13 Must Haves For The Beach – Our 2024 Top Picks

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Must haves for the beach go beyond the usual sunhat and sunglasses. You're planning your next beach getaway, and while you've got the basics covered, there's room to elevate your beach day from good to unforgettable.

This article is tailored for beach addicts like us who love to explore secluded beaches and want to be fully prepared for a day of sun, sand, and convenience. If you’re serious about beach day comforts, this list of must haves for the beach will ensure you’re prepared for every off the beaten path, beach day adventure.

We're sharing our personal favorites that make our beach day a standout experience. These aren't just any beach accessories, they're the best beach items we never leave home without. From handy gadgets and games to comfort boosting essentials, we've got your next beach day must haves sorted.

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FRIENDLY REMINDER

Don't Forget To Pack Your Reef Safe Sunscreen!

A white tube of Blue Lizard, Reef safe sunscreen. The label has a blue stripe and a blue lizard crawling along it.

REEF SAFE SUNSCREEN GUIDE

Please be responsible when heading out on your beach day adventures by choosing reef safe sunscreens. Other sunscreens harm the marine life and corals and we want to do our best to help preserve the underwater world. Please opt for reef safe sunscreens when shopping for your beach bag essentials.

A group of five friends are running into the ocean ready to have a great day at the beach.They are jumping in the waves and super excited about their beach day.

13 Must Haves For The Beach In 2023

Whether you're planning a family outing or a romantic beach side escape, this list will add comfort and convenience to wherever your beach day travels take you. 

We understand that your time is valuable, and we're committed to helping you make the most of your beach day. That means, we're willing to do that hard work on your behalf and head to the beach to try new gear and gadgets… HA!

So, let's get started on discovering the best beach gear and must have beach items for the beach in 2023!

1. Portable Pop Up Tent

A portable pop up tent is a great beach day item.

If you're planning a beach day with the family, the KO-ON Pop Up Beach Tent is a must-have beach item that offers both space and convenience. This spacious pop up tent comfortably accommodates 2 adults and 2 kids. Setting up is a breeze thanks to its quick popping mechanism, and it comes with a variety of stability accessories like sandbags and stakes. The tent is made from premium sun-proof material and features an embedded silver coated layer for excellent UV protection. Ventilation is also top-notch with three roll-up openings. The extended front floor can be closed with Velcro straps.

Why we love this item: If you’re not renting a beach chair and umbrella, you should consider a pop up beach tent. Not only does it provide you with shade, it also creates a safer place to keep your beach bag, nap sack and other items you don’t want to leave out in the open. While we feel safe traveling to Turks and Caicos, it just gives you more reassurance when you’re out swimming or off for a quick snorkel. Oh, and we don't fuss with the pegs. We just fill the outer pickets with sand and place our cooler and other belongings inside and it stays put, even on windy days.


2. Beach Lounge Mats

A portable lounge mat is a great must have for the beach, It lays flat on the beach but there's an adjustable rack that lets you elevate the back to raise you up as though you were laying on a proper beach bed.

If you're in the market for both comfort and convenience on your beach day, the Bo-Toys Portable Beach Mat Lounge Chair and Tote is a brilliant choice. Lightweight and easy to carry, this lounge chair features a sturdy steel frame and a fully padded body for ultimate relaxation. The adjustable reclining backrest lets you find your perfect lounging angle. It even comes with a zippered pocket for personal items and an adjustable shoulder strap for easy transport. Made from durable material that's easy to clean, this mat and chair combo folds up neatly for simple storage. Plus, it comes with a 3-year warranty.

Why we love this item: The Bo-Toys Portable Beach Mat Lounge Chair and Tote has been a fantastic addition to our beach days. It offers that extra padding for a more comfortable sunbathing experience, allowing us to reserve our towels for drying off instead of laying them on the sand. What's more, it's incredibly portable, making it not just easy to carry along but also a convenient item to pack in your suitcase for those beach vacations. Also makes a great gift for friends or family who regularly visit the beach.


3. Tommy Bahama Backpack Chair

One of the most popular must haves for the beach is a portable beach chair. This one comes with straps on the back to transport it like a knapsack.

The Tommy Bahama Backpack Beach Chair is all about comfort and convenience. It easily adjusts to five different seating positions, including a lay flat option for all over tanning, and features patented SAFE-ADJUST technology to protect your fingers during adjustments. The chair also comes with a towel bar, a side mesh pouch for small belongings, and even an insulated cooler that can hold 6 to 8 cans. An added bonus? It has an insulated cup holder and an attached bottle opener. Lightweight and portable, this chair is built with rust proof aluminum for long-lasting use.

Why we love this item: The Tommy Bahama Backpack Beach Chair is an excellent choice if you're packing up the car for a weekend beach trip. We've often found these chairs in villa rentals during our Turks and Caicos adventures. They're lightweight and easy to carry, even on long sandy beaches. Sitting in them is comfortable, and getting in and out isn’t too awkward.  What's more, they're the perfect height to go with our portable beach table, making our beach days even better.


4. Collapsible Table

A collapsible fold up table is a practical must have for the beach. This is a turquoise table that has little metal slats that fold out to create the table. A cinch style base elevated the table for extra convenience.

The iClimb Ultralight Compact Folding Table is high on our list of must haves for the beach. Made of aerospace-grade aluminum alloy, this table is not only ultralight at 2.2 lbs but also has a max load of 66 lbs. It's waterproof, corrosion-resistant, and easy to clean. Stability is a strong point, with sturdy joints and anti-slip rubber feet. The table is compact and comes with a carry bag, making it easy to take with you wherever you go. Its flat surface is heat-resistant, allowing you to place a stove on it. Setting it up is a breeze, and it's the perfect height for drinks and snacks. Plus, it comes with a lifetime warranty.

Why we love this item: The iClimb Ultralight Compact Folding Table has quickly become one of our favorite beach day must-haves. It's the ideal size for holding drinks and snacks without being cumbersome. The table rolls up into a convenient carry bag, making it incredibly easy to transport. One of the best parts? It eliminates the need to constantly get in and out of your beach chair to grab something, and it keeps sand out of your drinks and snacks. It's a simple yet impactful addition to any beach outing. This too, is a great gift for any beach loving friends and family!


5. Collapsible Cooler

A collapsible cooler is an essential item to take to the beach.

The Maelstrom Collapsible Cooler offers an extra-large capacity that can hold up to 60 cans and 2-4 ice-packs, making it a reliable choice for beach outings and picnics. Its five-layer insulation design keeps your food and drinks cold for up to 12 hours. Built with durable, leakproof, and tear-resistant materials, this cooler is designed to last. It also features a unique double-decker design with a foil insulated top compartment for additional storage. What's more, it's versatile, easy to carry, and can be folded flat for convenient storage.

Why we love this item: Soft sided, collapsible coolers like the Maelstrom Collapsible Cooler are our go to for beach days. In fact we have a post designated to which are the best coolers for travel. They're perfect for keeping drinks chilled and storing a few snacks. What sets this cooler apart is its durability, especially when it gets heavy with ice and bottles. We recommend picking one up before your trip and packing it in your luggage. While you can find coolers on the island, you'll get a better deal and a wider selection if you buy one beforehand. It's a practical and cost effective way to enhance your beach experience.


6. Stanley Insulated Tumblers

An insulated tumbler is a beach day must have. A solid cup with handle and plastic straw that are reusable.

The Stanley Insulated Tumbler is designed to keep your drinks at the perfect temperature for hours, thanks to its double-wall vacuum insulation. It comes in various sizes to suit your hydration needs and fits conveniently in most car cup holders. The advanced FlowState lid offers three different positions for sipping, making it versatile for any occasion. Made from 90% recycled BPA-free stainless steel, this tumbler is not only durable but also eco friendly. Plus, it's dishwasher safe for easy cleaning and comes with a lifetime warranty.

Why we love this item: We are huge fans of Stanley Insulated Tumblers, or as we like to call them, “Hydration Transportation Vessels.” These tumblers are eco friendly and practical. The tapered bottom design fits easily into most cup holders, making them a convenient choice for beach outings. Plus, many beach bars are more than happy to serve your drinks in your reusable cup. By choosing a reusable tumbler, you're doing your part to keep plastic out of our oceans, which is a win for both you and marine life.


7. Waterproof Bluetooth Speakers

A cool little portable bluetooth speaker is a great must have for the beach. This 4 inch black square speaker has rounded edges and led lights in blue purple and yellow.

Looking for a reliable device to play some tunes on your beach adventures? This Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker offers loud and balanced sound, complete with a multi-color LED light show. Using Bluetooth 5.3 technology, it ensures fast and efficient transmission, while its long lasting battery can keep the tunes going for up to 25 hours. What sets it apart is its IPX7 waterproof rating and rugged design, making it a durable and practical choice for the beach. Plus, its compact size and flexible lanyard make it easy to carry along.

Why we love this item: This Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker strikes the perfect balance for us. It's compact enough to fit in your suitcase, yet delivers impressive sound quality. And here's a bonus—it floats! If an unexpected wave tries to carry it away, you can easily retrieve it. It's an excellent way to enjoy some music at the beach, as long as you're mindful of your fellow beach goers.


8. Unigear Dry Bag

A dry bag looks is a giant pouch the rolls up to keep the water out and your camera gear dry. It's a bright yellow tube shaped bag with a strap for easy carrying.

Keep your camera gear, go-pro and essentials safe and dry with the Unigear Dry Bag. Made from sturdy 500D PVC material, this bag is designed to protect your belongings from water, sand, and dust. Its high frequency welded seams add an extra layer of security, making it both waterproof and tear-resistant. The bag comes with adjustable straps for easy carrying and is versatile enough for a range of beach activities. Plus, it's designed to float, so you can have peace of mind even if it ends up in the water.

Why we love this item: A dry bag is a no brainer when it comes to keeping your gadgets and dry at the beach. We're talking about camera gear, GoPros, and even drones. The Unigear Dry Bag has been a lifesaver for us, especially on kayaking trips or boat tours. Trust us, it keeps everything bone dry. Plus, it's super easy to pack in your suitcase since it lays flat. We have the 20 Litre size and feel it has ample space for all our beach day must haves.


9. Microfiber Towels

Mircrofiber towels are a must have for the beach wherever you may be.

If you're compiling your own list of must haves for the beach, don't overlook these Microfiber Beach Towels. Offering superior absorbency and a lightweight feel, these towels make for a fabulous beach towel. Measuring 71×32 inches, they feature unique double sided printing that stays vibrant wash after wash. Their high quality microfiber material allows for quick sand shake off, making them ideal for beach, pool, or even yoga sessions. Plus, their compact design saves valuable luggage space, making them a convenient choice for any beach outing.

Why we love this item: When it comes to beach day must haves, these Microfiber Beach Towels are the perfect items. They're not just easy to pack, but they're also incredibly space efficient in your beach bag, leaving room for other must have beach items. What really sets them apart is their quick drying feature which lightens your load when you're heading back to your resort. We first received these towels as a Christmas gift and were hooked from then on. They're now on our list of best gifts for beach lovers.


10. Full Face Snorkel Mask

Cant go to the beach without your full face snorkel mask.

No day at the beach is complete without a little snorkeling adventure! The Greatever2 Full Face Snorkel Mask is a top choice for those who like to dive in and explore the marine life beneath the waves. This must-have beach item provides a 180° panoramic view and allows you to breathe comfortably through both your mouth and nose. With its anti-fog and anti-leak design, you can enjoy a clear and dry snorkeling experience. Safety is a top priority, as the mask features a unique breathing system that maximizes airflow. It even comes with a removable camera mount, making it easier to capture your underwater adventures.

Why we love this item: While a lot of resorts/vacation rentals supply snorkel gear, you may want to pack your own. The rental gear is washed thoroughly and very clean, but we prefer taking our own full face snorkel masks. We love the ease of the full face mask as opposed to the goggles and mouth piece. Both are great, we just find the full face a little less awkward, especially if you're like me and not an avid snorkeler or a good swimmer. 

If you need help choosing from the many full face snorkel masks on the market, we've compiled our top choices for kids and adults.


11. Khroom Inflatable Life Vest

A florescent yellow life vest that inflates and zips up the front. It's like a big floatie that attaches to your body. A must have for the beach if you're not a great swimmer.

If you're not a great swimmer or just want an extra layer of safety, the Khroom Inflatable Snorkel Vest is a must have beach item. Designed for leisure surface snorkeling and other low impact water sports, this vest offers supportive buoyancy and can be inflated or deflated easily via a mouthpiece. It's lightweight and compact, making it a convenient addition to your beach day essentials. The vest also comes with optional thigh straps to prevent it from riding up. Note that it's not certified as a life jacket but serves as a buoyancy aid for added peace of mind.

Why we love this item: So, a little unknown fact about me is that I’m not a good swimmer. I can doggy paddle to survive in the shallows, but I’d never trust myself in deeper water, where I can’t touch the bottom. That being said, I LOVE the water! With so much beauty to be seen under the surface there’s no way I’m missing out on any of it. I always pack my inflatable life vest and head off with Byron who’s a much stronger swimmer.

Thankfully in Turks and Caicos the waters are usually nice and calm, maybe a few waves, but never unmanageable. I strongly urge anyone who’s a little afraid to swim out further than their comfort zone, to purchase a life vest. They’re easy to pack in your beach bag and keep you from missing out on all the underwater fun wherever you are.


12. Beach Paddle Ball

Two paddles and four balls make a great must have for the beach and some fun.

Ready to add some fun to your beach day must haves? The Beach Tennis Wooden Paddle Game Set is a great way to do just that. This set includes 2 thick plywood paddles,4 ball and a reusable mesh bag. This is a fun addition to your beach day must haves, offering both fun and quality for both families and couples alike.

Why we love this item: Not that you get tired of sitting in the sun for hours watching the day pass you by. Nor do you get tired of floating mindlessly in the crystal clear waters. But, sometimes you want to have a little beach fun and challenge your friends or partner to a light hearted (warning: usually turns into a full on competitive) game of paddle ball! Yes, we know we’re adults, but we love this as much as kids do so, what can we say? And, what better way to burn off a few rum punch calories?


13. Inflatable Pool Noodles

Three sparkly inflatable pool floaties are being carried by a lady in a red swimsuit. They are rose gold, gold and silver in color.

It goes without saying these Inflatable Pool Noodles are a must have for a day at the beach. The set comes with three jumbo sized noodles and are perfect for both kids and adults. They're made from high-quality PVC vinyl materials that are UV and tear resistant (if you're not dragging them through bushes). Whether you're lounging or playing, these inflatable noodles are priority number one on our list of must haves for the beach.

Why we love this item: EVERYONE NEEDS A FLOATIE! Oh my gosh, we’d be lost without our inflatable beach noodles! No matter where we are, someone always asks where we got them. Throw a few in your case and if one bursts on a beach adventure, oh well, there’s another one ready to go! They are so amazing!! They create the perfect little armchair for you to relax and enjoy the day in the water. Be sure to get the longer 71-74 inch models for best lounging opportunities. And if they come in a box, just take them out and throw them into your suitcase for easier packing.

BE MINDFUL OF YOUR FLOATIES! Don’t let go of your floatie in the water and keep it secure when you’re on the beach. They fly away and they fly away fast. It’s always disappointing to lose your floatie but more disappointing that it’s now polluting the ocean putting marine life at risk. Always mind your noodle….!


Final Thoughts On Our Must Haves For The Beach

A trip to the beach is always an exciting adventure, and it becomes even more thrilling when you have the right gear to elevate your experience. Our list of beach day must haves was created to add that extra layer of comfort, convenience, and fun to your sun soaked outings.

From the ease of setting up a pop up tent to the sheer joy of floating on inflatable pool noodles, these items are your ticket to a perfect day by the sea. We never said we pack light, but most of these items are collapsible or inflatable, making them easy to pack for any beach adventure.

Whether you're driving down the coast or flying to a tropical destination, these beach day must haves will ensure you have an incredible day wherever your travels take you.

When we head to the beach, we like to bring along the comforts of home. We may be a little over the top, but we always have a great day at the beach with these must haves.

Ready to turn that dream beach day into reality? Start planning your trip to Turks and Caicos now!

Have a question? Email us at hello@corksandtacos.com or join our Facebook Discussion Group


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About The Authors

Hello, we're Kerry and Byron Glover, the founders of Corks and Tacos - Your one stop guide to the Turks and Caicos Islands.

We've been traveling to Turks and Caicos multiple times per year since 2014 and we created this website to share our love and passion for Turks and Caicos with you. We provide you with useful travel planning tips and give you a "real person" perspective on all the wonderful things this Island has to offer. We look forward to you exploring our site and gaining valuable knowledge within our resources for your next vacation. We’re sure you’re going to love Turks and Caicos just as much as we do! Read our full story...

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