The long days and warm weather might have you dreaming about spending time at the beach or pool this summer, getting a tan and splashing in the waves with your family. With so many affordable home exchanges right on the beach or with gorgeous private pools, you have no shortage of options for your vacation!

Find a beach home exchange

Before you hit the beach, here are a few items you should consider bringing along. They'll make sure your day in the sun comfortable and fun for the entire family. Whether it's a tube of reef-friendly sunscreen or a breezy beach read, don't head out without these beach essentials!

Scout water-resistant beach bag

Scout water-resistant beach bag- beach essentials from HomeExchange

Scout's collection of pool and beach bags provide plenty of stylish choices to stow your snacks and cans of wine in. The bags are spacious, can be monogrammed, and are available in many fun patterns. They're also water-resistant and easy to clean. The bags have amazing reviews for their great quality, durability, and numerous pockets.

Shop beach bags

Sand Cloud sand-proof beach towel

Sand Cloud beach towel- HomeExchange beach essentials

Now that you have a gorgeous beach bag, it's time to start filling it!  Sand Cloud beach towels are made with Turkish cotton, which dries quickly, is sand resistant, light, super soft, compact, and multi-functional as a sarong, blanket, throw, and shower towel. Plus, Sand Cloud is committed to doing good for the environment and 10% of profits go toward marine conservation.

Shop beach towels

TropicSport natural, reef-friendly sunscreen

TropicSport reef-friendly sunscreen — HomeExchange beach essentials

If you vacation in Hawaii, know a law was passed in 2018 to ban the sale of sunscreen that contains chemicals that can harm coral reefs. But whether you spend time on a beach in Florida, California, or Rhode Island, be aware that chemicals in your sunscreen can lead to coral bleaching when washed off in the ocean. TropicSport has a range of reef-friendly products, all of which are moisturizing, contain antioxidants, and are made with natural ingredients.

Shop reef-friendly sunscreen

Curated beach reads from The Letterbox

Beach reads from The Letterbox - HomeExchange beach vacation travel essentials

When you've listened to all your favorite podcasts by the pool, pick up a beach read! Book subscription service The Letterbox delivers the latest fiction from favorite writers and new writers. You can sign up to get a new book every month so you always have something to stuff in your beach bag before you head outside.

Shop beach reads

Fun Melissa & Doug sand toys for the kids

Melissa & Doug sand toys - travel vacation essentials from HomeExchange

Make a day at the beach fun for the whole family by bringing new sand toys along for your kids. Melissa & Doug have a great selection of toys that encourage creativity, exploration and outdoor play, including a sand cupcake set, brick building sand toy, and a sand and water funnel.

Shop beach toys

The California Beach Co pop-up beach tent for kids and pets

The California Beach Co popup tent for kids and pets- beach vacation essentials from HomeExchange

This pop-up beach tent is freestanding and portable, large enough for multiple kids. It includes a UV shade cover for sun protection at the beach or pool. The tent is also safety certified and has a safety lock to keep the baby secure. When your furry friend or child needs some shade or just a quiet place to nap in the afternoon, this beach tent will be your best friend.

Shop beach tents

Hydro Flask to keep your water (or beer and wine!) fresh and cold

Hydro Flask for summer beach vacations - travel essentials from HomeExchange

Instead of using single-use plastic bottles for water, use a reusable bottle like Hydro Flask that will keep your drink cold even under the hot sun. Hydro Flask has a line specifically for beer and one for wine, and even lightweight, leakproof coolers, so whatever you're enjoying on the beach you can make sure it's fresh and cool all day.

Shop beverage containers

Now that you have all the gear for a relaxing beach vacation, find an accommodation that feels like home. HomeExchange is the largest home swapping community in the world, with more than 400,000 listings. When you're craving an escape near water, HomeExchange has you covered with affordable vacation homes in beautiful destinations.

Find a home exchange