Whether you will hit the beach with your family in the busy days of summer or the less crowded days of winter, packing is never the good part. Still, proper planning is essential to ensuring you and yours enjoy that fun in the sun sans second-degree burns or crying children. (Actually, one kid will cry no matter what.) Some packing suggestions for your next family beach excursion are below.

First, a boardwalk is not a catwalk. You need swimsuits, beach towels, sun hats, and sunglasses. Do not forget the rash guards for sensitive ones or the jackets for all in case the temperatures drop. Pack proper sandals or water shoes, especially for the children, because someone will definitely step on a shell and scream bloody murder.

Within reason, let your kids pick their toys. For the grownups, let’s be real: It’s all about the cooler. No? Okay, then bring that book you have been meaning to read. If you have room, by all means pack folding beach chairs, and if you can afford one, trust that your family wants an open-air tent shelter. They pop right up and break down in two shakes. Inside you can change your clothes, get some essential shade, or put a grumpy munchkin down for a nap. We are definitely not sponsored but happily recommend the Veer Family Base Camp for your instant shoreline shelter.

We bet your first-aid kit is already on the ride. Surely, packing sunscreen, insect repellent, hand sanitizer, and Ziploc bags are also no-brainers. What you may forget is some medicine, especially if you only mean to be gone for the day. We promise that your afternoon will be ruined by a headache or your vomiting child who swam too soon after gorging on Pirate’s Booty. Just pack the meds.

Then there are the snacks and drinks to consider. The entire family should play hard and get hungry, and if you fail to pack sufficiently on the food and beverage front, consider supporting a local beachside eatery. The only thing better than being seaside with your loved ones is completing the made memory with some fresh fish tacos or a sack of burgers and a round of ice cream cones.