Beach Essentials: 11 Must-Have Items for Your Sunny Escape

Beach at the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort/Oyster

Warm sunshine, crystal-clear water, and stretches of sand all come with a beach destination, but there are some things you'll have to bring to your oceanside getaway. We've rounded up 11 beach essentials that you should be sure to have before you leave for your sunny escape.

1. Tommy Bahama Palm Beach Tote

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A good beach bag that is sturdy, roomy, and won't get grains of sand in it is a necessity for any water-centric getaway, and the Tommy Bahama Palm Beach Tote fits the bill. The tropical motif adds some cheerful flair, while the zipper enclosure ensures everything stays inside and the long straps allow it to be hung over the shoulder. 

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2. Ray-Ban Classic Wayfarer Polarized Sunglasses

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Whether you're reading under an umbrella or kayaking around the reef, you should have a quality pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes. There's a reason Ray-Ban's Classic Wayfarer sunglasses are so popular: they're durable, hip, and look good on everyone. Be sure to opt for the polarized version, as they significantly reduce glare and decrease eye strain.

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3. Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen

Wearing sunscreen at the beach is non-negotiable, and the Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen is one of the best all-around options. Made of fewer chemicals than many leading brands, Blue Lizard is particularly great for those with sensitive skin. It's made with natural minerals, including zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, for broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection, and the bottle turns from white to blue (or pink for the baby-designated sunscreen) in the presence of UV rays, as a reminder to lather up.

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4. Tommy Bahama Backpack Cooler Chair

The Tommy Bahama Backpack Cooler Chair is the ultimate chair for some time by the ocean. In addition to being comfy, it has five different reclining positions, an insulated storage pouch, a cell phone holder, and a cup holder. Plus, it has padded shoulder straps so it can be carried like a backpack for easy transport.

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5. La Blanca Sweetheart One-Piece Swimsuit

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If you're likely going to be swimming, snorkeling, or surfing during your beach vacation, skip the bikini and opt for a one-piece swimsuit. Not only will you avoid ending up with the bottoms at the ankles after a dive, but the fuller coverage will protect your skin from chafing against a life vest or boogie board. We love this well-rated La Blanca piece for its flattering ruched design, sweetheart neckline, and classic black color. 

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6. YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler

A day at the beach isn't complete without a pack of ice-cold beer and water, but you'll need a cooler that will keep drinks from warming up in the hot sun. That's where the YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler comes in. YETI is renowned for its insulation capabilities, and this size makes it easy to carry around. The 100-percent leak-proof cooler can fit 12 cans of beer with a two-to-one ice to beer ratio. Plus, the outside material is waterproof and resistant to punctures. 

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7. Kindle Paperwhite E-reader

This is Amazon's best-selling Kindle, and the perfect option for reading by the beach and traveling. There's no denying the convenience of an e-reader -- having access to numerous books without the weight -- and this edition packs it all: a glare-free screen for easy reading in the sun, four built-in LED lights, and 300 ppi resolution. Added perks include adjustable text size, knowing how many hours are needed to finish the book, and looking up definitions at ease.

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8. Tory Burch Miller Flip Flop

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Save space in your luggage by bringing beach flip-flops that can double as sandals for evenings. The Tory Burch Miller Flip Flop is raved about for its foam-cushioned footbed, rubber soles, quality leather, and array of colors. They can be dressed up or down, but they're always stylish. 

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9. Mara Hoffman Valentina Stripe Cover-Up Dress

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Like with sandals, we always want to maximize what we bring on trips to save luggage space. That's why we opt for a swimsuit cover-up like this Mara Hoffman Valentina piece, which can be used over a bathing suit and easily transitioned for poolside lunches or casual dinners. Travelers can walk the boardwalk, sip margaritas by the ocean, or shop in the local markets in this breezy, vibrant maxi dress.

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10. JBL Charge 3 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Portable speakers run the price gamut, and the JBL Charge 3 is a good mid-level option with excellent sound quality. It has Bluetooth compatibility, a waterproof shell, and the ability to connect to multiple other JBL speakers for amplified music playing. The built-in USB drive lets you charge smartphones and tablets on the go, and its battery can support up to 20 hours of music playing. This is one of the best options available for those who want to play music in the sand (being mindful of your neighbors, of course), as well as in the comfort of their oceanside hotel room.

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11. Eric Javits Hampton Straw Sun Hat

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While sunscreen is the most crucial form of protection from harsh rays, a good sun hat further adds to keeping the sun off your face and neck. The Eric Javits Hampton Straw Sun Hat is a lightweight, wide-brimmed accessory that's made of first-rate material, plus trendy enough for beachside picnics and rooftop cocktails. Colors range from blush to black, so you can pick the shade best-suited to your style.

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