  2. Cover Up
    Again, consider what you’ll be doing in the “to and fro” time. Think you and the crew might hit the town afterwards? Bring along a lightweight sundress or cutoffs and a tunic. If you’re only going to the boardwalk and back, feel free to bring along a cover-up that’s sheer or open in the front, since most beachside stores and restaurants don’t mind it if you show a little more skin than you normally would on the sidewalk.
  3. Beach Bag
    You might have an old standby hanging around in the back of your closet, but may we suggest upgrading to an easy to carry beach backpack that's just the right size? That way you’re not digging around in a bottomless pit searching in vain for a scrunchie you tossed in haphazardly while everyone else is already relaxing in the sunshine and surf.
  4. Sunscreen
    This one is a no-brainer. You absolutely must have sunscreen to protect yourself from potentially harmful rays while you’re at the beach. What’s better, there’s a whole host of reef-friendly options readily available. Look for zinc-based sunscreens formulated without Titanium Dioxide, Petrolatum (mineral oil) and Oxybenzone, so you’ll keep the seas as safe as you keep your skin!
  5. Towels
    Gone are the days of boring beach towels. Pack up something stylish that matches the colors of your swimsuit or go for a circular towel that creates the perfect selfie backdrop. (So smart—why didn’t we think of this before?) If you’re treating this practical necessity as an extension of your beach look, you’ll find that beach towels are almost as fun to shop for as swimsuits!
  6. Folding Chairs
    Sometimes you just need to sit up and be supported while you bask in the sunshine. Lightweight, foldable beach chairs are perfect for perching on the sand or at the water’s edge. Look for ones that are waterproof and/or quick-drying, so you’re not sitting in a sopping seat all day long. Added bonus if the chair is rust-resistant, too.
  7. Sunglasses
    Protect those peepers in high style with your favorite pair of sunnies. Whether you’re going all-out glam with an oversized style, sticking with something a little retro like cat-eye frames or keeping it cool in aviators, make sure whatever sunglasses you’re sporting are able to provide appropriate protection from UVA and UVB light.
  8. Water Bottle
    This one is extra important: you need to stay hydrated at the beach! Colorful refillable thermoses make it fun and easy to get your daily quotient of H2O. Plus, bringing your own bottle prevents you from buying expensive and un-environmentally friendly plastic ones later. Look for water fountains on the boardwalk to refill as often as you please.
  9. Hair Accessories
    Mermaid tresses are made here. In order to get the real-deal beach waves, bring along a scrunchie or a hair scarf to tie your hair up once it’s been in the salt water. It’s also handy to have some hair accessories on hand to cool down your neck when you get hot...or if you’re planning on participating in a little beach volleyball, paddle ball or frisbee action.
  10. Waterproof Phone Cover
    You’ll probably be messaging and Instagramming while you’re at the beach. (Admit it. We’ve all taken a legs-bent-suntanning selfie, too.) But guess what’s NOT waterproof: your phone. Pack a special cover for your phone so it doesn’t end up with a charging port full of sand or sitting in a bag of rice to dry out later.
  11. Hat or Visor
    Even if you leave the beach umbrella behind, you’ll still want a little shade on your head now and then. Go ahead and make a fashion statement with it: choose a floppy hat for a dramatic finishing touch to your swimsuit. Opt for a baseball cap or visor to lend your bathing suit a bit of retro 90s flair.

    If You Have Room For Extras:
  12. Flip Flops
    Ah the joys of flip flops. You’ve gotta love footwear that can be washed off and dried out in practically no time flat. Stash a pair in the bag for trekking from street to seaside or wear them midday to protect your feet when the sand’s extra hot. 
  13. Portable Waterproof Speaker
    It’s not a beach party without music, so bring along a mini waterproof speaker for you and your friends to set the mood. Go small so you’re not taking up a ton of space and look for a speaker with maximum battery life so the tunes keep pumping all day long.
  14. A Cooler
    The sun’s hot...and your beverages will be too, unless you pack a small cooler for them to chill in. Truthfully, is a cooler a necessity? No. But is it totally nice to open up a can or bottle of something frosty cold on a hot day at the beach? Awww yeah it is. If you’re bringing a cooler along, throw in some cut up fruit and veggies for healthy (and chilled) afternoon snacks, too. 
  15. Reading Material
    Whether you’re an analog gal or you plan on toting your tablet to the beach, tearing into the latest novel or a juicy gossip mag is a summer ritual. And it’s official: there’s no better time to catch up on celebrity news than when lying on the sand. 
  16. A Fan
    A mini fan that plugs into your phone makes it easy to catch a breeze any time, but sometimes you need something stronger that won’t eat up your phone’s power supply. Bring along a cordless fan that runs on batteries and has a clip-on function. This way, you can attach it to your chair or sun lounger for extended air circulation.
  17. Portable Charger
    Speaking of battery life, it’s easy to get yourself into the danger zone—aka below 10%--before noon if you’re busy taking photos or scrolling through your feed. Stick a charger in your beach bag and you’ll never have to worry about saving power for later.
  18. Wipes 
    Sand is great. It’s part of what makes the beach so wonderful. But there are times you just need clean, sand-free hands (eating comes to mind -- because no one wants grit in their sandwich or on top of their watermelon slice). Pop some wipes in your bag for some on-the-fly cleaning or de-sanding throughout the day. 
  19. Collapsible Beach Tent
    We want to personally thank whomever thought to adapt a tent for the beach. Frolicking in the surf and sunning on the sand is always a treat, but it’s also nice to get into the shade for a bit, especially during the height of the midday sun when rays are their strongest. There are plenty of collapsible, portable tents that turn a day at the beach into your own private cabana lounge. 
  20. Headphones
    For those times when your friends can’t agree on a playlist or you just want to listen to your own tunes and zone out, having a pair of headphones on hand is crucial. Look for wireless ones so you can connect via Bluetooth and keep your electronics out of sight (and out of sand-and-surf-related danger) while you chill. 

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