Summer is almost here, and that means it’s time to try on the newest swimsuit fashions, buy some heavy-duty sunscreen and pack your bags because you’re going to the beach. Whether it is a solo day by the ocean, a getaway with your girls or a family trip with the kids, packing the right items can make or break your trip. Sunscreen, snacks and microfiber beach towels are necessities, but there are a few more items to consider putting in your beach bag. These eight bring-along ideas are everything you need for the perfect beach day so you can sit back, relax and listen to the ocean instead of worrying that you left something important at home.
1. High-Quality Sunscreen
The number one item to bring to the beach is sunscreen. Sunscreen protects your skin from the sun’s damaging rays. It helps prevent sunburn, which is painful, but more importantly, it lowers your chance of developing skin cancer. Remember the following when picking out your sunscreen and applying it at the beach:
●Choose a sunscreen with at least SPF 30.
●Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVB and UVA rays.
●Reapply sunscreen at two-hour intervals, covering every part of exposed skin.
●All skin tones and types need sunscreen.
●Use hats and clothes to cover your skin in addition to sunscreen.
2. Healthy Snacks
A day on the beach is bound to make you hungry. To save on the cost of high-priced beach food trucks and curb your hunger, pack several healthy, beach-friendly snacks. Use a small cooler with ice packs for items like string cheese, yogurt, berries or hummus. Pack a few baggies or storage containers of nuts, dried fruit, peanut-butter-filled pretzel bites and crackers. Consider bringing whole fruit, like peaches or apples, or include granola bars and beef jerky in their individual packages. For an extra treat, try frozen grapes, which stay cold and delicious as they defrost. Always make sure to bring bottled water, as sitting in the sun and playing in saltwater is sure to make you thirsty.
3. Beach Towels
Ensure you pack a few beach towels in your bag. Towels are great for relaxing on the sand and drying off after splashing in the waves. Go the traditional cotton route or try a fantastic microfiber beach towel. Microfiber beach towels are super-absorbent and fast-drying and, unlike cotton beach towels, they don’t trap sand in their fibers. A microfiber towel is a perfect towel to bring to the beach because it folds easily and fits in your bag. Despite its compactness, when it is opened it covers more than one person. This means you don’t need to pack as many towels for yourself and your crew.
4. Good Book
A quiet day at the beach is the best time to do some summer reading. To avoid running out of battery on your phone or tablet — or risk getting sand in it — pack one or two paperback books to enjoy while you soak up the sun. Summer reading lists offer you plenty of titles to choose from. Whether you are into romance, mystery, self-improvement or even female biographies, there are countless good books to get lost in while lounging on the beach.
5. Beach Blanket
A beach blanket is another necessary item to add to your beach bag. Vibrant patterns and vivid colors make a waterproof beach blanket a fun, chill spot to sit while hanging out on the beach. Not only is a waterproof blanket stylish, but it is functional as well. The top is made from a soft, cozy fabric that is great for lying on and reading a book or having a snack. The bottom is water-resistant, which keeps you dry even if the sand underneath your blanket is damp. A waterproof blanket is an excellent investment because, besides the beach, it also works well for picnics and camping trips you might take after your summer beach days are over.
6. Change of Clothes
Packing a change of clothes is always a good idea. You never know when you might be invited to a fun night out or want to try a delicious seafood restaurant, so you need to be prepared. Pack an extra set of dry underclothes, plus a casual sundress and shoes. Along with these items, bring a swimsuit coverup for when you feel like you need a little extra coverage over your bikini and a second pair of sandals. Throw in an oversized sun hat to protect your face from the heat and sun.
If your beach day is just for the girls, or perhaps an outing for you and your romantic partner, consider bringing adult beverages with you to the beach if allowed. Some beaches allow adult beverages, like beer or wine, but not other types of liquor. If your beach doesn’t allow adult beverages, you can still have a blast with sparkling water, fruit juice, tea or plain water.
8. Beach Umbrella
Lounging under your beach umbrella lets you enjoy the ocean without baking in the hot sun all day. It protects you from damaging UV rays and shields your eyes from the sun’s harsh glare. Be sure you’re choosing a beach umbrella that’s UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rated, indicating how much UV radiation it blocks. A UPF rating of 50 means the umbrella’s fabric shields you from 98% of the sun’s rays. Beach umbrellas are portable and easy to carry, allowing you to stake out your own little piece of paradise in the sand. Pair your umbrella with a beach chair, or use your beach blanket or towel to relax under the umbrella’s protective shade.
Pack Your Bags and Head to the Beach
It’s time to pack your bags and head to the beach! Grab that straw beach tote or canvas bag, throw in your SPF 30+ sunscreen, healthy snacks, books, water and extra clothes, and you’re ready to go. Don’t forget your microfiber towel and beach blanket, along with your beach umbrella. For extra special occasions, you can bring an easy to pack picnic basket table and enjoy your food and drink off the sand if you please! Whether you’re hanging with friends, enjoying a romantic date or chilling with the kids, you are well prepared for a fabulous day at the beach.