The sign of a great summer: My beach bag is getting more use than my handbag.
Whether you’re toting around a beach bag, a pool bag, a gym bag or a something-else bag, I’ve got a few upgrades to share. Things that make my life a little bit easier and a little less messy.
Beach bag upgrades
Some of these beach bag upgrades are technically baby items, but don’t let that scare you off. And if you find yourself childless yet running to Babies ‘R Us after reading this post, allow me to either 1. talk you out of it (with one child and another on the way, that place still terrifies me) 2. offer you one of the 19 about-to-expire 20% off coupons I have crammed in my wallet.
A wet bag
This should really be called “a prevent everything else in your beach bag from getting wet… bag.” We use this one from Skip Hop, which is on the small side, but is perfect for storing my wet bathing suit, Grace’s wet bathing suit, and at least one towel. If you’re heading to the pool or a friend’s house, wet bags are a great place to store your change of clothes (which can be swapped out for wet suits). This also works for sweaty gym gear.
I like the mesh pocket on the outside of the Skip Hop bag — it’s perfect for stashing keys and a few dollars, or an extra swim diaper or two. The snap handle is great too — I often attach it to the outside of our beach bag if we need a little extra room.
A giant carabiner
I sort of wonder what life was like before I discovered stroller hooks. I also sort of wonder what I would get done if I weren’t wondering about things like life before stroller hooks. This thing is essentially a giant, glorified carabiner. It’s padded on one side, allowing you to comfortably carry a bunch of bags or items that have been clipped together.
During the non-summer (I’m just not ready to say winter, or fall even), I use our hook most often when trying to make a single trip into our condo with the groceries and Grace. I keep one in my car, and another in or attached to whichever bag I am carrying. In the summer, however, it’s perfect for securing extra items to our beach bag (sand toys, towels) or keeping multiple sets of keys from getting lost.
Reusable snack bags
I use these reusable snack bags to store small items that, like keys, have a tendency to go missing in the very bottom of our beach bag– my phone, lip balm, hair elastics, band-aids, and sunblock sticks. Again, these work for your gym bag, too. The larger size can take the place of my wallet (because who wants to bring their entire wallet… 20% off coupons and all… to the beach?) and the smaller sizes are great for collecting shells and other treasures. They can be easily washed or wiped clean.
Also: I am obsessed with the patterns on these bags. They make me want to start designing fabric. If I had any clue how to do that. Which I don’t. Mostly because I am busy thinking about life before stroller hooks.
A waterproof camera
This is a bit of a splurge, but I bought a waterproof camera before our honeymoon to St. John and I’m so glad I did. We’ve been able to capture photos from amazing snorkeling trips and swimming in tropical caves to Grace’s first swimming lessons and days spent at the Cape with our family. In my dreams, I am the sort of person who swims under waterfalls and regularly partakes in SUP yoga in the harbor… but um, it’s perfect for my less cool, less adventurous (real) life.
We have an older version of the Nikon Coolpix Waterproof AW100 series. It is waterproof up to 100 feet, is shockproof and has built in GPS/world map. It seems like there are more options available (and at better prices) these days, and the new Nikons have built in wifi to easily transfer images to your smart phones. If you’re going to invest in a camera, I highly recommend getting a waterproof camera float, too. This can be used to carry the camera… but also lessens the chance of your camera disappearing, sinking, or sneakily bodysurfing ashore without you.
Speaking of bodysurfing, I’ve got a wave to catch. Toodles!
[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false] We’ve come to the end of the road, girls and Boyz II Men. This marks the final vacation post from our awesome week at sea, in Haiti, and in Mexico. When I left you last, we were exploring Mayan ruins and my unparalleled nerdiness. In comparison (and in reality), this post’s a day at the beach.
Don't adjust your monitors, people. That color is the real deal.
The rainstorms at the ruins passed and the sun broke through just in time for a Mexican buffet on the beach. I said, “si, por favor” to guacamole, rice, beans and hot sauce. The food was amazing, but I was anxious to change into my bathing suit and begin an afternoon of Cool Stuff Explorations. Nick and I walked down to the waves when our first cool thing nearly stabbed us in the leg (that might be a slight exaggeration).
Ray, that’s what I named him, looked a lot like a stealth fighter jet. Prior to seeing him, I had every intention of going swimming. After seeing him? No way did I want to be Steve Irwined. Besides, there was so much to see along the shoreline.
We collected a lot of shells and coral. I tried not to collect fleas from the pack of wild dogs, but they were just so cute (and clearly, as you can tell from the photo above, we were missing Clark). Earlier in the day, however, I collected the coolest thing of all: an authentic luchador mask. It’s perfect for napping.
Scary, aren’t I? This is what I look like when you disturb my slumber (be thankful I am wearing a mask). Please be aware that my hair is soaking wet. I have not, in fact, taken to bathing in canola oil. Just figured I’d clarify. After a blissful day combing the beach and exploring the Mayan ruins, we watched the sun set and toasted to a beautiful, relaxing, exhilarating vacation.