Our family LOVES the beach! Since we live in northern Michigan where in a bad year you might get only 5 good beach days, we have learned to be prepared to take advantage of all five of those days!
1. A good bag.
Everyone has a different definition of what a good bag is. I adore my Large Organizing Bag from thirty-
one. It’s huge and has a hard rimmed top so that it doesn’t fall in on itself.
2. Beach Towels.
I love the newer super plush, super-sized towels, but no one else in my family seems to care. Since my
kiddos are so skinny and the water still has ice floating in it in July, (kidding! Sort of.) I buy the oversized
warm ones anyway.
3. A zippered pouch or bag.
My mother-in-law collects clear plastic zippered bags. While I don’t go so far as to collect them, I LOVE
this sturdy zippered pouch for corralling all the loose ends in our giant beach tote.
Typically, I’m all about my kiddos getting as much sun as they can. I am not, however, a fan of
sunburns. Have some sort of sunscreen or sunblock. If you are thinking of looking for something more
natural, check out kitchen stewardship–she tested over 40 different sunscreens & sunblocks.
5. Aloe or cooling gel.
If we have a long day at the beach, I enevitably miss a spot or forget to reapply. Having a cooling gel of
some sort is always handy.
6. Baby powder.
My secret weapon. Baby powder gets rid of sand stuck in every crevice with ease! I’m amazed how
much sand gets stuck in swim diapers; it works to get sand out from between your toes, too.
Even if I’m reading a book, sunglasses are essential for me.
8. Swim gear.
My kids and I all use water shoes & swim goggles. I hate feeling slimy stuff between my toes! Some
people might include nose plugs or ear plugs as well.
9. Cover up.
To help stay warm and cover up some, my girls and I all have a swim cover up. I opt for a sarong which
can be tied many ways and my girls have terry robes.
10. Hair Care.
I always pack a sun protectant/detangler as well as a comb. I like the California Baby brand sold at
These are always in our beach bag, whether hubby and I take the kids or not. Another thing I didn’t
include was the swimsuit. Not everyone has a half dozen (one for every warm day in MI :D). We prefer
to have one with us, just in case, at all times. Living on Lake Michigan provides many spur-of-the-
moment opportunities for swimming! If you have a baby, don’t forget to pack extra swim diapers and
I have a printable packing list on Scribd. You can also download the luggage tag version of the beach
packing list! Cut it out and fold it on the line. We put ours in a heat-sealed luggage tag size laminating
pouch (2.5in x 4.25in).
What are your must have beach bag essentials?
Jen is a Catholic wife & mother to two beautiful little girls. Always learning, she likes to help women by sharing her knowledge in attempt to make things easier. You can find Jen writing about Catholicism, kids and cleaning at Happy Little Homemaker.