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What's in my beach bag this summer?

Ready to hit the beach this summer? Yes!?! Well, here is a guide to what I pack in my beach bag. Here are some must-have beach items that I have tested, approved, and wanted to share with you.

First, let's start with what bag to buy. There are TONS of options out there these days. Last summer, the boys were each doing a summer day camp that required they bring a towel, change of clothes, life jacket, etc. with them each day. In order to encourage my kids to keep up with ALL THE THINGS, I got each of them one of these monogrammed Lightweight Totes from LL Bean. We went with the Extra Large Size and it's perfect for fitting in all the items listed above. It's washable, lightweight (seriously, you can hardly feel it when it's empty), and tough enough to withstand years of rough treatment.

With the bag aside, what are my favorite must-have beach items?

  1. Sunscreen - One bottle that everyone can use. I'm a big fan of this sunscreen from Babyganics. It's not greasy, it rubs in well, yet it provides hours of protection. It even survives being left in the car without exploding. Unlike other natural sunscreens, I have never had one of my kids come home pink or burned when using this stuff. The only one who doesn't love it is my husband because it doesn't rub in due to his arm hair. Babyganics SPF 50 Baby Sunscreen Spray | UVA UVB Protection | Octinoxate & Oxybenzone Free | Water Resistant, 2 Pack (6 Ounce) : Everything Else

  2. Hat - This hat has been on several trips to the beach and has held up well. I'm usually a visor lover, but this hat gives me much more protection on sunny days.Wide Brim Sun Straw Hats for Women UPF 50 Foldable Roll up Floppy Summer Beach Hat Khaki/Black : Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry (

  3. Shoes - Comfy sandals are a MUST when you live at the beach. For the last couple seasons, I have been hooked on Oofos sandals. But I have found that over time, they wear out easily and the straps often break. At $60 per pair, I wasn't pleased with replacing them every six months. I also had trouble with tripping over the front of the shoe since the toe area is cut rather long. My biggest complaint about Oofos is that they weren't dressy enough for me to wear anywhere. They looked clunky and not very stylish. These Megyna sandals from Amazon have been a great compromise for me. I have had them for a couple months now and they are SO super comfortable for all-day walking around. They even look cute enough to wear out to dinner! Orthotic Flip Flops for Women, Comfortable Plantar Fasciitis Sandals for Flat Feet Healing, Walking Thong Flip Flop Sandals with Arch Support size 5 : Health & Household

  4. Water Bottle - If you have been paying attention, you'll notice that I have already mentioned how MUCH I love this water bottle. Since I'm so passionate about it, I figured I should mention it again. This water bottle from Ello has been a companion of mine for years. It's easy to use, easy to clean, and holds up against all kinds of abuse. It's also nice that you can open it with one hand, and it fits in your car cup holder, so it's a good driving companion too. Ello Damen 20oz Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle (

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