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Beach season has officially arrived and we can all take a collective exhale. If you’re anything like us, you’re gleefully planning your first day in the waves, yet fretting about how—and what—to pack for you and your family. (Needless to say, 2020 kept us out of practice.) Thankfully, we’ve done the work for you and rounded up a list of beach bag must-haves for a much-deserved summer of celebrating life in the sunshine.

Birkenstock

1. Birkenstock EVA Arizona Sandals

If a winter (um, fall and spring?) stuck indoors has made your feet more sensitive than ever, fear not. You’ll get back to that calloused beach bum life, we promise. Until then, give your soles—and arches—some TLC as you head to your perfect sandy spot. The Birkenstock EVA is foot-friendly, waterproof and washable…and it comes in every summery shade. (We’re partial to the jade.)

Buy It ($45)

Sponsored beach essentials australian gold
Australian Gold

2. Australian Gold Instant Bronzer Sunscreen

We know you’re desperate for those late August freckles, but go easy: Always make sure to apply sunscreen before you head outside. If you’re really craving a hint of color, Australian Gold Instant Bronzer Sunscreens protect your skin while creating a healthy, natural glow. Made with Kakadu Plum, a native Australian fruit rich in Vitamin C, and a plethora of natural oils, Australian Gold also nourishes and hydrates skin. Plus, it’s oxybenzone- and phthalate-free and totally reef-friendly.

Buy It (from $9.50)

Shibumi

3. Shibumi Shade Tent

While protective sunscreens will allow for ample basking, shady breaks are key. The Shibumi Shade tent is totally transportable, thanks to an over-the-shoulder carrying case, and will fit as many as six under its canopy. Consider it a family recharge before another round of UV rays. Did we mention assembly is foolproof?

Buy It ($250)

Gap

4. Gap Straw Bucket Hat

We’re committing to the bucket hat craze of 2021 (sorry, we have to) but a wide-brim straw is just as trendy. From sunscreen to tents to hats, you and your crew will be enviably responsible, yet totally en vogue, frolickers.

Buy It ($40)

L.L.Bean

5. Kubb Yard Game

With social interaction back in our lives this summer, beach games are a must. While we’re always down for crowd-pleasers like bocce ball and cornhole, we’re loving Kubb this season. Invented in Sweden in the early 1900s, think of Kubb as a beachy combo of bowling and horseshoes. The best part? Even when competition is steep, it’s easily played with drink in hand.

Buy It ($70)

Ombraz

6. Ombraz Armless Sunglasses

When rowdy games of Kubb turn into bodysurfing competitions, we’ve got you covered. Ombraz armless sunglasses won’t fall off, ever, thanks to a secure neck strap that’s durable, comfortable, and totally packable. (Sorry, no more excuses for disappearing sunnies.)

Buy It ($140)

Nunn

7. Nunn Sport Tablets

Newly hot temps, humidity, direct sunlight and salt water are a recipe for dehydration. Nuun sport tablets amp your water intake thanks to a quick hit of electrolytes and minerals. They come in a plethora of fruity flavors—some with caffeine, too—and are vegan, gluten-free, kosher and non-GMO.

Buy It ($7)

Tesalate

8. Tesalate Beach Towels

Your linen closet is overflowing with faded beach towels, we know. Who doesn’t have a Disney-themed pile from 1995? Give yourself an upgrade with a sand-less, fast-drying towel. We love Tesalate (read: very Instagrammable towels for two) and Sand Cloud, which donates 10 percent of its profits to marine conservation.

Buy It (from $59)

Hello Bello

9. Hello Bello Organic Baby Powder

All the sand-free towels in the world won’t save you from that relentless in-between-your-toes grit. (We love to hate it.) Our favorite hack? A bottle of baby powder. Airdry after a quick dip and apply the powder to extra-grainy spots. Magic! The powder absorbs extra moisture on the skin, making for a quick and easy brush-away. Try it on your scalp for sandy hair, too.

Buy It ($6.50)

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