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Getaway

How to prepare for, and make the most of, a day at the beach

By Jamie O’Meara

Preparation is key: cover the basics, and you can put your worries away and fully immerse yourself in your well-deserved beach experience!

A steady supply of light, healthy snacks is the way to go. Chopped vegetables (carrots, celery, and broccoli) are better than salads, which can wilt in the heat. Pack a hummus or baba ganoush dip as accompaniment, as opposed to a dairy- or mayo-based dip for maximum healthiness and happiness. Hard-boiled eggs (if kept cool and eaten early) or pepperettes (if you’re a meat eater) are easy seaside eats. And as far as fruit goes, apples and oranges are more suitable than peaches or pears, which are messy and bruise easily.

As refreshing as kicking back by the open water can be for your spirit, make sure you have enough bottled water to refresh your body. Approach your water supply with a “more is more” mentality; nothing can cut a sensational day at the beach short like running out of water.

For essential items, make a checklist: suntan lotion (minimum SPF 30 UVA/UVB sunscreen, though 50 is preferable for light-skinned folks), protective sunglasses, extra clothing and towels (stuff gets wet), beach umbrella (the bigger the better), light-coloured beach blanket (same goes), and an inexpensive camera with few moving parts (blowing sand can be fatal to SLR-style camera lenses) so you can share your beautiful beach memories later!

Here are a few more rapid-fire tips for maximizing joyful, low-stress fun under the sun: Boogie boards are a blast and also serve as excellent flotation devices. Rubber-soled water shoes are especially useful for rocky beaches, and far safer than sandals or flip-flops. And for those inclined to recline, remember to bring some relaxing reading material. Binoculars are also great entertainment, and for tropical trips, snorkels and masks are a must, as is a tube of over-the-counter cortisone cream… you only need to step on a jellyfish once to know why!