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This is the summer where we can all finally emerge from our respective dwellings and breathe in the fresh air and immaculate vibes. Go outside and adventure!
If there’s anything this pandemic has taught us is that life is short, and you don’t have time to waste being miserable (or staying inside). Do what makes you happy, live unimaginable experiences, and don’t you dare hesitate for a second!
In no particular order, here are our finalists that made the cut for this year’s ultimate summer essentials. It’s time to get you back to living life (*Kourtney Kardashian voice*)!
- Low Beach Folding Chairs
I don’t know why we would always borrow Mike’s parents’ lawn chairs when we could buy a 2-for-1 pack for our household…and they last FOREVER!
So, we finally made the leap because no one wants to keep borrowing items and it’s so handy to have chairs on the beach when you don’t necessarily want to sit on the ground (#IYKYK).
Get the beach chairs that come with a carrying bag so you can pack ’em up and easily carry them from one place to another.
- Portable Beach Tent
I’ve been seeing beach tents pop up (literally) more and more and…I’m really digging it!
They are just so much easier and provide more coverage than your standard beach umbrella. There’s no effort as you don’t have to dig the umbrella into the ground (hoping it doesn’t fly away later on).
This portable beach tent comes with built-in sandbags that you can fill up at the beach and go on about your day. No worries about strong winds taking her off to Neverland, she’s staying put and keeping you perfectly shaded.
- Black Girl Sunscreen (For All Skin Types/Shades)
I’ve been rocking Black Girl Sunscreen for a few years now and it’s a GAMECHANGER.
No weird, white residue left over your skin (which makes you look blue if you’re brown-skinned like me..ugh) and it doesn’t have a super, strong sunscreen scent.
Another favorite of mine is Sun Bum. As long as the sunscreen you decide to use is at least 30 SPF and BROAD SPECTRUM you’re good to go (FYI: broad spectrum means it protects the skin by absorbing and blocking UVA and UVB rays, not just one or the other).
- Folding Table With Built-In Cooler
Did you guys know about this?
A folding table with a built-in cooler is the perfect fit for the beach, a picnic in the park, or even a tailgate. It’s super stable with built-in tension straps so you can take it anywhere you want to eat and drink (and are legally allowed lol)!
It comes with a travel bag to easily carry it, 4 cupholders, a food basket in the center, AND an insulated cooler below that you can easily fill with ice and as many beers and White Claws as you want (I got you, sis!).
- Sand Proof Beach Blankets
The amount of times I have to get up and shake off my beach blanket is ridiculous and it’s not like I can get all of the sand off anyway because it’s damn near glue (*rolls eyes in frustration*).
Skip the headache and upgrade to a sand proof beach blanket! It will NEVER accumulate with sand, and you can essentially do anything you want without worrying about sand being all over you. Eat, sunbathe, put the baby down for a nap, whatever you want.
It’s also waterproof and it won’t blow away due to including ground stake anchors and sandbags just like the beach tent!
- Water Shoes
Water shoes are so underrated! If you’ve ever felt the uncomfortable feeling of seaweed wiggling between your toes or walking barefoot on rocks, then you feel my pain lol.
They protect your feet and they’re breathable/water wicking so after going in the pool, beach, waterpark, you can continue to walk around comfortably without having to change your shoes.
I personally own these because they also have anti-chafing material that some other brands may not have.
If you’re not into wearing water shoes, or don’t need shoes with as much protection and sturdiness, then opt for traditional crocs. They’re comfortable, waterproof/easy-to-clean, and come in so many different styles so choose what fits you.
Crazy how crocs weren’t so trendy about 5 years ago and now, EVERYONE and their mama is wearing crocs like they’re Gucci haha I love that trends come and go but me and my crocs will be here to stay!
- Waterproof Phone Pouch
I swear by waterproof phone pouches! I take them on travel, to the beach, and any other activity that I know I’m going to be near water.
Mike and I recently went jet skiing around our neighborhood and being able to still have my phone to document moments (and it still be secure) is such a blessing! This waterproof phone pouch is compatible with almost every phone model and comes with adjustable lanyard to hold around your neck (this is perfect on jet skiis or boats where you can lose grip of your phone)!
Bonus: It’s all screen touch friendly so you don’t have to worry about taking it back out of the pouch to text, take pictures, etc.
We all like to have options and even though I don’t mind leaving my phone at home sometimes, I just love capturing some experiences that we can always look back on.
- Keep a Cover-Up and Swimsuit in Your Car
Better to be prepared for anything than to not be prepared at all, especially during the Summer when you just want to lounge all day.
Keep a swimsuit and a cover-up in your car just in case the opportunity arrives where you can catch some waves or just soak up the sun!
- Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier
If you’re going to be drinking and hanging out in the sun (or if it’s just an unforgivably hot day), then definitely try out Liquid IV.
When we went to Barbados and were able to splurge on some first-class flights, our flight attendants were so nice to include hydration multipliers in our welcome package.
Side note: Once you go business/first-class, it’s so hard to go back to economy so choose wisely lol!
They’re travel-friendly packets that you just pour into your water and shake to combine. It gives you that similar energized, “hydrated” feeling you may get from Gatorade or Powerade but not really much taste unless you choose to buy flavors.
These Liquid IV Hydration multipliers enhance rapid absorption of water and electrolytes better than just drinking water alone. It’s also gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free, so that’s a plus!
- Portable Grill
A portable grill is great if you want to be able to cook wherever you go and don’t want to buy extra food along the way. Wake up that little home chef inside you and get to crackin’!
A charcoal grill is easier and cheaper portable-wise as well as more accepted in public spaces. Propane grills may be seen as a hazard, so check for signs (… or wing it haha). You also don’t have to worry about paying for overpriced food at the beach shacks and restaurants nearby (unless you’re trying to really have a day lol #TreatYourself).
- Tote Beach Bag
Do yourself a favor and get a water-resistant tote for those travel days when you only want to relax and not worry about carrying a million things.
Just throw it in the baggg (*cue music* you know the song lol).
I personally like the mesh beach bags, so you can see where all of your items are, but if you’re trying to get real bougie or inconspicuous, then invest in THEE Marc Jacobs, “The Tote Bag.” Trust me and save some coins by purchasing from Amazon instead of other well-known retailers, like Bloomingdale’s, for example. It’s water-resistant and perfect for the beach or if you need a carry-on to hold EVERYTHING when you’re traveling (and I do mean everything). Great investment, sis 😉
- Bug Bite Thing
I grew up in the generation where we dig an “X” into our mosquito bites with our fingernails in attempts to stop that God-awful itching!
Welp, I’m here to let you know there’s a better, more efficient option that really does the job. The Bug Bite Thing (yes, that’s really the name of this device)!
It uses no chemicals and more-or-less suctions the skin to remove the irritants left behind by whatever bug that rudely bit you. The most common culprit being a mosquito, but it can also help relieve symptoms from bee and wasp stings.
- Portable Phone Charger
I’ve mentioned this before in my previous “Travel Essentials” post, and I LOVE THIS THANG!! This charging box is pretty slim so it can easily fit into your bag and not take up too much space.
It’s also so easy to charge it and once it’s charged you just connect your phone to the device voilà (which charges quick af). It has easy-to-read bars on the side, so you know when it needs charging, but no need to watch that too much as it lasts fairly long (at least a 24 hours of adventuring).
Having a GoPro is a given for any adventure seeker or anyone who wants a crystal clear view of all their experiences. It’s better than using your phone and waterproof as well, so confidently drag her along for a wet-and-wild ride in the ocean.
They’re compact (can basically fit in your back pocket), you can take pictures or videos, slow them down or speed them up, and none of your videos will be shaky or lacking quality due to awesome stabilization features and filming in 4K (the best of the best).
It really doesn’t get better than a GoPro!
How do you like to spend your time in the sweltering Summer Months? Also, do I have any Geminis, Cancers, or Leos in the mix? I would love to know in the comments! (#LeoSeason is hereeeeee, b****es!).