Memorial Day is the kick-off to summer break. Many people will flock to the warm beaches to relax and celebrate the beginning of the summer season. To make this beach trip and all future trips enjoyable, there are some basic beach essentials you must bring for your day under the sun.
Beach Essential One – Beach Chair
For the longest time, I made the mistake of laying out a towel on the scorching sand to try and enjoy my time at the beach. There were two issues with this approach; the wind and the sand. I found myself fighting to keep the towel from rolling up, only to have the sand blown back in my face because I wasn’t mindful of the wind’s direction. I spent more time patting down the edges and covering myself in the sand than I did relaxing.
This is no longer an issue since I have beach chairs in my arsenal. The Low Tides Beach Chairs have convenient backpack straps leaving me hands-free to carry other beach essentials. Being elevated off the ground allows air to circulate around me for quick drying after a dip in the ocean. Not only do I stay sand-free, but with two cupholders, so do my drinks.
Beach Essential Two – Umbrella
Beaches are not known for providing shade. It’s also neither time-efficient nor legal to chop down palm trees to build a shelter from the sun. This leaves you with only one option; bringing an umbrella. There are many types of tents and structures people set up for their beach days. I find these too cumbersome to drag around, and I don’t have a team of people to help me set them up. I’m usually not providing shade for more than one other person. It every wo(man) for themselves to bring there own umbrella on my beach trips.
Beach Essential Three – Reef Safe Sunscreen
Sunscreen is a must for any beach trip. After hours of lying on the beach, the refreshing ocean waters will tempt you to dip your feet in the rolling waves. Not only is it imperative to protect your skin from harmful UV rays but to keep the ocean waters and the creatures that call this home safe. Going a step further to using reef-safe sunscreen is working to protect your skin and the habitats of the beautiful ocean reefs.
Beach Essential Four – Wide Brim Hat
Have I mentioned there isn’t any shade at the beach? In case it’s slipped your mind between this paragraph and Beach Essential #2, let me remind you there is, in fact, little to no shade at the beach. When I craw from beneath the refuge of my umbrella, I eminently pop a hat on my head. Not only is it a stylish accessory, but it again keeps those UV rays from hitting the delicate skin on your face and neck.
Beach Essential Five – Cooler
Unless you are sitting at a beach resort that includes drink service, a visit to the beach without access to food and water quickly feels like you’re on the show Survivor. I made the mistake of leaving water behind on my beach trip to Egmont Key. In a dehydrated delirium, my brain taunted me with the famous line from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem, “water, water, everywhere but not a drop to drink.”
Now that I’ve learned my lesson, each beach trip is accompanied by a small cooler big enough for drinks and light snacks. Depending on the duration of the beach trip, I rotate between my backpack cooler or a small plastic igloo cooler to keep everything fresh throughout the day.
Beach Essential Six – Microfiber Towels
I know what you’re thinking, “didn’t you just say sitting on a towel at the beach is not the way to enjoy the day?” I did. But you still need to bring a towel to dry off or wrap around you after floating in the water. Even if you refuse to get into the water, having a towel to cover your shoulders or to use as a pillow for an afternoon nap is reason enough to throw one in your beach bag.
Beach towels come in all shapes and sizes. The most crucial factor is the fabric. Microfiber beach towels are fast drying, compact, and sand resistant. Everything a standard cotton towel is not.
Beach Essential Seven – Noodles
I wish I were the person who invented the pool noodle. It’s a simple foam tube to help you bob in the water like a buoy. Unlike floaties that require you to blow them up to the point where you feel like passing out, a noodle is ready for the beach right out of the box.
Beach Essential Eight – Thermal Phone Case
Admittedly, I have not tried this phone sleeve. But I have ordered it to see if it will solve my issue with my phone overheating. I’m pretty conscious about keeping my phone out of the direct sun, but on my recent beach trip it refused to open the camera app due to being too warm. My phone also stopped working in a similar but unrelated problem when I was camping in Yellowstone National Park last November. It probably had something to do with the below-freezing temperatures I was sleeping in. However, I’m going to remain optimistic this little insulated sleeve will help regulate my phone’s temperature in either scenario.
Beach Essential Nine – Beach Bag
Any bag you take to the beach is technically a beach bag. A plastic bag from the grocery store could be a beach bag. If you’re looking for something a bit more substantial, I suggest a bag made of natural fibers or a bag made of mesh. My go-to bag is a farmer’s market bag. They’re perfect for holding wet towels and clothes. The webbing of the fabric allows it to stretch to fit all those little accessories for the beach.
Straw bags are another great option if you want something more structured. They tend to hold a lot, and sand will quickly sift through the bag. With either option, I also carry smaller pouches to keep my keys, wallet, earbuds, and phone in so I don’t have to search for very long to find what I need.
Beach Essential Ten – Sandals
I’m not a fan of flip-flops. They give me PTSD from my high school days. Instead, I prefer the look of a slide or sandals. Last year I wore my Chacos everywhere (and will again this year), but I would like to add a pair of Birkenstock Arizona EVA Sandals. What has drawn me to consider picking up a pair is the ease of sliding them on and off once I’m at the beach. The strap around the Chacos can be a little cumbersome at times. I love my regular leather Birkenstocks and thought the foam version would be a great addition. The hardest part will be choosing which color to pick (I’m leaning toward a metallic pair).
I hope you found these suggestions helpful. If you’re wondering why I didn’t put swimsuits as a beach essential, it’s because swimwear is vastly different from person to person. I wanted to focus on the universal items everyone can benefit from using on their beach day. No matter what you bring to the beach, just remember to have fun in whatever form that is for you.
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