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Beach trip essentials

Who doesn’t love to spend a relaxing day at the beach? The feel of your feet in the sand, the sun on your back and the refreshing breeze off the water can make for a wonderful vacation. Still, it helps to be prepared for a day outdoors. The necessary equipment and accessories can turn an average beach day into an exceptional one. 

To help you plan and prepare for your next beach vacation, explore these top beach essentials that will benefit both kids and adults. From umbrellas and chairs to games and speakers, you’ll find everything you need. 

Types of beach essentials

It can be hard to categorize beach essentials, seeing as they run the gamut from large shelters like beach tents to smaller accessories like sunscreen. Choosing the right items for your beach trip depends on your personal preference and the size of your group. 

Younger kids will appreciate a variety of beach games and toys, while everyone will enjoy a cooler filled with snacks and beverages. 

Beach equipment 


The item most people picture when thinking about a relaxing day at the beach is the trusty beach towel. Towels are a multipurpose item that can help keep sand from sticking to your skin when lounging, tanning, having a picnic or drying off. 

Microfiber towels

Microfiber towels are more compact and lightweight than standard cotton options, easily fitting in most bags and totes. They’re also significantly more absorbent and quick-drying, making them ideal for all types of beach activities. 


Having a way to escape the harsh sun is a must. Other than offering protection from harmful UV rays, beach umbrellas also provide shade for cooling off, reading a book or for keeping your food and drinks out of direct sunlight.

beach tents

While many people still choose standalone beach umbrellas, pop-up beach tents have also become popular. This ventilated Sport-Brella model is a great crossover option that allows for extra side coverage, giving you better sun protection and more privacy. 

Beach chair 

Coleman chair

For those who prefer to sit up rather than lounge on a towel, a proper beach chair is a lifesaver. This Coleman chair has a large cushioned seat, built-in drink cooler and collapses for easy transport. 


YETI Tundra

The best way to keep your food fresh and your drinks ice-cold is to utilize a portable cooler. Premium coolers, like the YETI Tundra, have a durable construction and can preserve ice for several days. If you don’t need to fit as much, a smaller shoulder strap cooler can be a reliable budget-friendly option. 

Sun protection 



To reduce your risk of sunburn and harmful long-term effects of prolonged sun exposure, everyone should apply sunscreen before and throughout their beach outing. By choosing a sunscreen with a high SPF rating and water resistance, you can ensure that your skin is well protected from any damaging rays. 

Sun hat 

Columbia Unisex Bora Bora

Along with sunscreen, wearing a hat is your best defense against the sun. Most hats, whether full-brimmed or billed, will provide some level of sun protection. However, choosing a UPF model like the Columbia Unisex Bora Bora will give you full-spectrum protection. 


Polarized lenses

Whether you go the sportier route or veer toward stylish designer pairs, having a good pair of sunglasses can protect against harmful glare reflected off water’s surface and make it easier to see in general. Polarized lenses are always a smart investment, as they provide full UV protection and can cut down on glare. 



men's swim suit

If you plan on spending any time in the ocean, you’ll need a comfortable swimsuit. With a variety of men’s and women’s styles, sizes, patterns and materials to choose from, it ultimately comes down to your own personal preference. Look for a material that’s quick-drying if you don’t want to feel wet and waterlogged after your swim. 


When it comes to footwear, flip-flops and sandals are the way to go for sandy beaches. You won’t have to worry about sand getting caught in your shoes or socks, and you’ll be ready to slip them off when it’s time to hit the waves. 

women’s flip-flops

These cushioned women’s flip-flops from Clarks offer ample support and an ultra-lightweight design. For men, these Reef flip-flops utilize a durable rubber outsole for use on and off the beach. 


Waterproof speaker

JBL Flip 4 Wireless Waterproof Speaker

As long as it’s not disturbing others around you, some music can help liven up a beach vacation. You can feel comfortable using this JBL Flip 4 Wireless Waterproof Speaker near the water, as it can easily connect to your devices and can survive being fully submerged. 

Waterproof phone case

JOTO Dry Bag

A waterproof case, like the JOTO Dry Bag, is an affordable accessory that will let you take photos or videos while actively in the ocean without worrying about accidentally damaging your phone. These convenient cases fit most iPhones, Samsungs and other popular phone models. 

Water bottle 

Insulated water bottles

It’s important to stay hydrated no matter where you are, but the consistent sun exposure you’ll likely encounter at the beach can oftentimes make you thirstier. Insulated water bottles can keep your beverages chilled all day long, so you can stay refreshed. 

Beach games

Paddle Ball

Kids aren’t the only one who enjoy beach games, with several options appealing to adults as well. The soft sand creates a great playing field for games like Paddle Ball or Kan Jam. Bringing along a game can be a fun way to exercise while adding some friendly competition. 

Reading materials


Reading is a great way to relax on the beach. Some people prefer to bring physical books or magazines, as they can sometimes be easier to see in the sun than certain electronic screens. Others prefer to use a Kindle for the convenience of their library options and compact size. 

Tote bag 

extra-large beach bag

In order to carry all of these beach essentials, you’ll likely want to invest in a durable beach bag. This extra-large beach bag has enough storage space to fit and organize your important items, while the zippered top closure will keep them safe, secure and sand-free.


Matthew Young writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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