Simple Beach Checklist Tips to Have a Memorable Beach Vacation
There is nothing quite like the gentle ocean breeze, the sound of the waves crashing on the shore, and feeling the sun on your skin while you’re relaxing on the beach. Beach it like a pro with this simple beach checklist that will allow you to relax with your toes in the sand.
Wear Sunscreen & Reapply FREQUENTLY
I know, I know, sunscreen seems like such a given but while most people do apply sunscreen at the beach fewer tend to reapply which can lead to harsh sunburns. Did you know that your skin is your body’s largest organ? Getting a sunburn is not only uncomfortable to get while on vacation, but it can also be detrimental to your health and make you sick.
Protect yourself by using SPF 30+ while spending time on the beach or really anytime you’re outdoors. Before leaving for the beach lather up with sunscreen so it has some time to sit in. Then, make sure you reapply every hour (or more) for the best results, and consider sitting under an umbrella or beach tent in the shade occasionally but especially so when drying off after being in the water. Another option is to wear an SPF rash guard to cover more of your skin and protect it from the sun.
My suggestions for sunscreens are Thinksport, All Good, or Blue Lizard. These sunscreens are a few of my favorites because they offer great SPF protection, don’t have harmful chemicals, and are reef-safe so you know you aren’t potentially hurting any ocean life.
Here are a few reef-friendly sunscreen options
Protect Your Eyes With Sunglasses
Did you know that skin cancer can also be found in your eyes? The most aggressive form is called ocular melanoma. To protect yourself, look for sunglasses that block 99-100 percent of UVA/UVB radiation and screen out 75 to 90 percent visible light. Splurging for polarized lenses is the best way to do this. Also, make sure to apply face sunscreen around your eyes and visit your optometrist for yearly eye exams. Beach checklist.
Avoid Getting Blisters
This beach checklist tip may not apply to everyone if you already have good sandals. But remember those cheap rubber flip-flops we all wore once upon a time? Every year I’d get a new pair and every year I’d end up with a horrible blister right between my toes, especially while walking on the beach.
My favorite flip-flops are ones that have fabric between the toes instead of rubber. But I also have started to like slides as well.
My favorite Superfeet flip-flops are no longer available but here are some alternative options! These slides are great choices too. I personally like the two-strap ones for the beach.
Try to Arrive as Early as Possible
No matter what time of year you’re taking your beach vacation, it’s best to arrive early. Even if you aren’t a morning person, which I for sure am not. However, you can fall right back to sleep with the sounds of the waves. The reason it’s best to arrive early is so you can secure a prime location on the beach but you might also get to catch a lovely sunrise or cooler morning temperatures with it!
Build an Awesome Beach Fortress
Going along with arriving before the crowds, set up your beach gear so you’re sure to be comfortable all day. You can do this in a variety of ways.
- SAND LOUNGER: Mold and sculpt the sand to make yourself a sandy pillow, throw your beach towel on top, and voila, you have yourself a sand lounger.
- BEACH BLANKET: Find yourself an old quilt or another thick blanket and lay that out for ample amounts of space. This one is great for large parties!
- COZY BEACH CHAIR: Shorter beach chairs are becoming ever more popular and they can be more comfortable than lying on the ground. They also are perfect for sitting slightly in the water.
- UMBRELLA or CANOPY: If you need a break from the rays or have children in your group, you might think about bringing a large beach umbrella, tent, or canopy to provide some shade. It’s also a great place to eat and avoid pesky seagulls.
Here are some of my favorite beach items!
Pack a Cooler With Drinks & Snacks
Being outside in the hot sun all day WILL make you dehydrated and hungry. Prepare some healthy snacks and drinks in a cooler before you go. Fresh fruit, cheese, nuts, or even chips make the perfect beach snacks.
Keep in mind that alcohol will dehydrate you even more and may make you more susceptible to sunburns so if you plan to drink alcohol make sure you have a lot of water too! Also, make sure to check with the beaches you’ll be visiting because some do not allow alcohol and most do not allow glass bottles.
As far as coolers go, make sure you bring a cooler that is big enough to store your drinks and perishable snacks but also not SO big that you can’t carry it. I recently bought a backpack cooler when we moved to Florida and it’s been one of the best investments I’ve made!
Bring An Extra Set of Clothes
So you’ve got your beach snacks and maybe packed lunch but if you want to grab some dinner, drinks, or shop after your day of chasing waves have an extra set of clothes on standby. Not to mention wearing a soggy swimsuit isn’t fun. I usually pack a lightweight dress or joggers and a t-shirt if it’s going to be cooler in the evenings and Logan usually brings gym shorts and a t-shirt.
Don’t Forget to Bring Entertainment!
Some like to listen to the waves all day but the beach is also the perfect place to listen to your favorite Spotify playlist or sink into that book you’ve been aching to read. I usually bring my phone and Bluetooth headphones with me so I can listen to or read an audiobook with my Kindle or Libby app which allows me to download books for free from my local library.
Waterproof Your Electronics
While some cell phones are now water-resistant it’s still a good practice to keep your phone sand and waterproof while you’re taking those perfect sunrise photos, reading your e-book, or laying out by the water. One cost-effective way to do this is by putting your phone in a ziploc bag, or you can also use one of these.
Leave a Small Handheld Broom in Your Car
Bringing a small handheld brush or broom is an easy, inexpensive way to make sure your vehicle doesn’t turn into a sandbox. Use a broom to brush sand off shoes, feet, coolers, chairs, etc before loading all of your gear up to go home. I purchased mine from Dollar Tree which is the cheapest option, but you can also order a brush online.
Make Sure to Leave Nothing Behind
These next beach checklist tips are probably the most important of all so stay with me! After having a peaceful beach day make sure you leave no trace as you’re heading out. Pick up all trash, recyclables, and other goods to protect other people, wildlife, and our world! Most beaches have stations where you can dispose of your waste properly but if not, take it with you and dispose of it when you get back to your home, hotel, or rental. It’s also important to respect the beach rules. A common one is no glass bottles because they can injure people and animals if broken.
…And Take Nothing With You
I cannot stress this enough. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE SAND DOLLARS OR STARFISH OR OTHER ITEMS WITH YOU. I’ve seen it countless times while visiting the beach. You do not get to take living creatures from their home as a pet or as beach souvenirs. Plus, even touching these sea creatures can harm them due to your sunscreen or even the oils on your skill. If you happen to see a beautiful starfish or crab on the beach, snap a photo instead! 🙂
What are some of your go-to beach checklist items?