What to Bring When Going to the Beach

10 Must Haves For the Perfect Beach Day

The beach is really my happy place. NYC beaches aren’t the cleanest and don’t have the clearest water, but I still don’t mind taking a ride on the subway to walk on the Coney Island Boardwalk or lay on the sand at Jones Beach. Even on vacation, I try my best to make a beach day if I’m by the coast. I even paid for a ride through Viator when visiting Isla Baru on my solo trip to Cartagena. Whether you’re in or out of the US, here’s a beach trip checklist that includes 10 must-have items to bring to the beach.


Sunscreen is one of the most important things to take to the beach. It doesn’t matter what race you are, no one is immune to skin cancer or skin damage from exposure to Ultraviolet rays.  You should at minimum use a facial moisturizer and apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater. It is recommended that you apply and reapply at least every two hours. To reduce the chances of sunburn, try scheduling time outside before 10 AM or after 3 PM. Here are a few recommended products.

Sun Hat

Another alternative to protecting yourself from the UV rays is a wearing sun hat. I don’t even know why I took so long to buy my sunhat, but I’m always wearing it on a sunny day.

Beach Day Essentials - Sunhat


One of the best parts of going to the beach for me is purchasing swimwear. Mix it up and buy a combination of one-pieces, bikinis, monokinis, and tankinis. I’ve narrowed down my top two stores for buying new swimwear to Old Navy and Target because both stores have cute and affordable swimsuit options for all shapes and sizes. Since going to Curacao, I’ve become braver at wearing a two-piece.

Cover Up

Cover-ups aren’t necessary, but they do help if you’re not very comfortable wearing a swimsuit, when you’re transitioning from the beach to going to a nearby area for eating and drinking or when the temperature drops. You can wear something like shorts, rompers, linen pants, a sarong, or a pullover in a lightweight material.


Just like playing mas, you don’t have to wear expensive sunglasses to the beach especially since they can get lost or washed away.

Flip Flops or Sandals

No need for shoes or sneakers. Get some cute flip-flops or sandals to easily remove sand from your feet.

Beach Towels and Blankets

If you plan on doing more than walking along the shore, bring an old blanket and some beach towels to dry off.

Tote Bag

A durable, lightweight tote bag is needed to carry all of the things you bring to the beach. You can also carry along a plastic bag to separate the wet and dry items.


Bring along some water and light bites for the road or if you plan on staying for a few hours. It saves money in the long run. Beach days with family in Trinidad sometimes include something light like cheese paste sandwiches or something heavy like bake and shark. If I’m with friends in NYC, we’ll bring chips and dip or a pasta salad.


Bring along a book to read, a device with a reading app, or some music to get through the day. I have a portable speaker and highly recommend a sound dock that is splash proof like this one from iHome.

10 Must Haves For the Perfect Beach Day

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What are some of your beach day must haves?

18 thoughts on “What to Bring When Going to the Beach

  1. Felicia says:

    Great post! I’m so glad you pointed out that we all need to protect ourselves from the sun. Unfortunately, far too many black people believe they are immune to the sun’s damaging affects.

  2. Christine @MomsNCharge says:

    These essentials are all spot on. After winning the Wakawaka solar portable charger recently, it’s become my must-have when out at the beach or waterpark (because snapchat and SM altogether drain my battery). And I love me a good sunhat, that one looks cute on you 🙂

  3. Nay says:

    Good list. I completely agree with the sun screen. It is vital and adding a hat is a good touch to protective yourself while still being stylish.

  4. Mimi Green says:

    Great list, I’m all about snacks. I usually bring a magazine for entertainment. If I have the kids probably some water toys.
    I’ve not been to beach this season.

  5. Janelle says:

    Yea, i agree. Honestly never thought about taking “entertainment” with me though. Because I’d be to busy laying around or walking my feet in the sand. That is my must take next time. Thanks lady!!

  6. Denishia says:

    Love this! You definitely covered all of what you would need for a great day at the beach. I definitely hope to get some time at the ocean this summer as well!

  7. Marsha says:

    I agree to all of those must haves! You nailed it! That reminds me that I need to buy a new great sun hat! I guess the only thing I would add for sun bathers like myself is a good sunscreen 🙂

  8. Tia says:

    You covered all of my beach day must haves. I think sunglasses are the most important thing for me. And of course sunscreen.

  9. TiffanyArlene says:

    I just came back from Coney Island and almost forgot 50% of the stuff on this list. Thank you, I’ll definitely be using this before my next beach day.

  10. Eva says:

    I am happiest when I remember my sun hat, shades, and my book! My husband always falls asleep, so a book keeps me occupied.

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