Sunday, June 29, 2014

12 Essential Beach Items {You'll Be Thankful You Remembered!}

Living in Houston, we are only a short drive from the coast. Since we are so close, it is easy to pack the kids up and head down to the beach for the day and enjoy some wind, waves, and sunshine. While the Texas beaches can't really hold a candle to the beaches east of the Mississippi River, we always have a great time and the kids love playing in the water and digging in the sand.

Since we have started making these day-trips down  to the coast, we have fine-tuned our packing list and have figured out ways to make our trips a little easier and smoother {especially with kids!}. After the normal essentials {towels, sunscreen, beach chairs}, we have a compiled a list of other necessary items to make our beach visits much nicer.

So I thought I would share our list with you guys so you can benefit from it and make your next trip to a Texas beach {or any beach} a little easier to pack for.

Canopy- This is an essential item, especially since the Texas sun can be brutal at times. We always set up underneath the shade that the canopy provides and whenever the kids get a little sun-weary it's so nice to have a respite from the sun and heat. We picked up our canopy from Academy (a local sporting goods store) but if you can't found one, here's a link to Amazon through our affiliate program:

Hammer- If you are bringing a canopy, be sure to bring a hammer or mallet of some kind to drive the stakes into the ground. We made the mistake of thinking the stakes would push into the sand very easily and...not so much. Also, trade in those wimpy stakes that came with your canopy and get some heavy duty ones to stand up the strong beach winds. We actually just bought 9 inch nails from Home Depot and have being using those with no problems.

Wadi mat- Another great item to have, this plastic woven mat provides a great place to set down crawling babies and get away from the sand. My brother and sister-in-law brought these great mats back from their time in Oman and they are awesome! They shed water and fold up and roll away so they store really well. Find a similar product here:

Fold-up table- We always bring a table so our snacks and food are safely away from the sand. There is nothing worse that having your sandwich literally become a SANDwich. It's also great because we can leave the snacks out for the kids to grab whenever they are hungry. Find a similar product here:

The fold-up table is also perfect for the next item on the list which is a

Water Cooler- We fill this baby up with ice and either water or lemonade and then set it on the end of the table so anyone can help themselves to an ice-cold beverage at anytime.

 We also bring plastic cups but you can kick it country-style too and drink straight from the spout. ;) It's important to stay hydrated while out in the sun all day.

So much seaweed!!

A rake and shovel- Texas seems to have more than its fair share of seaweed on its beaches{especially this year--we are talking min-mountains of seaweed} so we make sure to always bring a rake and/or shovel so we can clear the area in front of our canopy. Inevitably one of our neighboring beach-goers asks to borrow it so they can do the same.

Baby powder- We found out about this little trick a few years ago and it's been such a game changer in terms of cleaning the kids up after a day at the beach. Just rub baby powder on the skin and any sand falls away easily. No more raw and chaffed skin from sand left on the body. Plus, the kiddos smell really fresh.

Dermoplast- This pain relieving spray works wonders on jellyfish stings. The last time we went to the beach we all got stung by jellyfish and this spray really made a difference. The cooling effect felt so nice and the pain went away very quickly. So there is no need to try and pee on anyone {thank goodness!}.

Garbage bag- Sure, there are garbage cans on most beaches but they are usually pretty far apart. And honestly, you wouldn't want to set up camp near one anyways for two reasons: Texas heat and garbage...not really a great combination; and bees are attracted to any soda left in cans in the receptacle. And bees + kids = no good. So bring  your own bag and easily keep the beaches clean.

Large Ziploc bags- We always bring several empty plastic bags. You never know what you may need them for and they are really great to have on hand. Wet bathing suits, seashell collection, any jewelry that you forgot to remove {and don't want to lose}...the list goes on. We always find a use for our Ziploc bags.

Paper towels- Individual napkins are such a pain on the beach, especially with the strong ocean breeze. But kids are messy. So bring paper towels and you don't have to worry about your napkins flying away.

Alternate music source- Please learn from our mistake and don't roll your windows down and play your music from the car speakers. Two reasons: the inside of your car windows get really gross from all the sea spray accumulation AND you will drain your battery. Yes, we have done this,  but luckily we had jumper cables and a friendly beach neighbor. Bring your boom box {if you are kicking it old school and want a throw back to the 80s} or a mini-speaker for your iPhone. There is just something wonderful about sitting on the beach and listening to your favorite songs.

So there it is! Our not-so-common list of things to bring to the beach. I keep a copy of this list {along with all the normal beach items} on my phone so when the moods strikes us, I can pull up the list and we can get packed in a flash without forgetting anything. It makes our beach trips so much more

What about you? What are some of your "must haves" when you pack for the beach?

Linking up here:


  1. Great list, but that's why you have to have a big truck in Texas!

  2. Awesome list! And the baby powder trick is amazing. Never thought of it... And since i love the smell of baby powder, I won't might trying it on myself :D


    1. Thanks, Tanya! I am a sucker for that baby powder smell as well and it works fabulously!