What's In My Beach/Pool/Lake Bag

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I love going to the beach. There's something about the sand, sun, and surf that makes me so happy and brings back so many childhood memories. Same goes for the pool.

Packing a bag for the beach or pool is always a different adventure. How long will I be out? Will I be swimming or laying out? How hot will it be?

Here's what I usually pack for the pool, beach, or even lake. This list can change depending on if I go out in the day or night, where I go exactly, and how long of a day I'll be spending there. This bag will be for a full day out in the sun. Ready? Let's do this. :)

The Bag

FOREVER 21+ PLUS SIZES French Toast Shopper Tote

I usually stick to a tote bag. You can find these nearly anywhere, and it's fun to pick them up at bookstores in other locations (I have bags from Strand Books in NYC and Powell's in Portland!). There's also no shortage of cute designs to choose from, either. Seriously, how cute is this bag...it's literal french toast! :)

Grocery totes and other types of tote bags can also work for this, too. Just use a bag that you know can carry as many goods as you need. Some people opt for backpacks, which can be good to keep sand out, but I've always used tote bags.

The Supplies

SPF of your choice - I go no lower than 30 SPF, and I tan easily. I usually use 70 on my face, and between 30-50 everywhere else. Please, please remember to apply sunscreen, and to reapply periodically if you stay awhile at the beach, pool, or lake.

Beach Towel - Again, a necessity for your bag. This can not only be used to lay out in the sun or to dry off, but also to cover your chair if it gets too hot, or if you're clambering into a boat after swimming.

Bottled Water or [Insert Beverage Here] - Here's a tip for the beach that I learned from Italy this summer: freeze your water bottle before you go. It will melt throughout the day and remain cold as long as you have it. Plus, it lasts a long time! If you're staying out a long time, especially with a group, bring some - along with your favorite soda - in an insulated cooler.

Snacks or a Lunch - Depending on where you go, you may want to pack a lunch, or you may want to throw some snacks such as fruit, chips, pretzels, or fruit snacks into your cooler or into a Zip-loc baggie in your beach bag. Or, if you want, pack a full-fledged picnic. That's a lot of fun, too!

Music - Either bring along a speaker or headphones. Just take care to store them so that you don't get sand on them. Zip-loc baggies are the best for that!

Reading Material - Whether your material of choice is a book, a magazine, an iPad, a Kindle, or anything that has words on it (...a cereal box?), reading material is a great idea, whether you're laying out or taking a break in the shade.

Other Electronics - bring something to take pictures! Over Spring Break, my girls and I dressed up and did a photo shoot, and one of our guy friends took some great shots of us girls (don't worry, we included him in the photo shoot, too! This just happens to be one of my favorites from that day).

So that's what I pack in my bag for the beach/pool/lake! What do you like to pack, and what do you use to take it with you? Anything else besides what's on this list?

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