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Elizabeth’s Top 5 Beach Bag Essentials

{Thank you Elizabeth! From On Tap for Today}

No Frenchies were harmed in the staging of this photo.

1. Protection

Nothing ruins a day at the beach quite like a sunburn.  I recommend leaving your aluminum foil sun-reflectors at home (or better, in the 1970’s).  They take up an ungodly amount of room, and I suspect their sun magnification powers are disruptive to airplane navigation.  To be serious, sun damage is no laughing matter.  You know the drill: Apply a water and sweat-proof sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 every two hours.    If your freckles start to connect, you should probably head indoors.

In addition to the regular old sunscreen, be sure your shades offer UV protection.  This might be overkill, but after sustaining multiple boogie boarding injuries and a handful of bee and jelly fish stings, I’ve learned never hit the beach without a miniature first aid kit.  I pack Neosporin, Band-Aids and meat tenderizer.  Yes, meat tenderizer.  It’s an old Cape trick I learned from my parents.  When mixed with salt water, it makes a grainy paste that takes the sting and swelling out of, welp, stings.

2.  Reading Material

Growing up, I avoided my summer reading list like the plague.  Instead, I read stacks and stacks of non-mandatory books, and hoped against hope that our summer reading tests would somehow be cancelled. I’m still not clear on how The Sun Also Rises ends.  But never mind that.  We’re adults now.  We can read whatever we want.  I currently have a self-imposed reading list that rivals, in length, the Great Wall of China.  I find the beach to be the perfect place to put a dent in that list.  Plus, pretending to read is a great decoy activity for what most of us are actually doing at the beach: people watching.

3.  Jams

Nothing says summer quite like listening to the Sox on an old-fangled AM/FM radio, but sometimes (i.e. when they’re losing) a day at the beach calls for something a bit more uplifting.  You can find inexpensive iPod speakers just about anywhere these days. My favorite picks for summer?  James Taylor, Bob Marley, The Weepies, and Eric Church.  What are your go-to summer songs?

4.  A plan

We’re lucky enough to live steps from South Boston’s Carson Beach, and hours away from some of the most beautiful, pristine beaches in the country.  My absolute favorite is Wellfleet’s Marconi Beach, part of the Cape’s National Seashore.  For more inspiration, check out the links below.

And last… but certainly not last…

Photo source: travelpod.com

5.  Your pals

Sure, they might not fit in your beach bag, but your friends and family are possibly the most important ingredient in the recipe for a perfect beach day.  Just as the Muppets.  Life’s a beach, and with your pals by your side, well… life’s a beach party.

Enjoy!

Elizabeth

www.ontapfortoday.com

Twitter: @ElizabethEv

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