beach essentials for women - what to pack for beach

Top 16 Beach Essentials For Women (What To Pack)

(I may earn a small commission on the products mentioned in this post.)

Summer is approaching fast. If you’re like me you’ve been working out all winter and now it’s finally time to show off all that hard work under the sun.

Whether you live at the beach or are planning a vacation, it’s important to prepare for summer with a few items that will make your time in the heat more comfortable. Believe it or not there’s essential beach gear that every woman, man, and child needs.

When headed to the beach women tend to be better planners than their male and children counterparts. Guys remember their suit but forget about sunscreen, kids will remember their towel but forget their lunch.

Hopefully there is someone in the family who remembers everything!

The list below outlines the beach essentials for women. If anything it should provide some great ideas and reminders for the beach – we don’t want you sunburned

Unique Towel or Beach Blanket

Sure, you can take a regular beach towel. A standard towel will look fine with blue, white, or red colors but it will probably be short and not fit your whole body. We like the microfiber beach towels on Amazon pictured.

Try an oversized towel big enough for 2 (or one big person). There are a lot of fun options designed for style, comfort, or laughs.

If you prefer one large beach blanket for your friends and family we’ve got you covered. The beach blankets won’t dry you off, but they will fit into a tiny stuff sack, easy for carrying to and from the beach.

Large beach blankets are usually made of ripstop nylon (parachute material) and provide enough space for 5-6 people. They are great for traveling too because they’re super lightweight and quick drying.

Beach Bag or Tote (Or Waterproof Beach Bag)

We’ve included a lot of beach items on our list so we must mention a beach bag or tote.

A beach bag can keep all your gear in one place and make it easier to carry from the car to the beach. You might be thinking “I can just use my grocery bag or backpack”.

You can, however, be prepared to get sand in it. It will take months for the sand to come out. Without fail, I always get sand in my backpack when I vacation at the beach – and it never leaves the hotel room!

There are plenty of beach bags available. They come in blues and yellows with helpful pockets. Some even have insulation to keep food and drinks cool.

>> check beach bag selection on Amazon

If you want a waterproof option they will keep your valuables dry. I especially like waterproof bags (made with rubber) when kayaking, jet skiing, or boating.

The waterproof beach bags tend to get hot so they aren’t ideal for food, but for electronics, clothes, and towels they are perfect.

Beach Lounger

If you’ve never heard of a beach lounger you’re not alone. Beach loungers are one of the hottest items the past few years. Why, you ask?

  1. They’re comfy
  2. They fold up small
  3. They don’t need to be blown up (just a little wind)
  4. They look great
  5. They’ll keep you off of the sand – sand free

If you go to the beach you’ll definitely see them this year.  I’ve seen a bunch and summer hasn’t even begun yet.

Take a beach lounger with you and your friends and family will be fighting over who gets to sleep in it. There are plenty of designs and colors – it sure beats sleeping on a towel in the sand.

We like Chillbo Baggins (pictured right) beach loungers because of the good reviews and color selection.

Sarong For The Beach

Originally from the East, sarong’s have been part of East African and Asian culture for thousands of years. The wraps are woven with plaid and checkered designs and are bright with hand-dyed colors (though most sarongs are commercially dyed these days).

Because they are lightweight and easy to use, the beach is the perfect place for a sarong. They are stylish, practical and double as a towel and blanket.

>> selection of sarongs for the beach on Amazon

If your hands are full of bags and chairs, consider wearing a sarong – this way you won’t need to bring a towel or blanket to the beach.  Take it off when you arrive at the beach and it will spread out larger than a towel on the sand.

Once you’re ready to go home, wrap yourself up and go!  There thin and breathable material makes it comfortable to wear and the more you wash it the softer it becomes.  They can be worn around the house too!

Sun Hat

A sun hat will get you style points but also save your skin. Wide-brimmed floppy hats have long been a woman’s friend at the beach.

They come in all kinds of styles and colors and they will protect more than just the top of your head. They’ll provide shade for your neck and shoulders – both are common places for skin cancer.

We really like this pink hat (pictured right) with a wide brim.  It should keep the sun out of your eyes and reduce sun reflection on the side of the face.

Snacks

beach gear for women - what to pack American’s love their snacks and some people prefer them to the traditional 3 meals-a-day. Most people head to the beach with plans to be there all day.

Whether you plan to stay at the beach for a few hours or all day, you’ll want to make sure your family and friends have something to snack on.

Sure you can buy food at the beach but it will cost you. The selection will probably be limited to burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches.

Related: Best Snacks and Meals for the Beach

Plan ahead and take some dried fruit, trail mix, and granola bars. Check out our article on the best beach snacks and food.

Beach Umbrella

You can count on a lack of shade at the beach. After all, trees don’t grow on the beach unless they are palm trees (and those don’t provide much shade).

Most resorts have umbrellas you can rent by the hour or day, however, on most public beaches it’s easier to bring your own umbrella (BYOU).

Related: Best Beach Umbrellas and Anchors

Umbrellas can be a tricky purchase because some are difficult to get into the stand. Even worse, windy days can blow a beach umbrella away.

We recommend using a beach umbrella anchor and love the Brella-Sport umbrella (pictured right) that attaches to chairs and coolers (no need to put in the sand). Check out our beach umbrella reviews here.

Beach Sandals or Thongs

A nice pair of beach sandals could go along well with a bathing suit and sarong. Beach sandals should be simple so don’t worry about buying something fancy.

You’ll be taking them off as soon as you start walking on the beach so consider them an accessory from the car to the sand. Of course, you can wear them away from the beach too.

Fruit Infused Water Bottle

I bet you didn’t know you needed this beach item? Okay, it’s not essential but it may be a great idea for a refreshing drink.

Everyone likes fruit and everyone needs water. The great thing about this bottle is it makes plain water taste good, and it’s much healthier than the fruit drinks saturated with sugar.

You probably won’t want to eat the fruit after it’s infused your water but don’t worry, you’ll get most of the nutrients because they’ve seeped into the water (won’t get the fiber though).

>> check out fruit infused water bottles on Amazon

It comes with a silicone sleeve that will help keep your bottle cold built-in strainer so you won’t be drinking “pieces” of fruit. The Infusion Pro Water Infuser is also leak-proof and BPA free!

Sand Socks

Sand Socks are an underestimated item for the beach. The first image that pops into your mind might be white tube socks but these are made specifically for the sand.

Sand socks are made of stretchy lycra and sometimes a neoprene heel. They can be worn in the water while snorkeling and surfing but they’re commonly used by beach volleyball players.

>> check out sand socks prices on Amazon

We all know it’s a hassle to wear sandals on the beach but sand socks make it easy. The do a great job of protecting from hot feet and coral! Sand socks come in various sizes and lengths. They’ll even make a fashion statement if you choose a colorful option.

Sunscreen For The Beach

Sunscreen is a must for every beach trip. Did you know that 20 minutes should be the maximum amount of time in the sun without sunscreen?

Sunburn can begin to occur earlier or later depending on your skin tone but the sun can inflict damage whether you end up with a sunburn or not.

Our favorite sunscreen for kids, adults and the environment is Badger’s Broad Spectrum Sunscreen There are plenty of sunscreen brands on the market, but 1 thing I’ve noticed is that most are:

1) Potentially bad for your skin (more risk for children and babies)

2) Bad for the environment

After searching through ingredients I also realized that many sunscreens were advertising as “ocean safe” even though their ingredients were, in fact, not!

We reviewed the best sunscreens in order to help people find a safe sunscreen for babies, kids, adults, and the ocean. Check it out!

Mermaid Tail Blanket (not essential)

We stumbled across this item and thought it would be fun to include. A mermaid tail (on Amazon) will provide your friends and family a few laughs but it might get hot if you’re wearing on a warm summer day.

It acts as a blanket so it would be perfect for a beach bonfire or winter day at the beach.   We think it’s perfect for a gift for young girls.

Beach Chair

A good beach chair can make a day at the beach more comfortable. Although it’s fine to lay on a beach towel or blanket, a chair can be more comfortable for reading and watching the sunset – not to mention it will keep the sand off.

There are many different styles of beach chairs available. The simplest chairs have a back that sticks vertically in the sand (you’ll be sitting on the sand or on a towel).

RelatedBest beach chairs under $50.

Nicer beach chairs have armrests, pockets, and backpack-like straps to make carrying to and from the care easy. We really like the Tommy Bahama chair for its quality and versatility.

Waterproof Phone Case

If you can’t go a few hours without technology a phone cover is essential. Maybe you’re on call at the hospital, maybe you’re expecting a family member to call and meet you at the beach, or maybe you want to play games on the phone while you hang out at the beach.

>> Waterproof phone case on Amazon

Whatever you reason, a phone case will help keep the sand out while allowing you to still use your phone (sand gets everywhere). The case is also waterproof so you don’t need to worry about drying off after using it – it works with the case on!

Suit

Yep, don’t forget your suit. We won’t recommend bathing suits here because everyone has their own personal style.

Just make sure you have a suit that looks and feels great!

Shades

Shade are an essential item for the beach for health and style. Research has shown that sun and reflection can be hazardous to more than just your skin. It can also affect your vision.

Protecting your eyes with a pair of UV protection shades can help you see better, reduce glare (common with the ocean) and reduce those squinting wrinkles around the eyes…no one likes wrinkles.

>> simple yet stylish UV shades on Amazon

When purchasing a pair of sunglasses for the beach we recommend to NOT take your best pair. Sand can get in the nose piece and in the hinges. Sand can also scrape the lenses. Take an inexpensive pair of shades that still protect from UV rays.

Conclusion

Visiting the beach is one of the most memorable parts of summer. In addition to spending time in the sun, sand, and water, we’re usually accompanied by our friends and family.

When planning a trip to the beach you should make a list of essential beach items. You’ll be in trouble if you forget sunscreen, towels, or a suit (although you can probably buy them at the beach for a premium.

Women are usually better at preparing for a day or week at the beach. They also tend to have more style when they arrive. We mentioned a few essential items and a few fun beach items to make your day, or vacation, more memorable.

In summary don’t forget:

  • Shades
  • Suit
  • Snacks
  • Phone Case
  • Beach Blanket or Towel
  • Chair
  • Water
  • Sandals
  • Umbrella
  • Beach Hat
  • Beach Lounger
  • Beach Bag

These are just a few of the beach items we thought of. If we missed any, leave a message in the comments. As usually thanks for reading – check out our other articles too!