Packing your beach bag seems simple, right? Right! Except sometimes we don’t make the most of the space and end up with a cluttered mess—unable to find what you need, when you need it. That leads to hauling unnecessary beach items back and forth from your beach vacation rental to the sand every day. Don’t let that happen! Instead, give a little forethought and organization to your beach bag and reap the benefits. Here’s how to make the most of the space in your beach bag. Do you do any of these?
Choose the Right Beach Bag
This is a very personal decision, but it’s the first one you need to make before you even start packing. The type of bag you choose totally depends on your needs and differs when it’s a solo beach goer versus a family beach day. Choose wisely and consider the essentials of what your beach bag should have.
Here are a beach bag few suggestions:
- Make sure your beach bag is big enough.
- Choose one that has a few separate compartments.
- Pick a bag that is comfortable to carry, doesn’t hurt your shoulders or back, and doesn’t slip off easily.
Roll Up Your Towels and Clothes
Just like packing a suitcase or carry-on, you want to conserve as much space as possible. You can do that by rolling up your beach towels and/or blanket as well as your beach clothing. Roll towels as tightly as you can to minimize the size and maximize the space saving potential in your beach bag. Tuck your towels into your bag vertically for quick and easy access. One towel per person is the standard, but if you’re packing for the family, designate a separate beach bag (preferable a lightweight one you can sling onto your shoulders or wear on your back easily) just for the towels. The other option is for each person in your family to bring their own towel and be responsible for packing and maintaining their own beach bag. Just make sure you have them read this article!
Heavy Items on the Bottom
It makes sense to place your heavier beach items on the bottom of your bag. Consider placing things like your book, water bottle and sunscreen in your bag first, then adding in the lighter, more delicate items like sunglasses, hat and snacks on top to avoid crushing. That way, you don’t have to move the heavier, more awkward items around every time you dig into your bag to retrieve something.
Use Your Compartments
If your beach bag has separate compartments, this is an advantage. Use them! Put smaller, harder to find items in zippered pockets for easy retrieval instead of trying to dig for them when they fall to the bottom of your bag. Small things like lip balm, your spending money and your phone are good to keep in a separate place in your bag. You also want to keep messy items contained. Things like sunscreen, lotion, conditioner or other cosmetics can get everything else greasy from contact. Keep them separated and they won’t spill over onto your other items or leave greasy spots on your favorite beach read or streak marks on your phone.
Protect Your Valuables
You don’t want your spending money, phone, keys and other valuables to be hanging out of your beach bag, getting sand covered or exposed to saltwater, or being too obvious to passersby. Protect your valuables by putting them in a discreet place, preferably in a waterproof compartment, case or bag then tucked away in a zippered compartment. You just never know what can happen accidentally or intentionally, so it’s best to be proactive and mindful. Some people like to disguise their cash in an empty sunscreen or lotion container, or roll it up and tuck it into a an empty chapstick tube. Those are good options as long as you don’t forget that they’re in there and accidentally misplace or discard them.
Pack Only Beach Essentials
This is the best way to save space in your beach bag. Don’t bring what you don’t need. So what are the beach essentials? Well again, that varies depending on personal preference and who’s coming with you to the beach (kids and pets have their unique set of essentials), but there are some things most beach goers can all agree upon. You don’t want a cluttered bag or one that’s to heavy and uncomfortable to carry each and every day of your beach vacation to and from the beach. Choose selectively and opt for things that you know you will use rather than all the things you think you might use.
Here’s a short list of high-priority beach bag essentials:
- lip protection
- entertainment (book, e-reader, iPod, kindle)
- spending money
- mini first aid kit for the beach
- baby wipes for quick clean ups, face cleaner, cooler and freshener, de-sanding, and instant itch relief
- plastic bags for keeping trash, protecting devices or using to contain wet swimsuits
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