It’s summer—and now is the time to plan your perfect beach day. Whether you live minutes away from your favorite beach or have to jump in the car for a few hours, you’ll do whatever it takes to get yourself, friends, and family to the beach for a day of relaxation, rejuvenation, and wasting hours contentedly wiggling your toes in the sand.
Although the “perfect beach day” definition may vary between individuals, one thing remains the same: Perfection doesn’t happen by chance. It takes a little planning and creative thinking. Here are a few tips to help you create your perfect beach day.
Mark Your Calendar
Schedule a day off—use a vacation day if you have to—and put it on your calendar. Next, decide if you want to spend the day alone at the beach—just you and the latest Grisham novel—or if you wish your friends to hang out with you. If so, make sure everyone knows when and where to meet.
Check the Weather
Even if the weather doesn’t fully cooperate, you can still have a great time as long as you dress appropriately. So check the weather and bring an extra sweater or blanket. If it’s going to be windy, you may want to leave the beach tent at home. And remember to bring extra water on sweltering days—it’s critical to stay hydrated throughout the day.
Pack the Essentials
You’re going to be there for the day, so think about what you need to be comfortable. A beach towel to lay directly on the sand? Or a chair to offer some back support? Need to keep yourself or the kiddos in the shade during the afternoon? Don’t forget the beach umbrella. Sunscreen is a must—unless you think skin cancer is pretty. Flip flops or water shoes can save your feet from scorching sand, rocks, or the dirty floors of the bathrooms. Pack sunglasses, a hat, a change of clothes for the ride home, something to read, toys or games, a towel or blanket, bug spray, wipes, and an easy-to-clean tote to carry everything.
Food Without the Fuss
Ever notice how hungry you feel at the beach? You ravenously eat your way through your lunch and still feel famished. So plan ahead by packing extra snacks and your favorite no-fuss foods—simple, easy to handle, and satisfying. Fruit, nuts, sandwiches or wraps, no-wilt salads, granola bars, crackers and cheese—things you can eat easily and that keep well in your cooler. And since it’s a day all about fun, bring your favorite sweet treats. You earned it carrying all your stuff across the sand for a mile to claim your perfect spot.
Hide Your Valuables
If your perfect day involves taking a long hike down the beach and exploring with no one left on guard duty at the beach blanket, get smart when it comes to hiding your valuables. Bring only what is necessary. Some people use the Ziplock-bag-in-the-cooler trick for the keys, phone, and wallet. A safer option is to carry those items on you in a waterproof case.
Live In the Moment
This is a vacation day—so treat it as such! Refuse to answer work emails, tell your clients and coworkers you are unavailable for the day, and consider just turning your phone off. Focus on the day, the view, the good time you’re having with friends or the kids, and push out the stress of life. Everything else can wait until tomorrow—because today is all about your perfect beach day!