Packing for the Beach or Pool

Summer fun usually involve both sun and water — that means a trip to the beach or nearby pool. If you’re lucky, you may be heading to one or the other several times a week. If not, you’ll probably try to squeeze in at least one or two trips this summer. Either way, you’ll want to have a list of all the things to take with you so you don’t forget anything. Yes, even experienced beach goers have been known to forget an item or two if they are in a rush.

Making a List

It’s a simple enough process to make a beach/pool list. A week or so before your first visit, get out all your gear and your beach bag and start an inventory. This is a good idea because you can inspect each item to see what needs to be repaired or replaced ahead of time.

Make your list digital, if at all possible, so that it’s easy to update and easy to find. If not, consider laminating a list and clipping it to the outside of the tote bag so you can quickly run through it before and after each trip.

If your kids are old enough to maintain their own bag, have them sit down and make their own list. Make them accountable for knowing what they need, bringing it with them, and cleaning everything up after they get back home.

Here’s a few general categories you’ll need to have on your list:

  1. Clothing — swimsuits, footwear, cover-ups, clothes to wear home
  2. Sun Protection — sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, umbrellas, etc.
  3. Entertainment — books (physical or e-reader), magazines, beach balls, sports equipment,
  4. Snacks — drinks & food or money for the same, cooler, snack containers, etc.
  5. Safety equipment — floaties, life jackets (for going out on a boat or Jet Ski), first aid kit
  6. Misc. — towels, blankets, beach chairs, park permits, etc.

A simple trip to the neighborhood pool for a few hours is going to have a different list than spending a 12 hour day at the beach. Consider the length of time you will be there as well as what specific activities you’ll be doing and adapt your list accordingly. For example, if you plan to surf your list will be very different than someone who just wants to relax by the water but not get wet.

Making a list — and checking it before each trip — isn’t really a lot of work. And it sure beats the alternative of driving miles to the secluded beach only to discover you left your sunscreen, floaties, or towels on the table back home.

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