Guest Blog – Packing the Perfect Beach Tote!

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In addition to being a mom of two kids who are four and two, Sally Bartz is the owner and designer of Halsea – a beach-chic travel bag and accessories company based in Newport Beach, CA.  She wrote some great tips on packing the perfect beach tote this summer! 

“Sometimes feel like a Sherpa, pack mule, personal servant? Don’t worry. You are not alone. All moms have a tendency to pack “extra” everything!! So this summer, get your beach essentials down to a minimum so you can spend less time getting ready at home and more time at the beach with your kids creating memories. Here is my failsafe list to get your beach tote ready to go.

1. Find a bag with lots of pockets. You will need it to be organized. This way all of your goggles, sunscreen and swim diapers can find a place rather than end up at the bottom of the bag. At Halsea we have a large tote with 6 interior pockets that I love – it is also laminated on the outside so it won’t get soggy sitting on the pool deck.

2. Pack a “dry bag” – This is my favorite trick. I use a small make up bag with a zipper to pack my phone, camera and wallet – all the things that I want to stay dry or sand free.

3. Get a multi-tasking sarong – A sarong can be a cover up for mom, provide a light weight blanket for baby, be a towel if needed or even turn into a scarf if you stay a little later at the beach than you anticipated.

4. Use a spray sunscreen – For sandy kids (and adults – because I know I am covered in sand every time I go to the beach with my kids!), I love a spray sunscreen. My favorite is Neutrogena’s Ultimate Sport because it comes in SPF 70, with helioplex and sprays on clear.

5. Just the essentials – A few bottles of water and one easy to eat snack (that won’t result in sticky fingers!) are a must because everyone gets hungry and thirsty on the beach. I also limit the number of toys – not because I am a mean mom, but because kids inevitably find a way to entertain themselves at the beach without bringing their entire playroom. So I pack a shovel for everyone (what kid doesn’t like to dig at the beach), a wiffle ball and bat (they are light weight and encourages your kids and friends to play together) and a bottle of bubbles.

6. The Secret Weapon – A mom’s secret weapon for de-sanding kids before you load them back in the car – Baby Powder!! Gets the sand out of even the hard-to-reach places. I never hit the beach without it!”

The Halsea Shop is located at 409 31st Street, Newport Beach, CA 92660. Raised in Corona Del Mar and having spent nearly a decade designing accessories for surf apparel giants such as Roxy, Volcom, Modern Amusement and Paul Frank, Sally continually draws inspiration from her coastal lifestyle and loves spending afternoons exploring the shoreline with her family.


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  1. 1
    mom2three says:

    what great tips! i alwasy struggle with overpacking. I love the toy and food tips! So true!

  2. 2

    Great great tips!! I just learned about the baby powder trick yesterday! I always forget to bring a dry bag!

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    mm says:

    love the bags!

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