What You Need For a Day At The Beach

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Heading to the beach for a day requires a few items, but it does not require renting a U-Haul to get them all there. Outings on the Grand Strand’s beautiful beaches are what make Myrtle Beach vacations so memorable, and being prepared helps immensely. Armed with the “essentials” and a few other perks, we have compiled some must-haves (and must-not-haves) for a perfect day at the beach.


Sunblock: Bring one generous bottle of waterproof/sweatproof sunscreen with a high broad-spectrum SPF; if you’ve got babies and small children, bring another type specially designed for their sensitive skin. Reapply it often. Make sure lip balm has SPF as well.

Water: All that swimming, playing and sweating depletes us faster than normal, so it’s important to rehydrate on top of the recommended eight daily glasses. If you are planning an all-day outing, each adult should bring his or her own 64-oz plastic bottle (no glass allowed on the beach). Don’t forget to pack for the kids, too.

Towels: One for each person. Also consider bringing a big blanket on which small children can play and meals can be shared.

Snacks: Pack items that aren’t messy or prone to spoiling in heat, and don’t have a lot of packaging. PB&J sandwiches, baby carrots and potato chips are a no-fail option. Apples and orange slices are good additions, too.

Plastic grocery bags: Use one for trash; one for wet suits kids have wiggled out of; one for seashells found on walks.


Not essential, but nice:

Cooler: Great for keeping your food and drink cold and safe, not so great if you flew in to town. Consider getting a cooler tote, such as one of these. It can pack flat in your suitcase, or better yet, can be used as an airplane carry-on.

Chairs: The longer the beach visit, the more indispensable lightweight, foldable beach chairs become.

Reading material: A good book was made for the beach. Magazines less so, since the strong winds tend to get the pages flapping.

Beach toys: If you’re with kids, a pail and shovel are integral to awesome sand castle construction. a Frisbee or foam football have been known to get a few adults off their chairs, too.

Umbrella: While cumbersome to carry, they are often worth it for the relief they provide, especially for small children and the fair-skinned. Another option to keep little ones cool and covered is a baby beach tent. These are great for nap taking, too.


Forget ‘em:

Your wallet with all its contents: Put your ID and some cash in a plastic baggie secured in a zippered pocket or your beach bag, and leave everything else in your hotel room safe.

Radio/Music player: While we love music, you might not love our taste in it. Be respectful of other beach-goers and go without. Think of it as one less thing to haul / clean sand out of.

Alcohol: Sorry folks, possession or consumption of alcohol is prohibited on the beach (and strictly enforced, if you’re feeling daring).

Expensive electronics, jewelry and other valuables: For obvious reasons. All of it is easily ruined or lost. Leave it with your wallet in the safe.

What do you think? Anything else essential for the perfect beach day? Anything you wouldn’t dream of bringing?

(posted 3/21/14)