12 Must-Have Essentials for Your Beach Vacation

Aside from sunscreen and shades, pack these items for a stress-free sandy escape.

U.S. News & World Report

12 Must-Have Essentials for Your Beach Vacation

Happy family walking along a sandy beach.

From a cutting-edge cooler to a waterproof tote, here are the key products you'll need to be beach-ready this summer.(Getty Images)

With summer in full swing, now is the perfect time to stock up on cool gadgets and gear for your beach vacation. Whether you're planning to drive to the shore or jet off to a sandy locale, these trendy and fun items are perfect for making the most of your summer getaway.

Wireless Headphones

Jaybird X3 Wireless Sport Headphones are sweat-proof and offer a comfortable fit thanks to their memory foam ear tips. What's more, the X3 model offers high-quality sound and an extended eight-hour battery, so you can bring music to the beach without worrying about running low on power.

Tailgating Gear

Start your beach day off the right way with Camerons Tailgating Table, which holds beverages and snacks. With four cup holders and an insulated cooler, the table keeps your drinks cool and in place. What's more, the center mesh basket prevents spilling and the table is easily portable. Plus, the cooler easily folds up into a beach bag and weighs less than 4 pounds, and is reinforced with tension straps on all sides, creating a sturdy, stable surface.

A Waterproof Tote

Plan for a perfect day at the beach with the new Tech Tote from GreatUsefulStuff.com. This tote features a built-in wireless speaker with Bluetooth capabilities, so you can listen to your favorite tunes while you enjoy the outdoors. Plus, it's designed with a clear plastic pocket on its exterior to securely hold a cellphone. With the tote, you can answer calls, check texts and keep your phone protected without having to remove or touch it with wet or sandy hands. And the interior of the bag has plenty of space for your food, beverages and picnic accessories.

A Bluetooth Speaker

For background music on you beach day, bring along the Monster Firecracker Bluetooth Speaker. This compact wireless speaker includes a light, making it a great beach item whether you're planning to hit the shore by day or night. It also features a clip that can be easily attached to backpacks and bags.

A Portable Shower

For daytrippers who don't want their car to look like a sand dune, the RinseKit offers an ideal portable shower for beachgoers to wash off their sandy feet or cool off with a quick shower. The simple, space-efficient hose conveniently attaches to a standard spigot, stores pressurized water inside a small cooler-sized reservoir and sprays high-pressure water whenever and wherever needed without the use of batteries or a motor. Perfect for a road trip, a day at the beach or family camping adventure, the RinseKit helps you stay clean on the fly.

A Functional Beach Towel

A cool beach towel is a must for any summer getaway. Consider investing in the MinxNY BeachTech High Performance Towel, which is fast-drying thanks to microfiber which absorbs more water than a regular cotton terry towel and offers an option with a cellphone pocket.

A Compact Carry-On

Beach vacations shouldn't be headache-prone. To minimize air-travel headaches, pack light. The Safe Passage 800 Carry-On Roller from Orvis is an ideal choice thanks to its perfect sized, lightweight and durable material that makes it easy to pack your swimsuits, goggles and even your snorkeling gear. An uncluttered interior and elastic strap system ensure that your contents stay put, and a side handle makes removing the bag from the overhead bin a breeze.

A Gift for Your Host or Hostess

If you are staying at a guest's house, a thoughtful hostess gift is a travel case set in a sailing-inspired design from the online retailer Rule #5. This summer accessory is a good fit for all water lovers. Another idea if you are planning to stay for weeklong family trip is the Nutri Ninja Nutri Bowl DUO. This appliance can help your host or hostess whip up delicious and healthy snacks, summer cocktails, meals, appetizers and treats. Even better, you and yours will save money on smoothies, frozen cocktails and breakfast shakes during your beach break.

A Portable Camp Chair

A camp chair can serve many purposes on a beach vacation. Relax in the comfortable Field & Stream Stars & Stripes Chair. This collapsible chair features two beverage holders and mesh storage bag, allowing for easy transportation and added functionality.

A Beach Organizer

To protect electronics and other valuables on the beach, consider the TechAway Roll, an organizer to throw in a beach bag and keep track of charging cords, small electronic devices and other tech accessories. Whether you're heading out for a tropical weekend getaway or a road trip, this lightweight and durable tri-fold bag has three different sized zipped compartments designed to hold charging cords, eiPads, tablets, e-readers, kindles, music players and wearable tech, along with sunglasses and other accessories.

A Safeguard for Your Personal Items

If you're planning on taking a walk on the beach, protect your personal items and don the Walkapocket, a wearable belted accessory that holds all sizes of phones and other essentials to be hands-free at the beach. With the Walkapocket, you can easily bring money for ice cream, your phone and your keys without worrying about your losing your valuables.

A Beach Chair

A key item to prevent overexposure to harmful UV rays is the GCI Big Surf with SunShade, a four-position aluminum beach chair that features the unique SunShade, an adjustable shade that rotates 270 degrees and can easily lay flat. To maximize sun protection, the shade features UPF 50 fabric. What's more, the comfortable beach chair also has a hidden feature built into the lower frame: a table with a beverage holder. Even better, the chair folds flat for storage and has a convenient carry handle that's perfect for portability.


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Family playing with a beach ball by the sea.

Erica Lamberg, Contributor

Erica Lamberg has contributed to U.S. News & World Report since 2015. In addition, she has ...  Read more

About En Route

Practical advice on the art of traveling smarter with tips, tricks and intel from En Route's panel of experts.

Contributors have experience in areas ranging from family travel, adventure travel, experiential travel and budget travel to hotels, cruises and travel rewards and include Amy Whitley, Claire Volkman, Holly Johnson, Marsha Dubrow, Lyn Mettler, Sery Kim, Kyle McCarthy, Erica Lamberg, Jess Moss, Sheryl Nance-Nash, Sherry Laskin, Katie Jackson, Erin Gifford, Roger Sands, Steve Larese, Gwen Pratesi, Erin Block, Dave Parfitt, Kacey Mya, Kimberly Wilson, Susan Portnoy, Donna Tabbert Long and Kitty Bean Yancey.

Edited by Liz Weiss.

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