One of the most enjoyable summer activities is heading to the beach with your family. The fresh air and warm sun can be a blessing after a brutally cold winter. Packing a good beach bag can be the difference between a successful day at the beach and listening to your kids complain the whole way home about the sand in their shorts. Here’s a quick and easy checklist of the most important things to pack in your beach bag.
One of the most important things to bring to the beach with you is towels. One rule of thumb is to count how many people are going to the beach and bring one and a half to two times as many towels. That means for a family of four, you should pack between six and eight towels for your day at the beach.
Why so many? First of all, you may want to be able to lay a couple of towels out on the sand to relax on. These towels will become covered in sand by the end of the day, and if you also try to use them to dry off, you’ll end up with sand stuck all over your wet body. The other reason to pack extra towels is that invariably someone will get out of the water, thinking that they’re done for the day, and use a towel. Then they’ll get back into the water, come out, forget which towel they used the first time, and grab a second towel. Having a few extra towels in the bag will ensure harmony in the family.
Safety equipment may look different for different families. It may mean remembering your daughter’s floaties or your son’s lifejacket. What’s important is ensuring that you have everything you need for every member of your family to enjoy the water. Even if one child says they don’t want to get in the water, plan for them changing their minds and wanting to go in and grab whatever they would need for that to be a success.
It’s easy to remember bathing suits when heading to the beach, but few people remember a second set of clothes. Once your kids have gotten soaks in the ocean and then yanked their clothes on over their bathing suits, their clothes will be just about ruined. Having a spare set of clothes allows them to dry off completely in the bathroom and put on equally dry clothes before climbing into your car. Don’t forget dry underwear!
Sunscreen and Bug Spray
Because the water is cool, it’s easy for beachgoers to forget sunscreen and regret it the next day when their burns come in. It’s important when going to the beach not only to pack sunscreen but also to remember to wear it—and to encourage the other members of your party to put it on as well.
Food and Water
Buying food at the beach is expensive, but even if you’re willing to pay for beach food—and you’re sure that the beach you’re at has food available—you’ll want to pack some snacks and a few water bottles in your beach bag. This can save you money and ensures you and your family stay hydrated during the entirety of the day.
Now that you have your checklist of necessary items, pack the family up and head to the beach!