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How to Pack Well for A Relaxing Day at the Beach

Where is your favorite place to relax on vacation?

Do you like snuggling under the covers of a comfy hotel bed and losing yourself in a great book?

Or finding a smoke-free perch near the campfire and watching the flames turn into glowing embers?

As much as I love those things, the best stress-reliever for me is a patch of sand, waves lapping on shore and a bag of good books.

This month at “Across the Cafe Table” at The Travel Belles we’re discussing beaches…and bags…and what you’d stuff in your beach bag to create a truly relaxing day at the beach.

When I head to the lake or the ocean, I don’t like to lug a big load. Just a few essentials to keep me from having to interrupt my beach time to dash back to my tent or room.

Krista’s Travel Beach Bag Essentials:

  • bottle of water – all that sun and heat can dehydrate a body quickly, so I always bring plenty to drink.
  • munchies – relaxing so earnestly can really work up an appetite! I like to bring wholesome but delicious things like salty roasted nuts and dried cherries.
  • books – I usually bring two books from two different genres so I can switch back and forth as the mood strikes me. Agatha Christie is always good, but I like to mix it up with a great travelogue or a fun novel.
  • hair elastic – windblown hair in the eyes really musses up a good reading experience.
  • sunscreen – no amount of relaxation is worth an agonizing day or two from sunburn.
  • sunglasses – squinting into the sunshine can bring on a headache quickly.
  • camera – beaches just beg to be captured through pictures.
  • ID – accidents happen and it’s always good to have something for folks to identify you with in case you need help.

We’re also pondering what our ideal beach would be.


Does “any beach at all” count? Whether I’m strolling a rain-swept beach in Ireland, snoozing on a sunny stretch of white sand in Australia or scouring a pebble-strewn shore for treasures in Washington, the effect is the same: peace, strength, joy.

So, dear folks, what is your ideal beach? And what do you carry in your beach bag?

For more great ideas from other travelers, pull up a chair over at The Travel Belles: Across the Cafe Table.


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Margo Millure - Yep. I wanna go to the beach with you. ย I like the beach but like all that other stuff you talk about too! thanks for playing!

Jamie - I never go to the beach, but I just took a pic of this post because I’ll be headed to Hawaii soon and will need to know what to do ๐Ÿ™‚ So excited to read the next chapter in your journey down under!

Nancy - I like to bring a little bag to carry all the beach glass I hope to collect too..

Jessica Orquina - Beautiful photos!

Jeanne @ CookSister! - a white sandy beach, preferably in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa!!ย  In fact that first pic makes me feel as if I am there, walking in the shallows looking for shells…ย  Essentials include a big bottle of Coke, a book, an umbrella, a HUGE towel, sunnies and sunscreen.ย  Bliss.

Tuula - Gorgeous beaches Krista! Ohh, and so smart to pack your ID – I always seems to forget that one. I also love to pack my camera, never know what kind of candid shots I can snap from the comfort of my beach towel ๐Ÿ™‚

Keely - I’ve got to agree with you that hitting the beach is the best way to unwind. Growing up on the Gold Coast (which has some of Australia’s best beaches) means I’m pretty spoiled in the choice department. I prefer more secluded spots and definitely always need water, sunnies and something to rest my head on (a scrunched up dress or kaftan usually does the trick).ย 

tara anderson - Maui! More specifically almost anywhere on West Maui. I take as little as possible, but a camera is a MUST!

Anonymous - I totally forgot about a camera as well. Good call Krista – and fantastic photos!

Mary@One Perfect Bite - I love your photo of the rocky shoreline. It is wonderful. The sun is too much for me to enjoy a prolonged stay on the beach.ย  I do, however,ย  love to paddle to the middle of a lake and read there for an hour or so. I am completely alone and for short periods of time that is wonderful.Have a great evening. Blessings…Mary

Krista - Thank you, Katy! ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes – beaches are the best. So freeing and relaxing. ๐Ÿ™‚

Krista - Thank you, Nicole. ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s the beach at Birch Bay near Bellingham. ๐Ÿ™‚

Starry-Eyed Travels - Beautiful photos and great list of beach essentials! And I agree – I love beaches and itยดs just too hard to pick one!

Nicole - Any beach at all counts for me, Krista! And camera! How could I not mention a camera?ย Love the pic of the rocky beach and seaweed. ๐Ÿ™‚

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