In the middle of July I flew from Los Angeles to the East Coast because my parents were buying a beach house at the Connecticut shoreline. Due to Covid-19, their closing date kept getting pushed back making the wait seem like forever. Fast forward a month later and we’ve finally moved in. In between shopping for my bedroom and planning my dad’s birthday party, I’ve been stocking up on necessities that I’ll be using while I spend the rest of the summer at the beach. Here are 15 items that I’m keeping inside my beach tote.
Picnic Tote bag | Ban.do, $34.95
From the bright and cheery color to the “make time for sun shine” message scrolled across the front, this beach bag symbolizes my summer. It’s also the ideal size (not too big or too small) and it can fit all my essentials inside of it. For days when I’m not at the beach, I take it with me to the local farmers’ market and stock up on organic fruits and veggies.
Waterproof Speaker | Bluefree, $34.99
This waterproof Bluetooth speaker is perfect for night swimming since it adds a dreamy rainbow filter to the water all around you.
Pool Slides | Gucci, $290
I wanted these slides last summer, but I opted for a pair that were a fraction of the cost. A year later, I still couldn’t get them out of my head and ended up splurging on them. I went back and forth between pink and black but ultimately I decided on black since it’s a neutral color and it will go with all my swimsuits (allowing me to get my money’s worth).
Shredded Denim Bucket Hat | Dolls Kill (similar here)
Being obsessed with the 90s’, this denim bucket hat gives me nostalgistic vibes while keeping the sun out of my face.
So Juicy Coin Purse | Dolls Kill (similar here)
I purchased this watermelon coin purse before my vacation in Puerto Vallarta a few years back. Each summer I switch out my leather wallet for this one since it’s waterproof and it’s the perfect size to hold a few credit cards and bills.
Superbloom Sunshine Beach Towel | Ban.do, $39.95
This oversized terry cloth beach towel is super-soft and the vibrant floral print is absolutely stunning.
Nylon Pouches | Ban.do, $10.95
With all the larger items I keep inside my beach bag, I needed a pouch to put my smaller essentials in like my chapstick, lip gloss, SPF, and hand sanitizer. I choose a set of two (a small one and one that’s slightly bigger) with the sayings “mental vacation” and “breaks are important”. Now I can toss my little things inside and find them with ease.
Polarized Wayfarer Sunglasses | Rayban, $179
I actually had a similar pair of Ray-Bans a few years ago, but with continuous wear (and not taking the best care of them) they got beat up and needed to be replaced. I choose the 55mm polarized lens in black because the Wayfarer frame is such a classic silhouette and I love how they fit the shape of my face.
Enjoy The View Sunglass Case | Ban.do, $12.95
Even though my Ray-Bans came with a protectant case, I still wanted one that would match my beach bag. This zip-around padded case features the same message, “Make Time For Sun Shine,” and comes with a cleaning cloth.
Hello Hydration Collapsible Water Bottle | Dolls Kill (similar here)
This collapsible tie-dye water bottle is probably one of my favorite purchases this summer. Not only is it optimal for throwing in my tote and keeping my beverage cold, but it also comes in handy when I go on a jog. I love how I can collapse it as I drink my water so I’m not carrying unneeded weight around.
SPF 30 Lip Balm | Sun Bum, $3.99
Last summer I was gifted a variety of Sun Bum products to try out and although I loved them all, what really stood out was their SPF 30 chapstick. So much so I went out and purchased a new one this season. It fully protects my lips and I don’t have to keep reapplying it.
Clear SPF 50+ UV Protector WetForce Stick | Shiseido SPF 50, $28
I bought Sheiseido’s SPF 50 UV stick last August and continued using it throughout the year. It’s lightweight, doesn’t make my skin breakout, and there’s no smell. Before I get ready I put it on my face and neck and then apply my moisturizer. Since it’s a solid stick I don’t have to worry about it leaking, so I throw it in my tote and reapply it throughout the day.
Dark Tanning Oil | Aloe Up, $15.99
When I was vacationing in Arizona, the resort I stayed at had these Aloe Up SPF 4 dark tanning oil sprays in their gift shop. The tropical scent smells amazing without being overpowering, and I love how it doesn’t leave my skin greasy after applying it. It’s also non comedogenic, and it’s made with antioxidants and infused with aloe.
A Beach Read | The Last of the Live Nude Girls: A Memoir | $14.95
I was searching for a book about Times Square back when it was gritty and dangerous. I ended up stumbling on this memoir, The Last of the Live Nude Girls. I didn’t realize it takes place in the 2000’s (not the 70’s or 80’s like I was looking for), but the author’s descriptive account details the fascinating world of living on the fringes of society and the end of the red light district. (should the numbers have an apostrophe?)
Underwater Disposable Camera | Cylo (similar here)
I can’t wait to bring this underwater camera with me when I go canoeing. I’ll be able to take photos of the shoreline without having to worry about ruining my phone.
*This article contains some affiliate links.