How to Create a Beach-Ready Go Bag That Will Carry You Through Summer
If you're like most people, going to the beach sounds like an extra-fun way to spend the day — until you get there and realize that you didn't pack everything you need. So then you wander from store to store, looking for an elusive bottle of sunscreen that costs less than $1,000. You finally find it and get settled on the beach, only to realize that the sun's beating down on your face and you're going to spend the next five hours squinting because you didn't think about bringing an umbrella. Ugh, and now you have to find a place to store your wallet and jewelry while you run down to the shore. Oh, and as for the water? Surprise, it's freezing, and now you really wish you'd brought a game or two to pass the time.
But things definitely don't need to be this frustrating. The trick to a joyful day at the beach — as long as the weather is in your favor, of course — comes down to choosing the right company and packing a beach-ready go bag filled with everything you need. So here's the plan: you assemble your crew, and we'll assemble the optimal beach bag with items from Bed Bath & Beyond. All you'll need to add is your swimsuit and a good attitude. Ready, set, scroll!
H For Happy 16-Inch Mesh Beach Tote Bag
First, let's start with the bag. This H For Happy 16-Inch Mesh Beach Tote Bag ($7) is lightweight and foldable, so it doesn't take up much room in your car or closet when not in use. More importantly, though, it's made of mesh — which means you won't carry a pound of sand home with you when it's time to leave the beach. Add generously sized straps and deep pockets for your gear, and it's clear why this bag just makes sense.
Sun Bum 6 fl.oz. Lotion Sunscreen
No beach bag is complete without a quality sunscreen. Sun Bum Lotion Sunscreen ($15) offers broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection in a water-resistant formula. As with any sunscreen, be sure to reapply once every 45 to 60 minutes, because the sun's rays do not mess around.
Takeya Traveler Insulated Stainless Steel 25 oz. Water Bottle
Single-use plastic is so deeply uncool, especially at the beach. Instead of throwing money away on individual bottles of water that could end up in our waterways, invest in a Takeya Traveler Insulated Stainless Steel 25 oz. Water Bottle ($35). Not only can you refill it forever, it's also insulated, so you can keep your H2O nice and cold.
H for Happy Jumbo Lemon Print Beach Ball
Is any trip to the beach complete without a beach ball? This H for Happy Jumbo Lemon Print Beach Ball ($4) inflates in seconds, so you can play quickly. When you're done, deflate it and stash it in your bag for the next trip.
H for Happy 4-Foot Clamp-On Beach Umbrella
Why squint at the beach when you could lounge in the shade? This H for Happy 4-Foot Clamp-On Beach Umbrella ($9) attaches to your beach chair to shield you from harsh rays. Read a book, nap, or just zone out — you can do it all without feeling the burn.
H For Happy Lightweight Beach Mat
Not everybody wants to laze on a towel, and that's OK. This H For Happy Lightweight Beach Mat ($9) unfolds to create a sturdy spot for sitting. The poly/cotton woven fabric allows water to drain, and it easily returns to its compact form when it's time to head home.
H for Happy Flip Flop Boca Clips
If your beach towel keeps slumping off of your chair, let this pair of H for Happy Flip Flop Boca Clips ($6) rescue you from this common annoyance. They're also sturdy enough to hold wet swimsuits or to clamp bags of snacks closed. Definitely one of those little items that makes your beach time a lot easier.
H for Happy Out for a Dip Beach Towel
This 100-percent cotton H for Happy Out for a Dip Beach Towel ($5) is lightweight, so it won't take three years to dry after you use it. Plus, it has a vaguely Ed Ruscha vibe, which is useful in case you're hoping to meet a hot art aficionado at the beach. (It could happen!)
Igloo 25 qt. Retro Picnic Basket Cooler
Everyone knows the food sold at beach pavilions is overpriced (and usually not that delicious). Solution: pack your own gourmet lunch in this Igloo 25 qt. Retro Picnic Basket Cooler ($33). It can hold up to 36 beverage cans or a full food spread for your whole crew — and it's just as cute as can be.
Stasher Half-Gallon Silicone Bag
This Stasher Half-Gallon Silicone Bag ($20) is intended to hold food, and you can certainly put some snacks in there for your hours at the beach. But — and here's the smart part — it's also a great place to store small items like earrings and phones, since you can zip your belongings away from water, humidity, and sand without worrying that they'll get lost in the bigger space of your beach bag.