I don’t know if it’s because a lot of you are planning a vacation, if you are just sick of the snow and dreaming of beach days, or if you are super organized and already planning for this summer, but I have been getting a lot of questions about our beach “must-haves”.
Nearly a decade of living in sunny locations has not only given me some premature wrinkles and some sunspots. It has also given me a list of “approved” beach gear, that I know can withstand the sun and two busy kids. We’ve worked our way through several different brands and now feel very happy with the gear we have and the brands we trust.
If you check out our Sponsors page you will see that many of these brands are on there. After years of using and testing these products, we’ve stuck with and collaborated with what we believe are the best.
WHAT’S IN THE BEACH BAG
To be able to properly pack all the beach gear that our family of four could need for a beach day, we need to start with a giant beach bag. It may seem excessive to some, but everything fits in there, and it’s totally BEACHY. We actually have two of these, so I can alternate.
Any time you see us at the beach, I will have this beach bag stuffed with all of the below Must-Have items.
We have gone through so many types of water bottles trying to find the right ones for us. The glass ones are too heavy and I’m always scared of breaking them, the plastic ones only last so long, and no one wants to be wasting money (and the environment) on single-use bottles of water! Especially when that money could be better used at the beach bar! I usually end up with our 4 Zoku water bottles in my bag. One for each person to stay hydrated. They are stainless steel and insulated, keeping our water cool even in the hot sun.
This is the stuff the whole family uses on their bodies. It smells great, protects well, is sold everywhere, and doesn’t leave you sticky or oily. It’s everything you want in a sunscreen. We’ve been working with this company since the girls were tiny, and continue to put our skin care trust in their hands. They are also making all sorts of fun kids products, hair products, and a mineral sunscreen line.
We bring it all, all the time. How do you think we get all those beautiful pictures on Facebook and Instagram, it’s because our camera is ALWAYS by our sides. Check out the full array of photography gear we use that is perfect for the traveling family.
Don’t forget snacks!!! Fig bars, baby carrots, anything. If your kids are anything like our Ellia, if you forget the snacks you will not hear the end of it! This kid is always asking for food!
Ball caps for everyone. After a couple of hours in the sun you will be thankful you remembered them. Keep your face protected from the sun and your head out of the blazing heat.
What’s the benefit to a turkish towel? THEY PACK UP SMALL! I carry two of them in my bag, to sit on and dry everyone off when we’re done on the beach. I admittedly have a slight obsession with these things.
WHAT I PACK FOR “HER”
We have sunglasses to go with every outfit! Seriously. Peppers make affordable eyewear that are polarized and have a stellar warranty.
Another one of my obsessions. Pitusa dresses. I have so many of them and just can’t stop. Check out their website, you will see why!
My Bathing Suits
I have been through a so many swimsuit brands. The cheap ones, the pricier ones, the design ones, in search of the best ones that can survive our sunny lifestyle. The two brands I have been gravitating towards are Honubelle and B.Swim. Both brands have a ton of options that I love to mix and match. Honubelle are cheeky and sporty (ie it will stay where it belongs). And B.Swim’s have just the right amount of sexy without going overboard for my “mom-bod comfort level”.
WHAT I PACK FOR “HIM”
When Eben is on a beach he is most likely NOT sitting still. For him we have a sunscreen that will stick. Swox was made with surfers in mind. It is made to stay on your face, in and out of the water. It’s the best stuff we have found that will not wash away, and it completely rubs in, not leaving his face all white like some other zincs out there.
He has just as many sunglasses as me! Actually I think the girls’ have the most out of all of us!
In our opinion these are the best board shorts. The look great on him, they are comfy, and they dry off super quick. Most of their styles are made to work both on and off the beach, meaning he wears them around town all the time.
He needs to be kept entertained, otherwise Eben gets really bored at the beach. So I always have a frisbee in the beach bag. When the kids are happily playing we jump up and throw this around for a while.
WHAT I PACK FOR THE KIDS
A sister company to Peppers sunglasses (the brand Eben and I wear), Chilis make super cute polarized kids glasses. Because our kids deserve good sunglasses too.
We discovered a few years ago, thanks to an unfortunately breakout on Arias’ face, that our girls have sensitive facial skin and need a sunscreen that is not full of chemicals to keep them protected. Since we loved Sunbum so much, we decided to try their Babybum. It’s a winner.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed but our girls are the best dressed kids in the ocean! I am sometimes slightly jealous. With nine years of having our babies in the sun, we’ve narrowed it down to these two awesome companies.
This is swimwear that will get your kids noticed. For real. As soon as I see another kid in this swimwear I immediately know it’s SUNUVA. They are that noticeable. Every season they seem to come out with a line that is cuter than the last. What started as just swimwear has developed into beachwear as well, those cute dresses our girls are always wearing, yep, they’re from them too.
This swimwear is the most durable we have come across. Never thought with our lifestyle that we could manage “hand-me-down” bathing suits because most brands die within a few months of our girls using them, but Snapperrock’s swimwear lasts. So many of their items can be mixed and matched to make sure your kid has the best sun protection. And it is completely adorable, our girls are always excited to wear their stuff.
I don’t kAs if my love for Pitusa dresses wasn’t enough. They upped their game and started making their adorable dresses in kids sizes. Now if only I could get them to make their kids’ beach towel capes in adult size!
I don’t keep these in my beach bag per se, but they are in our beach essentials. Beach toys and boogie boards are what keep them entertained. Yes our girls could do just fine without any of this stuff, and sometimes they do, but the benefit of bringing it all is that it could mean a few extra minutes of them entertaining themselves and loving their beach time. So it’s a win win. They’re happy, I’m happy.