By Jordan Greene
The beach is an easy place to kill time… and spend money. Of course, beach essentials are known to become much pricier the closer to the shore you get, so be sure to grab a few essentials before you head out.
I’ve rounded up the top six things you should grab before your trip so that you can enjoy every last drop of sunshine, without wasting precious beach time or souvenir money. So, grab a cold drink, sit in the shade, and have a skim through this roundup.
1. Stock up on sunscreen.
I’m not going to harp on the benefits of sunscreen — you know you need to wear it. And don’t wait to buy it when you get to the beach, where you can expect prices to run significantly higher. Also, people often buy the rub-in lotions because they’re ‘more protective,’ which is good in theory, but it doesn’t actually help if you don’t use it. Rub-ins can be a hassle. You know you’re just going to get lazy and say, “Ahh, I’m fine, I still have some from a few hours ago, before I swam and slept and swam some more.” Wrong. Do yourself a favor — buy an easy spray-on that doesn’t need to be rubbed in. Spritz regularly.
2. Bring reusable plastic bags.
You don’t need to buy expensive mobile phone cases in souvenir shops. You can use small sandwich-sized zip plastic bags to house your phone, protecting it from wet, sandy fingers. Use gallon-sized bags to transport wet swim suits (just remember to unpack them later so they don’t get moldy). You can also use them to keep leaky sunscreen caps from messing up your nice beach tote. Finally, don’t simply throw away those empty plastic bags! Tuck them in your beach tote for next time. Reuse. Recycle.
3. Load up on snacks.
The sun and the salt both contribute to severe hunger. (I don’t know if that’s a proven fact, but it’s definitely the case for me.) During and after a draining beach day, you’ll most certainly be hungry, and there is no reason to waste precious vacation time standing in line at the gas station, or worse, at some fast food counter. Instead, stock up on fruit for your cooler and buy bulk-sized snacks at the grocery store for the fam to munch on between meals. Don’t waste money buying junk or fast food every time someone is hungry. All those small purchases can really make a dent in your vacation fund.
4. Protect your car.
Invest in one of those front window folding shades that reflects the sun. It’s not only good for your car’s interiors, but few things make a person sadder than heading to the car after a hot summer day, all ready for the cool A/C, and BAM. Open the door, and a wall of heat smacks you in the face. Using a cost-effective window shade will help ensure you can actually sit on your seats when you finally decide you need to escape the heat. You can also crack each window less than an inch to help with temperature regulation. Just make sure you keep your car doors locked, as tourist areas often attract sketchy opportunists looking for an easy grab.
5. Pack several swimsuits.
Even if you’re just going for a day or two, you may want to beach during the day and then go for another sunset swim or even a late-night dip in the pool. Either way, having to slide on a wet, sandy swimsuit isn’t exactly a pleasant sensation. Spare yourself the misery. Wet suits = unhappy lives. Packing several old suits before you go will prevent you from having to pay a premium for something on the go.
6. Bring baby powder.
Before you get back in the car, poof a little baby powder onto your feet and the sand will almost magically brush off! It’s the cheapest beach trick you’ll ever try.
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