14 Things to Pack in Your Beach Bag

14 Things to Pack in Your Beach Bag


It’s always a crap shoot when you’re headed to the beach. What can you pack that is practical, will keep you entertained and will also keep you safe from the sun?

Well, we know a few people who live near the beach and they have given us a list of what you’ll need for a quick beach trip.

  1. Beach Bag. Keep it light, don’t get too fancy and choose one you’re not afraid of getting wet or all sandy. You can make a pretty rad bag out of duct tape. Wanna? HERE is the simple tutorial.
  2. After sun lotion. This will keep your skin hydrated after being exposed to the hot sun.
  3. Surf Spray. Keep your hair hydrated, too. You don’t want your head to look like it’s sprouting straw.
  4. Lip balm with sunblock. Have you ever burned your bottom lip? Nuff said.
  5. Sun hat. Not only do you look absolutely adorable but this will keep the sun from your face and, most importantly, your scalp. But, seriously, adorable.
  6. Sunglasses. Go for ones that have UV protection. You want to be able to see in your old age.
  7. Sunblock. Duh. Reapply every 2 hours. Here’s some interesting information (from Queen Oprah) about choosing your SPF.
  8. Umbrella. While this isn’t necessary and not something you have lying around, if you’re headed out with the family, this is a good option to create shade when you get a little tired of the UV rays gettin’ all up in your business.
  9. A towel. My mom always told me, ‘When shaking out the sand, make sure to shake AWAY from people.’ Also, ‘Your shoes go on the sand, not on the towel‘. Nobody likes sand in their eyes.
  10. Coconut water. You can bring regular water but coconut water will hydrate the heck out of you. Plus, it tastes really good. Well, not the plain stuff. That’s just gross.
  11. Snacks. Choose healthier snacks or you’ll just feel like a lazy bum eating crap on the beach. Try dried fruit or trail mix. You’ll want to replenish your body and maintain energy so you can enjoy your time at the beach.
  12. Baby powder. Once you’re off the beach, you’ll have sand stuck in places you don’t remember touching the beach. Apply some baby powder and those granules come right off. It’s a cool trick.
  13. Waterproof bag for phone. Better safe than sorry. You can go ghetto like me and put your phone in a zip lock bag or you can get serious about it and buy a CHEAP waterproof cover for that phone. Besides, you’ll need to post beach pics on Instagram.
  14. Kindle or iPad. Read a book or magazine or even watch movies while at the beach. It passes the time and you’re entertained. I always get bored at the beach unless I have a variety of things to do. I’m not an ocean swimmer. Wow, that made me sound snotty. It’s a shark thing. And a ‘people have peed in that water for hundreds of years’ thing.

Items to wear:

  • Swimsuit
  • Cover Up
  • Flip Flops

To get any of the items in the image above and to check out our beach store, click HERE. Kate Spade sunglasses? Yes, please!

tawsha connell

Keep it to a Carry On Bag

Keep it to a Carry On Bag


Passengers on major U.S. carriers spent more than US$1.74 billion on bag fees in the first half of 2012, US$78 million more than in the first half of 2011, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports.(via CNN).

I’m sorry, WHAT? Come-a-freaking-gain?!?!? Nuh uh!!! That was just in 2011!

I’m an over-packer. It’s in my nature. Since I never know how I’ll “feel” when I get up, I never know what I’ll want to pack. ‘Is it a shorts day or a skirt day? Should I bring a tank top AND a cardigan or would a cropped jacket be more appropriate? What if I go out and do something fun? I’ll need a nice outfit…but not too nice. Oh no, where would we go? Is it dressy dressy or dressy casual? What shoes will I wear with it?’

This is what goes through my head EVERY SINGLE time I travel.

Now it’s time to put myself to the test.

I’m traveling to my dad’s house in upstate New York. I’ll be outside most of the time so there’s no need to dress up but I also don’t want to look like a total bag lady because we’ll be taking lots of pictures. Oh, and we’re going to two fairs (It’s for my son- I’m sooooooo not the farm/agriculture type. I like makeup and smelling good).

The other thing: I don’t want to pay $25 per bag for each of us. My challenge is to fit 6 days in a carry on bag.


Here are some packing tricks I’ve learned (and will attempt).

An updated report is at the end of this post! Is it truly possible?

Rules for Clothing

  1. Limit yourself to two pairs of shoes and two pairs of pants.
  2. Don’t pack more than a week’s worth of clothes. For longer trips, plan to do laundry.
  3. Pack only garments that can be color-coordinated with everything else in your travel wardrobe. If it doesn’t work in multiple outfits, leave it at home.
  4. Maximize your personal item. In addition to a carry-on bag, airlines allow you to bring a personal item such as a purse or laptop bag. I generally bring a small backpack, which can hold a lot more than a purse but will still fit easily under the seat in front of me. (Pack an empty purse in your backpack.)
  5. Take multipurpose items such as a sarong that can easily become a scarf, a towel, a hair wrap, a pillow case or a picnic blanket.
  6. Pack three tops for every bottom.
  7. Stick with a color scheme so you can mix and match.
  8. Plan your colors around the shoes you want to take. (How about we not wear navy shoes with black capris, mmmmkay?)
  9. Pack underwear for each day…then add one.

Packing Tips

Shoving into suitcase red

  • Set everything out so you can pack mentally. This is like a game of Tetris.
  • Load books on an eReader or bring just one. You can swap en route.
  • Pack socks and underwear inside any shoes you aren’t wearing
  • Wear your bulkiest items on the plane. (All I can think of is Joey wearing Chandler’s clothes in Friends)
  • Roll your clothes
  • Fit tank tops and smaller/thinner items in the crevices of the very bottom of your bag (like, in between the metal handles)
  • Place your shoes, individually, in bags (ziplock gallon bags will do), and line the perimeter of the suitcase.
  • Use packing cubes to keep your clothing compact and categorized.
  • Opt for toiletry bags so you can keep all your bathroom essentials in one place and able to hang easily once you reach your destination.
  • Pack limited makeup. Unless you’re traveling for beauty reasons, choose your most versatile colors and leave behind all the options. Go with what works.
  • Choose accessories that can be worn with everything. Think: Simple.
  • When going through a normal day, take notes of what you typically use. (You can write it on your printable packing list provided at the end of this post.)

There’s a great list on Beginner Beans. She talks about faking low maintenance. I love that. I need to try it.

joey as chandler

Wear your bulk…or anything you can.

Rolling, Folding and Bundling

Click image for a flight attendant's packing tutorial

click for a flight attendant’s packing tutorial

Real Simple has outlined how to roll, fold or bundle clothing for travel.


  • Pants: Fold pants in half lengthwise so that the back pockets face outward. Roll tightly from the cuffs to the waistband.
  • A Straight Skirt or Dress: If the dress has sleeves, first fold each sleeve backward. Fold the entire garment in half lengthwise. Roll from the bottom hem up.
  • A Winter Down Jacket: Zip it, then roll it the same way you would a top, trying to squeeze as much air out of it as possible as you go. Secure it tightly with string or large rubber bands so that it doesn’t come undone. Slip it into a pillowcase and you’ve even got a germ-free headrest for the plane.
How to roll a SHIRT
Another tip: Use a pillowcase to roll your clothing like a burrito. Here’s how.
  • A Dress Shirt: Lay a buttoned-up shirt face-down and flat. Center a magazine below the collar. Fold in the right side of the shirt, using the magazine’s edge as a guide. Take the arm and position it straight down, parallel to the shirt’s body. Repeat on the opposite side. Fold the bottom of the shirt so that the hem touches the shoulders. Slide out the magazine from the top. If you have several shirts of similar shape and size, you can stack them, folding them all as one to cushion the creases.
  • Dress Pants: Fold along the center creases or the side seams so that the legs stack on top of each other. Fold in half so that the waist touches the hem. Fold in half again.
  • A Full Skirt or Dress: Put it in a large plastic trash bag to avoid wrinkles from setting. Fold it in half lengthwise so that the side seams line up—you’ll have an angle down one side. Fold the angled edge inward to form a rectangle. Fold the garment in half horizontally or, if it’s on the longer side, in thirds. Pack it on top of everything else in the suitcase.

How to fold a BLAZER


  • Lay Out All Your Clothes: You can bundle everything besides underwear, swimsuits, and accessories. Each garment should be buttoned or zipped and placed faceup (but jackets should be facedown). You’ll need a core, like a packing cube, to bundle around.
  • Follow the Right Order: Start with tailored garments that wrinkle easily (they’ll be on the outside of the bundle, cushioned by both the other clothes and the core). Then add pieces that are less likely to wrinkle (these will be near the core). To keep the bundle balanced, lay short dresses and tops vertically, alternating north and south, and long dresses and bottoms horizontally, alternating east and west. Here’s the general sequence from the outer layer in: jackets, short dresses, long-sleeve shirts, short-sleeve shirts, pants, long dresses, skirts, sweaters, knits, and shorts.
  • Add the Core: Then, starting from the top of the pile, wrap each garment around the core.


A How-To Video

This woman is referred to as Mary Poppins because she can fit so much in a carry-on bag. Talk about a great tutorial! I watched the ENTIRE thing and her tips on travel cosmetics. Just a warning if you’re not loaded in the finance department: You’ll have to improvise on what you use. As in: Ziplocks over designer shoe plastic bags. You’ll see what I mean. She offers great tips and is likeable on camera. I may want to be her friend. We’ll discuss that another time.

Printable Packing List

Each time I travel, I have to write a list. Duh. It’s categorized by what I’ll need to take (casual clothes, toiletries, shoes, etc.) To make things easy, we created a free printable packing list you can fill out to fit your travel needs.


[download id=”15190″]


[download id=”18″]

Safe travels,

tawsha connell



I did it

I STILL over packed and got everything in there. It’s a true carry-on bag. Nothing oversized or fancy. See the clothing in the picture to the left? You’re seeing the second layer. There’s stuff underneath it, too. Holy crap! This is amazing!

Travel Toiletry Pocket Carrier


toothbrush holderTIP OF THE DAY: Fold the bottom of a hand towel 1/3 of the way up.

Sew straight lines from the bottom crease to the edge of the towel.

You should have four sections.

Don’t forget to sew the outside edges.

Add a ribbon to one end for wrapping after you roll it and viola, a travel toothbrush carrier that WON’T stay wet.

Tips for Moving – Part 1: Packing

Tips for Moving – Part 1: Packing


Planning a move? I still think this seems like the most simple way to do it. Don’t you think it would be awesome to give your house a good clean, secure everything in place and then pack the entire house on a truck for a move to your new location?

Turns out, that’s not possible for about 99% of us.

We will be posting a 3-part moving series that will apply and be helpful to those moving in or out of a home you own, rent, a dorm or any other place where you have to pack loads of stuff you didn’t even realize you owned and make the place look pretty when you vacate.

Tips for Moving – Part 1: Packing

Just scroll down and discover easy tips for moving, how to stay organized, the proper way to pack a box and tips on your “first night survival kit.”

Tips for Moving – Part 2: Cleaning & Repairs

Coming soon. We’ll share quick tips on how to efficiently clean your home making it look spotless with the least amount of effort. It will appear as if you hired a cleaning company…all the way down to the driveway.

Tips for Moving – Part 3: Inexpensive DIY Home Updates

Coming soon. Are you staging your house to sell or are you moving into a less than new home? We’ll share tips and how-to’s on update your home making it appear more high priced than it actually is. We all like quick-fixes to make us feel a bit more high class, right?

There are a few simple tips to remember, a few other websites to browse for packing how to’s and ways to organize your move so you know where everything is when you get to your new home.


1. Create a moving binder and/or moving log. (use a color-code system for your boxes)

Click for moving a moving binder how-to.  Source: A Bowl Full of Lemons

Click for moving a moving binder how-to.
Source: A Bowl Full of Lemons

Click for instructions Source: Shannon Brown

Click for instructions
Source: Shannon Brown

2. Separate plates and bowls with disposable foam plates and bowls. For a more environmentally friendly version, choose corrugated cardboard or even dishtowels. 

The Frugal Girls (click image for more)

The Frugal Girls
(click image for more)

3. Wrap Glad Press n Seal over any miscellaneous home items that could fall out or get messy in the move.

More Press n Seal tips at orgjunkie.com (click image for more)

More Press n Seal tips at OrgJunkie
(click image for more)

4. Wrap your clothes in a trash bag while they still hang in the closet.

The Wicker House  (for more packing tips, click here)

The Wicker House
(for more packing tips, click here)

5. Use socks to pack perfume bottles or fragile items.


6. Everything soft is packing material. This will help you save on bubble wrap, packing paper, etc. Hello linen closet!

linen closet

7. Before you get boxes, start packing up suitcases, laundry hampers, garbage cans, storage bins, etc.

old suitcases

8. You can get FREE BOXES at colleges (head to the computer lab), book stores, liquor stores, craigslist and even behind major stores like Target and WalMart.

A lot of times you can go in and ask for the boxes or you can go dumpster diving. In the recycled box container. Be careful…we won’t take responsibility for your diving injuries.

box dumpster

9. Tape nuts and bolts to the furniture in which it belongs.

taping parts to furniture

10. Create a moving day survival kit.

You will be moving into a place that is completely empty (unless you just won the lottery and are buying everything new and it’s waiting for you – but I digress). Be of the mindset that you are camping. What would you need for night one?

survival kit

  • A suitcase loaded with a couple changes of clothing (including sleepwear)
  • Toiletry kit
  • Towels
  • Daily medication
  • Quick food (non perishable)
  • Plastic utensils
  • Bottled water
  • Bed linens and blankets (or sleeping bags)
  • Pillows
  • Pet food (if applicable)
  • Small tools
  • Flashlights
  • Phone charger
  • Towels
  • Cleaning supplies (just some basics)
  • Games and/or toys for kids
  • (more survival packing tips at The Joyful Organizer)

11. No matter the distance of your move, do it as if you’re moving cross country.

You’ll be more efficient if you pack a big truck one time and unload it one time.

truck backed into house


tawsha connell