Don’t Leave Home Without Your Beach-Bag Essentials

Summer is just around the corner, but if you’re like me, you’ve already spent plenty of time at the beach. In order to optimize those precious beach days, these are my suggestions for what every woman should have packed for a day in the sun:

Sunscreen. Sunscreen is absolutely vital to not only a fun and painless day in the sun, but also to your overall health. Wrinkles, skin disease, burns and sun poisoning, and discolored tattoos can all be prevented with the use of sunscreen. I love spray sunscreens, which are great if you don’t have a pal there to help lather up those hard-to-reach spots on your back. I always make sure to pack a mid-high level SPF sunscreen for my body, as well as a milder, sensitive skin-friendly version for my face.

Floppy Hat and Cute Shades. No beach ensemble is complete without this season’s stylish floppy hat and face-flattering sunglasses. These items are essential not only for their trendiness, but also for additional protection from the sun. If you’re going to take care of your body while enjoying a day at the beach, you might as well do it in style! Besides, the beach might be one of the only places to truly get away with wearing glamorous, oversized sunglasses.

Some Light Reading. I always love to have a book or magazine beside me at the beach. “The Vacationers: A Novel,” by Emma Straub, “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green, and “The One and Only” by Emily Griffin are some this summer’s most highly recommended beach books. I also love bringing literary journals and short story anthologies to the beach because they are easy to pick up and peruse without getting too absorbed in a more serious plot.

A Healthy Snack, and Plenty of H2O. Far too many people get dehydrated when they go to the beach; be sure to pack enough water to keep you hydrated while you’re there. My snacks of choice include granola bars, berries, and anything that won’t attract the seagulls or melt all over my things (alas, chocolate doesn’t fare well at the beach). Something about lying out for hours at the beach always makes me hungry, so I never leave home without some nourishing snacks in my beach bag.

Your Favorite Swimsuit. One of the most irksome phrases that women’s magazines love to use around this time of year is “beach body,” or “bikini body.” Ladies, we all know that there is no such thing as a “beach body;” all bodies are beautiful in their own unique way, and the beach is a place for relaxation, not judgment. With this in mind, pick out your favorite swimsuit and forget about trying to look a certain way. Whether you’re all about cute prints and patterns, or are more drawn to the structure of a one-piece bathing suit, just wearing one period will make you beach ready.

What are your own summer beach-bag essentials?

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