The 5 best beach bags of 2012 & how to pack it perfectly!

Ok, I'll let you in on a little secret here. I love the beach. I know, who doesn't, right? 

I'm sort of a pro when it comes to packing a beach bag. I've had years and years of experience and now that I've moved to California, I feel like my beach prowess has hit an all-time high. So, I wanted to share my knowledge with you! This only includes what you should pack in your bag, not your cooler (that's coming down the line later on this week, so be sure to tune in), but it's still a pretty good guide if I do say so myself!

First things first: NEVER FORGET the SUNSCREEN. You should have the all-purpose waterproof, slather all over your body and the kiddies kind. I love physical or "chemical-free" sunscreens because they are great for sensitive skin. I pack a lotion between SPF 15 and 30 (anything higher is a waste of money) for easy all over body application and a stick to cover places like my ears, lips and nose. 

Next up is hydration. This is where those weird aluminum cans you see all the cool kids running around with come in handy. Buy a reusable water bottle (the planet will thank you later) and fill it with most ice and some water--at least a liter of water per person!

Now you need your physical sun barriers. I always bring a wide-brimmed floppy hat to the beach as well as my biggest stunna shades. This is your chance to channel Jackie O. ladies so take advantage. These physical barriers are just as important as sunscreen so don't forget them.

For cover-ups, I LOVE little cotton sundresses with built-in bras that I can throw on over my suit OR wear as a cute outfit If I decide not to go straight home after my day at the beach. This way, I can pull double-duty and not have to worry about packing an entirely new set of clothes (just don't forget a clean pair of skivvies)!

Beach blanket/towels are an important part of this equation, but I've never been one to spend a ton of money on fancy chairs or bamboo mats. I just bring two towels so I have a back-up. 

Snacks are integral for the beach, especially if you know you're going somewhere without a lot of public amenities. I like carrot sticks and hummus, celery, fruit, pita chips and granola. Stay away from anything that can melt here ladies and of course, the healthier the better!

Don't forget the entertainment! I just got an e-reader that revolutionized my life, but keep in mind you probably won't have wifi access. My husband always brings different sports to play and I have to say, after a few hours of laying around, a good run in the surf and the sand is just what the Dr. ordered!

As for the bag to carry the whole day in, here are my picks for this summer's cutest (and most functional) beach bags.

About the author

Mariela is the Managing Editor of MamásLatinas for CafeMom. She's also a politics and pop culture junkie and lover of all NY sports teams (except the Mets--'cause really, come on).

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Filed Under: beach bags, summer fashion
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¡BEAUTIFUL BEACH BAG!

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