4 Ways to Pack a Perfectly Organized Beach Bag


Guest blog by Kacey Mya, the blogger behind The Drifter Collective

Getting the family to the beach is a mission in and of itself. You’ve packed the bags, filled the car and gotten everyone to your rental for the week. But that’s just the beginning.

Once you’re at the beach, you must make sure the bag you’ll carry with you has all the under-the-sun essentials you and your family will need throughout the day. As such, you have to pack it thoughtfully — not only do you want to make sure you have everything, but that you can easily locate what you need throughout the day.

So, start by laying out everything you think you might need in your beach bag. Then, pack it with our four best tips.

What Does Every Beach Bag Need?

You probably have an idea of what you want to bring to the beach with you already. But when it comes to must-haves, don’t forget the following.

  • Sunscreen: The American Academy of Dermatology suggests you choose a broad-spectrum variety that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Make sure you select a brand with a sun protection factor of at least 30. And, if you plan to jump into the sea, find a water-resistant formula.
  • Towels: Once again, these are an obvious must-have. Opt for a thicker terrycloth towel to soak up water and dry you off faster.
  • Protective accessories: Everyone’s beach look will be different. Whether you prefer to wear sunglasses, a sun hat, a coverup or all three, make sure you pack all the accessories you and your family need to stay comfortable under the sun.
  • First-aid kit: As a parent, you must go to the beach prepared. As such, any beach packing list should always include a first-aid kit in case of the unexpected. Some will include bug spray, too, depending on the environment.

Of course, every family’s list of essentials will differ. For instance, you might want to carry along beach furniture, such as chairs or umbrellas, if you’re spending all day by the shore.

How Do I Pack It?

Now that you know what needs to fit into your bag, here are some tips for ensuring it all fits.

1. Roll Towels and Clothes

Firstly, you don’t want to fold your towels into squares and throw them in the bag. If you do, you’ll quickly run out of space for everything else you need to fit. So, fold the towels in half once vertically to create a long rectangle. Then, roll them into cylinders you can place in a corner of your bag, leaving the rest of it open for other essential items. If you bring extra clothes to the beach, do the same with them to maximize space.

2. Place Bigger Must-Haves Next

Now that you have your towels and clothes in place, you have to smartly organize the rest of your bag to fit everything else. So, round up all your larger items now. Perhaps you’ve picked up one of the summer’s best beach reads, or you’ve stocked up on magazines to browse by the beach. Slide them into the bag now, along with any children’s toys that will take up a lot of square footage. Don’t forget that if your kids want to bring buckets, shovels, etc., the bucket itself can be a beach bag — let the kids carry their buckets filled with all their other toys. This tactic will give you more space to work with inside your bag, too.

3. Then, Durable, Smaller Items

You can probably already see the pockets of space where you can slide your small-but-essential items now. Tubes of sunscreen, goggles, lip balm, reusable water bottles and more can slip in just about anywhere. And you don’t have to worry about them getting jostled around or covered in sand, so put them wherever there’s room.

4. Protect Important Pieces from the Sand and Sun

Finally, you’ll probably have your cell phone and perhaps a camera with you on the beach, as well as some cash, credit cards, headphones, etc. Some of these items are easy to lose, so you don’t want to toss them into your beach bag with no plan. In a similar vein, too much sand or sun exposure can ruin your electronics.

So, protect the final items you place in the bag. At the very least, toss your wallet into a Ziploc bag to keep it dry and dirt-free. If you plan to spend lots of time at the beach this summer, you can invest in a waterproof phone case, although the plastic bag trick would work here, too. No matter how you protect your pieces, make sure you keep them in the shade so they don’t sustain any heat-related damage, either.

Have It All

With proper planning and packing tactics, you can easily pack your beach bag and ensure you have everything within reach. So, get started — write out your must-have checklist, fold everything wisely, then slip it all into place. With that, you’re ready to go, and you’ll have everything you need for a perfect day at the beach.

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