12 Summer Beach Bag Essentials

It sounds insanely cliché, but 99 percent of the time people are told to close their eyes and go to their "happy place," that place is the beach. OK, maybe I made up that statistic entirely, but I would bet a whole lot that it's accurate. Crystal blue waters, warm white sand, a light breeze, picturesque palm trees, the soothing sound of crashing waves, and the refreshing mix of sun and sea is practically a fool-proof recipe for calm, happy days. Nothing about the beach should stress you out, and knowing exactly what to pack in your beach bag streamlines the entire experience — with very minimal effort. 

In collaboration with Havaianas I've devised the ultimate list of must-haves for your summer beach bag. While some items like sunscreen and sunnies may seem obvious, there are so many other things that you may not have considered — but will make your seaside experience better than ever. Packing for the beach is all about pairing down and making wise choices, and these twelve things will ensure that you're totally comfortable, stress-free, and prepared to tackle the elements in style. Just don't blame me when your friends want to steal everything in your stash. 

The Perfect Pair Of Flip Flops

Havainas Slim Paisage Flip Flops, $12, Amazon

Sand can get HOT, and a trusty pair of flip-flops are absolutely essential. No buckles, straps, or other nonsense. Plus, there are so many fun colors and patterns to choose from that you'll want a pair to go with each of your swimsuits. 

An Excellent Beach Towel 

Soleil 'Stardial' Round Beach Towel, $99, Zappos 

A fluffly towel is your best friend at the beach, whether you're laying out with a book or flopping down after playing in the waves. 

An Ultra-Protectant Lip Balm 

Fresh Sugar Sport Treatment Sunscreen SPF 30, $25, Sephora 

Sunscreen is not just for your body — it's so important to keep your lips protected too. This one will do that and more, and a super bright tube makes it easy to spot in your tote. 

A Water-Resistant Case For Essentials

Necessaire Bag in 'Neon Pink,' $17, Havaianas 

Nothing is worse than getting sand in those tiny crevices of your phone or stuck to your favorite lip balm. A water-resistant pouch will keep all of your essentials safe from the elements.

Stand-Out Sunglasses

Ray-Ban Round Flash Sunglasses, $175, Ray-Ban 

Obvious, but necessary. Make sure that your shades offer total UV protection

Serious Sunscreen 

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Defense SPF 30, $35, Walmart 

Another no-brainer, but sunscreen options are vast. Gone are the days of greasy lotions with extreme scents and in are the days of formulas that you'll actually want to put on — head to toe. 

An Easy, Lightweight Cover Up

Tropical Print Sundress, Topshop 

An easy sundress, romper, or wrap will take up hardly any room in your bag, but make venturing from sand to boardwalk completely effortless. 

A Hardcore Detangler

Original Detangling Brush, $19, Tangle Teezer

If you've ever been tossed around in the waves, you know what a number it can do on your hair. Prevent pain and tearing post-ocean with a brush that will detangle in no time

A BFF For Your Hair

Sun Bum Beach Formula 3 In 1 Leave In, $13, Amazon 

It's easy to forget that your hair needs protection from the sun too. This spray will leave your salty hair soft, haydrated, and safe from harsh rays. 

A Beach-Ready Sound System

Fugoo Sport Speaker, $125, Amazon 

I'm not suggesting that you be that person who makes everyone on the beach listen to your music, but a waterproof portable speaker is just the thing to make your beach day an instant party. Just be mindful of your neighbors. 

An Eco-Conscious Water Bottle

Bkr 'Elle' One-Liter Bottle, $45, Bloomingdales  

Staying hydrated in the heat is absolutely essential, and a big reusable water bottle has you covered. Plus, so many cute colors! 

A Refreshing Mist 

Avene Eau Thermale Spring Water Mist, $9, Amazon 

On the hottest days of the summer, a refreshing mist makes a massive difference. Toss this little guy in your bag for an instant refresh, no matter where you're headed. 

This post is sponsored by Havaianas

Image: Havaianas; Brit Phillips/ Bustle. 

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