Coast to Coast Summer Survival: Beach/Pool Day Survival

I’m super excited about a 5-week collab I’m doing with some of my favorite fashion bloggers from around the country. We’re calling it the Coast to Coast Summer Survival Guide, and every Tuesday during the month of August, we’re going to tackle a topic related to surviving the last month of summer. Today’s post is all about Beach/Pool Day Survival.

Pool Bag Essentials: What's in my pool bag with my favorite sunscreen recommendation!

Maui Jim Moonbow sunnies // Tory Burch Miller Sandals // InStyle Magazine // Coola Sunscreen Spray // Glitter Dots Wine Glass // Sugar Lip Balm // Chocolate Sea Salt KIND Bars (my fave!!!) // Tory Burch Beach Towel // Kate Spade Hallie Tote (on sale for $179)

Here in Pennsylvania, the new school year doesn’t start until the end of the month so there’s a lot of summer left. At this point, the kids are starting to get bored and the heat is beginning to feel oppressive. We’re all looking for ways to stay cool and keep busy until it’s time to head back to school.

This is the month I’m always the most grateful for our pool membership. I usually get up early and get my work done while the kids are sleeping in or busy on their electronic devices. My kids are 10, 13, and 16, so they usually take their time getting moving in the morning, but by lunchtime, they’re getting antsy. This is about the time we start talking about packing up and heading to the pool.

It’s not like it was when they were little and I had to drag everything but the kitchen sink. We can usually be ready to walk out the door within 10 minutes of deciding we want to go to the pool. I try to keep my pool bag stocked and ready to go at a moment’s notice, and they’re able to gather what they need on their own.

Beach/Pool Day Survival Necessities: a cute striped tote and your favorite pair of shades

My striped beach tote is sold out, but I’ll link to some others I like below. I generally prefer a beach tote that stands up on its own. While I enjoyed this one because it’s so cute and such a great size, I think I will be retiring it and going back to one of my older totes next summer. My favorite is this Stella & Dot Avalon Tote. I’m a Stella & Dot stylist and I absolutely love the quality of their bags. The laser cut design is so pretty, and it comes with a pouch for your keys and phone.

Keep your eye on my @shopjolynnescloset Instagram account! I’ll be putting up a lot of summer clothes and accessories for sale later this week, including the Vera Bradley stripe beach tote.

Typically I prefer a pool bag that stands up on its own. Here are some that I really like.


In my bag, I keep a clean beach towel and my favorite sunscreen and lip balm. For the kids, I like the Badger brand. It’s what my doctor recommends for the most safe and natural sun protection for kids. Unfortunately, they hate it because it goes on thick and white and is hard to rub in, so sometimes I let them use mine, but it goes fast and it’s $$$ so I try to steer them to their own. I’m getting lax in my old age, and sometimes my husband picks up whatever he can grab at CVS, and that works too. I’m not a fanatic about sunscreen, but if it’s the middle of the day, I insist they at least put some on their faces and shoulders.

I always like to have something to look at while I’m sitting on the sidelines, keeping an eye on the kids. I’m not one to play in the water, so I usually lounge under an umbrella and thumb through a magazine. InStyle and People StyleWatch are my favorite guilty pleasures.

Before we hop in the car, I always throw in a couple of bottles of water and my wallet. I usually slip my feet into my Tory Burch Miller Sandals and throw my favorite jean shorts and a t-shirt on over my bathing suit. Of course, you don’t want to forget your favorite sunglasses.

moonbow sunset

The kids are in charge of themselves. I keep the beach towels on a shelf in the laundry room that is right off the garage, so we can each grab one and go. They know not to touch my favorite Vera Bradley beach towel that was a gift from a friend a few years ago. That one always goes in my bag, although it is starting to get faded and thin and may need a replacement soon. I’ve had my eye on these Tory Burch beach towels, but I haven’t been willing to pull the trigger. Maybe if they go on sale…

My favorite towels are actually from Lands’ End. They are extra large, super thick and absorbent, and they come in a great assortment of colors and patterns for everyone in the family. I always buy a couple when they go on sale at the end of summer.

Our pool provides umbrellas, but not chairs, so I always keep a couple of folding chairs in the back of our car in the summertime. I also keep an old quilt that is perfect for laying out on the grass. I’m good in a chair for a half hour or so, but eventually I want to lay down and snooze for a bit.

If we know we’re going to be there for a few hours, we will pack a small cooler with an ice pack and water bottles, and if it’s the weekend, maybe a few adult beverages. Our pool allows us to bring those in as long as they’re not in glass containers. I have some plastic wine glasses I keep on hand for that purpose. (These make cute inexpensive gifts, by the way!!!)

So that’s how we survive the last month of summer here in Pennsylvania! We love the beach, but it’s a 2-3 hour drive, depending on traffic, so we usually stay close to home and utilize our pool.

shop the post


Coast to Coast Summer Survival Blog Hop

Coast to Coast Summer SurvivalCaryl || Rachelle || Gina || Cyndi || Jo-Lynne

Follow through our coast-to-coast blog hop by heading west to San Diego for Gina’s take on this week’s theme, or simply use the links above to meet each blogger in this series.

Did you like this post?

Sign up for my Daily Emails, and you’ll never miss a thing! You can also follow along on Instagram for my daily outfits and sneak peeks of what’s to come on the blog. I’m also on Snapchat and Facebook

By the way, you don’t have to wait for the blog post to get my outfit details. Just click the Shop The Feed widget in the sidebar, and it takes you directly to each picture with links to what I’m wearing.

Join the Conversation

9 thoughts on “Coast to Coast Summer Survival: Beach/Pool Day Survival

  1. Jealous of your pool membership, that really is the way to go! And all your essentials fall in line with your classic style! Love that!
    Carylee | morepiecesofme.com

  2. Loved reading about your beach necessities and how you fit pool time into your life and summer routine! My kids are just a bit younger (9/10) and we’re definitely enjoying the “I don’t have to pack EVERYTHING” for a day at the beach/pool and it’s so nice. I swear it used to take an hour to pack up (and the same to unpack!) for a day by the water. Also LOVE that wine tumbler! I have one that recently broke so I need to check out your option for replacement!
    Gina || On the Daily Express

  3. What swim suit are you wearing this year? I need a new one (I said that last year, and it never happened!).

    In Colorado, we have to slather our sunscreen on thick and often – the sun here is brutal!

  4. I wish I didn’t need my prescription glasses. I am in LOVE with those sunglasses. I think our area of PA will probably be needing Summer essentials until November!

Want More?

Jo-Lynne Shane on Instagram

Click an image below.

Follow @jolynneshane