If you’re craving a trip to a sunny, sandy locale, don’t resist the urge, embrace it! Bid farewell to the gray days that have dominated the calendar since last fall, and enjoy the warmer temps and sounds of the crashing waves. As you run toward a destination off the coast of somewhere, though, don’t forget to pack the essentials. These 10 items should be on every beach bag checklist to ensure a perfect time away.

Beach bag checklist

Make your trip a breeze with our beach bag checklist!

10 Beach Bag Essentials

√ A bag to hold it all

Perhaps the obvious starting point is the actual beach bag itself. Scout Bags are known for their durability and playful patterns, which make them ideal beach bags. Available in a variety of shapes, sizes and designs, Scout Bags can be used even after you leave the beach, as the polypropylene is easy to clean. If cold drinks and snacks are on your packing list, grab a Scout Bag insulated cooler, too!

√ Eye protection

Whether you spend your hours on the beach people watching, reading or snoozing, you need to protect your eyes from the relentless sun. KREWE du optic is a glasses brand that was founded in New Orleans to celebrate individual style. Not only do the lenses offer UVA/UVB protection and color clarity, they are also highly scratch resistant and extremely cool in design.

√ SPF

We are all ready to give our bodies an extra dose of vitamin D this spring, but don’t forget to lather up for long days on the sand. Sun Bum is a young company — started in 2010 — that specializes in sun care products formulated for people who live in and love the sun. The original line of sunscreen offers sheer coverage that protects and moisturizes; SPF options range from 15 to 70 and start at $9.99.

√ Lip protector and hydrator

Many of us have mastered the art of applying sunscreen, but one spot that often gets overlooked is our lips. Keep your lips hydrated and burn-free with Elta MD Skincare SPF 31, a water-resistant lip balm that moisturizes lips and protects them with transparent zinc oxide. For the men, pack a stick of Duke Cannon tactical lip protectant with SPF 15.

√ Dry shampoo

If you want to hold on to those beach-y waves as you grab afternoon cocktails at the beach bar, toss in some of Aveda’s shampure dry shampoo. It will dry up any excess oil left on your scalp, and the natural scent will leave you feeling — and smelling — fresh. The dry shampoo is actually a dry powder, so be sure to seal the lid and not overapply!

√ No-fuss hair ties

Emi Jay hair ties were all the rage when they hit the market a few years ago and their following has held strong. All Emi Jay hair ties, which are made in the USA, are crafted with soft, stretchy materials that will hold your hair without leaving a crease and are a great way to manage tangly locks at the beach.

√ A way to stay dry and stylin’

Founded by a Nashville gal, Turkish T is a brand of Turkish towels, many of which are great for tossing in your beach bag. The material is thin and quick drying, meaning it can double as a beach towel and a sarong. The towel is also lightweight, so it won’t weigh your bag down!

√ Hydration holder

Stop dehydration in its tracks by packing water to sip on throughout the day. When looking for a lightweight, durable option that keeps liquids cold, we stumbled upon the BKR BPA-free, phthalate-free bottles. The small opening prevents spills, and the seal ensures that water won’t leak all over your bag. The glass bottles are wrapped in a silicone sleeve, which helps keep any drink cool.

√ Cover for your locks and shade for your face

As the day goes on, throw on an Aviate cap for added protection. The lightweight fabric is breathable, while the brim is sturdy enough to provide good face shade. Aviate hats are adorned with city airport codes. Southeast spots that are represented include: Athens, Anna Maria Island, Atlanta, Auburn, Gainesville, Huntsville, Jackson, Miami, Tampa, Mobile, Sarasota, Tallahassee, Knoxville, Oxford, New Orleans, Birmingham, Louisville, Tuscaloosa, Nashville, Baton Rouge, Charleston, Charlotte, Lexington and Memphis.

√ Good reads

Treat yourself to a good book, or a trashy magazine, and let yourself slip away into pure relaxation. Next week, we will have a full list of beach books for spring break and beyond. In the meantime, stop by your local bookstore and ask what they suggest. No matter if you are looking for a captivating mystery, a tale of true love or an account of moments in history, real or fictionalized, you are sure to find something you love.

Safe travels, and maybe we’ll see you on the beach!