Years of beach-going experience have helped to create my beach list. It’s filled with supplies to keep my family and I happy on an expedition to the edge of the ocean. We like visiting one of the beautiful beaches in Santa Monica, but it takes at least five minutes to walk from the car across a sea of sand to the water, and once you’re there you are pretty much on your own unless you want to walk another thirty minutes down the coast to the shops in Venice. So I come prepared, bringing along all the things I need to make the day as fun as it can be. It’s kinda crazy just how much stuff we lug across the sand but once we’re all set up by the shore its fabulous. Here’s an intensive list of all the fun things I bring with me to the beach.
Before I leave home:
Sunblock. Check. Bathing Suit. Check. Big hat. Check.
- On beach days I like to cover my face with a light facial lotion that includes a high level of SPF like Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock.
- I wear Eucerin Everyday Protection Body Lotion, SPF 15 on my body everyday. I’ve read that it’s best to apply sunblock before hitting the beach, so I do. I like this lotion because it feels and smells like lotion, not sunblock.
- I put on one of my fun bikinis, in this case my Becca Butterfly Swimsuit and throw an inexpensive cotton dress over it.
- A straw hat with a wide brim is an absolute necessity. I love the hats made by San Diego Hat Company. This one is similar to mine.
- Maybelline The Colossal – Waterproof Volum’ Express Mascara is my favorite waterproof mascara. I wear it on every trip to the beach or pool.
- On my lips I wear CoverGirl Natureluxe Gloss Balm in a dark pink called “Peony”. It includes SPF and is pretty, sheer and beachy.
- Plastic flip-flops are essential if I don’t want the soles of my feet to burn on the hot sand.
- The bright, harsh, summer sunlight in Los Angeles is best tolerated with the help of sunglasses, so I don’t leave home without my Super-dark Fendi shades. I bought mine years ago but this pair are very similar.
In the Beach Bag:
Towels, reading material and sunblock all get shoved on one or two big bags. Below is a list of my absolute favorite sun protection products and other goodies for the beach.
- Everyone in the family needs at least one fun beach towel.
- Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunblock Stick is my favorite for quick face touch ups as it doesn’t sting the eyes. I use it on the whole family, and because it goes on sheer, not white, my daughter doesn’t freak out when I put it on her nose. Well, she doesn’t scream too much anyway.
- I always keep a tube of Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunblock Lotion to rub on the kids when they get out of the water.
- Nivea Kiss of Protection SPF 30 Lip Balm is a nice lip balm with a good amount of sunblock.
- To avoid salt water tangles I keep a bottle of Focus 21 All Purpose Skin and Hair Moisturizer Re-Hydrantant on hand. A few sprays and my hair is happy and soft and smooth again.
- A wide-tooth comb is good for removing the tangles after spraying with the moisturizer, above.
- Banana Boat Kids UltraMist Lotion Continuous Spray Sunscreen is my all-time favorite sunblock for kids and adults alike. It’s perfect for lazy people like me and it feels delightful on the skin. It’s slightly easier to chase my kids down and spray them with block, rather than try to rub it on their skin. I’ve decided putting sunblock on children is rather like giving cats a bath, so anything to make it easier is helpful.
- It wouldn’t be a day at the beach without a few fashion magazines to flip through.
- Hope springs eternal so my summer reading book, in this case The Happiness Project, finds a spot in my beach bag as well. A woman after my own heart, the author starts her project by organizing every room in her house.
- I feel naked without my I-phone, so it comes with me everywhere.
- And I always bring cash for parking. The beaches in California are free, the parking lots are not.
Packed in the cooler:
Personally I find an ice-cold Coke to be heaven in the afternoon and everyone gets hungry swimming.I pack my cooler with a few snacks to keep the family happy.
- Beach chic need not stop at the bikini and the beach bag. Coolers come in cute varieties too, like this Insulated Cooler Bag Beach Tote.
- I’m completely obsessed with Coke Zero. I’ve hated, no, despised, the taste of diet drinks my whole life. But that’s all over now. It’s still a treat, but I often bring a pack of the little 8 ounce bottles with me to the beach. And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, Coke goes and make Cherry Coke Zero.
- Bottles of water keep everyone hydrated.
- An ice pack keeps everything cold.
- Trail mix is a nice snack.
- Sliced apples are good for everyone and tasty too.
- If I really have it together I make Chicken Salad Sandwiches and pack them in there as well.
(Images in collage via RewardStyle.com)
Other beach necessities to bring along:
- Stay in the shade with a stripe beach umbrella or two.
- Multidot Picnic Blanket from Target is a perfect place to lounge in the sand.
- A beach chair is a pain to carry, but they’re so nice when you get down to the water. Mine look like this and they’re pretty much perfect for the beach, but I wish I had this convenient rolling Go-Cart Wonder Wheeler to put them on because dragging chairs around is no fun.
- Yes, we drag a couple Boogie Boards along for the kids and me too!
- We always bring along some classic sand shovels and buckets for making sand castles.
- And I almost forgot, the beaches in California can be surprisingly cold even in the middle of summer. A sweatshirt comes in handy when the breeze gets chilly.