We've already covered what to pack on a road trip, and now, with the weather improving in those parts of the country that spend half of the year under a blanket of snow, this is as good a time as any to cover what should be brought to the beach.
Now, you might be saying that certain items, like sunscreen and a bathing suit, are obvious. And you'd be right. So, with tongue planted at least slightly in cheek, here's five things to bring that you might not think of.
1. Your Smart Phone
Most people probably want to leave their phones at home, to take a break from technology. I say that's the wrong approach. Not only can your iPhone, Droid, or Blackberry help you track the weather or keep an eye on your favorite sports team while you frolic in the water, but you can also use it to texts the kids as they try and hide from their meddling parents. You can even use it to browse Family Car Guide. Or you can just toss it into the water after the boss e-mails you for the 15th time, asking you to remember to use cover sheets on your TPS report.
2. A Sense of Humor
In theory, going to the beach is great. It's nice out, the water is soothing, the view is amazing, et cetera. But how often does it actually work out that way? The truth is, it's too hot in the sun and too cold in the shade (and in the water), sand gets into places it has no right getting into, and the old man in the Speedo is blocking the view. Yeah, fun times. Might as well smile and laugh it off.
3. A Sense of Patience
This is a car site, so the assumption is if you're reading this, you might be planning on driving to the beach. Well, might as well getting ready to fight traffic. From California to Florida, driving to the beach seems to be an exercise in self-control, as drivers battle for prime parking spots. This is where the aforementioned smart phone comes in handy--might as well play some Brickbreaker when you're idling (and ONLY when you're idling, distracted driving is dangerous.).
Also, let's not forget the amount of patience it takes to keep your kids out of trouble on these family excursions.
4. Sunburn Treatment
You're going to forget your sunscreen. You know it, your spouse knows it, and I know it. Or you'll bring it, but not apply enough. Might as well plan ahead and bring whatever sunburn treatment works best for you to the beach. Why wait til you get home for treatment when you know you'll as red as a Ferrari by noon?
5. A Hot Car
This is a car blog, after all, so I'd be remiss if I forgot this item. Even in the family car subset, there are plenty of cars that can draw positive attention from fellow beach-goers while you idle in traffic. Some are available in convertible form, many are not, but no matter what your taste, you can probably find something desirable.
Not only do you want to make an arrival, but you'll also want something good to come back to when you're sunburned, tired, and you've lost your smart phone.
Enjoy the beach!