1. Sun Protection – There’s no quicker way to ruin a vacation than getting painful sunburn, and harmful UV rays can permanently damage your skin. So, pack the appropriate SPF sunscreen to protect yourself at the beach. The FDA recommends using a broad spectrum SPF value of 15 or higher and reapplying every two hours. Also, a good pair of polarized sunglasses goes a long way to protect your eyes and reduce glare.
2. Towels – Towels are always a good idea to either sit on or dry off with after a dip in the Gulf. In the case of sunburn, a washcloth covered in aloe and applied to the burn area can come in handy.
3. Snacks – Wrapped items or fruit with skin, such as a banana, are perfect since you don’t have to touch the food with your sandy hands. Of course, make sure to pack some water to keep hydrated and reduce the chance of heat exhaustion.
4. Beach Chairs and Umbrella – Quality beach chairs and a beach umbrella are must haves for a relaxing day on the beach. Most hotels and condomiums offer rentals, but you can save money by bringing your own.
5. Beach Toys – Beach toys come in all sorts and varieties today, but there’s still much to be said for the good ole’ bucket and pale, as everything from sand castles to burying Dad up to his neck, can be achieved with those classic beach essentials. Floats and boogie boards are also popular for catching a wave to shore.
6. First-Aid Kit – Unfortunately, cuts and stings occur even at the beach. Come prepared with a first-aid kit that supplies you with disinfectants, antibacterial solutions and aloe vera. Vinegar is also a great item to have on hand as jellyfish are frequent visitors to the Gulf Coast.
7. Containers and Bags – Everyone needs a beach bag to hold loose items and protect their valuables. Ziploc bags also come in handy for keeping your phone and jewelry protected.
8. Beachwear – In addition to your swimsuit, don’t forget to pack other essential beachwear. Sandals are light and durable, but can still protect the bottoms of your feet from burning on scorching hot sand. A good hat and a cover-up can also help protect you from the sun’s harmful rays.
There is no better time to pack up and come to the beach than the Fall. The crowds are gone, you can get in your favorite restaurants with no wait times and the rates are significantly lower than in high season.
Please come back next Thursday to check out our posts for more travel related tips.