Relaxing days on the beach are pretty amazing. But your entire experience can be ruined if you forget something essential, like sunscreen, and have to spend the rest of the day struggling without it.
To avoid this, take a look at my comprehensive list of the fundamental items for your chill day by the water. And you can listen to the calming sound of the waves with peace of mind.
- Beach Wagon
- Umbrellas or Canopies
- Cooler with Drinks and Snacks
- Sunscreen and Hat
- Flip Flops and Swim Suit
- First Aid Kit
- Beach Toys
- Beach Read
- Keys, Wallet, Phone, Change
- Camera or Binoculars
It’s hard to carry all your beach essentials without a proper beach wagon. Invest in one with wheels, pockets for umbrellas and plenty of space for all your stuff. It’s hands down the easiest way to transport your things to your spot in the sand.
Umbrellas and Canopies:
You can’t spend 12 hours on the beach without shade (unless you want to risk getting skin cancer). If your group consists of only a few, pack an umbrella or two to set up in the sand. If you plan on bringing your entire family or more, an instant canopy might suit you better. Make sure you bring all the tools and necessary materials to dig the holes in the sand and anchor down your sunshade.
Everyone loves the warm sand, but it can be uncomfortable to sit on after a while. Pack some collapsible beach chairs to put under your shaded spot for resting your bum when you aren’t floating in the water.
Cooler with Drinks and Snacks:
The size of your group will determine the size of your cooler. If it’s just a few of you, you can probably get away with a smaller one with drinks and a bag of snacks. But with a larger group, I recommend investing in a larger cooler with separate pockets for keeping your food items. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water!
Sunscreen and Hat:
The infamous beach fail is lobster-red skin from a god-awful sunburn. Don’t make this fatal mistake! Pack plenty of sunscreen and be sure to lather up every hour or so. And whenever you aren’t in your shaded spot, wear a sunhat to guard your face and shoulders.
Some like to air dry in the sun, but if your beach isn’t hitting 110⁰, you may need some towels to stay warm after your swim. Luckily, these are easy to carry. Just fold them up and set them on your cooler.
Flip Flops and Swimsuit:
Hopefully, packing (or wearing) your swimsuit to the beach is a no brainer, but sometimes we forget the importance of sandals. If the sand is burning the soles of your feet, try wearing your flip flops along the shore.
Beaches are bright! The sun is piercing and its reflections on the sand will make you squint. Toss a good pair of polarized sunglasses in your backpack (or on your head), so you can relax your eyes.
First Aid Kit:
You never know what could happen while on the beach. From a fall in the sand to a scraped knee on a hidden, underwater rock, be prepared with a small first aid kit just in case.
While some like to kick back and take a snooze, others like to play on the beach. Remember to pack all your favorite toys. From a bucket and shovel for playing in the sand, to a football for throwing along the shore, to a snorkel and goggles for viewing the wildlife, these items can make your beach day extra fun.
Let’s be honest: you can’t sleep under your umbrella forever. If you want to be entertained while staying relaxed, bring along some reading material. Choose anything from a steamy romance novel to your favorite magazine.
Keys, Wallet, Phone and Change:
Ah, the everyday essentials, seemingly obvious to bring along and yet the things we often forget the most. It’s always the worst feeling when you realize you forgot your phone in the condo or you left behind your change for the parking meter. Double check you have these items with you before you leave for the beach.
As long as you aren’t playing loud, vulgar music, a speaker is a great way to listen to your favorite tunes. Don’t forget to charge it the night before!
Camera or binoculars:
Don’t miss out on special moments. Capture those pictures of the perfect sandcastle or a family photo by the water. And keep your binoculars handy for getting a closer look at the pod of dolphins swimming along the horizon.
Make your own list!
Is this missing something you think is essential? Try creating your own list before your next beach day, adding all the things you can’t live without.
Maybe you need baby powder to remove the sand from your feet. Maybe you like swimming in your clothes and need a spare set for after you swim. Or maybe you have members in your group with special packing requests.
Either way, write down anything you think you might need and have it packed in your beach cart, ready for the day.
Never again feel that beach day disappointment of forgetting something important. Stick with this list (or make your own) and you’ll be ready to sit back and relax, or splash and play, worry-free.