Even though we have the luxury of living just a short drive away from the beach, sometimes the thought of schlepping all the necessary gear there and back makes the idea less appealing. When you pack the right items, though, a day at the beach becomes more fun and less of a chore. Here are six tried-and-true essentials that will earn their spot in your beach bag—plus one you’ll want to add to your arsenal right away.
1) A facial mist rehydrates and refreshes your skin throughout the heat of the day or if you have to stop somewhere on the way home and need a little pick-me-up.
2) How cute is this sunny little beach radio? Tuck your MP3 player inside, and not only does it play your favorite beachy playlist, it’s water-resistant and protects it from H2O, salt and sand, too.
3) Turkish towels are the absolute best for the beach, particularly when it’s too warm to even think about wrapping up in a thick, fluffy towel. They’re eco-friendly, colorful, absorbent and lightweight—and if that wasn’t enough, they can also do double duty as a sarong or tablecloth for an impromptu beach picnic.
4) If you haven’t already added the Coolest on your perfect-tailgate wish list, you will soon. This all-in-one cooler/blender/phone charger/flashlight/music player is pretty much all you need for a day at the beach. (Just add sand and a view, and you’re set.) You can’t get your hands on one just yet, but you can preorder one via its Kickstarter campaign, which raised way beyond its initial goal to the tune of $7 million.
5) Of course, sunscreen is a given, but applying it when the formula is thick or greasy can be pretty gross. This SPF 70 sunscreen spray by Sun Bum applies in seconds and is ultra sheer, ultra dry and enriched with vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals.
6) Trying to dig your phone, keys and money from the depths of your beach bag is a total pain. Keep your essentials safe and handy in a little zipper pouch like this one from Lilly Pulitzer—its cheery bright print makes it easy to spot quickly among your other gear, too.
7) Obviously, staying hydrated during a day in the sun is super important, and chances are, you’ll be more apt to remember to keep sipping if you have a water bottle you like nearby. Glass bkr bottles are lightweight and don’t leak, so you don’t have to worry about spills when you toss them into your beach bag. Their silicone sleeves come in plenty of colors, and a portion of each bottle’s proceeds benefits the Obakki Foundation, which drills and monitors wells in Africa.