The Perfect Beach Bag: 7 Must-Pack Essentials

These accessories will help you get the most out of your day in the sand. - Photo by Kristi Drago Price

If your idea of a shore excursion means taking your lounge act from the pool to the sea, don’t leave the ship without our packing list for your day at the shore:

cruise beach day ogunquit tote

Photo by Sea Bags

The Tote

Go for a bag that’s roomy — and functional enough to double as your airplane carry-on. With plenty of pockets on the inside and out, this one’s a fine example. Plus, there’s a grommet at the base, so any sand that gets in will slip right through it. We’re particularly fond of this design because it’s made from recycled sails salvaged straight from the waterfront district in Portland, Maine. And how cute are the rope handles? Ogunquit Beach Tote, $195,

cruise beach day essentials sunscreen

Photo by Supergoop!

1. Sunscreen

Fast-absorbing, broad-spectrum, oil-free, sweat-proof … no matter what your personal sunscreen criteria, opt for a formula that’s suitable for both body and face and comes in a TSA-friendly size. Everyday Sunscreen SPF 30, $19,

cruise beach day essentials rowley sunglasses

Photo by Rowley Eyewear

2. Sunglasses

Our advice? Use the cruise as an excuse to upgrade your current pair. Veteran designer Cynthia Rowley’s reliably chic eyewear collection is produced by a prestigious, family-owned, New York-based manufacturer. You can even customize the lenses with your prescription — a quick step during checkout — for around $30. No. 07, $109,

cruise beach day essentials seersucker pouch

Photo by Thomas Paul

3. Zippered Pouch

Don’t let your belongings get soggy or soiled: Keep your phone, room key, and other small valuables in a sand-proof, secure, and easily accessible spot. Ship Seersucker Pouch, $16,

beach day cruise essentials kaminski hat

Photo by Helen Kaminski

4. Hat

The most stylish women on the ship know this raffia visor well. The classic design is adjustable, rolls up easily, and doesn’t mess with your hair. Best of all, the fabric has UPF 50 sun shield, a rare but welcome feature. Mita, $120, Helen Kaminski,

beach cruise lands end water bottle

Photo by Lands' End

5. Water 

Staying hydrated on the beach is key — that much you know. But a reusable water bottle comes in really handy on a cruise even when you’re not on the shoreline. Fill it up with your beverage of choice for a sea day by the pool or before setting off on a shore excursion. We like the fact that this one can be monogrammed, and it comes in six colors. Water bottle, $12.50,

beach cruise essentials ipad cover joules

Photo by Proporta

6. Reading Material

A must for any vacationing bookworm, a tablet or e-reader device is the ultimate beach companion — as long as it’s housed in a protective case. Regular old print magazines have their merits, too: They’re disposable, no one will steal them, and it’s no biggie if they get wet. Joules Case — Anchor Print (compatible with iPad® 2, 3, and 4), $65,

beach day cruise essentials wipes

Photo by L'Occitane

7. Wipes

Premoistened towelettes, with an invigorating lemony scent, are a convenient way to freshen up on the fly, especially after a day of sun, sweat, and salt. Verbena refreshing towelettes, $12 for a pack of 15,

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What do you bring for your beach day?

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