Sunshine, Funshine.

I may have mentioned a time or two (or 50) before that we live at the beach. We love it here. Wintertime is full of hibernation and fireplaces and sweaters, but the summer. Ooooh my. We love the summer. We try to head to the beach once a week, and sometimes it ends up being more than that, and sometimes it ends up being less than that. But heading to the beach for a day takes some pre-planning, even with a friend conveniently lives in a place 100ish feet from the water. So, after living in the area for about 5-6 years, I’ve figured out what works for me for a day under the sun.

Bag_PackedFirst. You’ll need a few types of sunscreen. This seems counter-intuitive, but it’s true. We keep three different kinds with us. A fourth, if you count a chapstick with sunscreen in it. (Absolutely necessary. Don’t ever forget your lips.) We take one bottle that’s made for faces- I totally prefer Neutrogena. It smells delicious, and is non-comedogenic. Aka, it won’t give you zits after using it. Secondly, we have a 30-50 spf that you wipe on. Usually, this gets put on before you even go to the beach. Lastly, we have a spray-on sunscreen. This is a lifesaver- you’ll typically end up with sand on your self and/or your hands, and wiping on sunscreen is a major bummer. (Bug spray is also a must at the end of summer, when biting flies come around.)

Also in the sun-protection department, a hat. Especially if you’re planning on being outside all day, a hat is a must. (An umbrella is clutch, if you have it.) And since you are taking a hat, take at least one hair tie. Someone – at some point – will need it.

Plastic baggies! This is an often-overlooked item on the list. First, a ziplock for your phone, which will protect it from the sand. Also a good idea is a grocery bag- you’ll most likely have trash and a grocery bag is helpful.

Beach BagEntertainment. You’ll at one point- sit back, relax, and want some kind of reading material to peruse. Nothing to get fully engaged in, but something to just browse over. A catalog, a magazine, whatevs. (My personal favorite is HGTV Magazine. Duh.) And if you get crazy, take a bottle of nail polish!

Sustenance. You’ll want to take (at least) two water bottles. One with cold water, one with just ice. (It melts. And then by the time you’ve finished the first bottle, the second is ready for you to drink! mmmm.) You’ll also want to have snacks. Obvi. Snacks go everywhere with me.

It’s also really nice to take a full-size blanket and a towel. It’s just much nicer to stretch out, without the threat of sand infringing on your perfect day. toesWhat about you guys? Do you have any must-haves for the beach? Any clever ideas that I need to implement in my beach-plan?

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