5 Beach Bag Essentials That Will Make Your Beach Day So Much Better

Photography by Priscilla Frey

Are you heading to the beach this summer? Here are my top beach essentials for a stress free beach day!


I’ve talked about this many times before, but when we moved to California five years ago, I literally had no idea how to be a beach mom. But happily I quickly met lots of friends at church who were all expert beach moms, and I learned quickly.

Now, after five years of being a beach mom, I’m sharing my top beach bag essentials.

My top five beach essentials for a relaxing and fun day
my beach bag essentials for a day at the beach with my kids

Outfit Details: 

Striped Swimsuit (more favorite one pieces HERE), Similar Denim Shorts, Similar Woven Beach Bag, Tortoise Shell Sunglasses


1. Baby Powder

You might think I’m crazy, but this is legit. You know when your kids come out of the ocean and they’re sticky and sandy and the sand is chafing their skin horribly? Sprinkle them with BABY POWDER. It soaks up all the moisture, and the dry sand just brushes off. It works like a charm, I’m serious. I buy the BIG CONTAINERS of it because it’s better to be heavy handed with the powder…no light sprinklings here.

Also my friend bought one of these SAND BRUSHES and says the combo of the brush and baby powder is AMAZING. Sprinkle on the powder, brush off with the brush, and you’re dry and non-sandy in less than a minute!!


shop them here

2. Sunscreen

This is a given, but I wanted to share some favorites.

I love the ease of a SPRAY SUNSCREEN, so this is a great one to use on my kids to get quick and good coverage on their whole body. It’s 70+ SPF, so it offers really good protection!

We also love the LA ROCHE POSAY SUNSCREEN LOTION for their faces and ears, so you don’t have to spray in their face.

This NEUTROGENA STICK SUNSCREEN is also great for underneath their eyes and on their noses where they’re super prone to getting burned!


shop them here


3. Lots of snacks.

It doesn’t matter what time we go down to the beach, we’re all suddenly starving when we arrive. Without fail. So I have to pack a big sack lunch and a lot of snacks.

We have a little INSULATED LUNCH SACK that is small enough to toss inside the beach bag, but big enough to carry a good amount of food, and we usually put any produce and cheese in there.

Here are some of our go-to snacks that are easy to pack up for the beach:


  • grapes
  • cucumbers
  • container of hummus
  • clementines
  • string cheese


  • peanut butter and honey sandwiches
  • veggie straws
  • can of pringles
  • fruit snacks
  • fishy crackers
  • pretzels

shop the insulated bag here

4. One big community towel, and another towel for each person

Basically you can never have enough towels at the beach. I love a big ROUNDIE TOWEL for our community towel, and then we get the big plush colorful ones from Costco (they sell them for very cheap this time of year).

The big round towel stays mostly dry because it’s just used for lunch or laying in the sun, and then everyone has a big cozy towel to wrap in when they’re ready to warm up.


shop some super cute roundie’s here


5. A backpack beach chair

A BACKPACK BEACH CHAIR is my favorite thing we’ve ever purchased for the beach. When I go by myself to the beach with all three kids, I toss our beach toys and towels in the chair’s back pocket, and then carry it on my back. It gives me free hands to hold the boy’s hands as we cross the street, or chase after them more easily.

We purchased two of them so Philip and I each have one, and we always bring both when we go to the beach as a family.

shop this style of beach chair


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  1. Jessica Camerata says:

    This has me wanting a beach trip so bad! Loving this one piece suit on you!

    xo Jessica
    My Style Vita

  2. Paige Flamm says:

    I love those huge circle towels!


  3. Korey says:

    Great ideas!! What are some toys you would reccommend bringing? I have two boys, 3.5 years and 8 months old.

    Thanks! 🙂

    • Merrick says:

      We love to bring shovels, buckets, and a few little molds to build sand castles. Besides that, we just collect seashells, dig holes, run in the water, sit on the towel and listen to the waves, etc. Don’t feel like you have to bring a ton of things!

  4. Christy says:

    I think baby powder might be okay since you only have boys but please do not recommend to moms with daughters! the link between talc powders and ovarian cancer is scary!

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