Nothing says “summer” quite like going to the beach — whether you’re packing up the family for a week in a seaside town or taking a day trip to the beach as part of a staycation! Going to the beach is pretty great in itself, but I have a few tips and tricks on how to enjoy the beach (and make it a healthier day!). These seven suggestions will ensure your best beach day ever.
How to Enjoy the Beach
Beach bummin’ rules.
1. Hit the road early. I know what you’re thinking: Why would I set an alarm on a day when I’m supposed to be relaxing at the beach? Doing this might feel super weird, but the truth is that there’s no better time to greet the sand and surf than first thing in the morning. The earlier you arrive, the easier it will be to choose ideal real estate for your beach chairs. You’ll also be less likely to burn in the morning, since the sun is strongest in the middle of the day. If morning beach time is a no-go for you, you might consider going in the late afternoon instead, since you’ll reap some of the same benefits.
2. Stay sun-safe. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to protect yourself from those intense summer rays. Too much exposure can cause sunburn, blistering, peeling, and an increased risk of skin cancer. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to minimize exposure… without having to stay inside or avoid the beach! Come prepared for your next day at the beach with an umbrella, a hat, and plenty of sunscreen. I recently shared all of my thoughts about the safest sunscreen options out there, so pick some up next time you’re thinking about sunbathing.
3. Set sunscreen reminders. While we’re talking sunscreen, let me remind you that sunscreen is only effective when you reapply it at regular intervals! If you insist on bringing your phone to the beach (though I’d totally support you leaving it behind so you can disconnect), put it to good use by setting a sunscreen alarm roughly every hour or two. If you’re hanging at the beach with family and friends, make reapplication a group activity! Nothing ruins a perfectly good day in the sun like a nasty sunburn — but you have the power to prevent it.
4. Prepare to hydrate. It’s important to stay hydrated regardless of your environment, but you’ll want to be that much more intentional about it when you’re at the beach, where’s it’s a lot easier to dehydrate. In the heat of the summer sun, you’re bound to sweat a lot, plus we can find ourselves so busy relaxing that we forget to take in sufficient fluids! Get ahead of this problem by packing plenty of filled reusable water bottles. Add a little lemon to keep things interesting! I also recommend coconut water.
5. Pack plenty of healthy snacks. The beach can feel like paradise, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get hangry there. Trust me — I’ve experienced it! Here are a few of my favorite, beach-friendly recipes, easy to pack for a day of fun:
- Egg Muffin Cups so you can get out the door early.
- Shredded Chicken for lettuce wraps, salads, or sandwiches!
- Sweet Potato Buns for “sandwich” bun alternatives.
- Chicken Slaw for a great side.
- Buffalo Chicken Burgers in lettuce wraps, or with buns – they travel well!
- Mint Chip Energy Bites for snackin’.
Don’t feel like getting in the kitchen? I get it! There are plenty of clean store-bought snacks that are perfect for travel out there, too! You can also keep it simple with organic raw veggies, organic fruit skewers, or organic corn tortilla chips and salsa.
6. Stock up on reading materials. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no better place to read than at the beach. Cozy up in your chair or on a towel (with plenty of sunscreen on, of course!) and get caught up on all of those reads that you’ve been hoping to get around to over the last few months. Check out some of my must-read books for summer here! If you don’t love squinting into the sun or carrying books in your beach bag, audiobooks are a great alternative. As an added bonus, you can listen to those on your way to the beach, too!
7. Be ready to get movin’! Full-body relaxation definitely tops the list of beach activities, but if you’re expecting to spend the whole day by the water, you should plan to get up and get active. You’re bound to get bored after too many hours of laying around, not to mention the fact that activity makes a beach day a whole lot healthier. Pack a frisbee or horseshoes set for your group to enjoy, or ask your friends if they’d be up for a beach walk after a few hours of lounging. Why not jump in the water for a swim? Even a few minutes of exercise is better than none at all!