If you’re anything like me, you’re a list maker. I make lists all the time. All kinds of lists. Everything from “to do” lists, to grocery lists, to lists of goals I have not reached. One of the most important lists you can use when you’re planning a day or a week at the beach in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan is a list of things to include in your beach bag. Staying at the beach is the easy part. Sunset Properties makes sure of that. Remembering what to take, on the other hand, is a little more tricky. First, I suggest you invest in a good, sturdy, but not-too-heavy beach bag and use the following list as a guideline of things you should include:
Using sunscreen while you’re on the Alabama Gulf Coast beaches is an absolute must! The sun’s rays reflect off our sugary white sandy beaches and The Gulf of Mexico making skin exceptionally vulnerable to burning. The CDC recommends a minimum sun protection factor of 15. I say the higher the number, the better! It is also a good idea to reapply sunscreen after you’ve been out on the beach for a half hour. Don’t forget to cover the tops of your feet and ears. I can’t think of a worse place to sunburn than on the tops of my feet! Our local hospital sees extra cases of accidental sun poisoning during the summer months. Over exposure can happen faster than you realize and you don’t want to spend your vacation in an emergency room. Its easy to run out on the beach from Pat-Ti-O or USA 2 with just your happy thoughts of enjoying the day and forget to put sunscreen on and take some with you. Remember to cover all exposed skin with at least 15 SPF during the day so you can enjoy your sunburn-free nights, as well.
- BEACH TOWEL
Get a good beach towel. Get a towel big enough for you to stretch out on while your toes are playing in the sand. Get one big enough to wrap up in once your day out is done. If you forget to pack yours, beach towels are available for purchase in shops all around Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan. Most hotel and condo managers prefer that guests not take their towels to the beach. If you forget to bring one from home, your new towel will make a great souvenir to take back with you!
Don’t forget to protect your eyes while you’re out. You’ll be surprised how many people forget to take sunshades to the beach. The sun can be almost blindingly bright in summer months and even on clear days in the winter, too. Whether you’re staying at Dunes 304 or at Moorings 414, a good pair of UV blocking shades are a must for your beach bag, if you aren’t already wearing them when you head out.
Pack some cold bottled water. Packing at least one bottle of water per person is a good idea. You can dehydrate out in the sun or swimming in The Gulf before you realize it. I like to freeze bottles of water and let them thaw while I’m enjoying the beach and The Gulf. Small coolers with ice and water are also great to carry along on your outing. Remember, glass is never good on the beach. On some beaches, it is prohibited. Plastic water bottles or cups are the way to go.
The beach is a great place to catch up on reading. Whether you prefer paper or electronic reading, this is the time to do it. The relaxing sound of the waves and feeling of the breeze coming off The Gulf make reading on the beach enjoyable. Enjoying your book from beside the lazy river at The Caribe C Penthouse 14 is just as relaxing as being down on the sand. So don’t forget your favorite novel or People magazine and get ready to enjoy your outdoor reading space.
You’re probably going to want to listen to your favorite music while you’re relaxing in the sun. I know I do. Don’t forget to pack your radio with fresh batteries. Have all your music stored on your iPhone? That’s great! Maybe you have a Bluetooth speaker or headphones? Don’t forget to put those in your beach bag, too. Remember to bring along a waterproof case or cover and a battery life extender. When you’re done enjoying the sand for the day, you will probably want to stop and swim at your pool at Island Sunrise 468 or Indies 501.
Is your favorite camera on your phone? If so, great! If not, don’t forget to grab your camera. So many times we hear about folks who missed the perfect vacation photo opportunity because they forgot to bring their camera or phone with them. Check your memory card and batteries and pack this in your bag, too. Get ready to take some awesome pics of your outing. Don’t forget to share them on Facebook or Snapchat. Everyone loves to see great pics of the beach!
For a perfect view of the beach, check out the view from Dunes 709 when you make your reservation.
- LIP BALM
Often overlooked and forgotten, lip balm with a high SPF like 50, is so necessary. Your lips will sunburn faster than you realize. Everyone in the family needs their own lip balm and everyone needs to use it. If this isn’t part of your everyday routine at home, don’t forget to make it part of your beach routine. Sunburn lips are no fun.
Snacks! Don’t forget to pack some healthy snacks. I bring fresh fruit or veggies in a ziplock. A nice cool snack can be so refreshing after you’ve spent some time out in the sun. Not into healthy snacks? How about some Cheetos? You’ll be surprised how yummy these cheesy snacks are on the beach. I actually think everything tastes better on the beach, but Cheetos are a personal favorite. Oh, and seagulls love them, too. I definitely do not recommend feeding seagulls. Once you do, you will have made friends for the whole day. Seriously, they will not want to leave once you share your Cheetos with them. And who can blame them? Cheetos are the best!
While I don’t recommend bringing a lot of cash to the beach, it is a good idea to have ten or fifteen dollars handy or maybe just take your debit card. There is almost always something you find that you’d like to buy while you’re out for the day. Maybe some ice cream or a tall cold beverage from one of the local beach bars sounds good. In any case, it is a good idea to have just enough buying power to cover that little unexpected expense that’s sure to pop up. Don’t forget to bring your driver license along, too. And of course, you’ll need to bring your room key or key card. If you have trouble with your room key or need any help at all while you’re staying with us, stop by one of our office locations or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or just give us a call. We will be happy to help you!
- TRASH BAG
You’ll see “leave only footprints” reminders all around the beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Leaving trash on the beach is not cool. No one likes to visit a dirty beach. Keeping our beach clean is everyone’s responsibility. I suggest bringing a small plastic grocery store bag to collect your personal trash from the day in and drop it in one of the many large trash cans located near the road. Leave your footprints, but please take your trash with you when you go.
Welcome to the beautiful Alabama Gulf Coast Beaches!