Beach days are finally here! While spending a day at the beach can become a wonderful memory, it requires proper planning and preparation. Forget your sunglasses and you'll be squinting all day. Forget your sunscreen and you could be in a lot of pain for a few days afterwards. If it's a family trip, you'd better not forget towels, water and sun protection for everyone. It's a lot to remember! Save yourself from getting burned – literally – with some smart packing tips that will help you prepare and get beach gear organized before you head to the shore.
Beach Essentials Checklist – must-pack items!
Here's your essentials packing list – these are the things you can't forget!
- Sunscreen – read about the importance of sunscreen here.
- Bottles of Water – staying hydrated on hot days is a must.
- Sunglasses or Eye Protection – protect your eyes by packing shades that have UV 400 protection or block at least 99% of UVB and UVA rays.
- Beach Towel – pack a thick terry cloth beach towel, which soaks up moisture the fastest and is thick enough to lie comfortably.
- Sandals or flip flops – these will protect your feet if the sand gets too hot to walk on.
- A Change of Clothes – Bring an extra set of clothes and a light jacket to change into in the event your clothes get wet or the weather gets chilly.
Beach Accessories Checklist – nice-to-have items!
Now that's you've got the essentials, think about what else you'll need to pack for the perfect day at the beach. While these items are not necessarily essential, packing a few of them could make your trip to the beach even more enjoyable.
- Beach Chair
- Beach Umbrella
- Sun hat
- Extra Beach Towel or Blanket
- Beach ball
- Bucket and Shovel
- Swimsuit and cover-up
- Insect repellent
- Lip balm with SPF 15
- Moist towelettes
- Plastic utensils
Packing It All In
Now that you've gathered all the beach essentials and accessories, you'll need the perfect bag to carry everything in. Ideally, a bag with lots of pockets such as a large backpack or gardening bag is best. A water-resistant tote is another good option for carrying your beach items. If it doesn't have any pockets, create some using a purse organizer for easy access to your beach gear. To prevent a sandy mess in your car later, you may want to consider a mesh bag.
Once you've got your beach bag, here's how to organize and protect the items inside:
- Roll beach towels and extra clothing to maximize space
Rolling your beach towel or a spare set of clothing – instead of folding them – should save space in your beach bag. When packing, you can put these items on the bottom or stand the rolled towel vertically for easy access. Don't forget to pack a plastic grocery bag to store your wet or sandy towels or clothes at the end of your beach day.
- Load up with reading materials and larger items
Next, you should add flat items like books or magazines. If you haven't already inflated your beach ball, you may want to add it your bag now as well.
- Slip in snacks and other treats
Once the heavy and bulky items are packed, you'll want to add your lunch and snacks to your beach bag. Use a hot/cold lunch bag like one of these, to keep your food at the right temperatures, though you may want to avoid packing any foods that could spoil such as anything with mayo. If you have space, include a cold water bottle in your lunch bag as well. That will help to keep things like sandwiches cool.
- Bring Beach Care Essentials
Next pack sunglasses, sunscreen, swim goggles, and any other non-electronic items around your lunch bag and snacks. Make sure sunglasses are in a case!
- Protect your electronic items from the sand and surf
Keeping your stuff away from saltwater splashes and sand can be as simple as using a plastic zip-top bag. For an eco-friendly option, reusable plastic bags or containers would work too. Just make sure that whatever you use is waterproof and sealed before packing it away to prevent any unnecessary damage to your things. For gadgets and other electronic items, you may want to invest in a waterproof case like this iPhone 5/5S case by Ballistic. For a less expensive option, this model from E-Case would work in a pinch. Once your these items are safely stored in plastic bags or water-resistant containers, they're ready to be packed in your bag.
A beautiful day at the beach is a special summer treat. With these smart tips, you'll be able to make the most of your time while keeping your belongings organized and free from sand and water damage. When summer's over next fall, you can store beach gear like umbrellas, tents, chairs and water toys in your CubeSmart cube.