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10 Must-Have items, while you pack for your family beach trip this summer!

1. Sunscreen
That’s right, now I know that this may sound silly, or obvious. You are probably thinking to yourself, we have plenty, or we just bought 10 bottles last summer. You never have as much as you think you do. The markup for sunscreen at the beach is outrageous. Plan ahead, it is not like a couple extra bottles of sunscreen will weigh you down. I recently got an extra 3 pack from Costco, just to be safe. P.S I still got sunburned this year !

2. Aloe Vera
When you need this item, you are going to be glad you have it. There will be no room cold, or comfortable enough to provide you relief from your sunburn. Having been caught more than once, sunburned, and aloe-less, I can personally tell you this is an item I will never forget. My personal recommendation is Hawaiian Tropic Lime Coolada After Sun Moisturizer. This a 16 oz. bottle and currently goes for 6.99. I cannot say enough good things about this stuff, it is worth every penny. Traditional Aloe Vera Gel is definitely helpful, but I always found it leaves my skin feeling sticky. The Hawaiian Tropic moisturizer provides the relief, without leaving you sticky. Another bonus, it smells great. The moral of the story is, you will definitely be needing something to cool your skin after a long day of beach fun.

3. Aspirin/ Ibuprofen
This is another item you do not want to be without when you are in desperate need. There are many reasons why you may end up needing some pain relief at the end of a long day at the beach. Whether it’s simply your body not used to the sun beating down on you, or maybe you used a few muscles in your legs you forgot about, chasing your kids down the beach. Grab an extra bottle of each, and throw them in your bag, you will not regret it.
Make sure that you don’t forget about your littles either. There is nothing like have a screaming child with sore muscles, fever, or sunburn while you are trying to unwind after a long day. You don’t want to be trying to track down a pharmacy in the middle of night. I can assure you this is absolutely no fun at all.

4. Towels
It is not just that you are going to need towels. It goes without saying, but I will. Don’t forget your towels. Saying you need towels is true, but you need to have the right towels. You are going to win this battle, at the department, or superstore. I realize that spending a lot of money on beach towels is probably not high on your priority list, however there are some things that are worth spending money on. If you make the right purchase, beach towels can last multiple summers. I have had 2 of my beach towels for 11 years now. Go for the biggest towels you can find. Buy one towel for each member of your family, and call it a day.

5. Extra Socks, Underwear
This one is so simple. Pack twice as much as you think you will need. There is not telling how often you will be changing in, and out of wet clothes. I can safely say, another vacation ruining proposition we would all like to avoid, is a rash. You do not want to find yourself limping up, and down the beach. Protect your sensitive areas, every little bit helps. This will have minimal impact on your packing space, so why not?

6. Toiletries
Make a list ahead of time, determine everything you think you are going to need. Make a list of everything you use on a daily basis, use this on packing day. I have a few suggestions of things you may not think about. This first suggestion, is for all the men out there. Grab yourself some body powder, as mentioned previously, you do not want to be on the wrong end of a heat rash. This can help prevent one, or ease the pain if you are unfortunate enough to get one. In addition to your aloe, make sure you have plenty of lotion. Even if you do not get sunburn, your skin will be dry, and irritated just by being on the beach, this is true even if you don’t get in the water. Spray in, or leave in condition for your hair. For the same reasons the beach is hard on your skin, it is hard on your hair. Chap Stick, or Carmex. Do not forget that your lips can get sunburn too. Get yourself a travel size pack of Q-Tips, this one really might come in handy. Buy yourself an extra toothbrush, and pack it ahead of time. This one is easy to forget because you will likely brush your teeth on the travel day.

7. Sunglasses/Beach Hat
I know that it may be hard to believe but, sunglasses and beach hats actually have a practical application. It is not just about looking cool or fabulous. This is another case where is does not hurt to invest a little money. A good pair of sunglasses will cut the glare down significantly. I am not saying that you need to rush out and spend a fortune, but I would try on a few pair, and look for some polarized lenses.
If you are a hat person, I would get the biggest, floppiest hat I could find. There is no judgement here. It never hurts to have a little more protection from the sun. So, no matter if you are the fairest of the fair, or the tannest of the tan, the sun will damage your skin.

8. Beach Fun
I would try to go as compact as possible for this, you will surely have more stuff than you can possibly carry to your beach spot. Plan ahead for what you are going to do to occupy your children, or worse teenagers. We have all heard our children’s proclamations of being “so bored”. Keep your beach toys to a minimum. However, if you have the space, by all means, bring out your corn-hole boards, as many sand castle accessories as possible.
Kan-Jam, is a foldable game that will not take up much space. If you have never played it, look it up, it’s a lot of fun. Beach-balls, volley balls, and footballs are also good, compact ideas. Last summer a friend of mine came up with a game using golf balls. To make a long story short, it involved rolling a golf ball in a cup-sized hole about 30 feet away. Nothing wrong with getting a little creative.

9. Paper Products/Trash Bags
More than likely, you will not want to be eating all of your junk food off of your wet, sandy laps. Make sure that you bring plenty of paper plates, and napkins. You are going to be hard pressed to find any of these things, once you are committed to the beach for the day. These 2 things are easy to forget, don’t let it happen to you. That being said, you are going to need a place to put all of this trash you are generating. You are going to need trash bags. Not all beaches provide trash cans. Obviously, you are not going to leave it on the beach, so be prepared.

10. Bottled Water
Bottom line is, you are going to need to be properly hydrated. No matter what beach activity you are enjoying for the day, your body is going to be purging water. Bring as many cases of water that you can reasonably fit. Fill any excess space in the cooler, with bottles of water. A good way to supplement your daily cooler, ice consumption, is to freeze bottles of water. They will help keep the cooler cold, and obviously you can drink them when they melt. This will save you trips to the board walk to buy drinks, or long walks back to the house. You can help protect your skin by being properly hydrated.


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