By Nikhita Mahtani

Published on June 15, 2018

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Photography by TIANYI MA VIA UNSPLASH

It’s finally summer! After what felt like the coldest and longest winter of all time, it’s time for you to finally break out of your bad weather rut and get outside. Whether you had the foresight to plan a trip with your girlfriends to hang by the pool all day or you’re still figuring out where to go (in which case, we have some suggestions for you)—chances are, packing for these kinds of trips is the real struggle here.

Ahead, find the items you need to pack for your (long-awaited) beach vacation.

Sunscreen

A good sunscreen is a must to protect from the damaging rays of the sun—and we recommend mineral ones, since they have the least amount of toxins. Check out our favorite options here.

Hat

But just sunscreen won’t cut it: You’ll need a floppy hat to cover your face (and accessorize) as well—Target has some super affordable ones.

Sunglasses

Finding the right pair of sunglasses can be hard, as different styles work for different people, depending on your face shape. Honestly, though? We suggest forgetting the rules, and just picking an option that you personally love.

Cooler

You really don’t want to wind up at the beach with room temperature beverages and ruined snacks, so make sure you store them in an airtight cooler—these ones are actually cute.

Chairs

You need some chairs for relaxing on the beach—and make sure they’re easily portable, so you’re not dragging them over the sand. Thankfully, these days, there are designs to choose from for every aesthetic.

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Illustration by PHUONG NGUYEN

Snacks

Being hangry is no fun, so stock up on some fresh, filling snacks, like granola bars, chocolate bars, chips, nuts, and fruits and veggies.

Drinks

Both hydrating and alcoholic, please. We can’t help but suggest some of our favorite rosės, canned beverages, and some plain old H2O, of course.

Towel

With so many incredible options to choose from, it’s not the season to settle for your faded old towel from summer camp. Ideal for sitting on or to wipe the sand off your face, an easy-to-clean beach towel is a must.

Swimsuit

You don’t need to spend a fortune on a cute swimsuit… and you don’t need to blindly follow the trends, either. Just pick the one you feel completely comfortable in.

Beach bag

Okay, if you’re going to be carrying all this stuff, you need somewhere to put it all. Grab a huge beach bag, dump everything inside, and don’t think twice.

Float

We already called this CB2 rainbow number the pool float of the summer, so better get your hands on it, ASAP.

Speakers

Clever, portable speakers—we’re seriously obsessed with the Eneby, Ikea’s new technology offering—will let you blast your jams all you want.

Flip flops

Make sure you get some with a rubber sole, so you can easily walk across hot sand unscathed.

Cover up

When the sun goes down and the weather starts getting a bit breezy, you’ll be glad you brought a cute cover up with you.

Lip balm

Lip balm is essential for dry, parched lips in the summertime—but do you know what you’re actually putting on your lips? We do, and you can read all about it.

Water bottle

Stay hydrated! Sweat and the sun can cause you to lose water at an abnormally fast rate. Check out our fave water bottles here.

See more summer stories:

Everything You Need for Summer, All for $29
We’re Calling It: This Is the Color of Summer
How to Travel for Free This Summer

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