8 Essentials for a Long Weekend at the Beach

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8 Essentials for a Long Weekend at the Beach

After a long winter, many people dream of a seaside getaway, even if only for a few days. Spending a long weekend at the beach can indeed do much to relax and refresh. Plus, with many affordable coastal options, a beach weekend presents an economical option for families, friends, couples, and individuals.

When planning a long weekend at the beach, there are several essentials that should be on the list. Swimwear, footwear, and a light cover-up for the beach are apparel must-haves. To keep skin and eyes protected from the sun's harmful UV rays, adequate sunscreen and sunglasses should be in the beach bag at all times. Beyond these essentials, beachgoers should think about what they most like to do on the beach and pack accordingly, whether it's reading, eating, listening to music, playing games, or a little bit of everything. Finally, pictures and videos let them share their memories with others, so a camera or camcorder is recommended. These essentials help holidaymakers relax and have fun on the beach.

1. Swimwear

Whether for a quick dip in the water or long hours playing the waves, everyone needs their swimming costumes. And since the delicate fabric of some swimwear, particularly women's, retains its shape better when given a day of rest in between wearings, it is a good idea to bring at least two costumes per person. The wide range of styles available for women, men, and children mean that every bather can find something fun and flattering.

Women's Swimwear

Women have many options when it comes to swimwear, frombikinis to board shorts. The choice depends on her personal style, as well as what looks flattering for her figure. Shopping by body type is a helpful way to find a swimming costume that accentuates the positive. Curvy hourglass figures are best suited by two-piece suits, while one-piece swimming costumes with detailing around the waist help give less curvy figures the illusion of a defined waist. Tankinis add dimension to slimmer upper bodies, while ruffled bikini bottoms or board shorts create more curve at the hips.

Men's Swimwear

Men, too, have their choice of swimwear styles. Classic swim shorts are a good style for all ages; men can choose from a variety of prints or solid colours. Snug-fitting brief trunks are flattering for slender, muscular figures; boxer trunks are also slim-fitting but a bit longer. Long, sporty board shorts are a perennial favourite that can work for a range of figures and ages.

Children's Swimwear

Children's swimwear is as varied as adults'. For young girls, there areswimming costumes,tankinis, and bikinis. For boys, the choices include swim shorts, brief trunks, boxer trunks, and board shorts. Infants and young toddlers benefit from special UV-protective sunsuits that cover the arms and legs, and which can go in the water, as well.

2. Sun Protection

Enjoy the relaxing, rejuvenating benefits of a long weekend at the beach whilst keeping skin protected. A wide body of scientific research points to the damaging effects of the sun's ultraviolet rays (UVA and UVB), which can lead to skin cancer, premature aging, and eye damage. For these reasons, it is essential that beachgoers take certain precautions. This goes for people of all ages, but is especially important for children, who are more susceptible to harmful environmental factors.


Apply sunscreen liberally to all areas of exposed skin. The sunscreen should have an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30 and be labelled as 'high protection' according to EU standards. Reapply frequently throughout the day, particularly after swimming, sweating, or towel-drying skin, even if the product is labelled waterproof.


Eyes are also susceptible to sun damage, which is why beachgoers should also wear sunglasses. Not all sunglasses are effective, however: look for ones that bear the 'CE Mark' and British Standard (BS EN 1836:1997), have a UV 400 label, and are certified as 100 percent UV-protective.

Covering Up

Covering skin and staying in the shade are additional ways to keep protected. Women can choose from fashionable sarongs and cover-ups, for example, while men can opt for a loose T-shirt. Hats add protection for the face, and a beach umbrella creates some welcome shade, as well as sun protection.

3. Beach Towels and Blankets

Beachgoers should remember to pack their favourite beach towels for lounging on the sand, and drying off after a swim. Beach towels are longer than most bath towels, and come in bright solid colours, as well as fun and flashy designs. Beach blankets cover a broader area so more people can sit or stretch out. They make a perfect place to gather for snacking or chatting.

4. Casual Footwear

Many travellers overlook the importance of having the right footwear for the beach. Having the right footwear lets them walk comfortably and safely between beach and hotel, as well as go out for an evening stroll. Espadrilles, with their canvas uppers and soles of jute and rubber, are a fashionable choice for both men and women. Flip flops are easy for the beach, but are not advisable for driving, and do not provide adequate support or protection when walking for extended periods. Sport sandals are a better choice for those who want a more open shoe.

5. A Cool Bag or Ice Box

Whether packing a few bottles of water or an elaborate beach picnic, acool bag or ice box is another beach weekend essential. Both come in a variety of sizes and colours, and keep drinks and snacks cool on a hot day. It also helps to have on hand a set of plastic tableware, including cups, plates, and cutlery, along with a stack of paper napkins. Some are even reusable, so they can be washed and packed away for the next holiday.

6. Beach Reading

For many beachgoers, an engrossing novel makes the perfect beach companion. Whether it is a crime novel, a romantic tale, a sci-fi fantasy, or a classic of literature, do not forget to pack a paperback.

7. Fun and Games

Some beachgoers wish to spend the day simply gazing at the blue horizon. Those looking for a more active way to spend their day at the beach may want to pack a few additional items in their beach bag.

Children's Beach Toys

Young sandcastle builders should be equipped with pails and shovels for digging sand, hauling it, and shaping their creations. Toys like beach balls and frisbees are fun for pairs or groups of all ages. A volleyball net or pair of badminton rackets are perfect for a quick afternoon game in between swims.

MP3 Players and Portable Radios

Individuals can relax to their favourite music with their MP3 player or smart phone, and a waterproof case keeps the device safe from splashes. Portable, battery-powered radios are a good choice for groups.

8. A Digital Camera and/or Camcorder

Make the memories last by snapping lots of pictures over a long weekend at the beach.Digital cameras and camcorders range from small, basic models to complex professional ones. Pictures and videos can be uploaded to a computer, shared online with friends and relatives, and favourite photos can be printed and framed or placed in an album.

How to Buy Essentials for a Long Weekend at the Beach on eBay

Let eBay help you prepare for your long weekend at the beach. You'll find an extensive selection of the items you need, from bikinis to beach balls. Start on eBay's home page: locate the search bar and enter keywords such as "size 8 women's sandals" or " men's swimming trunks". You can then refine your search results by entering a price range and other limiting factors.

Once you have found an item you are interested in, read the full listing carefully. Note the item condition, and important details such as sizing, material, and quantity. Also be sure to check whether there are additional postage fees. If you have any questions, you can contact the seller through eBay.

Don't forget to look at the seller's feedback rating and browse comments left by past buyers, preferably ones who have bought items similar to the one you are interested in. Top-rated sellers have a strong track record of customer service. Once you have received your item, you can leave your own constructive feedback.


A long weekend at the beach is a perfect way to relax and rejuvenate, whether alone, with a friend or partner, or as a family or group. When preparing to hit the sand and surf, there are several things beachgoers should be sure to bring along.

Perhaps the number one beach essential is swimwear. There are numerous styles from which to choose, for men, women, and children alike. Just as important is adequate sun protection: this includes sunscreen, sunglasses, and loose clothing to keep skin covered. Good casual footwear can go from the beach to the hotel and on easy evening strolls. Towels and beach blankets are for lounging around, while books, toys, and MP3 players keep beachgoers entertained. Anyone planning to bring their own food and beverages needs a cool bag or ice box. And finally, a camera or camcorder let people share their holiday with others, and preserve the memories for posterity.

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