New England Beach Bag Must Haves

For many July 4th signifies the official start of summer. For those of us in the New England area, it means that our weather is finally warm and sunny, though to our southern visitors, our waters are positively ice-like! Despite the warmer days, Mother Nature can still be quite fickle up in these parts. What this means is hot and cold, rain and shine not only in the same day, but quite possibly within the same hour, especially on the beach. We aren't immune to heat and humidity and my friends from the south are always surprised to learn that it can get quite uncomfortable up this way as well. It's not unheard of to go from freezing to hot, and so layering is essential, especially at the beach. In this age of debit and credit cards we often go for days without having any cash in our wallets. Cash is imperative for trips to the local old fashioned sandwich shoppe or ice cream truck. We happen to be beach-bag packing pros and below are some tips of things to pack for the beach if you're headed to New England this summer.

1. Beach towel

Ok so state the obvious you think. The beach towel not only will serve to dry you off when you get out of the chilly (we prefer to use the term refreshing) water. So that's a given. But when a giant cloud covers the sun and the winds shift, the off-shore breezes can become quite chilly even when you're dry. Especially when you're wet. (Image above from Haute Look)


2. Half-zip, Sweatshirt, Sweater or Windbreaker

You've probably already purchased your spiritwear sweatshirt with initials like ACK or NPT or tony zip and area codes such as 02564, 02840, 02568 in navy, Nantucket Red or fern green. Don't - do NOT - save these to be worn at home. You will need them at the beach. You WILL NEED THEM. If not today. Tomorrow. Or the day after and the day after. (Image Shop Sell Designs) 

3. Sunscreen

Because even all the way up here the sun does shine. And burns. So protect yourself. As one who's had issues with skin cancer, I implore you. And I happen to ADORE the entire ALBA line.

4. Sunglasses

I'd be remiss to mention these although really this is a given amongst my stylish friends and readers.

5. A Lightweight Bathing Suit Cover Up

Whatever your style or price range you'll want a couple on your trip. These will provide a little bit of protection against the sun's strong rays, will provide a thin layer when the clouds cover, are perfectly acceptable to wear when running to the local beachside convenience store, deli or simply to toss on over your suit to take a long stroll along the water's edge. (Image Poshmark)

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6. A Book to lose yourself in

Because what's summer vacation at the beach without a really good book! (I'm reading this and this now!) (Image via Atelier Doré)

7. Plenty of fluids to keep hydrated

Water, seltzer, iced tea... And of course you'll need to keep them chilled. I've talked about my love for Swell water bottles. (Image via Towerhouse)

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8. A Mophie or other cell phone charger

Your cell phone will get a lot of use at the beach. Whether for taking pictures, listening to music, texting, checking emails, or posting on social media. A portable cell phone charger will save you the tragedy of your phone dying when you want it the very most! I love my Mophie and it's come through for me many times when I've been traveling, on the road or unable to charge my phone. (Image via All for You)

9. Lip Balm

Of course this goes without saying - but we often tend to think of protecting our skin but often overlook our lips. Be sure to get one that has plenty of SPF. I love the way Burt's Bees goes on and feel on my lips. They have one with an SPF too.


10. A couple of ziplock bags

I keep my cell phone in a ziplock when not in use to protect it from the elements. Some New England beaches have superfine sand, and the best way to ensure that sand doesn't get into and ruin your phone is to keep it in plastic. This protects from our misty air as well. I also bring a couple of extras for sea glass or shells or whichever is picked up and collected along the way. (Image via Tumblr)

11. Plastic cups

I'm always prepared for an impromptu picnic or evening get together. So I always keep a few cups that can be re-used and washed in my bag. I've been using and loving Govino for a couple of summers now. (Image via Eat Sleep Wear)

12. Bottle opener/cork screw

There's nothing as wonderful as gathering at the beach at sunset with a few friends to have dinner and to watch the sun set. I do tend to purchase screw top bottles (of white or rosé) for the beach, but every once in awhile a bottle comes along that requires a traditional bottle opener. (And of course most of today's specialty beers require them as well.) 

13. Bug Repellant

This is actually critical! Biting flies, gnats and mosquitos can be positively annoying and uncomfortable. Protect yourselves! (Remember Skin So Soft?) There are bug repellants that are available in towel form which take up no space at all and there are bottles - more practical if you're a party of two or more and if you plan on being away for several days a bottle might be more practical. (If you're flying you'll need to be cognizant of the 3 oz rule and check any bags that have your sunscreen and bug repellants in them.)

14. Sun Hat

A large brimmed hat to shield you and your eyes from the harmful rays of the sun. (Image via Dust Jacket Attic)

15. A Great Beach Bag

Of course you need a great beach bag to put it all in! (Image via Springfield)

Is there anything I left off that you'd bring?