There’s nothing quite like a trip to a beach — the sand, the surf, the sun — to reboot your soul. So, when you’re planning a trip to the water’s edge, whether it’s around the corner or across the country, there are some things you need to be sure you take with you.

The Beach Is Calling Your Name — Don't Forget These Essentials - travel, summer, beach

The Basics

There are some things that everyone needs when they go to the beach. Things like sunscreen, a bathing suit and a towel, for example. Hydration is also important when spending time in the sun or in hot weather, so grab a few bottles of water on your way to the sun and surf. Sunglasses and a hat can also help protect you from overexposure to the sun.

The Basics — Upgraded

Fulfilling your basic beach needs is just that — basic. However, when you upgrade those essentials, your day in the sun gets upgraded too.

Take hydration, for example. You should definitely have plenty of water available, but to liven things up, consider a few different sources of liquids. For a grown-up group of friends, bring along some frozen cocktail pops to lower the temp and up the refreshment factor. These are easy because they are individual servings, and you can freeze them a day or two before and simply pop them in a cooler to take with you. They also come in a variety of flavors, so there’s something for everyone. Just make sure the beach allows alcohol before you pack them.

While a standard bathing suit and towel will allow you to get by at the beach, you can up your game with a cute cover-up. This can be anything from a light, flowy cotton dress to a large scarf or sarong you wrap around your suit. Not only do they offer you additional protection from the sun, but they also allow you to pop into a beachside restaurant or shop.

Sunglasses can be pretty basic if you are only looking for eye protection. However, in addition to blocking UV rays, shades can also make a statement about the person wearing them. Whether you have prescription lenses or just plain ones, the frames are what count in the wow factor department. Pick ones that fit your face shape for the perfect look.

Another basic item is sunscreen. Dermatologists recommend at least an SPF 30 rating but warn that just because the rating is higher doesn’t mean it lasts longer. You still need to reapply frequently, especially after going in the water. The good news is that sunscreens today are also great moisturizers, and some makeup brands even include SPF protection in their foundations. Be sure to look for one that’s water resistant and uses a variety of ingredients to protect you best.

Other Items to Consider

In addition to the basics above, there are a few other things you might want to take with you. These involve protection for yourself and your valuables.

If you go to the beach by yourself, you should consider some form of self-defense or warning device. A loud whistle or air horn, or even pepper spray, can give you an advantage in a dangerous situation. Look for specially made products to hold your wallet, credit cards, ID and car keys so you can hide them in plain sight or keep them on your person even while swimming. Protecting your phone from sand and surf can be as simple as storing it in a clear zip-top bag.

When you take a trip to the beach, there are some basics you really need to take, but those items don’t have to BE basic. Upgrade them when you can to make a statement while enjoying a relaxing day in the sun.