Packing for a Family Beach Day

Print out this handy checklist and make your trip to the shore a breeze

A perfect day at the beach—in which the kids have a blast, you get to relax and no one comes home with a sunburn—takes a little planning. Helena Alkhas, of Silver Spring, MD, should know: she’s a professional organizer and a military wife and mom.
 
“I know how crazy packing for the beach can be because I have three boys to protect, entertain and, of course, feed!” Alkhas says. Her best advice: Get everything together the night before. “This way, you can get out the door without stress.” 
 
When you’re preparing for any trip, it helps to have a system. “I always use the visual image of ‘head to toe’ to help me remember everything I need,” says Alkhas. That includes people’s stomachs. Prepare food the night before, then transfer it into a cooler just before you leave.
 
 
FOR THE GROUP

  • SUNSCREEN that’s labeled “waterproof” and “broad spectrum” and is SPF 30 or higher
  • BEACH UMBRELLA
  • LARGE MAT OR BLANKET
  • FIRST-AID KIT with any necessary prescription medications, plus adhesive bandages, antibiotic ointment, aspirin or acetaminophen, antihistamine and hydrocortisone cream
  • WIDE-TOOTH COMB to detangle hair
  • FOOD, such as sandwiches, string cheese, nuts, raisins, fruit and crackers
  • WATER, in reusable bottles
(optional)
  • SAND TOYS for kids. “I keep ours in an inexpensive mesh laundry bag,” says Alkhas. 
 
FOR EACH PERSON
(optional) 
  • WATER SHOES
  • PONYTAIL HOLDER OR BARRETTE
  • LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER to help detangle hair. Try TRESemmé® Split Remedy Leave-In Split End Conditioning Treatment.
  • BOOK OR MAGAZINE 
FOR EACH CHILD
  • EXTRA CLOTHES to change into at the end of the day. Put each child’s clothing into a resealable plastic bag, then reuse the bags to bring home wet swimwear.

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