Summer is finally here and after last year’s summer, I think we are all extra excited about it. My family lives near the beach so we go fairly often, at least once a week. The first time I went this year, I took half my house, looked like a hot mess express, and hated every minute of it. Over the past few months, I have slowly perfected what to bring to the beach to make it enjoyable for myself and my kids. For reference, my kids are 3.5 and almost 2 so if your baby is younger, you may need some extra things and if your baby is older, you may need less. Use this as a starting point and see what works for you!
First and foremost, I do not bring a tent most days even though I know they are amazing. My youngest is a runner and I hate lugging lots of things so I pack only what I can carry on my person while holding my littles.
If someone else comes with me, I am more likely to bring a few extra things but I always try to keep it to a minimum. I bring my kids dressed in their bathing suits and ready with beach sandals or beach shoes and usually apply sunscreen at home so I don’t have to stress about it when we get to the beach and all I have to do is throw on their hats, grab my bag and enjoy!
My favorite things for a perfect beach bag are:
This is ESSENTIAL. I cannot stress how much I use these bags. I like the Lil Helper Zipper Wetbag. I normally put my phone, wallet, and keys in it while at the beach and then use it for wet bathing suits when we get to the car. Sometimes I bring multiples but most of the time I grab one and go.
2. Water bottles(s):
I like to bring one big bottle and share it with my kids but I know some don’t like to, so it is really up to you how much you are willing to carry and share.
3. An easy snack:
I like snacks that don’t require tiny fingers to eat them like bars or pouches. Hot tip for the pouch: Put them in the freezer the night before for extra yumminess and cooling factor at the beach! I have gone super fancy and brought bento boxes before but my kids get sand all over the place and it becomes stressful for all of us. If you prefer a finger snack or your kids don’t like bars, use a Bite Bag because they are amazing.
Another essential. I am very intense about sun protection so reapply often to ensure my kids do not burn. I am so adamant about it that my kids now love it and like to spread it! If you are at the beach, make sure your sunscreen is reef safe by checking out this website! My favorite sunscreens are Blue Lizard and ThinkBaby!
Hot tip: If your kids do not enjoy getting sunscreen put on them, I have friends who swear by using a makeup brush/beauty blender or this but I have never used either so can’t attest to how well they work. If you do this, please share in the comments!
5. A mat:
When my kids were little, I LOVED the Lifesaver mat. It was small to pack and so cozy for my kids to sit on. Now that they are bigger, I use a huge mat that my mom gave us. Here is a similar one here. Keep an eye on Lil Helper though, because the XL Lifesaver Mats are set to arrive this summer!
6. Sand toys:
My kids love sand toys so we have an unreasonable amount. We have a sand box at home and use these toys all the time. In the morning before we go, I ask the kids to bring the toys they want and put them in the bag I am holding. They love helping and choosing what they are going to play with. Having the bag makes it easy for me to limit the amount of stuff they bring or else they would bring every single toy. I used to have a mesh bag for it but lost it at the beach one day so now use a bag that rolls into a tiny pouch because it is so easy to throw in my bag. Here is a similar one. I got mine in university and have used it for all kinds of things. I am currently using a plastic bag that some sand toys came in though.
I love Turkish towels because they fold up super small and are super absorbent. Another option is microfiber towels that work just as well and fold up super tiny! I like both a lot. I have also brought a face cloth in the past for wiping faces if necessary or hands. I bring one towel and we all share it when its time to rinse off. My kids don’t use towels while playing but if your kids do, it would be a good idea to bring one for the water and one for the beach showers (if you use them).
And just like the XL Lifesaver Mats, Lil Helper is set to release beach towels this summer! If you missed the preorder, stay tuned for their arrival in the coming weeks!
I am sure you are wondering where I throw all this stuff, or maybe you weren’t but I am still going to tell you. I use a cooler bag and throw an ice pack in the pocket so the water and snacks all stay cool. It is so easy to carry and fits so much so its easy to bring more if we are going with friends and want to share snacks or want to bring some extra things.
This is what my stuff normally looks like:
One Last Beach Bag Hot tip:
I don’t bring this to the beach but I do keep an assortment of things in my car that make my life so much easier. One of them is baby powder. Baby powder is basically magic to remove dry sand. Don’t ask me why it works because I have no idea. It just does. Plus it leaves you feeling so smooth.
What do you bring to the beach? Please share any tips in the comments if you have any more tips!
About the Author
Jessica is a Latinx mom to a boy and a girl. She currently lives in California with her husband, babies, and a super cuddly pup. She has many hobbies but her favorites include dancing, hiking, and true crime podcasts.