Your Ultimate Beach-Side Guide
By: Elisheva Blumberg, Lubicom Staff
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and imagine yourself in the most relaxed place on earth.
You’re at the beach, right?
Oh the seashore…those warm, golden sands and the sound of waves lapping on the coast…it’s the place to go when you need to unwind. In other words — the beach is the antithesis of stress.
Or at least it should be.
But as with most vacation spots, the idyllic version of our imagination tends to be interrupted by the actual stresses of life. So if you’re headed to the shore this summer, and want to make your waterfront experience totally stress-free and effortless, you gotta be prepared.
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Your Ultimate Beachside Guide
For a sandtastic day at the beach, planning is crucial. Our guide consists of 3 main categories:
So get yourself ready on all three fronts, and it’s smooth sailing from there!
First things first, let’s make one thing Bahamas-beach-water-clear: if you’re going to the beach, shlepping is pretty much mandatory. (Carrying all the beach essentials yourself may make you wish you had more than two arms. Ideally, have another adult help. Or an octopus.)
Once you’re bringing gear anyway, here’s a list of items that’ll make your beach life 100 times easier:
If beach-going is something you’re going to do more than once, you may want to invest in a beach tent.
A good-quality tent will give you protection from the elements (from sun AND rain), a place to stake out your own turf on the beach, some much-needed privacy, a safe spot to keep your stuff, and a quiet location to set your cranky toddler down for his midday nap.
Goodbye, clunky coolers! Lugging a hard plastic cooler across the hot sand is the last thing you’ll want to do on your beach getaway. Instead, bring along a collapsible cooler bag — it’s a lighter and way more convenient way to travel with food.
And don’t forget these other beach gear essentials:
- Waterproof phone case (a Ziploc bag will do in a pinch!)
- Baby powder (for wiping off stubborn sand before you head home)
- Wet wipes
- Changes of clothing
- Plastic bags (to stow all the wet stuff)
- Flotation and safety devices, like puddle jumpers, for kids
All that swimming is going to leave you and your gang as ravenous as a pack of seagulls. Prep your cooler with beach-friendly chow that’ll keep everyone snacking and satisfied throughout the long day.
Bring along these healthy and filling foods, beverages, and snacks:
• Bottled water and sports drinks (freeze ‘em first! They’ll stay cold for HOURS plus they’ll double as ice packs to keep the rest of your food chilled)
• Hearty sandwiches, like Jeff Nathan’s Turkey, Cherry & Almond Salad on bread, Megha Suchak’s Lentil Pita Pockets, and Chavi Feldman’s Falafel-Inspired Wraps (Up the fullness factor by using whole grains and lots of fiber-rich veggies)
• Fresh fruit (great for hydration)
• Wholesome snacks, like Erin Grunstein’s Strawberry Apply Oat Breakfast Muffins and Homemade beef jerky
• Steer clear of anything remotely chocolate-y — even chocolate chip granola bars will melt in the heat, leaving behind sticky fingers and big messes
Once you’ve got all the basics out of the way, start thinking about the FUN! (Isn’t that really why we go to the beach?)
For older kids and adults, playtime can be as simple as a riveting book.
For smaller kids, these awesome beach toys will make them feel like the world is their sandbox:
• This classic 18-piece beach toy set will keep your tots busy for HOURS (BONUS: it comes in a mesh bag, so you can easily rinse out the sand before toting it home)
• This ice cream beach toy set is an adorable change from the typical sandcastle-themed toys
• Little diggers will be thrilled hauling sand and molding buildings with this Playmobil Dump Truck Set
For the tiniest tots (y’know, the ones you can’t take your eyes off for a SINGLE second, the ones who you panic at the thought of them toddling within 5 feet of those crashing waves), all you need is a shower curtain!
Seriously, you’ll be amazed by this kiddie pool hack that’ll make your day at the beach a tropical breeze!
Here’s how to do it:
- Buy a cheap shower curtain liner (we’re talking $2.99 in Target, even less at the dollar store).
- Dig a shallow ditch in the sand — a couple of feet wide should do it.
- Lay your shower curtain liner on the hole, and fill it with ocean water and a few toys.
- Put your baby inside.
- Watch her be as wildly happy as that first time she tasted ice cream.
Congrats! Now that you’re set with GEAR, FOOD, and PLAY, you’re ready to absolutely coast through your sand-and-surf vacation.