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Inside an SI Swimsuit Editor’s Beach Bag

A checklist to keep sunburn and boredom at bay.

Anyone who can spend a full day on the beach without a bag of assorted things to entertain themselves deserves an award. I typically last an hour before boredom and or a burn sets in. That’s why I keep my beach bag packed with essentials and at the ready all summer long.

The Bag 

16 x 9 in copy 2

It's not about the destination, it's about the journey. Or in this case, it’s not about the beach, it's about the bag. Opt for something with a little bit of structure to avoid getting its contents buried in the sand.

SHOP: Anthropologie, Chloé, Anine Bing tote

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The SPF 

16 x 9 in

Many of us were reminded this Memorial Day weekend that the sun’s UV index is back and better than ever. Supergoop body glow works double duty to protect your skin and give it a fabulous glow. Protect your face with dermatologist approved sunscreen by Elta MD. And don’t forget to give your lips some love with Coola’s tinted SPF 30 balm.

SHOP: COOLA, Supergoop!, eltaMD

The Hat

16 x 9 in copy

More is more when it comes to protecting our faces from the sun, so keep a hat handy. I live in this classic kelly green Yankees hat by MoMA whether I’m running errands in the city or lounging in the sand. A cowboy hat is another great protector – Amazon has shockingly great, affordable options. If you are packing light, a crochet bucket hat is the way to go.

SHOP: MoMA, Amazon, Memorial Day.

The Shades 

16 x 9 in copy 3

Don’t get me wrong, working on white sand beaches is a perk of my job, but it comes with its challenges and those include learning that you can burn your eyeballs. An unfortunate experience I’ve encountered more than once, making sunglasses a non-negotiable. There’s lots of hype about protecting our skin, it’s time to give our eyes that same attention. Invest in a polarized pair if you can. 

SHOP: VEHLA, Ray Bans, Lu Goldie

16 x 9 in copy 4

There’s nothing worse than a small beach towel. This one by Business & Pleasure is great because it can be rolled up and secured. It also, geniusly, has a built-in umbrella hole! If you’re not in the mood to shell out money on a luxury towel, bring a spare bed sheet. 

SHOP: Business & Pleasure Co.

The Traveling Spa

16 x 9 in copy 6

Sneak in self-care wherever you can. Hanging at the beach is the perfect opportunity to throw in a hair mask and let it marinate for hours on end. 

SHOP: Crown Affair, OUAI, Casa Clara

 A Show Stopping Cover-Up

A cover-up that works well from beach to bar to BBQ or whatever else you have going on is key. Akoia Swim has super chic standout pieces. Depending on where you are, a sweatshirt might be worth packing so you can last through sunset. 

SHOP: Akoia

Bring the Party

16 x 9 in copy 5

Step one is to choose a beach with a bar. Then, be everyone’s favorite by remembering to bring (and charge) a portable speaker and an easy-to-carry game like paddle board or a volleyball. The Bose Sound Link has been the SI Swimsuit team's go-to for most reliable, lightweight and longest lasting speaker.

SHOP: Sunnylife

Hydration and Sustenance

16 x 9 in copy 5-2

Here’s a duo that should not be forgotten to avoid heat stroke and starvation. Do it deliciously with these healthy goodies.

SHOP: Cure Hydration, Sakara, LARQ.

Reading Materials

Bring a good paperback to get lost in or a pair of headphones to listen to an audiobook. Audiobooks are my favorite way to absorb a self-help or educational text that doesn’t hook me in the same way reading a physical novel does.