Nothing beats a relaxing day at the beach; it's the perfect way to spend your time on holiday. There are those who like to swathe themselves in oil and sit in the sun, many who use the time to take in a good book and some who enjoy an more active day, frolicking in the sea or playing a game of bat and ball…
Whatever beach day you choose to have, you'll want to be prepared; so with that in mind, we've put together a guide of what to pack for a day at the beach.
Beach Bag – Get yourself a spacious beach bag, with enough room to house bulky items such as beach games, bathers and bottles - everything you'll need to bring to keep you occupied at the beach for a day. You don't want to be carrying an arm-full of items, particularly if you've a long walk to the spot you wish to settle in for the day. A waterproof bag is a very practical choice for the beach as your belongings should stay dry.
Sun Cream – One of the most important things to take with you for a day in the sun. If you're travelling in a group, make sure there's enough sun cream for all and that you've packed the appropriate factors. Even on a day where the weather looks overcast, you're likely to get burnt as beaches tend to be very exposed to the elements. If possible, take a waterproof sunscreen with you.
Water – It's very important that you keep yourself hydrated whilst enjoying your beach day to avoid sunstroke and other related illnesses; with increased sweating in the sun, we tend to lose a lot of fluids, so make sure you drink moderate amounts of water often to avoid getting thirsty and therefore dehydrated.
Towels – Taking one towel per person is ideal, as it can be quite impractical to share; if you intend to use a towel for lounging on – you might want to bring a spare for drying off after a swim. A good tip is to pack distinctively patterned towels, as this will help you recognise your camp on the beach.
Beach mat – For those travelling in a group of two or more, a beach mat is a practical choice as it saves you from having to dry off on a very sandy towel. Also, if you wish to lounge on the sand following a swim this saves you from having to do so on a damp towel. Bamboo beach mats are normally inexpensive and can be rolled-up tightly for added convenience.
Swimwear – Even if you don't like swimming in the sea, it's a good idea to bring appropriate swimwear with you; for sun bathing, paddling, and playing in the sand, or even just to ensure your clothes don't get messy!
Food – Keep your energy levels up and your blood sugar levels sustained to avoid feeling weak and headachy. Not all beaches are equipped with lots of amenities, so it's always a good idea to pack some snacks. Fruit is a great option or anything else that doesn't require preparation. If you're taking sandwiches with you, remember that they may go soggy if not placed in a cool bag. Always pack more than you think you'll need, especially with children, as spending a day on the beach can take a lot of energy and you'll want to keep spirits high!
Sun hat – A must for young children in particular; a sun hat protects delicate skin on the scalp from becoming damaged and burnt – it can also keep you cool. Choose a hat with a wide brim, so the side of your face and neck is protected too.
Sunglasses – Protect your eyes from UV rays and avoid squinting (which can to lead to a headache) by packing a pair of UV protection sunglasses.
Games - Keep the whole party entertained with some well picked beach entertainment. A bucket and spade is always a winner for kids and if you're on the right kind of beach, perhaps a net too. For older children and adults, a game of bat and ball, cricket or playing with a frisbee is a great way to have fun. If you don't have too far to walk, boules are great for the sand, but they're a bit heavy for a long trek to the beach.
Umbrella – A large, fabric sun umbrella is the perfect way to shield yourselves from the sun's rays. However well you tan, you don't want to find yourself sat in direct sunlight for too long, particularly in the middle of the day; this can lead to sun stroke as well as severe sun burn. An umbrella is also a handy way shield from any gusty winds that might sweep across the beach.
Book – There's nothing more relaxing than being able to while away the hours with your nose in a good book; but however engrossing, be sure you remember to put it down and apply sunscreen regularly!
Warm clothing – You may not be planning to stay on the beach into the evening, but it's always a good idea to pack some warm clothing, whether it's a jumper, fleece or something as simple as a pashmina to cover your shoulders. After spending time in such heat, you're likely to feel the chill.
Empty plastic bag – This might sound a strange one, but they're great for keeping valuables dry and sand free, and at the end of the beach day, you can pile all your rubbish into the plastic bag and place it in a nearby bin.
Cash –It's always a good idea to take a small amount of cash with you, as not all small retailers will accept cards; handy in case you run out of water…and you know you'll probably want an ice cream!
Antiseptic cream – whilst the beach is a wonderful place to visit, from time to time, things can go awry; objects might be washed up on the shoreline, irresponsible visitors might have left something sharp in the sand or you could simply slip on a rock. By taking a small tube of antiseptic cream, you've the peace of mind of knowing any scrapes and scratches can be cleaned off.
Antibacterial hand gel – though the sea might be fine for washing dirty or sandy hands, a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel will ensure that everyone is ready for handling food.
Talcum Powder – It may sound a strange thing to pack for a day at the beach, but talcum powder has near-magical qualities when it comes to removing sand! It dries the moisture out of your hands and the sand just brushes away.
Paddling Pool – Little ones love splashing around on a day at the beach, but if you don't want to be supervising them down by the sea all the time, a paddling pool is the ideal solution. They can sit in there and splash to their heart's content, and you can shade them with a parasol when they've had too much sun.
Sandwich Bags – These are handy for numerous different things, from protecting your smartphone from sand and sea water, to keeping jewellery and valuables safe while you swim.
Camera – For capturing all those magical moments of course!
Have a happy holiday!
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