When the kids were little it was like hauling half the house to spend a day on the beach. I was exhausted by the time I sat in my beach chair, and then I spent most of the day keeping sand out of everyone’s mouth (and, ahem, other body areas). Things have gotten much easier the older they have gotten, and it’s super helpful they can carry their own gear now. I’ve also found a few items along the way that make a beach day one of my favorite activities. Some of them can be a bit pricey, but totally worth the investment if you visit a beach often.
#1: Shibumi Shade
The Shibumi Shade (created right here in North Carolina) is a game changer for your beach shade. No more chasing blown away umbrellas down the beach or hauling and setting up heavy canopies. The Shibumi only weighs 4 pounds and has a large shade area to cover 6 people plus your gear. It is quick and easy to set up and takes up hardly any space to pack.
#2: Beach Wagon
A beach wagon is a key player in saving your back during your vacation. Load up all your gear and just pull it right along. Be sure your cart has the large, heavy duty wheels to help you over the sand. The cart is especially helpful for larger items like coolers and boogie boards. We actually use our wagon all the time at home too. It’s great for sports tournament weekends or family picnics.
I usually wear a hat to keep the sun off of my head and face, but let’s face it, it’s hard to keep hats on the rest of the family. I had extreme mom guilt the first time I had perfectly sunscreen-ed everyone’s body but realized their scalps were burnt at the end of the day. This hair and scalp spray protects that often forgotten area for your little swimmers, and also protects your hair color from fading. Bonus! I love this brand even more because it’s environmentally friendly for the ocean.
#4: Bocce Ball
It’s always fun to have a family game to play on the beach. We’ve tried a few over the years, but Bocce is a favorite. The heavy weight of it means you can play on the beach even on super windy days. It’s compact to carry (stick it in your wagon!), and easy enough to play so that everyone feels like they are having a good time.
I have to admit that I first saw this contraption on a trip to Costco and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind since. If you’re not quite ready for a beach wagon or you need some more room, this 2-in-1 cart and chair is for you. It’s highly rated and even folds flat for efficient storage. Win win.
Sometimes kids need a break under the umbrella from all the sun. Rather than hearing them tell you that they are bored, grab a pack of these! They are perfect for the beach or the pool, and you don’t have to worry about them getting wet or blowing away.
What’s your must-have beach gear item? Tell me in the comments!