Packing Checklist for a Cape Cod Summer Vacation
June 17th, 2011 by Dan F
So you’ve already booked a vacation rental and checked out the nearby attractions, and now it’s time to pack for your trip. (For those of you who still need to find a house or read about the area, First Vacation Rental has lots of information.) Although everyone has different needs and wants, here’s a packing list of essential (or highly recommended) items to get the most out of your Cape Cod vacation.
- Sunscreen. Sunscreen is good for avoiding painful sunburns and also for long-term skin health. Beware of some conventional sunscreens– recent studies have suggested that certain active ingredients could be harmful. For this reason, you might want to look into buying a “natural” sunblock that uses Zinc Oxide or Titanium Oxide to block the sun. Sunscreens that use Zinc or Titanium are called “physical barrier” sunscreens or sunblocks. Natural sunscreens are more expensive and don’t spread as thinly (they sometimes leave a white layer), but may be worth using in the long run. You can evaluate the toxicity of sunscreen ingredients at Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.
- Sunglasses and hat or beach umbrella. In Cape Cod the summer sun is blazing! The sun’s rays are even harder to withstand when they’re coming at you from all angles by bouncing off the water and sand.
- Bathing suits. You might want to bring two. That way you can change into a dry one in between a morning outing to the pond and an afternoon trip to the beach.
- Book, e-reader, or other reading material.
- Comfortable walking shoes. Sneakers, shoes, or hiking boots that are comfortable to walk in will make hiking or walking a trail a more enjoyable experience.
- Deck of cards. Good way to pack a lot of fun and games into a tiny space.
- Beach toys. Great for kids, and grown-ups too! How about a ball to throw around on the beach or in the pond, or some paddles to play paddleball.
- Breakfast. A little planning pays off. Here’s the scenario: You wake up, you’re hungry, and you don’t feel like driving anywhere right away (after all, it’s vacation!). It’s nice to have something like cereal or yogurt to tide you over till lunchtime. If the house where you’re staying isn’t close to a supermarket it might make sense to buy food on your way to your vacation rental on your first day.
- Board games. Does your group like to get together around the dining room table and play a board game after dinner? Do you enjoy just staying home on a rainy day to play Monopoly? Some vacation rental homes on the Cape have a few board games on the shelves, but you might want to bring your own to be safe.
- Beach shoes. Special beach shoes with rubber bottoms and mesh tops are designed to protect your feet from sharp shells and stones. They’re especially useful for walking in water that’s a few inches deep in the bay. You can often get them at convenience stores.