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Summertime calls for road trips. No matter if you’re headed across the country to the mountains or the beach, driving along with friends or family with the radio up is a quintessential part of summer. When Nick and I first started dating, we took our first road trip to Myrtle Beach. We have so many great memories from that trip and the other trips that followed. In fact, we have probably spent more time in a car than most other couples! But, we haven’t had a chance to visit the South Carolina beaches after living for five years in Texas. So, we decided that we were due for a trip!
As we were preparing for our upcoming trip, I started to think about what kinds of items we would need to pack. Food, drinks and entertainment all spring to mind when headed down for a day (or two!) at the coast. I wanted to share with you all how we plan for a beach road trip and some of our favorite items!
Step 1: Visit your local Sam’s Club and stock up on your favorites. We got our first Sam’s membership earlier this year and I’ve been using it non-stop. Growing up, this was our go-to stop before any beach trip. We grabbed cookies, chips, beach towels and of course, Coca-Cola. Sam’s Club has 28- or 35-packs (depending on your store) of Coca-Cola and Diet Coke, which is perfect for stocking up for a vacation. Don’t forget that most beaches don’t allow glass, so keep that in mind when choosing your beverage.
Step 2: Collect all of your items in one spot. This sounds crazy, but I promise it works! Before you start throwing items into a cooler or bag, look at everything you want to include and how they work with each other. These are just a few of my favorite items for a beach trip:
Insulated cooler on wheels – Once you load in all of your items, it’s going to be HEAVY. I don’t remember who gifted us this awesome cooler but it has come in such handy for occasions just like this!
Your favorite Coca-Cola products – Coca-Cola and summer go together like no other combination. These cans are part of the “Share a Coke and a Song” campaign and every time I see the lyrics on the side of the bottle or can, I always smile because the lyrics always bring up memories for me! I connect to music so much so the lyrics are a reminder that every day is a reason to celebrate. Plus, anytime I hand Nick a can, I sing to him. What’s more romantic than that? ;)
Magazines and books – While you’re relaxing and soaking up the sun on the coast, you’ll need something to occupy your brain! I just started reading “Outlander” so it’s definitely going into my beach tote. Southern Living is the go-to magazine for me anytime of the year! What are your favorite beach reads?
Sunscreen and bug spray – You want to be prepare for whatever Mother Nature throws at you. Sunscreen at the beach is a given. I love this type because it stays on even if you get wet or sweat, but you should definitely get a sunscreen that’s about 30 spf and apply regularly! As for bug spray, any evening walks you take might leave you with a not-so-great souvenir. Take care of your skin and prepare!
Snacks – Need I say more? Snacks are essential for any road trip or day at the beach! Planning to bring your own snacks before helps cut down costs and avoid bad decisions at the gas station. I believe bringing a combo of dried fruit, trail mix/nuts and jerky is a great balance and isn’t too heavy on added sugars.
Step 3: Load up your phone or mp3 player with all of your favorite songs. Do you like to “Drop It Like It’s Hot?” Do you “get a good feeling” listening to your favorite tunes? (Ok, I admit it, those were terrible puns.) Save your data and download songs directly to avoid those high data charges. Even my favorite online music streaming service allows me to download a playlist to my phone. Music is KEY to any good road trip. Belt out to some classic rock tunes or pump up the bass with some rap or hip-hop (or in my case, Hamilton.) Oh, and don’t forget to bring a car charger for your phone.
Step 4: Make sure it all fits. Take the heaviest items and put them on the bottom. (Hint: Do you subscribe to a food subscription box? Take your long-lasting ice packs and use them for a long trip to keep your Coke nice and cold!) Then, layer any lighter items on top. (And put your sunscreen in there too! The cool sunscreen will feel great on your skin and won’t be as runny.)
Voila! I think we’re ready to head down to the coast, don’t you? I can’t wait to be on the beach and soak up the sun. I can’t think of anything more perfect for our first summer back in South Carolina!
Now, I want to know: what are your beach road trip essentials? Anything you think I missed?