Sometimes, going to the beach seems like a whole ordeal. It requires tons of planning and tons of packing. From sunscreen to snacks to beach toys for the kids, we feel like we need an extra arm (or three!). This is where the beach tote bag comes in to save the day.
“Beach bags” as a category is pretty broad. Some beach bags are large, waterproof totes meant to endure sandy breeze, tan lotion spillage (and an ocean splash or two). Others are more on the fashionable side, meant to elevate a lovely seaside dinner at a five-star resort.
Did you find your perfect swimsuit and now need to find an equally perfect beach bag to match? We’ve got you covered!
Below are some of our favorite beach totes to carry all the essentials:
What To Pack in Your Bag
First, before you browse the many options for a beach bag, it’s important to plan what you will need to pack in your bag.
Although we might be tempted to throw a coverup and a book in our bags and call it a day, we should really take the time to gather all the essentials needed. Beach vacations should be safe and comfortable — memorable for the right reasons.
First and foremost, pack plenty of sunscreen for yourself and whoever else you are beaching with. While spending the day out in the sun, you should have an SPF of 60 or higher always at your side for reapplication. Reducing the risk of skin damage and skin cancer? Yes, please!
It’s also a smart idea to have a mini first-aid kit tucked safely in your bag. Even if you are only visiting the beach to lay in the sun, accidents happen. A quick cut on your foot from a shell or a bad bug bite can totally ruin your day. With a mini emergency kit packed with anti-itch creams, bandages, and other essentials, you will be prepared to take on any minor issues.
Now that you have done your part to make sure you stay safe, it’s time to fill your bag with your favorite things. If you are a reader, throw in a brand new book to start on the beach (or pack your favorite e-reader, as long as it has the proper light sensitivity.)
A speaker is a nice idea if you know that you won’t be surrounded by a lot of people, but headphones are always a great way to add your favorite music to your day.
Whether you like intense or leisurely sports, there is a beach activity for you. Bring a ball for sand volleyball if you are feeling up to the workout. Or, pack a frisbee for a relaxing game with your kids or friends.
You never realize how many pieces of clothing you need for a beach day until you are standing in front of your bag, dripping wet, without an extra change of clothes. Regardless of what you wear to the beach, it’s nice to have a spare outfit that is easy to slip on while your body is damp and isn’t sweaty or full of sand.
The most useful beach bag item to have with you is a small waterproof bag for your swimsuit or any wet clothes. That way, at the end of the day, you can store your wet items without running the risk of getting your book, wallet, or emergency kit soaking wet.
Lastly, you can use a beach day as an excuse to wear your best-fitting swimsuit, a beautiful coverup, a fun hat, and your favorite sunglasses all at once. Nothing is better than walking onto the sand feeling stylish and confident.
Even if you are planning on staying at the beach for a few hours, bring along a selection of drinks and snacks. The sun and ocean exhaust your body much faster than other environments, so it’s best to be prepared. What’s most important to remember is to stay hydrated! You lose a lot of water through sweat while at the beach, and it’s crucial to replenish your body.
Pack a large stainless steel water bottle in your bag before heading out. That way, your water will stay cold all day, making you more prone to sip on it in the heat.
Additionally, 20% of our daily water intake comes from the food we eat, so be mindful of what you are including when packing snacks. Foods like cucumbers, watermelon, and peaches are not only a tasty summer treat, but they help us rehydrate. A win, win!
Finally: Suited for Your Day
Lastly, consider what kind of beach day you will be having when packing your bag. Are you going to be near any convenience stores, or will you have to pack all your food and water for the day? Do you need to pack sand toys for your kids, or is it an adults-only trip? Will you need closed-toe shoes on the walk to the beach (or through the tide pools), or are flip-flops enough?
Do a bit of research on your beach destination beforehand. A quick summary of your vaca destination, and you have all the gear you need for the most relaxing and enjoyable day.
What To Consider When Buying a Beach Bag
Once you have a better idea of what you will need to pack for your beach day, you can choose what size of bag is right for you. However, there are plenty more features to consider before selecting your perfect beach bag.
Take into consideration durability and material. If you need this bag to take a beating from your kids’ sandy toys or post-beach hikes, consider getting a bag made from a waterproof and sturdy material. On the other hand, if you want a bag that acts as a stylish accessory but can still hold the essentials, you can choose a smaller bag made from a whicker or raffia material.
Mesh Tote Bag
One of the most versatile bags on our best sellers list is the crossbodymesh beach bag.
This particular bag fabric allows you to carry your utmost beach essentials — your flip-flops, your beach read, and a water bottle. But it also serves as the perfect city shopping bag.
Just picture yourself walking through the farmer’s market, placing all of your favorite fruits and vegetables in the inner pocket of this boho-chic beach tote turned market tote.
Cotton Canvas Tote Bag
Made from the softest, most reliable fabric out there, the cotton tote bag is a fashionable, catch-all bag. While its cotton exterior makes it prone to a couple of stains, this large tote features a spacious, lined interior for every single one of your beach go-to’s.
The best part of it all? This large beach bag is easy to spot clean or totally washable. Plus, some come with stylish leather handles that add a finishing touch to your outfits.
Polyester or Canvas Tote Bag
Because of its strength, durability, and water-resistant capabilities, polyester is a popular choice for beach bags, handbags, and carryalls. With so many uses and talents, this tote also serves as the perfect bag to carry on a long plane ride (think, your next beach vacation) or take to the gym. Hint: Look for one with an interior pocket for extra storage.
Vinyl Tote Bag
When it comes to resistance, vinyl shoulder bags stand out from the crowd. This synthetic plastic material comes in many different colors and patterns to complete your whole beach vibe.
Because of polyvinyl carbonate’s (PVC’s) strength and durability, this roomy bag can survive it all, even your kids’ or pets’ antics. It’s part shopper bag, part pool bag, and anything else you would need. Find an extra-large one with a drawstring or zip top to keep your umbrella, swimsuit, and snacks snug and safe.
Seagrass Tote Gag
Get ready to turn heads with this showstopper bag. Compared to all of the other totes in this list, this seagrass material may not be the most tactical — it’s similar to a straw beach bag — but it will absolutely elevate your swim and beach day attire. If you’re open to the fashionable aspect of a boho straw tote, this is the bag for you.
Just make sure not to pack too many liquids (or at least put them in a plastic bag first).
If you are looking for the perfect mini beach bag that is stylish and big enough to hold the essentials, look no further than the Hat Attack Mini Slouch Bag from Andie Swim. This bag has a unique silhouette, which is sure to stand out in a crowd. The relaxed elegance of this bag will mimic your luxurious and relaxing day under the sun. Plus, it’s upscale enough to head out to dinner after.
This bag is made from paper straw, which gives it an effortlessly tropical look.
A cute bag that completes your beachy outfit while holding an entire day’s worth of snacks, a hardcover book, a change of clothes, and toys for your kids sounds too good to be true. We are happy to say that the Hat Attack Jane Tote can do it all.
This tote is sturdy enough to hold all of your belongings without losing its shape or integrity. The raffia material will emphasize the beachiness of your outfit, and the covered straps will feel comfortable on your skin.
And, lastly, for those nights eating dinner at an oceanside restaurant or the afternoons walking through shops in a beach town, you can rely on the Hat Attack Lola Handheld to fit all of your needs.
This small and sturdy bag is large enough to hold your wallet, key, sunglasses, face lotion, and more while still remaining totally stylish. The retro-style woven tote and square handles will be the perfect accessories to your outfit.
So, which one will you get? Not sure? Head over to Andie Swim to find the perfect swimsuit and beach towel for your next sunny vacation. Who knows? Chic and comfortable swimwear might be the thing to help you pick the perfect beach tote for you.
Time To Pack
Having the right essentials on a beach day will make your experience much more enjoyable, relaxing, fun, and safe. Although it can be time-consuming to put together the perfect bag, we promise you will be grateful once you are settled on the sand. As you sip from your insulated water bottle, protected from the sun, and flip the page of your new summer novel, raise a glass to your prep work. Now, chill — you deserve it.
Your beach bag can be fashionable and practical; you just have to find the right one for you. And if you are looking for a high-quality, well-fitting swimsuit, a new, fun coverup, or any other accessories, head over to Andie Swim for the best beach bags and everything else you need to make your beach day perfect.
Sunscreen and Your Morning Routine | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Travel First Aid Kit | Cleveland Clinic
10 Tips for Staying Hydrated During the Summer Heat | Frederick Health