The beach is really my happy place. NYC beaches aren’t the cleanest and don’t have the clearest water, but I still don’t mind taking a ride on the subway to walk on the Coney Island Boardwalk or lay on the sand at Jones Beach. Even on vacation, I try my best to make a beach day if I’m by the coast. I even paid for a ride through Viator when visiting Isla Baru on my solo trip to Cartagena. Whether you’re in or out of the US, here’s a beach trip checklist that includes 10 must-have items to bring to the beach.
Sunscreen is one of the most important things to take to the beach. It doesn’t matter what race you are, no one is immune to skin cancer or skin damage from exposure to Ultraviolet rays. You should at minimum use a facial moisturizer and apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater. It is recommended that you apply and reapply at least every two hours. To reduce the chances of sunburn, try scheduling time outside before 10 AM or after 3 PM. Here are a few recommended products.
Another alternative to protecting yourself from the UV rays is a wearing sun hat. I don’t even know why I took so long to buy my sunhat, but I’m always wearing it on a sunny day.
One of the best parts of going to the beach for me is purchasing swimwear. Mix it up and buy a combination of one-pieces, bikinis, monokinis, and tankinis. I’ve narrowed down my top two stores for buying new swimwear to Old Navy and Target because both stores have cute and affordable swimsuit options for all shapes and sizes. Since going to Curacao, I’ve become braver at wearing a two-piece.
Cover-ups aren’t necessary, but they do help if you’re not very comfortable wearing a swimsuit, when you’re transitioning from the beach to going to a nearby area for eating and drinking or when the temperature drops. You can wear something like shorts, rompers, linen pants, a sarong, or a pullover in a lightweight material.
Just like playing mas, you don’t have to wear expensive sunglasses to the beach especially since they can get lost or washed away.
Flip Flops or Sandals
No need for shoes or sneakers. Get some cute flip-flops or sandals to easily remove sand from your feet.
Beach Towels and Blankets
If you plan on doing more than walking along the shore, bring an old blanket and some beach towels to dry off.
A durable, lightweight tote bag is needed to carry all of the things you bring to the beach. You can also carry along a plastic bag to separate the wet and dry items.
Bring along some water and light bites for the road or if you plan on staying for a few hours. It saves money in the long run. Beach days with family in Trinidad sometimes include something light like cheese paste sandwiches or something heavy like bake and shark. If I’m with friends in NYC, we’ll bring chips and dip or a pasta salad.
Bring along a book to read, a device with a reading app, or some music to get through the day. I have a portable speaker and highly recommend a sound dock that is splash proof like this one from iHome.