The Simple Things - - LIVING - Words: CLARE GOGERTY

“The big­ger the bag, the more clob­ber can be trans­ported to the beach”

The beach bag is one of those items that get jet­ti­soned in the last mo­ments spent pack­ing for sum­mer hol­i­days. When the choice has to be made be­tween squeez­ing in an­other pair of shoes or this use­ful but of­ten bulky bag, the shoes in­evitably win. Which is a mis­take. You can make do with flipflops and one pair of heels but you can’t cart your towel and sun­screen to the beach in your leather hand­bag or trun­dle them down in a trol­ley suit­case.

The so­lu­tion is to check in your suit­case and co­man­deer your beach bag as carry-on lug­gage. (It can also dou­ble up as a shop­ping tote pro­vid­ing the de­sign isn’t too gar­ish.) This will mean that not only can you up your lug­gage quota – and pack that ex­tra pair of shoes – but you will have a handy means of trans­port­ing a whole load of clob­ber to the beach or pool.

The big­ger the bag, the more clob­ber can be trans­ported, of course, which is not al­ways a good thing and may be re­gret­ted if the walk to the beach is lengthy or steep. But a day spent by the sea ne­ces­si­tates many, many things: a book, a mag­a­zine, a towel, bikini, sun­cream, hat, wa­ter, snacks, Kin­dle, fris­bee... the list is end­less and in­creases ex­po­nen­tially the more mem­bers of the party are in­volved. Men, for ex­am­ple, may say they have noth­ing they need to bring but some­how find a way to in­vei­gle their phone, a bot­tle of wa­ter and a foot­ball into the bags of oth­ers. Chil­dren come ac­ces­sorised with an end­less list of trans­portable ob­jects, from bot­tles of juice to wet wipes, all of which Won’t Get To The Beach On Their Own.

For­tu­nately the choice of beach bags has never been so var­ied, so ca­pa­cious or so at­trac­tive. From the tra­di­tional straw bas­ket ( best for a Bri­tish beach, filled with a Ther­mos and wa­ter­proof) and raf­fia op­tions (sourced on the Costa del Sol with an op­tional ap­pliquéd don­key) to the con­tem­po­rary can­vas and jute op­tions, there is one for you, what­ever your needs or des­ti­na­tion. Some even have in­su­lated pock­ets to keep drinks chilly and choco­late un­melted. Oth­ers are wa­ter­proof and can sur­vive ac­ci­den­tal dunk­ing in the sea. Whichever you choose, look for han­dles long enough to loop over a shoul­der to help you lug it beach-wards and a wide base for sta­bil­ity when you get there. Then all you have to do is un­pack it and re­lax.

Thank good­ness she had room to bring along her plate- sized hand mir­ror…

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