Beach bag: c/o Sole Society (also comes in a bucket bag version!) I also love this woven pom pom clutch // Sandals: c/o Sole Society, which you also saw styled in this post from Mexico (I also love these lace-up wedges, and this fringe pair) // Tank: Nordstrom (only $30 and so versatile!) which you also saw styled in this post (also love this strappy tank, and this one too!) // Shorts: Ann Taylor (old) but they have a new version that is nearly identical! // Sunglasses: Tuckernuck (exact color sold out, but very similar color here) // Rug: c/o Lulu & Georgia (on sale!)
Heeyyyyyy from Chicago where it’s pretty much sub-zero!
I hope you’ve been enjoying these warm-weather winter vacation posts scattered intermittently through my cold-weather content to give us all a little break from the snow 😉
And because now is the time of year where everyone seems to be flying south for the winter, I’m sharing my own beach bag essentials and packing tips! (Because going ALL the way back up to the room and losing my precious limited sun exposure time was notttt an option.)
First, the obvious. Start with a great beach bag!
When packing for vacation, I typically like to go for a cloth tote bag over a straw-type bag, because I need it to double as my “personal item” on the plane–meaning, it needs to be able to be schlepped through the airport, hold my camera, my computer, my purse, reading material, and my makeup bag–it’s gotta be durable! (Speaking of what to bring on the plane, I’m obsessed with this tassel wrap! So much better than airplane blankets–yuck!)
I love this woven tote bag because the cloth handles are comfortable, and the bag is like Mary-Poppins style. It fits EVERYTHING. I also love the woven texture AND it has pom poms. (!!!)
Then, of course, what to put in it. Here are my go-to’s whenever I pack for the beach or the pool. (We’ll start with the obvious and work our way into less-obvious items, yes?)
1. Reading material.
I recently bought the book “Messy“–because I’m constantly trying to prove to Neal that he should be proud of my messy qualities–HA–and it’s been really interesting so far! (In case you’re looking for a new read, and are also a walking tornado, like myself.) My Kindle Paperwhite is also an essential–it’s much better than reading on your iPad, because you can, you know, actually read what’s on the screen in bright sun.
3. Major SPF
I spent my adolescent life in Arizona, four years in college frequenting tanning beds, and now it’s safe to say I’m now terrified of adding more damage to my skin. I have really sensitive skin so I’m always a little leery of putting anything new on it (especially since sunscreen can be so greasy) but I picked up this stuff from Walgreens and ended up really loving it. I used it on my face and body and it didn’t cause any breakouts, and I didn’t get burned AT ALL.
4. REAL lotion
I don’t know about you, but when I get in the sun and water, my skin gets drier than the desert. Neal experienced the same thing and he looked at me in confusion and said, “But I have so much sunscreen on my face! How is it dry?”
Common misconception: sunscreen is not lotion! Make sure to moisturize prior to putting on sunscreen, and keep a travel sized tube in your bag. I love CereVe moisturizing cream because it does a great job keep my skin hydrated, and can be put on my face or body.
5. Minimal Makeup
The pool or beach is not the place for your makeup bag, but waterproof mascara, my eyelash curler, and a little tinted lip balm (I love this one!) always make me feel a lot more pulled together! When I’m ready to go, I give my eyelashes another quick curl and swipe on some glossy balm, and I’m ready to grab dinner or drinks!
6. Wrinkle Spray
There’s nothing worse than putting your wrinkled clothes back on after they’ve been crumpled up in your beach bag! I absolutely cannot stand wearing anything wrinkled, so this when I discovered this magic potion it made my WHOLE life. I never travel without it!
7. Versatile shoes
If you’re headed to an all-inclusive resort like we stayed at, you’ll likely want to go straight from the beach or pool to dinner or drinks. I stashed these shoes in my bag because most of the restaurants on-site have a more upscale dress code–meaning, no flip flops!
These sandals from Sole Society were perfect because they have a low heel, and they dress up anything you pair them with! I wore this exact outfit on our first day at the resort, and the shoes made the day-to-night (er, beach to drinks) transition a breeze! (See how I styled them on our third night in Mexico here!)
Shop more vacation go-to’s from Sole Society:
What are your favorite beach bag essentials?
In collaboration with Sole Society. All opinions are 100% my own!