Bookworms and the beach… yes you have read that correctly, even we need some much needed vitamin D sometimes.
Granted, whilst it is fair to say that we normally tend to gravitate towards bookshops, libraries or cafes that house delightful little reading nooks, we have also been known to occasionally enjoy the feel of sand between our toes and the sun on our skin. Obviously, this comes with at least one caveat; no self-confessed bookworm in their right mind is going to leave the house for any length of time without the latest book they are reading tucked firmly into their backpack.
But on top that, everyone knows that a bookworm wants to be comfortable, regardless of location – how else are we going to be able to transport ourselves into the realms of fiction where we visit make-believe lands, travel forward or backwards in time to uncover the mysteries of that era or turn into a super-sleuth about to unveil the murderous individual who has, about 300 or so pages previously, committed a heinous, criminal act.
What Makes a Bookworm Comfortable at the Beach?
Firstly, it is important to note that we, like many others, like to travel light. It always amazes me when I see others dragging about a month’s worth of supplies down to the water’s-edge, spend about half an hour setting up only to then pack up an hour or so later and retrace their steps back towards the car because they have either got too hot, too bored or the weather has unfortunately turned.
Whilst it may sound like I am judging these people unfairly, I would like to highlight that we too have been here – used a trolley to transport goods along many undulating sandy beaches, carrying far too much ‘stuff’ down with us that we have no intention of ever using only to regret it and then repeat our actions the very next day. Why, I hear you all crying? For comfort I want to yell back. However, in reality there was nothing comfortable about it and it is why, after really thinking about it, we changed.
We now travel extremely light in comparison to those older days. Now I am not saying that we have flipped in the other direction and only take a towel down with us to lie on but we have definitely reduced our beach bundles.
6 Items to Make Your Day at the Beach More Enjoyable
#1 Inflatable Beach Bags
I want to start by saying that these are fantastic but be warned, if you are an introverted bookworm like me, who hates drawing unwanted attention to yourself then you need to have a beach buddy with you. Luckily for me, Paul is happy, or rather I should say whinged at until he inflates both beach bags whenever we use them and therefore, I simply stand back and let others watch as he swills the bags around filling them with air.
Trust me. I know I have now painted an oh-so-not very glamorous picture, these beach bags take very little effort to inflate once you have figured them out and they have to be the most comfortable thing I have ever used.
Just imagine, you no longer have to worry about sand-covered towels or hard sun beds, these are like a bean-bag without the beans. Plus, the added advantage of one of these is that once you are done you simply empty them of air and roll them back up, placing them back into the small carrying bags that they come in.
This product really is a win-win in my opinion, being both sumptuous to relax on and compact.
Why not buy you very own Red Lazy Lounger so that you too can laze around in comfort next time you head to the beach.
#2 A Beach Umbrella
Whilst not as condensed in the carrying department, I hate feeling over-heated on the beach. I want to be able to enjoy lying out in the sun but I don’t want to burn. Paul can spend absolutely hours in full sunlight without burning but only have to peak out from underneath a brolly for about half an hour at a time and feel that tingling sensation on my skin highlighting that if I don’t take cover soon I will be in trouble tomorrow.
Therefore, we opt to take a smaller, fold-able umbrella with us wherever we go. It is lightweight and can easily be carried or attached to the back of one of bikes if needed but is super quick to put up and take down.
For us, the umbrella wins out over the newer pop-up beach tent every time. Firstly, they don’t accommodate our beach bags inside too well and secondly, whilst I love the idea of it literally popping open as soon as you release it from its bag, it takes ages to try to get back in the bag at the end of the day.
Not convinced? Then let us know and we will get our brother-in-law to explain why he actually gave up with his easy-to-use pop up beach tent when, after several days of fighting, he could not get the thing back into its bag so that the next time he used it, it simply popped open with minimal effort. Even when two grown men decided to take on the challenge together they failed miserably, hence why the umbrella is a definitely winner in my eyes.
Buy your own compact Beach Umbrella and reduce over expose to the sun’s rays.
#3 A Small Cooler Bag
If, like us, you have no intention of moving for a few hours once you are settled then this item really is a must. For me, there is nothing worse that sipping warm drinks whilst lounging around on the beach.
Yes, I want to be heated by the sun but I want me drinks to remain cool and refreshing, not tepid and revolting. Neither am I someone who is prepared to pay a fortune on beach vendors every time I need to quench my thirst.
Therefore, the only want around this is to make sure our ice blocks are sufficiently frozen and drinks adequately refrigerated before setting off for the day.
We have also found some bottle chillers that fit perfectly around either a large bottle of water, or should you wish to watch the sun go down with a nice glass of some cold, a bottle of wine.
#4 Battery Packs
I am a planner which means that normally the chances of my Kindle running out of battery are slim, however, if the weather is good and we make a snap decision to head down to the beach the last thing I want to happen is for my book to disappear on me.
Honestly, it has happened once, and I was a nightmare. Bookworms are notorious for their ability to get lost into the pages of a novel for hours at a time but just imagine the boredom we feel when we don’t have that as an option. To prevent this we now make sure that both of our battery packs are fully charged. Now, not only does my book never die on me but Paul, who uses his phone to listen to music and podcasts whilst sunbathing, also has plenty of charging ability.
#5 Goggles and a Waterproof GoPro
I have a real dislike for the water and refuse point blank to put my head underneath the water. I don’t care how beautiful a fish may be I just can’t do it. It is a phobia I have had since a child and now if the slightest wave knocks me over I am out of the water quicker than the Flash can run towards danger.
Paul however, is a real water baby. I often get so engrossed in a book I don’t even notice that he is back in the water either swimming miles out or looking at the life hidden beneath the waves.
For this reason, we never head off to the beach without a set of swimming goggles in one of our rucksack along with his waterproof GoPro. This way he can experience the glories of an underwater ecosystem up close and personal and then, thanks to the advances in modern technology, I get to see the striking images he has taken on his GoPro afterwards.
Finally, it goes without saying that we also pack towels into our backpacks for any trip to the beach. We opt for large microfibre ones that are both quick drying and compact.
Ultimately, whether travelling by car, bike or on foot we wanted to make the experience of going to the beach both enjoyable and easy. Neither of us wanted to feel loaded up and therefore we decided to look at products that would fit easily into our day bags.
And for anything we could not fit in, either an alternative was found or it was discarded completely.
Are you a bookworm that likes to relax on the beach occasionally? What would you take with you? Perhaps you are a beach junkie and have some suggestions for us that could further slim-line our rucksacks – if that is the case, we would love to hear from you.