Whether you live in a state of travel doers or dreamers, chances are, you’ll make a trip to the beach. There are great beaches along both coasts, and if you’re thinking about Virginia Beach, you should check out this post on why it’s such a great beach.
If you live near the ocean, you’ll probably go often, but if you live in a land-locked state, you probably won’t have as many opportunities. Either way, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared. Get your car tuned up so it’ll run well for the trip, check that you haven’t missed any important recalls, and finally, make sure and have everything you need at the beach. Here are the 12 essentials you don’t want to forget.
#1 - Sandcastle Building Supplies
No matter how old your kids are, they can get into building a sandcastle. Your whole family can work together to build a masterpiece. This kit has everything you need to get started and is just right for little kids. A couple of extra shovels would be a good idea to bring as shovels are a hot item, and if everyone has their own, there may be less bickering.
#2 - Sand Proof Blanket
Once you use one of these blankets, you will never use an ordinary blanket at the beach again. Instead of being limited to the width of a towel, you will basically get your own small “room” to set up and spread out on with these blankets. The sand won’t stick to it, so it’s your best bet for keeping snacktime grit-free.
#3 - Umbrella
Even those most sun-loving among you will be thankful for the shade of the umbrella on a hot day. If you have little ones, you’ll definitely need that shade to protect their fresh skin from burning.
Things to look for in a beach umbrella are UV protection, wind resistance (beaches are notoriously breezy), and ease of carrying.
#4 - Sun Protection (Sunscreen, Hats, Sunglasses)
This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many people unload from their vehicle excited to feel the sand beneath their feet and then realize they forgot the sunscreen. It’s just not worth it to skip the sunscreen because your family could end up with a week’s worth of agony if they get burned.
Zinc-based sunscreens are effective and provide good protection from the UV rays but won’t load your child’s system up with chemicals.
The sun can burn your skin, but it can also burn your eyes and do long term damage. A hat will shade your eyes, scalp, and face to prevent burning. Remember, though, the beach is often windy, so a chin strap under the hat will help it not to blow away.
Sunglasses will protect your eyes. Your eyes are important, and UV rays can do some major harm, so make sure your sunglasses block out UV rays.
#5 - Water
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Make sure each child has a water bottle, and bring another gallon to refill when their bottles are empty.
#6 - Snacks
Have you ever noticed that spending time in water makes you hungry? If you think you have enough snacks packed, throw a few more in just in case!
Some great beach snacks include the following:
- Hard-boiled eggs
#7 - Chairs
Sure, you could sit on the sand, but you’ll appreciate some back support as the hours fly. Beach chairs are the perfect place to soak up the summer sun, listen to the waves, and keep an eye on your kids.
#8 - Cooler
A cooler tote is lighter and easier to pack, so it makes for a good beach option. If you’re trying to push hydration on your kids, you won’t have much luck if everything is warm. You can keep drinks and snacks cool in it. Make sure you throw some ice in because even the best cooler won’t keep stuff cold on their own after roasting in the sun for a while.
#9 - Music
A waterproof and thus sand-proof speaker is perfect for a day at the beach. Have your kids help you choose a playlist. Then, as they build sandcastles, eat their snacks, and bury each other in the sand, they can sing along to their favorite songs.
#10 - Boogie Board
Riding the waves on a boogie board is one of the best activities to do at the beach. Your kids can learn to catch the waves with the perfect timing to ride them all the way back to the shore. They will be so proud of themselves and want to do it for hours.
#11 - Stand-up Activities (Frisbee, Ball, Kite)
Frisbee is a lot of fun at the beach if it’s not too windy. There are lots of air currents, and the frisbee will rise and fall with them. If it is too windy, a softball or baseball will be easier to keep track of.
Running after a ball or a frisbee is a great way to get your heart pumping and let your kids burn off some energy. And, the beach is the perfect location to fly a kite thanks to the steady breeze. Your children will be amazed as they watch it soar high above them.
#12 - Wagon
We’re highlighting 12 things you need to bring to the beach for your family day. If you want to avoid taking 12 trips back and forth to your car (which may be blocks away if it’s the peak season) you need a good beach wagon.
A folding, all-terrain wagon will fit nicely in your trunk and will roll across the sand easily.
There’s something magical about being on the beach and enjoying the long days of summer. Family beach trips will likely be the highlight of your summer. A little planning ahead to get prepared with everything your family will need allows you to stay longer and fully enjoy the adventure!
Melanie Musson is a writer for carinsurancecomparison.com. She lives in the beautiful, landlocked state of Montana, but makes sure her four children get to the ocean for a beach vacation every year.