Shopping·12 min read

19 Things You’ll Be Glad You Brought to the Beach

beach cover up, liquid IV
Design: theSkimm | Photos: Buck Mason, Liquid IV
June 14, 2023

This post was originally published in June 2021 and has been updated.

Products you buy through our links may earn us a commission. Oh, and if something's out of stock, oops, it was there (and all prices were accurate) at time of publication.

Picture it. Saturday morning rolls around, the weather is perfect, and you’ve got an entire day free. Summer is approaching and there's just one thing on your mind: your first relaxing day at the beach.

Which is why we’re here to remind you to (always) wear sunscreen. If you’re looking for just the right amount of shade and things to make the day a breeze, we also got you covered. After all, a stress-free day can only happen if you pack the right things. Life’s a beach and we want you to play in the sand.

liquid iv beach pick
Liquid IV

Individual packets of sugar-free hydration for the hottest summer days…

After a long day lounging under the sun (or a long night out on the town), we turn to Liquid IV for a hydration reset. It comes in three flavors, and has more electrolytes than regular sports drinks — plus eight essential vitamins and nutrients. Just mix one packet into a glass of water, and sip away. ($25.99/pack of 14, Liquid IV)

Buy it
beach cover up

A cover-up that’ll keep you warm on colder nights…

If you always get chilly when the night breeze hits, snag this crochet dress you can also wear out after your day on the water. Aka…it’s a piece that can handle it all. Throw in your bag for an extra layer by the beach, or pop it on with a pair of sandals to grab a bite to eat on the way home. ($248, Buck Mason)

Buy it
Beach Read

A beach read with mystery, drama, and money…

Second houses. Cheating spouses. Lots of rich people. And (dun dun dun), a dead body. This book truly has it all. Set in an exclusive community on Fire Island, it follows two couples, Lauren and Jason and Sam and Jen, who rule the tennis courts and enjoy high status among their fellow elites. Through chapters that alternate viewpoints, secrets are revealed, gossip mounts, and bad behavior abounds — and we loved absolutely every second of it. Grab it for your beach bag ASAP. 

Buy it at AmazonBuy it at Bookshop
Beach Chair
Dick's Sporting Goods

A comfy beach chair for when the sand is too hot…

This one’s portable, low to the ground, and perfect for sitting in those little tide pools on a hot day. It comes in three different pattern options and has an XL-sized cup holder with a mesh bottom for all your hydration needs. Once you’ve caught the sunset, fold the chair up and sling it on your back for your trek back to the car (or beach house). ($31.99, Dick’s Sporting Goods)

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waterproof phone case

A pack of waterproof phone cases to take on the jet ski…

Now you’ll be able to take your phone with you, no matter what kind of water sports you have planned. These waterproof cases are big enough to fit most phones (up to 7 inches) and will keep them dry for up to 30 minutes — even if they’re submerged in water. They have a clear PVC material that lets you see your screen underwater and scroll safely while your hands are wet. Get them in two different colors to share, or snag them both in black and keep one as a backup. ($9.99+, Amazon)

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Lip Balm
Paula's Choice

A cult-favorite lip balm with lots of SPF…

If you’ve been looking for a no-frills lip balm that’ll protect you from the harsh summer rays, we can’t recommend this one enough. It moisturizes, leaves a bit of shine without any stickiness, and is fragrance- and flavor-free, with a barely-there feel. Definitely an HQ’r fave. ($12, Paula’s Choice)

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utility cart

A collapsible utility cart with beach-ready wheels…

We love this cart because it’s easy to pull over the sand. Get it to store all your beach-day goodies with ease. It can hold up to 150 pounds and fold up after use for easy storage. Doesn’t get much better than that. ($112.21+, Amazon)

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bug spray

A clean bug spray that’ll keep the mosquitoes away…

With notes of citrus and vanilla, this repellent is vegan and DEET-free. It has citronella to keep mosquitoes at bay and lauric acid to soothe your skin. Clove and lemongrass will have you saying bye to that typical bug spray stench. And you can recycle the packaging when you’re done. Spray, spray bugs away. ($22, Kinfield)

Buy it
folding mini beach table

A mini table so you have a place to rest your book and sunglasses…

One that will fold down to be a little oasis for your things. No more sand in your phone speaker. Or wedged into the spine of your summer read. Phew. ($19.99, Amazon)

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Bug Bite Tool

A tool that’ll keep mosquito bites at bay…

This suction tool removes the irritant left behind that causes itchiness. So you can stop the reaction in its tracks. You can even try it on bee and wasp stings. Fight the bite. ($9.95+, Amazon)

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insulated cooler tote for food and drinks

 A cooler tote that’ll keep your guac perfectly chilled…

And don’t forget to bag the chips. This tote is leakproof, has an outside pocket for dry goods, and won’t be a pain to carry. Because no rolling cooler works on sand. Shoulder straps for the win. ($39.95, Target)

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beach pillow

A pillow so you can lounge without straining your neck…

This one’s built for the beach, of course. And it’s padded, weather-resistant, and compact. Plus, it folds into its own carrying case and can be weighed down by adding a bit of sand. So it won’t fly away on windy days. Nap time awaits. ($29.99+, Amazon)

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Beach blanket

A blanket so you can lie down without sand sticking to you…

Like this one that’s water-resistant and doesn’t trap sand. So you can relax comfortably. It’s big enough for multiple people and comes with stakes for each corner. Problem = solved. ($28.98+, Amazon)

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spray sunscreen

An everyday sunscreen because getting a little color calls for skin protection…

We can’t stress this enough. This non-aerosol spray is SPF 50, sweat- and water-resistant, and can be applied to wet skin. It’s your new beach best friend. Psst…If spray-on isn’t your favorite, check out this guide for our list of the best sunscreens for you. ($15+, Supergoop!)

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portable beach speaker in hot pink

A speaker that can handle long days at the beach …

Turn the volume up because your phone speaker is never loud enough. This mini clip-on speaker can connect to your cell via Bluetooth and delivers some serious volume. So hit shuffle on your summer Spotify playlist. ($49.95, JBL)

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Umbrella tent

An umbrella so you can take a break from the sunshine…

Well, an umbrella-tent. It’ll provide all the shade you could need, especially on scorching days where there’s not a cloud in the sky. And it features mesh windows for proper ventilation and lots of legroom. If you’re worried about it blowing away — don’t. It’s got three sand pockets, extra sandbags, and four stakes. Boom. ($45.99+, Walmart)

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underwater camera

A camera so you can remember the time you spent in the waves…

Capture the moment. This camera will catch all your sandy beach picnics. Plus that sand city you spent an hour building. Say cheese. ($159.95+, Amazon)

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Beach Shoes

Crocs because walking on the beach in flip-flops gets awkward…

Slip on something more stable. You’re probably carrying too much already. Steady footing will be a plus. And did we mention these are adorable? Because they are. ($24.99+, Zappos)

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beach paddles with ball

Mini beach paddles when you wanna battle for who has to drive home…

Volley it out. Just try not to lose the ball. Victory dances sold separately. ($32, Revolve)

Buy it

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