It’s spring and for many it’s a time to herald in the 3 s’s: sun, sand, and surf. And, whether you intend to spend a day or a week, a trip to the beach requires planning. I grew up in Hawaii, just down the road from a popular beach. My parents were pros at packing up four children for a day at the beach and used a “beach list” to help prepare for the trip. While it’s easy to remember the essentials: towel, swimsuit and the all-important SUNSCREEN, here are a few more items you may not want to leave home without.
· Beach mats
· Beach chairs
· Beach Umbrella
· Sand Toys (pail, shovel, cups, rake)
· Inflatable Toys (raft, swim tube, seahorse)
· Personal water flotation devices for children (water wings, floaties, swimmies)
· An extra set of dry clothes (just in case)
· Comb (easier on wet hair than a hairbrush)
· Mesh Bag for sand toys and wet clothes
· Cooler with snacks and drinks (Most beaches prohibit alcohol, instead opt for bottled water and juice boxes. Also, remember to pack food snugly and in layers-heavy things on the bottom, soft things on top of those. Pre-chill food and drinks and wrap them well in foil to protect from melting ice and condensation.)
· A good book
· Hand Sanitizers (anti-bacterial gel or Wet Ones)
· Cell phone (for emergencies)
· Plastic garbage bag (to avoid constant trips to the trash can, bring your own bag, fill it periodically and at the end of the day dispose of it in one trip)
Depending on how much you want to haul, the possibilities are endless. I’ve seen some people bring pillows, hand-held televisions, and needle point projects. A trip to the beach should be relaxing. Alleviate stress by making a list a few days in advance; check off the items as you go, then concentrate on having fun.