There’s nothing like spending a hot summer day at the beach, but packing the right items can make all the difference. You never want to be the person who drives out to the beach before realizing you forgot a towel. It doesn’t take a huge bag full of stuff to have a good time, just remember these six essentials:
1. Protection from the Sun
As nice as it is to lay out in the sun getting some vitamin D and an amazing tan, you don’t want to spend the next week aching from a brutal sunburn. It’s important to protect yourself when you’re going to spend hours in the sun, as it can do lasting damage to your skin and eyes.
The two main items you need to protect yourself from the sun are a strong sunscreen and a pair of sunglasses. Sunscreen will help prevent sunburn as well as wrinkles in your later years, and sunglasses can prevent damage to your eyes.
Make sure you bring at least one towel to the beach with you, although they’re small enough that you can pack a couple so you always have a fresh one when you need it. How else are you going to dry off when you get out of the water, or clean some of the sand off your body when you leave?
Of course, you can also put down a towel to give yourself a place to sit. If you want something a bit more comfortable, a fold-up chair will work well.
3. Snacks and Beverages
Combine high temperatures with physical activity and you’re likely to work up an appetite. Pack some snacks to eat when you get hungry, whether that’s a few pieces of fruit, potato chips, sandwiches or anything else that you enjoy eating. It’s also easy to get dehydrated when you’re out at the beach, so make sure you bring beverages.
4. Extra Clothing
You can go to the beach with just the clothes you’re wearing and a bathing suit on underneath, but it’s better to bring some options. If your clothes get sandy, you probably won’t want to wear them when you leave, especially in your car. Pack your clothes towards the bottom of your beach bag so they’re less likely to get sandy.
A sweater or jacket is smart if you plan to stay awhile, as it tends to get much colder at beaches when the sun goes down. If you bring a change of clothes to the beach, bring some plastic bags where you can temporarily store your dirty clothes when you take them off.
Music and the beach go hand in hand, as listening to your favorite songs can make sunbathing much more enjoyable. If you’re going to the beach solo or you don’t feel like playing your songs for everyone to hear, your smartphone and a pair of headphones are all you need. However, a portable speaker system is nice when you’re hanging out at the beach with friends.
If you’re playing music on your phone or using your phone at the beach at all, it’s wise to invest in a waterproof case. Just a splash of water or a small amount of sand can ruin electronic devices.
6. A Book
Allied Solution Group said, “The beach is one of the best places to kick back and relax with a good book.” On short trips to the beach, you may want to spend most of your time in the water, but if you’ll be there awhile, definitely take some reading material with you. Bring a few if you’re going to the beach with other people who may want to read something themselves.
Consider bringing a fold-up chair with you if you plan to do a lot of reading at the beach. It’s far more comfortable to read while sitting in a chair than it is to read while you’re lying on your back.
It doesn’t take much to have a great day at the beach, as all of these essentials are items that you can fit in a small bag or backpack. Spend 10 to 15 minutes packing before you leave the house for a better beach experience.