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Best Beach Accessories for A Sunny Getaway

Best Beach Accessories for A Sunny Getaway

When you think of going to the beach or a pool, a bathing suit is probably the first thing that comes to mind. And yes, we all know a swimsuit is obviously an important item to remember when you’re packing for a vacation near the water. But there are a lot of other things to bring along to keep you organized, tidy, safe and ready for fun in the sun. Here are the must-have beach accessories to help you get the most out of your beach or pool time.

Pink Swim Cover Up with White One Piece
Striped Beach Towel with Bamboo Half-Circle Ark Bag
Vera Bradley Clear Toucan Pineapple Beach Tote  Beach Tote

1. Beach Towel or Mat

A beach towel is definitely something you’ll want to have for your trip to the beach or pool. It will dry you and the kids off after a swim, you can lie on it to take some sun, drape it over you to protect yourself from said sun, or spread it out to lie on it or to serve as a picnic blanket, etc. It’s also a great way to show off some personality.

Cotton is a good fabric for beach towels, or choose microfiber for a smooth surface that shakes the sand off easily and dries quickly.

Alternatives to the traditional beach towel are scarves and Turkish towels, both of which can do double duty as fashionable clothing and sarong-style cover-up wraps. 

2. Beach Tote

You’ll most certainly bring the usual truckload of stuff with you, so you’ll need a beach tote. Look for one that’s fashionable AND functional. Canvas and straw bags are the most classic versions, while neoprene offers the advantage of being waterproof, and mesh is the most breathable fabric (but not good if you’re carrying pens or things that can slip through small holes). Are you a light packer for the pool or beach? Do you like to bring along lots of accessories? Do you have children with you? Think about what items you’ll want to carry, and choose a bag based on that.

3. Insulated Bag

Cold drinks and yummy snacks are a must for any good beach or pool day, and having an insulated bag means you can bring your own food and drinks rather than having to buy them at your destination. There are lots of great options for insulated bags now, including backpack versions, which make these bags especially easy to carry – even with lots of other items (chairs, beach tote, etc.) in tow.

4. Sunglasses

No list of best beach accessories is complete without sunglasses. You don’t want to be squinting all day long, or doing damage to your eyes, so be sure you have a pair of sunglasses you love and that suit your face well. When shopping for shades, look for a pair with polarized lenses so you can block the UVA and UVB rays to help keep your eyes from getting any sun damage.

5. Beach Hat

Go the extra mile to protect your eyes and the delicate skin on your face by donning a beach hat. In addition to keeping the sun’s harmful effects at bay, a beach hat is also a nice fashion statement. When choosing a hat, think about what style and how much sun coverage you desire. The wider the brim, the more you’ll shade your face. Many fishing hats even come with flaps to cover the neck. A straw hat is a classic look, canvas is durable, cloth is comfortable, and both microfiber and mesh hats are breathable (but the latter might let more sun in).

6. Sunscreen

When buying sunscreen, if possible opt for a non-nano zinc oxide- or titanium dioxide-based sunscreen to both protect your skin and not harm marine life with toxins. I generally apply sunscreen before leaving for the pool or beach to avoid having to apply it there, and then I double check to make sure my sunscreen is packed before I head out, so that I can reapply as needed. Tip: Set the timer on your phone to remind you when to reapply, so that you avoid sunburn.

7. Cover-up

Cover-ups are a terrific way to look fashionable at the beach or pool, and keep those rays at bay while doing so. Look for a cover-up that’s comfortable, offers sufficient skin coverage (so you can wear it into a store or restaurant if needed), and is easy to put on and take off quickly so you can transition seamlessly in and out of it. Something to keep in mind: If you choose a neutral solid color for the cover-up, it’s likely to match several bathing suits. This is great if you’re someone who likes to rotate through various bathing suits.

8. Entertainment Options

You certainly don’t want to get bored at the beach or pool. Don’t forget things like a good book or magazine, a waterproof portable speaker, water recreation toys, beach games (like bocce ball) and sand toys to enjoy.

With a little prep and the right tools, you won’t mind a little sand in your car on the way back from your trip to the beach.

Don’t miss the brand new Zulily x Sunshine Swing collection of beachwear designed by kids, for kids.

About The Author

Anna Keller

Anna Keller, creator of, blogs about parenting, pregnancy, health & wellness, fashion, and more. Anna’s priority in all that she does – whether it’s with her family and friends, through her writing for brands such as Beyond Yoga or for the blog Triad Moms on Main, during her work as a Pure Barre teacher, or as a Beauty counter consultant – is connection. After all, from connection comes understanding, purpose, and joy. She lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with her husband, Kevin, their 5-year-old daughter, Maggie, and their 18-month-old son, Vance.

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