7 Must-Haves For Your Beach Day


Feet in the sand pictures on my Instagram feed? Must be Spring Break!

Today I want to jump right in and share my 7 must-haves for your beach day. If I can’t be with you catching some rays, I’d love to offer my two cents on what you need to have the perfect day of fun in the sun. Check out my top picks!

A no-breakouts sunscreen

I am all about protecting my skin with sunscreen. I’ve come a long way from baking myself in baby oil on the back patio. (Oh, high school.) One of my life goals is to be 60 years old with zero wrinkles, so sunscreen is a MUST have.

However, if it’s going to break me out, forget it – I’m just not going. I’ll sit inside on Pinterest and look at pictures of the beach instead of putting on sunscreen and getting a constellation of zits the next day.

My top picks for no-breakouts sunscreen are below. I also use Cetaphil Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15 every day, rain or shine, leaving my house and putting on real pants or not.

Refillable water bottle 

It’s crazy important to hydrate if you’re going to be soaking up the sun. If I skimp on my water consumption on a beach day, I will have a heck of a headache later and be no fun for anyone. So…drink up! A cute refillable bottle will be great motivation to keep chuggin that agua.

Long-wear Chapstick

Ok, my lips get sunburnt (and chapped) real bad if I neglect to give them a little love on a beach day! I love my rose salve. I have two tins, one I got from Bath and Body Works and one from Charlotte Russe. I swear by them – happy lips, happy beach day! (Err…well something like that.)

Versatile Coverup

My rule for a coverup is that it has to be good for the beach and for the after-beach meal I’m going to consume. So basically it needs to be beach appropriate, patio dinner appropriate, and a good option for hiding a food baby. Dresses and tunics are the best for beach to dinner!

A hat that’ll look good in photos

Again, protect that pretty face so you can be mistaken for your daughter’s sister when you’re menopausal. (#Goals, am I right?!) A hat is perfect to block the sun, but you want it to be trendy and cute, so that you’re not embarrassed by the pictures that make it to Facebook or Snapchat stories. Floppy sun hats are my favorite – can you tell I’m in to a specific shade this year?


Can’t forget these lovelies! What is it about sunglasses that makes me feel like I never have enough? Funny thing is is that I’ve bought the same aviator style since like 2007. Oops. I’m wanting to branch out this year and these are my picks!

A catch-all for my must-haves! 

Gotta have a cute place to carry all this stuff, right? Right. You’ll want something that, again, can work for that after-beach meal. I love my Jansport-esque backpack, but I know it just isn’t going to look right if I try to walk into a trendy surf n’ turf with it. One of these ought to do the trick!

I hope everyone has a wonderful spring break whether you’re soaking up the sun at the beach or having a Netflix binge at home! (Both are equally as relaxing in my book.) I’ve got one more week till my break, and I’ll (hopefully) be kicking some midterm butt before heading home!

Like the Cristina Was Here page on Facebook as I’ll be sharing some great reading for your break!



  • These are all really great essentials!

    Lauren Elizabeth
    Petite in Pearls

  • I need to check out those sunscreens you listed because my skin has been SO sensitive lately, and whatever I used on Spring Break this year didn’t help me with breakouts!! And yes to cute hats!

    xoxo A

  • These are all really great things to have on the beach, especially the versatile coverup! -Anna | http://www.fivefootandfabulous.com

  • Such a great list of beach items@! I totally agree with chapstick. One year on the 4th I didn’t wear any and my lips the next day were 4X their regular size. Now I always pack one with SPF!! Xoxo Mindy

  • Sunscreen and lip balm are so crucial!!! I love this post.

    Sara Kate Styling

  • Yes to all of these! Now I just need to get to the beach.

    xoxo, Jenny

  • Such a gorgeous picture!!!!!! You are so amazing, Cristina. Love this post, and the versatile cover up!

    XO, Rachel

  • I totally agree — all of those items are definitely beach day essentials! I also like to bring a wifi speaker and bottle of bubbly doesn’t hurt, either!

    Kayla || Keynotes from Kay

  • I always make sure to bring sunscreen in my beach bag. I get burned easily!

    Southern Soul

  • Amy

    Chapstick is a must! I always forget mine and always end up hating myself when my lips get super sunburnt! Great round up!
    Amy | Pastel N Pink

  • Danielle

    I went to the beach today and was sure to have all of the must have. Sunscreen and water is ALWAYS a must and it’s always so nice to have a cute cover up and beach hat.



  • Elana

    I love your picks — especially the sunglasses!

  • You are so brave, I’ve used the same styles of sunglasses for as long as I can remember and just the thought of switching terrifies me. After our beach trip last summer, where I forgot my chapstick that is one thing I will be sure to never forget again!

  • Chronicling Home

    I loooove a beautiful beach hat and coverups! They are my favorite!

    Nicole // Chronicling Home

  • Awesome tips! I’m in Bali about to head to the beach in just a little while so this is right on time! These are all definitely beach necessities in my book.


  • Great essentials list! Totally agree!

    Emma | Seeking the South

  • Perfect post! I def want to try that Cerave spf!