Road Trip Tips – Pack the Perfect Beach Bag

We’ve just returned home from our two+ week road trip through beautiful British Columbia, Canada and I thought I’d share a few tips I relied on to make family road trips run a little smoother. Today I’m talking about how to pack the perfect beach bag.

During our road trip we spent a glorious week in Osoyoos B.C., just soaking up the sun and enjoying lake life. I wanted to make sure we had everything we needed to enjoy our days at the beach, so I chose one bag to pack and dedicate as the beach bag. All we had to do was add a few drinks and snacks, grab the bag and walk down to the beach and we had everything we needed for a fun day.

The bag I favour as a beach bag is the Large Utility Tote from Thirty-One. This bag is perfect for so many reasons – it’s super sturdy, the shoulder straps are meant for easy carrying and the laminated fabric wipes clean. The print is called Fun Flops and is from a few seasons ago, but of course there are always great patterns available (if you like these colors, you might like the Preppy Pop pattern from this season!) I added the Stand Tall Insert for structure and increased storage, and the Top-A-Tote Lid to keep sand out and to help the bag pack and stack easily in the back of our vehicle. (A heads up because I love you so much…the LUT and exclusive Stand Tall Insert will be the monthly customer specials in September 2016!)

Did I mention the size? The Large Utility Tote is a generous size without being overly big, and it handles all this stuff! I packed four full size beach towels, sun necessities, hats, beach and water toys and a thermal snack bag into this baby!

I love this Roundabout Caddy (a retired Thirty-One favorite) to store and tote all our sunscreens and other potions and lotions for the great outdoors. A caddy like this is perfect because it’s laminated and has a mesh bottom, so it can be wiped clean if sunscreen or bug spray gets all over it, and any moisture can drain out the bottom. (I’ve seen similar caddies at Bed, Bath and Beyond and Walmart, especially during back to school time.) I keep it packed with:
  • body and face sunscreen
  • mosquito repellent
  • witch hazel and aloe vera (both in spray bottles for spraying onto tender skin)
  • talcum powder (great for getting sand off feet and other body parts)
  • After Bite Ointment
  • our compact First Aid Kit
  • a package of wet-wipes
The caddy lives in our main floor bathroom cabinet year round for easy access, and then I just pop it into the beach bag to take with us. Totally portable!

I found this great mesh drawstring bag at the Dollar Store to contain all the beach toys, but a mesh laundry bag would work for this purpose too. We’ve got buckets and sand castle building equipment, a frisbee, water guns, inflatable swim rings and beach balls, goggles and nose plugs and all manner of small toys for tossing around in the pool or lake packed inside there! Again, the mesh is perfect as you can shake out the sand or rinse off the contents and let the entire thing drip dry. 
I also pack a small empty thermal bag to put snacks and drinks into. Thirty-One’s Thermal Tote lunch bag is the perfect size as it packs flat but will hold several juice boxes or water bottles to keep us hydrated.
Packing up the beach bag couldn’t be easier – the caddy and the mesh toy bag fit neatly in the bottom of the bag along with the hats and thermal tote. The mesh pockets on the interior wall of the Stand Tall Insert will provide a place to stash phones, a book, ice-cream money or other small items so they don’t get lost floating around in the big bag.
Then the rolled or folded beach towels lay flat on top…
…and the Top-A-Tote Lid slides over the handles and fits snugly around the corners of the bag, keeping everything neatly contained. Perfect!
I thought you might want to see how all my Thirty-One bags fit into our car for our Road Trip:
I snapped this photo as we were unloading yesterday (since I forgot to take a pic when we were loading the car at the beginning of our trip) and I’m glad to say that everything stayed organized and knew exactly where to find anything I was looking for! These were all the bags we brought along – 

It all fit beautifully and we still had room to bring home a case of wine from the amazing Okanagan wineries we visited along the way! (Check out my instagram account for details of the wineries we visited and the wines I chose!)

All in all it was a great vacation! Now that we’re home I’ll be focusing on some back-to-school organizing projects and more scrapbooking and 1-2-3 Layout posts. And, I’ll probably start dreaming about where our next Road Trip will be! Do you have any tips to share about packing up for a family road trip? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!
Happy travels!

2 thoughts on “Road Trip Tips – Pack the Perfect Beach Bag”

  1. During a road trip a thermal bag can make your food and other drinks hot and cold. It will make your trip more enjoyable. I always carry thermal lunch box whenever I going out for a trip with my motorbike.
    Thanks for sharing this post! Keep up the good work.

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