Beach Day Supplies

My Bean to Bar Mysteries are set on Galveston Island. How could I celebrate that setting without having a list of everything I like to bring for a perfect beach day. (Of course, there’s so much to do at the beach, there’s no way I could cover everyone’s perfect day. Just mine.) Example items are from Amazon, and these are affiliate links.

Sunglasses —
A day at the beach wouldn’t be complete without some sparkly sunglasses!

Sand Bucket and Sand Molds —
A perfect beach day has to include a sand castle. When I was a kid, sand buckets and shovels were always plastic, prone to cracking and breakage. But now they come in silicone, similar to the molds my characters use for creating layers for baked goods.

Sand Sculpting Tools —
This takes sand castle building up a notch. Tools are the right scale to do free-form sand sculpting.

Metal Detector —
You never know what you can find in the sand if you bring a metal detector. (Do check in advance if it is permissible to metal detect in the area you are planning to visit. For example, in Galveston you can’t metal detect in municipal or state parks.)

Boogie Board —
A boogie board can be a fun way to spend time in the waves. Make sure you choose a big enough board to match your height, or it won’t be buoyant enough.

Stunt Kite —
The beach is one of the best places to fly a stunt kite. If you’re just getting started, I recommend one of the sled style kites, because there aren’t any spars to break when you inevitably crash the kite while learning how to use it.

One-Line Kite —
We like to use a basic one-line kite to mark our location on the beach, so that it is easy to see how far we’ve floated in the water, or to give directions for someone meeting us at our chosen spot. These fish designs are just really cute.

Volleyball Set —
I like volleyball because it is suitable for teams of varying skill levels.

Beach Shelter —
This beach shelter is perfect for staying out of the sun as it covers on top and three sides. The front can also zip up for complete sun safety while letting a breeze through the mesh windows.

Beach Lounge Chair —
This lounge chair is specifically designed for the sand with the bars across the front and back. Also perfect for laying down and listening to the waves. Or cracking open a fun beach read!

Large Beach Mat —
Sometimes my husband and I like to picnic at the beach. The worst part is getting sand into everything, so this is on my wish-list for our next outing. This large beach mat is perfect for staking out your place on the beach. It’s easy to clean and dries quickly. You can use either sand or stakes to keep it down.

Water Shoes —
I am a huge fan of water shoes. They protect your feet and give you a little traction when wading into the surf.

Sandals —
A comfortable pair of sandals is a must for making your way off the beach without collecting too much sand.

Foldable Beach Wagon —
A wagon is perfect for a day at the beach. How often do you have to make multiple trips to get all of the toys and food for a full day of fun? This can get you there in one go. I also find it handy for schlepping boxes of books to set up for in person events.

Cooler —
You have to have a cooler for a beach picnic, or just for drinks. (Staying hydrated in the sun is extremely important.) I like any bag that has multiple carry options, so the fact that this works as a backpack or a tote makes me happy.

Ice Packs —
Don’t forget to put ice packs in the freezer the night before your outing. It’s frustrating to realize the morning of that you forgot.

Beach Towels —
I love that these towels are super-soft. (And if you’ve read my books you probably know I’m a huge fan of anything with a sea turtle image on it.) You can find beach towels to express your personality, no matter what colors and styles you prefer.

Reef-Safe Sunscreen —
I tend to burn at the drop of a sunhat, so I’m always going to choose the highest SPF sunscreen I can find (this comes in both a SPF 50 and SPF 70). Some destinations will actually require reef-safe sunscreen. But even if it’s not, it’s important to protect the ocean.

SPF Lip Balm —
Don’t forget to protect your lips when you’re out in the sun. This fun pack includes seven tropical flavors from key lime (my favorite) to watermelon.

Cute Pocket-Sized Fan —
A hand-held fan can make a real difference for summer travel in general. I love that this one has a folding handle so it can be set on a table.

Waterproof Waist Pouch —
Sometimes you need to keep things with you at the beach that shouldn’t get wet. This oversize pouch floats, which can be important should you accidentally drop it. I love that the newer pouches allow you to use screens through the plastic. (My phone is waterproof, but I don’t want to take it out and risk dropping it if I don’t have to.)

Waterproof Bags (Multiple Sizes) —
Having a couple of sizes of waterproof bags on hand makes it easy to keep things organized in my beach bag.

Wet Bags —
It’s also handy to have bags on hand specifically made for wet clothes, swimsuits and towels. I love the tropical print on these!

Reusable Nylon Grocery Bags –
This is my favorite bag set. They’re bigger than they look, and super lightweight. Plus the floral design just makes me happy.

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