First the bag, I like to use a rucksack as my main beach bag because they're much easier to carry than multiple hand held bags, this aztec print backpack caught my attention because of the bright pink trim and I thought it would be perfect for the beach as well as my up coming holiday, it's the ideal bag for a day trip. The other bag is a picnic hamper which i'll show you in more detail further down.
Swimwear is the first thing that I think about packing for a day in the sun at the beach, it needs to be comfortable, pretty and fit properly so this fab strapless bikini top, pretty bikini bottoms and matching printed sarong are pretty perfect for that. I've been trying to buy and wear more blue again which is what attracted me to this bikini, plus it's mixed patterns and strapless style is not something I've seen much of in a larger sized bikini top with an underwire. There are a lot of styles like this swimwear at Debenhams so it's a store to keep an eye on if you have the same miss-match sizes and other problems that I have with bikinis. It's nice to have a good choice of colours in a style or two that you know will fit right. But I digress.. don't forget to pack your swimwear and a beachy cover-up like a kaftan or in my case; a sarong.
Some other essentials include sun protection but I'm not talking about creams/lotions just yet, a hat and sunglasses are among the most essential accessories that everybody needs for a day in the sun. Wear a big floppy hat to protect or head and prevent heatstroke then wear sunglasses with a good UV rating to protect your eyes from the suns rays and allow yourself to see around you at all times - no matter the glare.
Then there's shoes, these are my most comfortable sandals. They're a soft metallic leather weave gladiator sandal from Faith and they sit beautifully on my feet. I can walk up and down the coastal path in these and my feet look fab with no slipping, aching or rubbing.
My alternate cover up to a sarong and perfect for rock pooling or playing frisbee is a beach dress. Going with my blue theme I packed this cute seahorse patterned dress as it has removable straps and is seriously casual. The waist is cinched in with elastic making in flattering to the figure but still comfortable enough to run around in.
Of course I have to mention the other type of sun protection. This Clarins sun lotion spray is fantastic and I'll be sad when it runs out. With a protection of 20 it does a great job, doesn't smell nasty and plastic-y like most sun creams do and the bottle doesn't slip out of your hand every time you want to re-use it.
Then there's sun protection for your lips, people always forget to protect this part of your face but you absolutely should. I like to use something with a bit of a tint that's going to moisturise and protect so the Korres SPF lip balm is never far from my beach bag or any 'day trip in the sun bag'. Do NOT forget your sun protection - there are no excuses!
At this point I thought I'd show you what Shaun likes to take to the beach.. yes he takes himself and the clothes on his back, that's all. I'm the prepared one in our household but at least he's sensible enough to wear some soft red chino shorts (that I picked out) and a suitable tshirt (he picked that) - I take care of everything else which normally means I have to pack some swimming shorts for him too.
Then there's the fun stuff; an inflatable rubber ring which I task Shaun with blowing up when we get to the beach and my Phlatball frisbee ball - It's a ball that flattens to a frisbee which when you throw it turns back into a ball making it much easier to catch if you ask me.
We have quite a few beach towels, mostly Disney or Aussie but these are the latest additions; on the left is Shaun's a zig zag beach towel and on the right is my amazing Matthew Williamson beach towel, it has a mirrored tropical pattern that you can see properly here.
This is the most amazing picnic hamper, it has everything that you want in it with the added bonus of a huge cool bag compartment in the centre of it. The picnic hamper coolbag is from Mountain Warehouse and contains enough for a family of four which is perfect for our trips to the beach with friends. I photographed the cooler part before filling it but I can tell you that along with and ice pack I packed a bottle of wine, two beers, 8 sandwich rolls, 8 pieces of fruit and some crisps for the boys with room to spare.
Aside from my phone and a good playlist that's all I really take to the beach with me. I hope you liked this post and the rest of my 'what's in my summer bag' series. :)