What’s in Your Beach Bag?

Take what’s fun, leave what’s important


Whenever Samuel L. Jackson is like, “What’s in your wallet?” I’m like, I don’t know Snakes On a Plane Guy, maybe five dollars? My credit card if I haven’t lost it? An unwrapped piece of gum stuck to a dime and a business card for a Turkish Bathhouse that I found in a cab? It’s not really any of his business and yet he feels compelled to ask so publicly — TV is kind of a huge billboard for Jackson to make sure I didn’t forget my ID.

The better question would be: what’s in your beach bag? That’s where I keep the good stuff. Wallets are for important receipts that you’ll lose anyway, and work bags are for gym clothes. Beach bags, however…beach bags are for portable parties. That and lemonade.

I like to begin by stocking my beach bag with the more practical hoo ha. You got your towels — make sure to choose one big enough to share with that friend who always forgets hers; sunscreen — a thick one for the body because lobster boobs are not cute, a lightweight one for the face because #rudolf is a hashtag wherein we’re laughing at you, not with you; a hat (floppy for the chic-mom look, baseball for the swing-batta-batta look), and a scarf. Why a scarf? Because anytime the opportunity arises for semi-superfluous accessories that appear casual and actually can offer a bit of practicality if you’re smart enough — sarong! papoose! a tree shimmy! — I say, sign me up.

Now let’s get on to the real shit: sunglasses, flip flops (don’t be the d-bag with complicated shoes on the sand), a book, and a roadie. A roadie is a packable & portable drink-drink a la senior prom. But because I’m older and wiser I like a stainless steel bottle that keeps my John Dalys cold for 12 hours even though they’re gone in one. By John Dalys I mean the drink involving vodka, iced tea and lemonade. Not John Daly the person — although, fun fact, you can buy a copy of his Hancocked Sports Illustrated issue from 1995 right here. You’re either welcome or I’m sorry.

Last but not least, in addition to surf spray, aloe vera and this melting popsicle iPhone case that serves zero purpose save for the fact that it’s adorable and visually delicious, I always like to carry a gigantic white quill in my beach bag. That’s right. A quill, because not only do I like to give out my phone number the really old fashioned way (i.e., with a bird’s feather and calligraphed signature), it helps keep the seagulls away. They take one look at that thing and know you’re not messing around with that No Food Sharing Policy.

Am I drunk from the sun as I write this? Perhaps. Maybe it’s all the John Dalys. Either way, I really just need you to tell me: what’s in your beach bag? (And kindly read that question in the voice of one Samuel L. Jackson.)

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  • lipstick if i’m feeling saucy. something to wrap around my head, so i look kind of douchey, but also kind of cool (see default picture), and an eyebrow pencil, because i always sweat mine off! CUTE! oh, and baby or face wipes.

  • Nathalia Kalil

    Hat! Hat! Hat! That’s all I need! lol

    I love the way you write! <3


  • Christina Storm

    Love this!

    The Style Storm
    <3, Christina

  • ee_by_cc

    I’m going to see how many times I can use the term “roadie” in appropriate context this holiday weekend! Great post.


  • Dominique
  • a frisbee for when you’re three drinks in and feeling like an all-american champ
    oh and hand sanitizer for questionable beach bathrooms- sidenote: does every oceanside restroom have that crazy smell?

  • Tonia Rose

    A few of my absolute-must-have’s include an ipod for listening to music when sunbathing, an awesome pair of chic sunglasses (currently obsessed with mirror ones) and naturally various head-wear against the sun 🙂


  • Sully Ann

    Besides all of the already mentioned.. I def bring snacks with me. The beach always makes me so hungry lol. And bobby pins!

    • theseventhsphinx

      Yes! Snacks! And bobby pins! This woman knows how to be prepared.

  • Amélia

    Add a book/magazine and play cards !

    • Amélia

      Though I always end up saying: damn, if only I had brought ..
      So, my comment only applies to a world of unicorns where I dont forget things frequently.

  • hila

    chocolate iphone cover sort of looks like mr hankey. just sayin…

  • You forgot to add the “fish in a clear water bottle” in this post. If we’re not freeing those poor goldfish from captivity WHO IS? #SaveTheFishez


  • Great selection of the beach stuff!


  • tequilamockingbird

    That’s Dennis Haysbert. Not Samuel L. Jackson.

    • pamb

      I think Dennis Haysbert does Allstate insurance. Samuel L. Jackson does the credit cards.

  • Niamh Mulville

    I love your style of writing-it makes a regular post so mich more entertaining! I always bring a good book, sun cream (duh) and Moroccan oil to prevent me from looking like Hermione Granger and help me get those beach waves.
    Niamh xx

  • Niamh Mulville

    I love your style of writing-it makes a regular post so much more entertaining! I always bring a great book, sun cream (duh) and Moroccan oil to help me get those beach waves instead of Hermione Granger’s frizz.
    Niamh xx

  • I really wish I could put Ryan Gosling in my beach bag. Other than that, I love your essentials. The only thing I would also include is sunscreen for your lips and a bright, red or orange lip color. I love wearing fun lip colors to the beach!


  • my homemade body scrub. http://instagram.com/loganhollanddesign
    I usually include honey, oatmeal, something course (coffee grounds, cloves) and oil (olive, coconut).

    Any other ideas? Looking forward to filling up my new pinterest board! http://www.pinterest.com/loganholland1/body-and-bath-homemade/

    I will try the quill next time!

  • suzyd

    Sunscreen, Maui Babe, woven blanket, a towel, sunglasses, a book, a magazine, portable speakers, a sandwich, a bag of chips, a bottle of water, and, most importantly, a bottle filled with my invented cocktail consisting of 3 parts rum, 1 part pineapple juice, and 1 part sprite or similar soda. Sometimes an inner tube in the off chance that I want to inflate something and float around for a while.

  • Elyse

    Yes yes! A book that I’m not embarrassed to read in public and a notebook for all the good ideas the sun is bound to generate. Flask and stunna shades. Another swimsuit in case I get bored with the first one. Cat treats. Adderall. A really pretty lighter. God, beach bags are just the best.

  • Tracy

    Sunscreen SPF 30, a white beach towel and some chips!


  • My essentials include a big hat and sunglasses…. I have a list of all my essentials: http://everydaystarlet.com/2014/06/whats-in-my-glamorous-starlet-beach-bag.html

  • It is really so nice and attractive and too much stylist. Just go with this style and get beautiful comments.

  • Mordecia

    Ay, the fuck, how will everything fit in my beach bag!!!! Amelia, how big is your beach bag?

  • john
  • godmothersupreme

    tissues for the bathroom that never has any when just a quick pee-in-the-ocean is not the question…

  • Jane S

    Try Firefly Sweet Tea vodka with your lemonade – best John Daly evah! And I always bring a clean washcloth with me — perfect for wiping off sunscreen, cleaning sunscreen finger prints off sunglasses, etc. Oh, and lots of cute, plastic lined bags to keep all my stuff from getting covered in sand.

  • Marisa

    How about some cute espadrilles? Or maybe some flash tattoos: http://bit.ly/springbreakbeachbag