At last, we’ve entered the days when warm nights seem to stretch on forever; when the melodic chirping of birds substitutes our alarm clocks; and, of course, when we won’t be held captive in our bedrooms by spring’s heavy rain.

Planning a visit to the beach is an essential summer pastime: it requires minimal packing—in comparison to other, more carefully orchestrated seasonal trips—and never fails to exceed all expectations of fun (so long as it doesn’t rain, of course). Whether you’re visiting your local beach, or travelling abroad, lounging about along the shore and relaxing to the sound of the ocean waves still demands some crucial beach basics. And since we all have the human tendency to forget, we’ve made you the perfect checklist, so you don’t have to.

Beach Bag

Before you can start throwing things into the bag you’re planning on carrying to the beach, you’ll need to find the right bag first. And like all things in fashion, there’s a process to this: selecting the best beach purse, especially if you’re intending on lying in the sun all day, takes consideration of personal style. Shopping for the perfect bag is pretty easy when it comes to the beach, because all you really need is a big bag that can hold all your essentials—and for fashion purposes, the trend for this season is all about straw totes, the traditional sandy style.

Shop the stores below for your perfectly-chic beach bag:

Urban Outfitters, Large Circle Straw Shoulder Bag, $54, Topshop, Straw Tote Bag, £22.00, ASOS, Bershka rainbow colour straw bag in multi, $74.97


Wiggling your toes in the sand and building elaborate chateaus—we’ve definitely upgraded from making those kiddie sandcastles that dominated our youth—are gratifying, feel-good activities that don’t require the presence of a towel. But lying across those acres of sand so your skin can deepen a couple of shades, or swimming in the ocean (which, sadly, no one seems to do at the beach anymore), does. And like all other accessories, the perfect towel is both comfortable and stylish—and you’ll be greatly satisfied that you packed something to keep you dry, and to keep you fashionable.

Here, shop beach towels:

Nordstrom, See You at the Pool Towel, $54.15Bed Bath and Beyond, Watermelon Bite Beach Towel, $9.99, Betsey Johnson, Flamingo Strut Cotton Beach Towel, $45

A Book

Picture this: you’re lounging on one of your favourite towels, listed above; the sun begins to set on the ocean’s horizon; you’re embracing the alluring words of a novel you’ve been so eager to peruse. Your best reading is done under a sun umbrella, just as the warm summer breeze steadily cools, conjuring paradise. So pick up a novel, a magazine, or an e-book (whichever you prefer) and enjoy your day.

Here, some of our recommendations:

A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid, Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan, The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish, Feel Free by Zadie Smith

UV Ray Sunglasses

Although they’ve been heralded as this season’s top trend—thanks to the likes of Rihanna and Bella Hadid—micro sunglasses aren’t always (read: are never) equipped with the appropriate protection to actually keep your eyes safe from the sun. So, that brings us to this. Find a frame that grants your eyes full coverage—smaller lenses, which tend to be worn lower down on the nose, to reveal the eyes, tend to allow UV rays to sneak just around them and directly into those eyes you should be desperately trying to save. We recommend packing an inexpensive pair, because, of course, sunglasses are always prone to getting scratched (or crushed by a beach ball, beach foot, beach body).

Here are some of our current favourites:

Guess Factory, Oversized Chain-Trim Sunglasses, $39, Old Navy, Two-Tone Metal Sunglasses for Women, $8


Contrary to popular belief, sunscreen is supposed to be used on all skin, regardless of where you fall on the melanin spectrum. Yes, regardlessIf you’re new to this protective cream—please, retire that old “I don’t need it!” statement—the first step is to purchase sunscreen that is SPF 15 or higher, to block out those UVB rays. Use a weightless formula for your body and a non-greasy protectant for your face and remember, it’s important that you reapply sunscreen every two hours or immediately after swimming

Mario Badescu, Oil-Free Moisturizer SPF 30, $37.91Glossier Invisible ShieldPalmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula, Eventone Suncare, $10.18

Purchase these six items this summer for a memorable beach day, and follow us for more survival tips on Twitter and Instagram @HOLRMagazine!