The beach gear you pack for your beach vacation depends on the activities you plan to indulge in, whether it's lounging around on the sand or roller blading down the boardwalk.
First, you need a beach tote, preferably a large, waterproof and sand proof one. A comfortable beach chair with back straps for easy carrying is also a necessity.
This foldable beach chair comes with an adjustable padded carry strap and comes in 11 designs and colors (click the image to see them).
An umbrella is highly advisable, but here you have to decide whether you want a sturdier one, which is heavy to carry, or a lightweight one which may have trouble in a strong breeze. ( Have you ever been swimming in the water and look back to see your umbrella taking off down the beach? I have.)
Don't forget sunblock, sunglasses, and some water. And a nice big beach blanket or oversized towel, with a smaller towel for drying off with.
A small cooler with beverages (no glass) and a lunch will be much appreciated, especially after a brisk romp in the waves. A radio is optional, but if you like to blast your music, try to find a spot with plenty of sand between you and your neighbor. Or bring your MP3 player or IPOD with headphones.
Fun On The Sand
There are various games people enjoy playing along the shore, so some beach toys could come in handy on your list.
Common ones include a frisbee, paddle ball, volleyball, football, sandcastle building tools, whiffle ball or a kite. Beach balls are nice for toddlers, but tend to take off in the slightest breeze, so you'll need to throw an extra towel over it if you don't want to lose it.
For riding the waves, you may want to pack a body board or boogie board with leash, swim fins, and a wetsuit if needed.
Teen lads love the skim boards. They work best on beaches with smooth sand and no rocks, shells or pebbles.
Super popular these days are stand up paddle boards. A great workout for sure.
Other types of beach equipment for the more adventurous include surfboards, ocean kayaks, wind surfboards, sailboards, jet skiis and waverunners.
If you're at a beach known for more for it's underwater views rather than it's surf, bring a mask, snorkel, fins and wetsuit.
For the beaches that have a boardwalk along the back of the sand, you may want to pack a pair of roller blades. Got a bike rack? Bring your beach cruiser. Or rent one (see below)
If you are taking a plane to your beach vacation, lugging all that gear, (if you even own it), can be a nuisance. The good news is, many state beaches have beach gear rental shacks, or you can often find rental shops close to busy areas such as piers in most beach towns.
You can almost always find a bike rental shop, with one-speed beach cruisers, 3-speed bikes, tandem bicycles and surreys, which can hold 4 or 6 people.
For the ultimate in lightweight freedom, just come with a towel, hat, sunscreen and a really good book. Other than that, watching the waves, feeling the salty breeze and listening to the crashing surf is perfection in itself.
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