Did you know that Florida has 663 miles of beaches?
With all that sand and surf at your disposal, how could you possibly sit indoors? The beaches around Sarasota and Bradenton are especially beautiful, with white sands and crystal clear waters as far as the eye can see.
Before you head for the shore, though, you need to make sure you have everything you need for a fun (and safe) day in the sun.
Read on for our checklist of 7 beach essentials to bring with you.
1. High SPF Sunscreen
Nothing spoils your beach vacation like a bad sunburn. Even worse, too much sun exposure can damage your skin or eventually lead to skin cancer.
It’s vital to protect yourself from the sun with a high SPF sunscreen. Dermatologists recommend using at least 30 SPF (or higher), which blocks 97% of the sun’s UV rays.
Apply liberally to all exposed skin, and reapply every hour—especially if you’re going in and out of the water.
2. Other Sun Protection
Sunscreen is essential, but it’s not the only way to protect your skin. Polarized sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat, and a cover-up also provide protection from the sun’s rays.
Bring along a beach umbrella, or find a shady spot under a tree or beach cabana. That way you can retreat into the shade and cool off whenever you need to.
3. Water & Snacks
A day at the beach in the hot Florida sun can quickly leave you dehydrated. Be sure to pack plenty of water in your beach bag or cooler.
Bonus points for packing beverages with electrolytes, like coconut water or sports drinks. You should also throw in some easy snacks like fresh fruit or veggies, protein bars, or nuts.
4. Beach Bag
Whether you’re packing for yourself or the whole family, you’ll need a proper beach bag to carry everything.
Before you go shopping, decide how large a bag you need, how many compartments you want, and any other important features (like insulation). You should also test it at the store to see how easy and comfortable it is to carry.
5. Beach Mat or Blanket
Where will you sit when you’re not in the water? Old-fashioned towels or a large picnic blanket can suffice, but they’re not the only options.
You might also consider a specialty beach mat that’s water and sand resistant. Some even include storage pockets for your electronics!
You may love the idea of walking barefoot along the water, but what about your journey from the parking lot to the shore?
On a clear day, sand temperatures can reach 120-130 degrees. That’s plenty hot enough to burn the bottoms of your feet, so be sure to wear sandals or flipflops until you reach the water.
7. Protection for Electronics
You’ll likely bring your phone or a camera (or both) to capture memories of your day at the beach.
Sun, sand, water, or a passing rain shower can wreak havoc on your electronic devices. Be sure to bring a waterproof case or bag to store them when not in use.
Beach Essentials: Ready for Fun in the Sun
Wherever you are in Florida, you’re never far from the beach.
Before you head down to the water, refer back to our beach essentials checklist. That way you can spend less time worrying about anything you forgot and more time enjoying the water!
Relaxing on the beach is great, but that’s not the only thing to do by the water’s edge. Click here for our guide on finding the best beach workout for you.