Five Items to Pack in your Beach Bag

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You’ve arrived in Myrtle Beach, you finally get the family down to the beach for a little fun in the sun, and the questions start: “Where are my sunglasses?” “Can I have something to drink?” “Can we do something fun?” Here are five things to bring to keep the complaints at a minimum:

Baggies: These handy little lunch-box standards are good for carrying a lot more than snacks and sandwiches. For only pennies per baggie, you can protect hundreds of dollars in valuables from getting wet, such as cell phones, video games, Kindle Fires, watches, paper, money and more. Simply seal your family's important electronics and paperwork up tight and keep them high and dry in your beach bag or chair pouch without fear of them being ruined by a stray wave or careless kid with a bucket of water. Zip-lock bags can also keep items safe from being dropped in the sand, which can get inside keyboards of your cell phone and cause serious issues. Also, be sure to bring a larger trash bag to collect all your litter and keep it from blowing away before you can make a run to the trashcan. Let’s keep Myrtle Beach clean.

Book/magazine: You always say you need to catch up on some reading, and vacation is the perfect time to do so. Be sure to hit the bookstore before or during your trip, and keep the Kindle-Fire charged up before a day at the beach. Kick back, relax and escape into the pages with the peaceful sounds of crashing waves and seagulls in the background. If you have little ones to watch after or only a short period of peace for reading, a magazine might be a better bet since you can read at your own leisure without having to stop in the middle of a cliffhanger. Be sure to stash your book safely away when you go for a swim or it could end up getting wet too.

Games/toys: It doesn't require much space to toss a Frisbee or other sports equipment into the beach bag and the amount of enjoyment they can provide is worth every square inch. Kids can find hours of entertainment with a baseball and glove, a football or just about any kind of ball. Larger groups can take part in some friendly competition with games like Bocce, Corn hole or Myrtle Ball, a combination of golf and bocce that was invented on local beaches and is sold in local beachwear stores. A deck of cards is another small but handy item that can keep everyone engaged in a game.

Sunscreen: Don't make the mistake of thinking you will wait to put on sunscreen until you get a “good base,” which usually means you get sunburned the first day and spend the rest of your vacation back in the room covered in aloe vera. Not only should you use a high SPF early in the week but all week, and regularly throughout the day. That's especially true at the beach, where you get direct sunlight and the reflective rays off the sand. Plus, sunscreen loses its effect when you go for a swim no matter how waterproof they claim to be. Use liberal coats on the kids and yourself throughout the day and keep it handy for when you start to detect missed spots.

Umbrella: A small umbrella can save the day from sun or rain. If you or the little ones need a break from direct sunlight, give them a timeout in the shade with a cold drink. Even on a sunny day, particularly in the hot summer afternoons, the Grand Strand can see pop-up showers that send beachgoers scattering. If it's a heavier storm you need to seek refuge, but you can ride out a quick sprinkle with a good umbrella. If you have valuables and don't mind getting yourself wet; use the umbrella to keep them dry while you enjoy the shower under a beach towel.


(Posted: 5/12/15)