What Should You Really Pack For Your Beach Trip?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017
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Well hey there, peculiar treasures! I hope you are doing well and thriving this week! I know you can, so make it happen! 😊
Personally, I am so stinkin' excited I can hardly stand it! By the time you start reading this, I will probably be on my way to the beach to visit some of my best friends. If you saw my last post, then you know what tunes I'll be listening to while I drive down to the coast (and if you didn't read it, then you need to so you can listen to my awesome, free playlist 😎). I plan to sing loud, roll my windows down, and let the wind whip my hair against my face. I.CAN'T.WAIT. 

Since I was raised at the beach, I always feel at home when I get there. I grew up knowing what to pack for a beach day, what to skip, and what is unnecessary but still good to have. These things are a no-brainer for me, but that doesn't mean they are for everyone. I mean, if you have spent all of your life in rural Iowa (as a super random example), why would you know what to pack in your beach bag? Chances are, you've never really needed to know!

So today I am sharing a list of what I pack in my beach bag, along with some tips to go along with it. I am also specifying whether the item is a necessity or just enjoyable to have. You're welcome! 😉

What's in my beach bag? What are the necessities for a good beach trip? What should you really pack?  Find out more at The Peculiar Treasure!

Sunscreen (Necessity)

I know you've heard it a billion times before, but sunscreen really is important when going to the beach. You should always wear sunscreen when you are going to be out in the sun for long periods of time to protect against harmful UV rays, but when you are near water, the sun reflects off of the water and, in my experience, makes it way worse. That's not based on science, so don't quote me 😉. But it does seems that when I am around the water, I get burned a lot more quickly and severely. So though I know I should be wearing sunscreen anytime I spend prolonged time in the sun, I am much more willing when I am laying by or swimming in the water, lest my skin resemble a not-so-adorable lobster.

Tanning Oil 

Ever since I was little, I have always loved the smell of tanning oil. I love any of it really, but my absolute favorite is Australian Gold. For me, the smell of it rivals my love for the smell of coffee, so you KNOW I mean business about this stuff.
Tanning oil is not a necessity, and should only be warn in addition to sunscreen (NOT in place of), but I always pick up a bottle when I am going to be at the beach or by the pool. 

Sunglasses (Necessity)

I get the worst headaches if I am out in the sun without sunglasses. If I didn't have them, the trip would be miserable and I would just end up with a migraine. Trust me. Pack the sunglasses. If you can't find yours, go buy some.


For a while I avoided hats because I didn't like them, but lately I've realized that not only do I feel really cute in a hat, but I also get less headaches when I wear one. My dark hair absorbs so much sunlight, and a hat helps a lot!


For whatever reason, I have always loved bandannas. I love wearing them at the beach in particular because the hold back the wisps of hair that usually fly into my eyes while still protecting my head like a hat would. So while a bandanna is not a necessity, I try to make sure I have one in my bag.

Chair (Necessity for all-day trips)

Growing up, it was the "mom thing to do" to bring a chair to the beach. A young, thriving lady should be able to lay on a towel all day and not have any back pain as a result. But 10 years and 100 pounds later and I've changed my tune.
I still bring a towel to lay on (and because of that whole "drying off" thing), but if I want to read a book or sit on the shore for an extended period of time, a chair really is a necessity.

A Good Book or Magazine

Speaking of reading, one of the most relaxing things in the world is sitting on the beach, listening to the waves roll in, while reading a really good book.
For this trip, I am bringing Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and two issues of Good Housekeeping. I probably won't finish the book while I'm there, but I know it's something I will enjoy. That's the goal- to relax and enjoy.

Snacks (Necessity for all-day trips)

I know that a bag of Cheese-Itz don't exactly help you accomplish that wind-blown-beach-hottie look, but trust me, pack the dang snacks. No one is paying attention to you anyway, so you might as well not starve. Just sayin'.

Bottled Water (Necessity)

Hydration. Nuff' said.

What's In My Beach Bag? And what should you pack for your beach trip?

I know that some of these are common sense- like the sunglasses, water, or towel. But honestly, it's easy to forget the necessities and it's also easy to get carried away and bring too much. But trust me when I tell you to leave the floats and "noodles" at home, and opt for a chair, a book, and a bandanna instead.

And now, my lovely peculiars, I am going to go dip my toes in the water and forget about technology for a while!


  1. I always feel at home at the beach too! I need a hat and an umbrella though instead of tanning oil! I don't mind getting some color, but being outside so much, I need to be super cautious so I dont have gross leathery skin when I get older!

  2. Have fun Kristin!!! I'd love to be heading to the beach. Take pictures and share please :)

  3. I am so ready for a beach trip! My necessities are water, snacks, a book or two and SUNSCREEN! The last one is imperative because skin cancer is a real thing. Hope you have fun!

    1. Yes! So true! I have really tried to be conscientious about sunscreen too.

  4. I love being at the beach. My hubby & I got married on the beach and we'd live there if we could! Maybe some day when our kids are grown.

    I love youe beach bag essentials. I definitely need all the sunscreen and cute sunnies and snacks!

    1. I love that you got married on the beach. So cool!

  5. With a new baby, having this list is going to come in handy. His bag comes first and ours second but making extra stops now to get things that we left behind is just no longer a sensible option.
    What would you suggest if you had young children with you?

    1. Hey! That's a great question, Nathalie!
      I would say to 1.) Make sure you use sunscreen that is made for kids, and with around 50 spf. Apply AT LEAST every two hours. Also, if you are going to let the kids be in the water at all, I suggest either life jackets or arm floaties. Also take a t-shirt for each of them so that if they start to look a little pink on their shoulders or back, you can keep them covered and stay out a little longer.

  6. Enjoy your beach trip! I love the beach, too. We lived on the coast when I was little and I have been a beach girl since.

    I like your beach bag list -- a good read is always a necessity for me too!

    1. That's awesome, Trish! What beach did you grow up near?

  7. All perfect things to have in a beach bag! Have fun at the beach!

  8. This was honestly so helpful! And it sounds so dumb to me now, but I never thought of using tanning oil ALONG with sunscreen... DUH! I always just used oil (which is terrible of me). I haven't been to the beach in AGES but I always bring a good ol' trash magazine to flip through! We live outside Atlanta, so I think a little day trip to the ocean or gulf is in order now ;) haha

    1. I'm really, really glad that was helpful to you! You are not the only one who does that. I really didn't start taking sunscreen seriously until a few years ago when my MIL had a few cancerous moles on her skin. Since then I have tried to be more conscious about it.

  9. Most of these are in my beach bag too. I don't bring a bandana or tanning oil but the rest are always ready to go. We also take either out umbrella, which can also act as a shelter, or our E-Z Up. With the babies shade from the sun is key. They make being at the beach for several hours much nice. One of these days I want to spend all day at the beach and bring a grill and have a super relaxing day. The beach is my therapy! Hope you had fun on your vacation!

    1. The bandanna is essential for me because of how hot my hair gets. Gives me the worst headaches.
      Yeah! I can imagine the extra shelter is so important for Sweets and Bow.
      I really did have a good time. It was far too short, but I am so glad I got to go.
      I love the idea of an all-day trip. That's the sort of thing I would love too.

  10. Love your picks! These are definitely all necessities for me too! I love the beach, I'm always happiest there! I always keep a spare change of clothes in my beach bag too and hydrating face mist!

    1. Ooo! That sounds awesome! I've never had a face mist before!