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Beach Day Packing Tips

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Nothing says summer like a day spent on the beach! As we live in a coastal resort area, making beach days easy is an absolute necessity, but it can be tough to decide what to pack for the beach. Over the years, we have refined our beach day packing practices to make our time at the beach loads of fun without hauling everything but the kitchen sink through the sand.

Here are my best beach bag packing tips for making your day at the beach a little easier and even more fun:

Choose the right bag

It’s so tempting to grab a cute, oversized canvas tote, pack it full, and hit the road. While you can do just that, there is a better way to pack for the beach. A tote bag with mesh sides will be a little lighter to carry, will allow air to circulate around damp items, and will make it easier to clean out that pesky sand at the end of the day.

Gather up the sand toys

If you’re a beach purist, you might feel like the sand, sun, and surf are all you need for a great day at the beach. But with my family, we need things to do in between splashing around. We love to have games like paddleball in addition to our buckets and shovels for sand castle building.

Be cooler smart

Cold drinks and yummy snacks are always on the packing list for a day at the beach! However, lugging a giant cooler from the parking area to that one open space, yards and yards down a crowded beach? Not an ideal situation. Look for a rolling cooler that has large, sand-friendly wheels to make transport easy. Drink holders and prep space on the lid can also be a huge help.

Have a designated beach blanket

Use an old sheet or blanket that no longer is being placed on your beds, as sand is surely going to stick in the seams of sheets or the lint pills on a blanket. You can also purchase beach blankets that are made specifically for beach use which are sand-friendly and easier to clean. Ours stays in our car on the off chance we might have a surprise beach day.

Don’t forget entertainment for the grownups

While it can be tough to find a moment that you can take your eyes off the little ones, having a little something to relax and enjoy while they’re playing in the sand will make your day even that much more fun. I love loading up a Kindle Paperwhite with a good book for those quiet moments and it’s easier to read in the glare of the sun that most tablets or phones.

Shade is your friend

Basking in the sun is a glorious feeling, but we all know the dangers of too much exposure. A good beach umbrella can be a lifesaver on a hot, sunny day at the beach! Safety tip: Make sure your umbrella is very well secured against ocean breezes with a sand anchor as they can become a projectile and cause injuries if they are blown from the sand.

Make cleanup easy


No matter how hard you try, you’re going to bring some of the beach home with you. You’ll find sand in your hair, the car, and all kinds of surprising places for weeks after your beach day. My favorite trick to get sand off is to sprinkle baby powder over sandy body parts, rub it in a bit, then wipe with a dry towel or washcloth. Works like a charm!

Whether you’re a beach bag packing pro or just tossing random things into your bag, spending a day on the beach is always loads of fun. What are some of your must-haves for a day spent relaxing in the sand?

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