A great beach vacation requires planning and packing for both good and bad weather activities, bringing essentials like sunglasses and suntan lotion with broad-spectrum UV protection, picking up a few things to make your stay easier, safer, and more enjoyable, and—most importantly—bringing along a positive attitude and your sense of humor.
An oversized, plush, and thirsty beach towel and/or a comfortable portable chair or folding recliner will give you a comfortable base for your fun in the sun.
Do you want something close to the ground or would you be more comfortable in something with a higher seat? Do you want something with a drink holder? Something that’s lightweight or has a strap that makes it easy to carry? If you’re not going alone, what would the others traveling with you prefer? Will you be bringing a toddler or a young child along? What type of seating would make them most comfortable?
Are the beach chairs or portable loungers you have in good shape or have they started to rust? Are they comfortable?
Are your towels large enough to keep you sand-free when you lie down on them after swimming in the ocean? Are they colorful and distinctive enough so it’s easy for you – and others – to identify which towel is yours? A little pre-trip planning will ensure that you’ll be able to sit, recline, or lie back in comfort while you enjoy the sand and surf.
Consider using two different sunscreens, one for your face and another for your body – especially if your skin is sensitive or prone to acne breakouts. More and more brands of sunscreen are offering a variety of sensitive skin formulations for both the face and body.
Protect your book, towels, camera, and whatever else you carry in your beach tote by tucking in one or two large Ziploc food storage bags (or whatever brand you prefer) for your wet sandals or water shoes and for your wet swimsuit (if there’s a cabana or other changing area). Sealing your sunscreen lotion, lip balm, bug repellent, adhesive bandages, etc., into small or medium zippered bags can keep the sand out of them and also prevent any leaks from ruining the rest of the stuff in your beach tote or bag. Rinse them out each evening and let them dry overnight so they’re ready to reuse the next day.
Bring Along a Trash Bag for Litter
I’m always amazed at how often people who never would dream of littering on a sidewalk don’t think twice about littering on the beach. Please don’t be one of them! Carry a trash bag with you for your own litter, and take it with you as you walk along the shore so you can leave the area a little cleaner than it was when you arrived. If every beachgoer picks up just a few extra pieces of litter each time he or she visits the shore, our children and grandchildren will be able to enjoy these beautiful spots, too.