Packing for a day at the beach, let alone a whole week at the beach, can be quite stressful. That stress can lead to thoughts about forgetting something important or not having enough of something you need. We hope to take away a bit of that stress by covering seven beach day essentials for everyone and every family! While there are many more than seven items you’ll bring to the beach, think of this as seven essential “packing categories” that will absolutely need to be covered. Don’t let a beach day go to waste by not bringing everything you need. Interested in more vacation planning tips? Check out our full vacation planning page HERE and make sure to follow us on FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM for regularly updated content.

Seven Packing Categories

  1. Sun Protection
  2. Drinks & Food
  3. Activities
  4. Electronics & Accessories
  5. Change of Clothes & Clothing Accessories
  6. Seating Options
  7. Bags, Totes, & Carts

Packing items from these seven categories are essential to having a stress-free day at the beach. Staying at the beach for a whole week? Then you’ll need to consider bringing multiples of each item to ensure you don’t run out during your stay at Holden Beach. Keep reading below to learn more essential items within the beach packing categories.

Sun Protection

If you plan to head to the beach, then there is no way to avoid the sun. While it’s warmth feels great it can also ruin a week at the beach if careless about protecting yourself. To read more about sun burn tips and tricks, read our full blog post HERE. That blog post, along with the following sun protection essentials, will set you up for a great week at the beach! So what do you need to pack?

Sun Protection Essentials

  1. Sun Screen is imperative to keeping your skin safe from the sun. Make sure to apply with full coverage and often.
  2. Sunglasses are like sunscreen for your eyes. Eyes are very sensitive to UV rays and must be protected to prevent long term damage.
  3. Beach Umbrellas are a perfect addition for when the sun is just too hot. By creating an area of shade you have a place to get out of the direct heat. Additional options can include beach tents and Shibumi shades.
  4. Hats are a perfect accessory to help keep the sun out of direct eye contact. Keeps your face covered while still allowing you to enjoy the warmth at the beach.

Holden Beach Sunburn Tips and Tricks

Additional Sun Protection

Although not necessary for the beach, this next item is important to have while on your vacation; aloe vera lotion. Most people use aloe vera lotion only when sun burn is at a painful point. However, even prior to sunburn damage our skin dries out over time during the course of a beach vacation. A little bit of aloe vera lotion between beach trips will help keep your skin hydrated and strong throughout each and every day at the beach. Pro tip; apply aloe vera lotion right after a shower to help lock in all of that moisture.

Drinks and Food

A trip to the beach, especially a full day, will need plenty of drinks and food to keep you going! No matter if you are going just for a few hours or for a full day, hydration will be necessary. The sun can drain you quicker than you realize and getting caught dehydrated at the beach is never any fun. So here are some essential food items for your day at the beach.

  1. Water is absolutely the top priority while you are at the beach. Water keeps you hydrated on those hot days allowing you to enjoy everything the beach has to offer.
  2. Snacks are a great option if you plan to stay at the beach for a bit of time during the day. Anything that can be eaten easily with your hands, and won’t melt in the heat, is a great option. Things like pretzels, granola bars, fruit, jerky, trail mix, and nuts are highly recommended as easy beach day snacks.
  3. Food for a meal will be necessary if you plan to spend the whole day at the beach. The best option here would be sandwiches and/or wraps from your local supermarket.
  4. Coolers and ice are the best way of keeping your food and drinks cold while at the beach.

Cafe Ahora Snacks and Food Sweet Cookies Granola

Along with these essential items to keep you hydrated a fueled, remember to bring bags for any trash that you accumulate. No one likes a littered beach so make sure to bring everything off the beach that you brought onto the beach.

Activities and Entertainment

For some people, going to the beach with a cold drink and snack is all you need. However, if you like to keep yourself busy of if you need to keep some kids busy, some easy beach day entertainment can be brought with you! From sports to reading a book there are plenty of options to think about.

  1. Sand castles are a perfect beach day activity. Remember to pack some shovels and buckets and see who can make the best castle on the beach.
  2. Portable sports items such as footballs, frisbees, volleyballs, and more create easy entertainment by just bringing a single ball.
  3. Water sports are a perfect match for any beach day. For the action sports enthusiast don’t forget to bring a surfboard, skim board, or boogie board for all of the fun on the waves.
  4. Books, or e-readers, are a great option for easy entertainment while sitting and soaking in the sun.

Surfers at Sunset

Additional Entertainment Thoughts

While it’s easy to focus on the fun part of entertainment, it will also be best to be prepared for the not-so-fun part of entertainment. Playing on the beach can also mean getting a minor scrape, cut, or bruise. So make sure to pack that first-aid kit and be ready instead of letting it ruin your day. Also mentioned above was an e-reader, and we never want our electronics to die. Keep reading below for some electronics specific information for the beach.

Electronics and Accessories

Many people use the beach to escape their everyday world, and enjoy the outdoors. However, some people may enjoy the beach with their phone, an e-reader, or some music in their headphones. For those people, this is the essential list of electronics accessories for your day at the beach.

  1. Phones, tablets, and e-readers might be your form of entertainment while on the beach. Make sure to give them a full charge before leaving the house!
  2. If you are using electronics at the beach, protect your device from water damage by using a waterproof case. Don’t have a case? You can use a double Ziploc bag to help keep your items safe.
  3. Don’t let a dead battery ruin your day at the beach. Remember to pack a portable charger to keep your entertainment going until you’re ready to leave.
  4. If music is your form of beach entertainment, make sure to remember your headphones. Be kind to other beach goers and don’t play music loudly through a portable speaker.

Clothing Considerations

Clothing at the beach is simple, right? Just bring your swimsuit and you’re set. However, just doing that may leave you less prepared than if you follow the tips below. Staying at the beach all day? You will definitely need more than just a swimsuit.

  1. Swimsuits are a must! But wait, we just said that’s not all you would need? That’s correct, but if you plan to be at the beach you will need your swimsuit, and possibly multiple if you plan to go for a whole week.
  2. A beach coverup is a nice addition for when you are moving between the car and the beach. This doesn’t necessarily need to be a specific item, but can also just be a pair of shorts and a separate shirt.
  3. Flip-flops, sandals, or boat shoes are the perfect footwear for the beach. No need to worry about socks so you can kick them off as soon as you get to the sand!
  4. Hats and sunglasses, with benefits mentioned previously within this post.

The above list will get you to and from the beach with everything you might need to wear. However, what if you are leaving straight from the beach to head out for a quick bite to eat? That’s where a change of clothes will come into play. If there is no time to stop at the house before heading out, a quick change of clothes will make you feel like a new person after being at the beach all day.

Beach Seats

Laying on the beach for that quick tan is what it’s all about right? Well not everyone wants to lay on the ground for a full day at the beach. Having options for you and your family are important for all types of beach vacationers.

  1. Large beach towel or a blanket is perfect for those looking to be right on the sand. Lightweight and easily transportable, these options can cover a good amount of space without taking up too much room in your car.
  2. Lightweight/low chairs are a perfect compromise to laying on the sand. Seating you just above the sand keeps you upright without having to carry too much between the car and the beach.
  3. Full folding chairs are a great option for those looking to remain in a more traditional seated position.

Bags, Totes, & Carts

Now that you have everything you need for the beach, how are you going to get it there? Here is where bags, totes, and carts come into the equation.

  1. Bags are a perfect option for anything lightweight. You can even use plastic bags from the grocery store that can double as a trash bag when you’re ready to leave.
  2. Totes, especially ones with waterproof lining, are perfect for wet clothes, dirty beach toys, and more. It’s always a great option to have at least one bag that can be easily washed after a day at the beach.
  3. Carts, ones designed with beach wheels, will be a perfect addition if you are moving items for a large group of people. Keep the weight off your back and make your trip between the car and the beach much easier!

Beach Day Essentials for the Holden Beach

While this serves as a great resource to get you and your family started, there are plenty of other items that would be useful at the beach! We covered the most important items so you can save on the stress. However, you can make additions or alterations to fit the list to your own beach style!

Water's Edge in Holden Beach Fishing Pier

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