There’s nothing quite like a day at the beach, with the sound of the waves crashing against the shore, the sand between your toes and the smell of salt in the air. But to fully enjoy your day in the sun, you have to remember to bring all of the beach essentials. Pack these 5 items for the best beach experience.
Essential items to pack for the beach
1. Beach bag
A good beach bag is the ultimate beach essential. It should be large enough to hold everything you need for the day and have small, perforated holes, which are perfect for shaking out the sand when it’s time to leave. Before you head to the beach, make sure you have these 11 items in your bag:
- A portable phone charger
- A hat
- Change of clothes
- A book or magazine
- Bug spray
- Lots of water
Pro tip: Bring a small bottle of baby powder in your bag, too: it helps to easily get sand off your hands and feet.
2. A cooler
Whether you’re packing snacks and drinks or a full picnic lunch, a cooler is a must-have. Good insulation is key, but there are many quality coolers that do more than just keep your drinks and food cold. Some enable you to charge phones or have additional pockets for storing beach necessities. Pick one that best fits your needs and fill it with your beach essentials.
Pro tip: Freeze some water bottles the night before you go. This can help keep other items chilled longer and will also be cold and refreshing when the ice melts.
3. Beach chairs & umbrella
Make your beach day more comfortable with a beach chair and umbrella. Sitting on a comfy chair is more relaxing than laying on a towel on the sand all day, and an umbrella offers a welcome escape from the elements on a hot and sunny day.
Chairs and umbrellas are also available to rent at some beaches, which may be easier than bringing your own. Do some research before you head out to see what’s available, as some companies may require you to reserve in advance.
4. A wagon
With everything you need to bring for your beach day, a wagon can make carrying everything from the car to the sand much easier. As an added bonus, they can also pull little kids who don’t like walking in the sand or just want a ride!
While sunbathing and swimming can keep you occupied for hours, you might want to do some other activities during your beach day, too. Bring a volleyball, frisbee, football or sand toys to make a sand castle for some added fun. These are all small items that don’t take up too much room and can keep your group entertained all day long.
Beach day tips
With your packing list sorted, you’re nearly ready for the sand and surf. But before you jump into the water, go through this quick beach checklist to ensure your day at the beach will be a safe one.
1. Check for rip currents
The National Weather Service offers local beach forecasts so you can see if the spot you’re headed to has a risk of rip currents, which are dangerous water flows that pull you away from the shoreline. Play it safe by only swimming at a beach that has a lifeguard on duty.
2. Look for beach warning flags
When you arrive, look for a colored flag at the entrance, along the shoreline or posted at the lifeguard stand. Different beach warning flag colors represent current beach conditions and even alert visitors to dangerous marine life, such as jellyfish.
3. Don’t underestimate the sun
A cloudy sky won’t protect you from the sun’s powerful rays. Reapply sunblock often, especially after swimming. Don’t forget those odd spots, like the rim of your ears, soles of your feet and behind your knees. Your eyes and lips can get sunburned too, so wear UV-certified sunglasses and an SPF lip balm. And, of course, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Enjoy a stress-free beach day
Now that you have the essentials packed and a list of fun things to do, will your car fit everything you need to bring? Whether you need more space or a rental because you’ll be heading to a beach out of town, you’ll be able to find the perfect fit for your trip with Avail. Each trip is protected by Allstate insurance and 24/7 roadside assistance so you can spend a stress-free and relaxing day at the beach this summer.