We have two months + eleven days until we are beachin’ again + this rainy day is making me dread the wait. We are so fortunate to take a family vacation each summer to Destin + this year we even get to tie the knot in the sand.
Every year, packing is so dreaded. Even for a small weekend trip back in March, I was running around crazy trying to make sure I remembered everything. I’ll admit, I am the “everything + the kitchen sink” type of packer. You just never know what you’ll need! However, over the past year I’ve tried to be super intentional when packing. Even by laying outfits out on my bed and packing them together.
As the sun is getting warmer + flowers are starting to bloom, I am listing twenty must-haves for every beach vacation!
Okay, my first checkmark is always swimmies. I shop year round for swimmies + always have a new set before leaving for the beach. You might think it’s impossible to forget swimwear when heading to the beach, but my Father-In-Law forgot all of his two years ago + he is the BIGGEST beach fan. So, it can happen to the best of us. *hehehe* No worries, he was able to head to the outlet mall and replace them, but I would be so heartbroken if I left my favs at home!
I could NOT live in a world without music + there’s just something about cranking it up while listening to the waves. We make sure to grab a speaker before heading down each morning. Our stations range from country to pop + everything in between. Hope the fishes sing along with us. *hehehe*
Okay, this may seem like a no-brainer, but some people only bring towels. While towels are super important (see next listed), you can’t pull them down to the water. My most favorite part of beach days is pulling my chair to the water, applying tanning oil + baking. With the water on ya toes, you won’t completely burn up.
Have you ever gotten down to the beach + forgotten a towel? SOS. We make sure to take one more than needed each time. When coming out of the water, a quick pat down is always nice, before laying the damp towel over your chair + kicking back. As an extra, monogrammed are my favs.
My Father-In-Law lives by a beach cart. It is so easy to throw in everyone’s bags, the cooler, the towels, + even the chairs + roll. The cart can even be used to hold the trash bags during the day. Without the cart, it would take us five-ever to carry all of our mess down to the beach + on beach time, this matters!
Okay, so tents are a must-have for our family. We all love the hot Florida sun, but my Father-In-Law hits the sand as early as 7:00am + has to be dragged off around 5:00pm. This makes for a super long day in that hot sun, so tents allow us to take a break + even a nap.
My camelback is a lifesaver each summer + ESPECIALLY while at the beach. We drag a cooler down each day, but there’s nothing I hate more than a sandy water bottle bottom. By using my camelback + room temperature water, I am able to stay hydrated without creating tan spots from all of the sand.
If you don’t want to bring a reusable water bottle down to the sand, bringing along a cup spike will help with the sand issue. This Etsy listing has the cutest spikes + can even monogram for you. This can easily be thrown into the next listing!
Every gal has a bag for every occasion, but a beach bag is one of the most important. I usually find one from the Target dollar section each year, but this go around I am finding a more sturdy one. I have my eye on this bag from Aldo + will probably snatch it while it’s on sale. Stay tuned for a full post on what I carry in my beach bag!
Waterproof Phone Bag
This can literally be as simple as a zip-lock bag to keep your phone safe, but grabbing a holder will save you the stress of worrying about it. I have even snagged these holders from Amazon before + it was so worth it. Just throw it in your beach bag + your beach bag into your beach cart + enjoy that sun, gal!
When the speaker isn’t playing your jam, earphones allow you to keep the vibe going without asking the older peeps to turn the station. Even if you aren’t listening to music, earphones can supply you with a fun audiobook while your toes are in the sand!
SUNNIES ARE A MUST. There’s nothing worse than trying to nap on the beach with the glaring sun in your eyes. I usually tote at least four options down to the coast + switch them out daily. Funny story–since T + I are getting married in the middle of our family vacay this year, he is not allowed to wear sunnies until the wedding because he always gets a raccoon burn-line. *hehehe*
I am more than blessed to not really get a sunburn. I have a percentage of Cherokee Indian in my blood (peep my high cheek bones + tan in the summer), so I only bronze. What a nice problem to have! However, I’ve already had an episode of skin cancer. There were three little spots that popped up on my neck last summer that have to be removed. With my other medical history, this was very scary. So, SKINCARE SKINCARE SKINCARE. From then on, I have learned to put sunscreen on all susceptible skin cancer areas. I feel as though I’m still young, so I do still tan with oil, but make sure all sensitive spots are fully covered.
If you’ve ever crossed the road between the beach + your condo, you know the pain of the hot asphalt. It is literally like walking on fire. I love these Tory Burch sandals + they would be perfect to throw on when crossing the road + throwing back in your beach bag once you hit the sand.
Okay, so you have your flip-flops for the walk across, but what about covering up your suit while cars are passing? For this reason, I never leave Memphis without a cover up. Even if just throwing on a large t-shirt, I feel so much better knowing the community is not staring.
Easy Dinner Outfits
Denim shorts with simple tops are a staple for me when packing for my yearly getaway. I love how easy it is to throw up a pair of my favorite denim + a flowy shirt. This outfit choice saves a lot of time for me, since my hair is usually just let straight since its a casual pick.
I love shopping for our yearly beach trip + finding perfect little dresses are one of my favs. I usually pack at least two dresses for the week + like to spread them out. I’ll usually curl my hair for dress looks, so I have to be sure to come up from the beach a little earlier than for a simple denim look.
Rompers + the beach go together perfectly. They can be dressed way up, or dressed way down, depending on the restaurant choice. Not to mention, you literally just step into your outfit + they take up NO space in your suitcase.
Okay, this is admittedly my weakness. I literally bring a tub for all of my shoes each year + to be honest, this will probably never change. I love having tons of options to pair with my outfits + HEY it’s vacay, so who cares? Make sure to pack several options, from simple flip-flops to espadrille wedges.
Cardigans + Sweatshirts
So, you wouldn’t think to pack cardigans or sweatshirts for your beach trip, but the wind on the beach at night can be a bit nippily. I love coming back from dinner, washing my face, and throwing a sweatshirt on with my denim shorts to hit the beach for a while. It’s so much fun to find scurrying crabs in the sand + the moon over the water is breath taking every time.
One of my favorite traditions at the beach is waking up early with my gal Tyler + my MIL Toni + going for a morning walk. There’s nothing quite like seeing the beach before you can’t move two feet due to your neighbor, Bill, spreading his crap everywhere. *hehehe* We usually don’t go far, but far enough to need tennies, for sure.
I love carrying a hat down to the beach + ball caps are my favorite. Not only do they cover up your beach hair, but they help cover your eyes when your sunnies start to give you a headache. The cutest Etsy shop makes embroidered caps + I have three different SK ones to sport.
This one should be taken with caution. Tyler + I brought five large floaties to the beach last year + the pictures were on point. HOWEVER, blowing them up is a pain. I wish I could find the selfie of Tyler, T + I shoved in the four-runner with the floaties on ropes flying in the wind. I’ve included a picture below for you to view the massive size of the watermelon we had. I’m pretty sure Tyler still has marks on her hands from holding this baby down. *hehehe* So, overall floaties are a must for at least one year. I think Tyler + I have had all we want.
The easiest way to make sure you have all of your hygiene products is to find a bag to hold it all. I love this pink one from Amazon. I usually pile my shampoo, conditioner, razor, lotion, bobby pins, hair ties, brush, straightener, curling iron, ect. into one bag. Whew! That’s a lot in one breath!
If I forgot my makeup bag I would 100% buy all new makeup. I usually grab a larger makeup bag than I use on the regular so that I can pack all of my makeup into one place. This bag is similar to my usual + this one is the size I usually drag down to the beach. A big reason for choosing a larger bag is being able to fit all of my pallets into one bag. This helps a ton!
I’m sure there are more must-haves that I could pull out of my brain, but these 25 seem to cover the essentials. Bless T’s sweet heart when we have babies; he might just have a truck transport our entire house! *hehehe*
Have a beach essential? Share it below 🙂