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After a busy week, it can be nice to get out of the house and take a trip somewhere nice to relax and recharge. As it’s summer, the beach is the perfect destination for your next day trip or long weekend.
While going to the beach is fun, it takes a lot more planning than, say, a trip to the dog park. We’ll walk you through all the things you should have on your beach checklist to make the most of your time in the sun.
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1. Prepare your swimsuit
Arguably the most important part of going to the beach: make sure you have a bathing suit. Although you can swim in your jeans, we do not recommend it. Even if you already have swimsuits in your closet, you may need a different size than before, your old suit may not be in its best shape or maybe you want you just try a new model. Whether you’re looking for a bathing suit or swimsuit, stores like Amazon have a variety of stylish and comfortable options.
Buy on Amazon
2. Bring a quality beach towel
Whether you plan to spend most of your time swimming or lounging on the sand, a beach towel will be essential for your trip. Ideally, a beach towel can both keep sand away and dry bathers quickly. Unfortunately, many beach towels do only one of these tasks adequately. PackTowl’s beach towel, however, absorbs four times its weight in water and effectively removes sand.
$44.95 on Amazon
3. Relax on a lounge chair
Lying down or sitting on a towel is not for everyone. If you’re looking to sit back and relax inches off the ground (and sand), you should bring a beach chair to your next shore excursion. The Tommy Bahama Beach chair has five recline positions, as well as several areas to store your belongings. Whether you’re ending your day at the beach or just getting started, it comes with handy backpack-style straps that make it easy to carry.
$74.80 on Amazon
4. Keep covered with an umbrella
Going to the beach doesn’t have to end with baking in the sun. A parasol is a good way to get some shade while enjoying the beach. Beach umbrellas are notorious for blowing in the wind, so consider getting this all-in-one beach umbrella system that can withstand winds of up to 44 MPH. In addition, it is easy to install and disassemble.
$156.45 on Amazon
5. Opt for more shade with a beach tent
Thanks to their larger size, beach tents provide even more shade than umbrellas and protect from more angles of sun exposure. The Sun Ninja Beach Tent is one of the best, with built-in UPF protection that wards off the sun’s harmful rays. Its versatility lends itself to many outings and Reviewed Editor Leigh Harrington agrees, recommending this tent for fun days in the sun.
$159.95 on Amazon
6. Lather up sunscreen
Sunscreen provides excellent protection against the sun’s harmful rays and should be applied wherever your skin is exposed to the sun (yes, including your scalp). Sunscreen has a reputation for being thick and greasy on the skin, but users of the Aveeno Positively Mineral Sunscreen Stick SPF 50 report that it leaves you feeling none of those things. Plus, it’s water resistant, making it perfect for hitting the beach. You can also wear UPF clothing, which is clothing that protects against the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
$13.29 from Amazon
7. Protect your food and drinks from heat
Why not make the beach an all-day affair by bringing food to grill and drinks to drink? Storing them in a cooler will keep your lunch and drinks chilled until ready to eat. We found the Ozark Trail 52 Quart Cooler to be the cooler with the greatest value. It is spacious and has several useful features like a removable grill and even a bottle opener. Plus, it keeps meat fresh for up to four days.
$129 at Walmart
8. Stay hydrated in the hot sun
It’s important to stay hydrated all the time, but especially when you’re at the beach and baking in the sun. Although there is enough water on a beach, we strongly advise against drinking sea water. Instead, we recommend that you buy a reusable water bottle like the one offered by Brita. Its stainless steel will keep your water fresh for up to 24 hours and the powerful filter will keep funky smells at bay.
$29.90 on Amazon
9. Relax and enjoy entertainment
Part of the fun of going to the beach is entertainment like reading a good book or listening to music. Pack a Bluetooth speaker so you and your friends can listen to your favorite tunes. Just watch out for other people nearby who might also be trying to listen to music. We recommend the JBL Flip 6 because it’s waterproof and offers great sound quality. If you prefer to read on the beach, we recommend getting a Kindle, which gives you access to thousands of titles at your fingertips. We love the Kindle Paperwhite for its big, crisp display that automatically adjusts its brightness, making it the perfect reading device to have in the sun.
$129.95 at JBL $139.99 at Amazon
10. Have fun with the kids
People of all ages deserve fun in the sun. Luckily, there are plenty of toys you can bring to the beach to keep your child happy. Few things say “beach” louder than a colorful beach ball and thanks to Big Mo’s Toys you can get a pack of 12 colorful and durable beach balls that can be enjoyed by children of all ages. You can also buy a bucket and shovel set, perfect for sand adventures like building sand castles and digging big holes to play with. Hey, use your imagination.
$24.99 on Amazon $13.99 on Amazon
11. A beach bag to hold it all
Last but not least, you will need a beach bag to hold your many belongings. Assistant Audience Manager Rachel Moskowitz loves this beach bag from Bluboon, saying it’s big enough to hold all her things and waterproof to keep them safe. It has many practical pockets, including a wet compartment to store used swimsuits and towels so they don’t contaminate the rest of your belongings.
$21.24 on Amazon
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.