It’s time to hit the beach, and that means packing a cooler. What else do you need besides beer and ice, right? Well, not so fast. The last thing you want when you’re at the beach is having to trek around in search for something you suddenly need.
Sometimes it’s best to think your cunning plan all the way through. Lucky for you, we’ve done it for you.
Sorry for the earworm, but ice is something that is easily taken for granted, and it’s kind of the most important part of packing a cooler. First, don’t assume that the nearest drug store carries bags of ice. You’ll be surprised. Second, use ice packs, if possible, because it will be far less messy.
If you need to keep things on the cheap, don’t worry. Just pack loose ice in small plastic sealable bags, and voila! Instant ice pack. Place the ice packs into your cooler first, and after you’ve packed all your stuff, add a top layer of ice packs for extra protection.
Okay, so this stuff doesn’t have to go inside the actual cooler, but packing a can opener, a bottle opener, plastic cutlery (knives, forks and spoons), solo cups, paper plates and bowls, napkins, paper towels will allow you to enjoy the stuff in the cooler.
While you're at it, pack a roll of toilet paper. Hey, you never know what to expect in a public bathroom, especially when you're in your bathing suit. You definitely don't want to be stuck in the toilet begging a stranger to spare a square in your moment of need.
Yes, of course, pack some beer, but be sure to pack plenty of water as well. Alcohol dehydrates and if you’re going to be running around, swimming or just cooking yourself beneath the day star, it’s important to keep hydrated. That doesn’t mean you pack your reusable water bottle and sip from it a few times. Pack plenty of water and actually drink it!
Sure, pack some pudding cups, but don’t forget your fruits and veggies. Hey, if you’re watching that figure so you can show it off at the beach, you may as well keep those snacks healthy.
Bonus? Some fruits and veggies will help keep you hydrated. So be sure to pack cucumber slices, cherries, grapes, melons, pineapple, cherry or grape tomatoes, apples, celery sticks and carrot sticks.
Bread gets really soggy, so consider packing some wraps instead. Spinach, tomato and whole wheat wraps tend to hold up better than regular flour wraps (and are tastier, too). Whether the wraps have meat or are vegetarian- and vegan-friendly, make sure to pack them in small plastic containers or at the very least (to conserve space) plastic wrap.
If any of your wraps have cheese in them, make sure to keep them as close to ice as possible. The last thing you need is warm cheese that has been sitting out in the hot sun for too long. Ain’t nobody got time for the evils of food poisoning.
Yeah, so this one is a little weird, and you certainly don’t have to take our word for it, but you might want to throw your sunscreen into the cooler to keep it from getting all warm and runny.
Bonus? If you’re especially hot then you’ll have a nice cool reprieve every single time you reapply, which should be often throughout the day and definitely after every time you go for a swim. Yes, even a quick splash.