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7 Must Have Beach Vacation Essentials

It’s easy to daydream with a beach vacation on the horizon. Maybe you’re fantasizing about all the frosty treats you’ll consume at the poolside. Or, perhaps you’re ready to channel your inner mermaid beneath crystalline ocean waves. No matter what’s on the itinerary, a few beach vacation essentials can have you ready to plunge into the best beach vacation ever. 

Level up your beach vacation packing for maximum, uninterrupted fun in the sun. From skincare essentials to seaside accessories, this beach vacation ultimate packing list will make your beach day prep effortless and give you more time to imagine all your future beach day adventures.

#1 A Beach Bag to Tote Your Belongings

Meet your newest family beach vacation BFF: the beach bag. This trusty companion can tote all your beach essentials  in style. Look for these useful features as you make your selection: 

  • Waterproof – You’re going to bring this personal item to places with a lot of water, so naturally, you’ll want it to be water-resistant. If you want extra protection against any H2O, you can find “dry bags” at any camping goods store. A dry bag is typically insulated with vinyl, nylon, or plastic laminate, coatings that protect fabric from deterioration and keep your precious possessions dependably dry.1
  • Lots of pockets – To accommodate all your other beach essentials , you’ll want a bag with ample room. Even better than a roomy basic tote is a bag with plenty of pockets. Slip delicate technology like cameras or phones into their own waterproof pockets to ensure your most valuable belongings stay dry and safe from any sand.
  • Easy to clean – A beach bag can be colorful, zany, artistic, or neutral—but whatever fabric you gravitate towards, make sure it’s easy to clean. Save your leather purse from scratchy grains of sand and unforgiving saltwater by choosing a personal item that can go right into the washing machine post-trip. 

#2 Swimsuits to Suit Every Activity

Your choice of a swimsuit should complement the beach trip activities you’ve planned. Seize the day and bring a few bikini top styles as well as bikini bottom styles that offer a wide range of motion on top of glamor. 

Here are a few tips for choosing your beach trip bathing suit: 

  • Choose your suits based on beach destination activities – Whatever ocean adventures you’re planning, you’ll want a flattering suit that equally suits your family beach vacation activities. If you’re snorkeling through craggy coral reefs, you might want a bathing suit or rash guard that protects your midriff. On the other hand, if your prerogative is to achieve that overall sunkissed glow, opt for a bikini that exposes skin in all the right spots. Knowing how should a bathing suit fit and how to wash a bathing suit can help your suit sustain all of your adventures.

  • Bring options – Maybe you’ve got a volleyball tournament in the morning and a sunset cruise at night—or maybe the plan is to endlessly lounge in the hot tub. Either way, you’ll want to bring a change of suits. You’ll never have to stress about your minimalist swimwear’s capabilities when you pack a backup (and you won’t have to wriggle into a cold, damp suit the next day). 
Vacay in Style! Find your seaside staple now!

#3 Skincare Supplies for the Seaside

Being at the beach often means your skin is more exposed to the elements than usual. To keep your skin hydrated and happy on the go, stock up on travel-sized versions of your go-to products. If you’re flying, be sure to squeeze them into TSA-approved travel containers. 

Be sure to pack these seaside skincare must-haves: 

  • Sunscreen – Look for waterproof sun protection with SPF of 30 or higher, as they protect from 93 percent of ultraviolet light.2 Mineral sun protection  may prove a better option to wear beneath your suit because they won’t leave a white residue or stain fabric. Bring enough sun lotion  to apply at least every two hours while you’re out in the sun and uv rays.

  • Cleanser – That ocean spray can feel incredible, but back at the hotel or beach house ,you’ll appreciate a trusted cleanser to remove sun lotion oil, dirt, and salt from your face. Cleansing wipes can offer an easy alternative to liquid formulas while traveling. 
  • Aloe Vera – Be ready to soothe any sunburn with a bottle of aloe. Whether you know you burn easily or expect to perfect your tan, you’ll want this cooling plant-based jelly on hand to ease discomfort and extend the good vibes. 

#4 Beachy Layers to Keep You Comfy 

Beaches are the ideal place to show off some skin and that fabulous string bikini. Still, you might want some extra coverage when ducking into your favorite oceanfront ice cream shop or to ward off the chill after the sunsets. Some sublime cover-up options can also help to give your skin a break from the sun and add some extra beachy style to your outfit.

Two beach wardrobe essentials include: 

  • Beach hat – Protect your face from the sun’s bright uv rays with a flirty beach hat. Glamorous wide-brimmed hats come in all sorts of materials, from vinyl to straw, so pick whatever complements your personal aesthetic. Or, you could opt for a baseball cap and represent your home team even on vacation.

  • Cover-ups – From oversized tie-dye T-shirts to lace kaftans, cover-ups offer a speedy change of clothes whenever you want extra layers. Stay warm past dark or quickly fulfill the snack bar dress code without compromising on style. 


#5 Lounging Supplies to Create Your Own Oasis 

The afternoon sun and rush of the waves are waiting to lull you off to dreamland. For ultimate comfort during your beachside lounging, you’ll need a few supplies to accompany you in between swims.

Take a catnap or sip a drink by the shore with these necessities: 

  • Towels – Beyond drying off, your towel can become an excellent barrier between bare skin and the sand. Seaside resorts and rentals sometimes provide fresh, clean towels to their guests, but be sure to check with your hosts before you go. Bring an extra towel in case the first gets lots of love (aka, sand and sea).

  • Beach chair – Take the pressure off your towels and elevate your beach seating with a beach chair. You’ll appreciate a supportive surface to lie back against for unparalleled relaxation. Look for seats with cup holders and reclining options, and you’ll be living your best life pronto. 
  • Umbrella – Obsessed with basking in the sun? You’ll be equally obsessed with a private shady place to cool down. A beach umbrella can create the perfect oasis in the middle of the dunes, so be sure to bring one along for the afternoon. 

If you’re a repeat beachgoer and/or will be traveling by car, you might want to invest in your own supply of lounging goodies. If you’re flying to the seaside, however, you can also save space in your luggage by renting or purchasing these necessities at your destination. You’ll enjoy the chance to explore your surroundings as you supplement your beach basics with finesse. 

#6 Food and Drink Necessities

Snacking by the sea can feel like the epitome of luxury—but it also requires a few strategies of its own. To appease your appetite and stay refreshed, pack your cooler with these staples and game changers. You’ll be grateful you did. 

  • Water bottle – Quench your cravings with a reusable water bottle. Rehydrating after you sweat and splash can help you to avoid overheating in the sun.

  • Insulated cups – An insulated reusable cup or tumbler with a lid can keep everything from lemon-lime soda to fruity sangria ice cold. Refresh your taste buds and enjoy the blissful paradox of a chilled drink while your toes are toasty in the sand.
  • Snacks – You’re bound to feel hungry after hours of swimming and lounging, so you’ll want to bring along something to nibble on. Skip salty snacks that will increase your thirst and opt for fresh fruit, veggies with hummus, or granola bars. You’ll appreciate having easy finger food to munch on, especially when most of you is covered in sand. 

#7 Entertainment to Bring On the Fun

From dolphin spotting and whale watching to impromptu frisbee tournaments, the beach can be a hotspot for amusement. Immerse yourself in a tidal wave of fun that keeps growing with these supplies: 

  • A floatie – Out past the breaking waves (and still within range of the lifeguards), you’ll find placid turquoise water. What better way to securely bob through the shallows than aboard a silly floatie? Whether you gravitate towards donuts or unicorns, you’re sure to find an inflatable friend to buoy you along.

  • Speakers – Seek out a waterproof Bluetooth speaker to bring the sound of the summer with you. Make new friends and start a dance party on the beach as your favorite song mingles with the surf. 
  • A camera – Cherish your vacation long after you’ve returned home. Capture quintessential sunny memories using a waterproof or disposable camera that can withstand a beach holiday and a few grains of sand. 
  • Books – Whether you’d like a little downtime on the beach or are yearning to escape into fantasy with the ocean as your backdrop, nothing beats a beach read. Bring a few leisurely paperback reads, and you’ll have a great excuse to zone out. That’s what vacation is about, after all.

Have a Dreamy Seaside Vacation with Gooseberry 

With these beach vacation necessities in the bag (or rather, in your suitcase), you’re officially ready to catch a wave. Gooseberry is here to bring seductive signature swimwear to the forefront of your trip. The high-caliber suits in our seaside collection are made to keep you feeling sexy as you lounge, spike a volleyball, or flaunt your way over to the ice cream shack.  

Mix and match two-piece suits designed to offer support and a little sass, or turn heads in a sensual one-piece. From animal prints to rich earthy tones, each suit comes in eye-catching, sophisticated colors. 

Once you find your favorite fits, stock up on multiple patterns for diverse dependability. You’ll curate a swimwear wardrobe that inspires envy and attracts good energy wherever you go.

No matter where your travels take you, start your packing off right with a Gooseberry suit.


  1. Whopper Duffel. What is a Dry Bag?
  2. NBC. How to choose the best sunscreen, according to these dermatologists.
  3. Adventure In You. The Only Beach Packing List You’ll Ever Need.

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