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The last thing you want to happen when you get to the beach is to realise you’ve left a beach essential at home. So when you are planning what to take to the beach, use this guide to make sure you have everything you need for a blissfully relaxing day in the sun!

My problem as a solo traveller is often deciding what to take to the beach – do I take my camera and get some nice shots of the beach sunset? Or do I go without any valuables so that I can swim in peace knowing my valuables aren’t at risk of being stolen?

what to take to the Beach - picture of flip flops sunglasses sun hat

Fortunately, I have discovered a few brilliant ideas to solve this dilemma which I will share with you today. They make deciding what to take to the beach MUCH easier!

No time to read it now? No worries, pin it for later!

Beach packing list pin

So here is my list of things you need for the beach to have a perfect summers day.

What to take to the beach – your beach packing list

Practical things you need to take to the beach

A sand-free, quick-dry, antibacterial beach towel.

Hands up who seems to always get sand absolutely everywhere?

Yep, me too.

However, one thing that helps me limit the damage is to use a sand-free beach towel. One quick shake and the sand is gone meaning that my beach bag stays sand free at the end of the day.

When choosing a beach towel, make sure you get one which is quick-dry and antibacterial specially if you are travelling between places and need to pack your towel away each night.

These days there are some really nice beach towels that are practically fashion statements as well as functional items.

Here are just a few you can choose between;

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Reef safe sunscreen

So much of the world’s coral has been damaged and discoloured over the past few decades that we should all be trying to limit the damage we do to our environment.

Sunscreen is one of the things which is damaging our marine coral but luckily there is an alternative – reef-safe sunscreen.

Make sure you put this on your beach packing list!

If you plan to be doing a lot of swimming in the sea, make sure you use this sunscreen to help protect our planet. You can keep your other sun screen for days around the pool instead.

Plenty of water

Did you know on an average day, we should be consuming 2 litres of water a day? When you go to the beach, you are more likely to get dehydrated so you need to drink more than this – closer to 3-4 litres.

Therefore when planning what to take to the beach, make sure plenty of water is on the list!

Save money and help the environment but getting a reusable water bottle with a filter so that you can fill it up from any source (except the sea) safely.

A swimsuit

Putting a swimsuit on your beach packing list goes without saying really! You’re going to want a dip in that inviting water, especially on a hot day! Here are a few of my swimsuit picks;

A hat

Avoid heat stroke and don’t forget to pack a sun hat!

A beach cover-up

Take a beach cover-up or sarong for nipping to a beach bar or to cover up in a conservative country.

Things to take to the beach for a fun/relaxing day

A kindle

I love my kindle on holiday. Now they are waterproof making them even more perfect to take to the beach!

You can load them up with a variety of books and magazines before your holiday and pick and choose what you fancy when you are there.

They are also anti-glare so you can read them even in bright sun light unlike other devices like Ipads.


Enjoy some music whilst you are relaxing on the beach – don’t forget to pack some headphones. I usually recommend noise-cancelling headphones which are also perfect on the flight when your neighbour is snoring loudly in your ear!

A snorkel set

If you plan to do a lot of snorkelling on holiday, it often makes more sense to bring your own set with you so put these on your beach packing list. Make sure you choose anti-fog goggles!

A self-inflating beach lounger

Save money by not hiring a beach bed but instead bring your own with a self-inflating lounger (which also helps to keep your stuff sand free!)

What to take to the beach to keep your belongings safe.

As a solo traveller, I often worry about what to do with my belongings when I go for a dip in the sea. Here are some great options to keep your belonging safe!

Anti-theft beach safe

You can now get anti-theft bags which can be locked to an immovable object which are also water resistant and slash proof.

Here are a few options. The latter has better waterproofing and is cheaper but the first is slash-proof preventing anyone from slashing it open with a knife when your back is turned.

A waterproof phone case

Alternatively, you could take your belongings with you when you swim. This only works for smaller items like a phone, money or keys. But since your phone can double as a camera, it may still be a good solution.

You can get waterproof phone cases which also fits your money or keys that attach to your wrist or even around your waist.

A ‘fake’ sunscreen bottle safe

I like this ingenious way of keeping your belongings safe. This portable safe looks like a bottle of sunscreen so thieves will ignore it, helping to keep your belongings like hotel room keys and money safe.

Best Beach Bags for your beach packing list

Now that you have a complete list of what to take to the beach, you need a pretty bag to put it all in.

Preferably it would be sand-free, roomy and pen wide allowing you to see what’s inside.

I prefer lighter colours so that my belongings are easily visible inside.

Also, look for broader shoulder straps for comfort.

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Hopefully you now have a better idea of what to take to the beach to make your beach day hassle free and wonderful!

Bookmark this beach packing list so that you never forget a beach essential ever again!