When you’re planning a family trip to the beach, you probably pack with kids in mind. But an adult beach day requires a different set of items. It’s time to trade in your kids’ toys for card games, beach sports, music, liquor, and more. Here’s how to pack for a grown-up day by the water.
The basics to pack for any day at the beach
Of course, there are the staples: Beach towels, sunscreen, a water bottle, sunglasses, and food. Travel blog The Savvy Globetrotter breaks down the essentials pretty well — don’t forget your bathing suit, flip flops, ID, and cash for parking or buying ice cream or drinks. You’ll also want a beach blanket in addition to your beach towel (the more towels, the better, actually), and beach chairs if you need some back support. Also, you’re always going to need a source of shade, whether that means an umbrella or a mini-tent or canopy.
Also, bring a first aid kit. Lifeguards will have the heavy-duty stuff, but a small kit with bandages and alcohol wipes can go a long way when it comes to treating minor accidents. Other miscellaneous items include bluetooth speakers, external batteries for your phone, and a specific bag for your wet bathing suit after you’re done with the water and get changed.
Grownup entertainment to bring to the beach
Although drinking on the beach is often prohibited, some beaches allow alcohol, so make sure you research alcohol-friendly beaches in your area if that’s something you’re looking for. Pack a cooler that’s easy to transport and plan to transfer your drinks from their bottles into plastic or other non-glass containers in advance, as glass bottles aren’t permitted on most beaches.
Card games are a good bet for beach entertainment — we’d suggest modern, conversation-making classics like Cards Against Humanity or Joking Hazard. If you’re the athletic type, bring a volleyball, frisbee, football, or aa game of cornhole. Spike ball is newer alternative that might need some explaining to your friends, so if you plan to play it, send them a link to the site for instructions in advance.
My secret weapons for a trip to the beach
Lugging everything through the sand is the worst part of setting up your spot at the beach, so I bring a wagon on every beach trip. Some roll better on the sand than others, so look for one with large inflatable wheels. They can be expensive (as much as $US500 ($641)), but there are plenty of good-quality cheaper options to choose from. Once you have a wagon, you can take advantage of my other top suggestion for the perfect beach trip: Bringing full-on meals that would be too heavy to lug and too messy for kids. You haven’t lived until you’ve eaten a real dinner on the beach. Rotisserie chicken, anyone?