How to Ensure an Excellent Beach Trip

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A beach getaway is a must for the summer months, but remember the last time you went? You likely forgot something, or maybe the trip there wasn’t as smooth as it could have been. From having the latest modern navigation devices to buying sunscreen beforehand (to avoid the high costs at local shops) a little planning can go a long way.

It’s tough because going to the beach makes you think of being carefree—but in reality, a beach trip demands at least one responsible member in the party. Here are the best ways to make your trip to the waters more enjoyable:

  1. Know where you’re going. Research not only the city but the actual beach before going there. What’s the weather forecast? Is the perfect beach for you open to the public right now, and is there parking? Does it fill up quickly? Is it in a historic town that only accepts change in their meters? Since you can get a full idea of what to expect with a little research, avoid any negative surprises. You might even stumble across a beach that’s better suited to what you have in mind. At the same time, make sure you have a navigation device that’s updated and works for you.
  2. Pack the essentials. Make sure you have plenty of unexpired sunscreen with at least an SPF of 20 and reapply it every two hours. For adults, you might want to make sure you have a sunscreen designed specifically for the face (otherwise you risk breakouts). Sunscreen does expire, and when it does that means it’s not as potent. It can be expensive, so shop your local discount store and make sure you have plenty available for everyone. You’ll also want to have plenty of beach towels, dress in layers, and a change of clothes. Stow some water shoes in the trunk, along with any props like boogie boards that you’ll need.
  3. Plan your dining destinations and/or pack a meal. Maybe part of your beach getaway is sampling the catch of the day at a favorite restaurant. Research dining options near your beach, or if you’d prefer to truly dine al fresco pack a picnic and save money. Whatever you do, don’t depend on hoping for the best and getting stuck with a subpar or expensive dining experience. For many people, a picnic on the beach is a hallmark of summer (and food always tastes better with that salty air).
  4. Have a means of protecting your phone. Smartphone and sand don’t mix. Either leave them in your car or come prepared with a waterproof and sand proof carrier. For many beachgoers, getting a simple magnetic key hider to tuck under their car keeps them from worrying about keys, wallets, and phones getting lost or stolen on the beach. Who wants to be stuck on their towel to guard the goods while everyone else enjoys the waves?
  5. Follow the beach directions. It should be obvious, but if there are warnings about diving, undercurrents, or anything else, pay attention. Every year there are injuries and casualties at the beach that could be avoided with a little common sense. Avoid drinking if you plan to be in or near the water, and save those indulgences for dinner afterward. Too often a fun day at the beach can turn disastrous because of carelessness.
  6. Choose a beach with an outdoor shower. Nothing is worse than a long trip back home covered in sand. With so many options available, make sure you choose a beach where you can spray off the sand before getting back in the car.

A beach trip can be an absolute blast with a little prep work. From researching the area before you go to making sure you pack everything you need, it doesn’t take much to optimize your sandy outing. For the best experience, try to arrive early and beat the crowds. Enjoy a beach to yourself and a gorgeous sunrise—it’ll easily be the peak of your summer.

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