What to pack for a day in the sun

Sun, water, beach – three ingredients for a perfect summer day. With a little preparation and planning, a day at the beach can be an idyllic getaway. Here are some of our favourite tips and tricks for an enjoyable day at the beach.

Before you go

  • Check the weather: if excessive heat or a thunderstorm is forecasted, save the beach for another day. Also, if it has been raining heavily, give the water a few days to clear – rainwater can make water murky or carry pollutants to the beach.
  • Research your options: find the best beach to suit your ideal day. Do you want to surf? Sun? Are you interested in a family or pet-friendly beach? Or somewhere off the beaten track?
  • Research facilities: does the beach offer showers or snack stands? Other fun activities to look for include boardwalks, mini-golf, hiking areas, free concerts, watercraft rental (like kayaks), or surf lessons.
  • The early-bird gets the parking spot: and a good spot on the beach, too.

Packing suggestions

  • Sunscreen, sunscreen and more sunscreen: we can all be a little bit careless, especially since most of us enjoy a tan. However, being sun smart is absolutely necessary. Apply sunscreen before going out in the sun. Reapply it every hour or after you’ve just been in the water. The SPF rating should be at least a 15, but the higher the SPF rating, the longer the protection.
  • Water – lots of it: it’s easy to get dehydrated at the beach. Bring a lot of bottled water to stay hydrated, especially if you’re planning on spending all day at the beach (just make sure not to leave any plastic bottles behind!).
  • Cover-up clothing: a wide-brimmed hat, sunnies and protective clothing.
  • Towel
  • Beach chairs
  • Beach umbrella
  • A cooler full of drinks and snacks that won’t spoil in the sun: crackers, fruit, veggie sticks and cold sandwiches are tasty and hassle-free.
  • A tote bag with zipped pockets: keep valuables out of sight and sand away from things that shouldn’t be sandy.
  • A change of clothes / storage for wet towels and togs.
  • Sand and water toys: a must for kids of all ages (including adults) – snorkels, fins, body-boards, volleyballs, footballs / rugby balls, Frisbees, shovels, pails, plastic cups and containers add fun to any beach trip.
  • Footwear: sun-scorched sand can get hot!
  • A beach-friendly camera.

Stay safe at the beach

Remember that moving water is always a risk:

  • Never turn your back on the ocean.
  • Know how to swim – if you’re not a strong swimmer or if you’re on the water, wear a lifejacket or flotation device and follow all lifejacket rules and regulations.
  • Be smart around slippery rocks or outcroppings.
  • Always have a clear path to safety.
  • Swim between flags, obey all posted signs and follow lifeguard instructions.

Get ready for a day in the sun