How to Pack a Cooler the Best Way in Sunset Beach

How to Pack a Cooler the Best Way in Sunset Beach 

(This blog was updated in July 2020 for content) 

Packing a cooler for a day at the beach can be so much fun! 

Time to get excited about staying out all day, having fun in the sun, and only stopping to indulge in a few drinks and snacks before you dive back into the waves or get back to your very intense game of beach corn hole. 

You may also want to pack a picnic if you are planning some activities off the beach, because if you are on a budget, it's always smart to opt for a simple sandwich and chips from your cooler rather than meals out at restaurants every single time the family is hungry. Which seems to be always, especially on vacation! 

Picnics are truly one of summer's simple delights. But have you ever packed a yummy picnic only to find that the food you were so looking forward to has become soggy or smushed, or that the icepacks you packed didn't quite chill the entire cooler of food? 

Don't fret. Today we will show you exactly how to pack the PERFECT cooler for a day on the beach, or anywhere! 

Step 1: Plan your menu

Choose foods that don't require a lot of preparation. Finger foods are great! Think sandwiches, veggies, fruits, cheese, crackers, chips, and cookies. Pack lettuce and tomatoes separately from your sandwich to avoid soggy bread. 

If you want something more substantial you could prepare a nice chicken salad, tuna salad, or pasta salad. Just don't forget plates and utensils if you go this route. 

Step 2: Place your ice packs

First, make sure you have good icepacks. Older ones might leak or "sweat" all over your food, leading to soggy sandwiches or an inefficiently cooled meal. 

Beach sandwich | Sunset Vacations

If, however, you picnic is more spontaneous and you are using a bag of ice to keep your picnic cool from the Sunset Beach sun, then the best solution is to lay the bag of ice down on the bottom of the cooler, place a towel over it, and then place your food on top. If you are using frozen water bottles, line them up around the sides of your cooler and place your food in between, with all items that might get soggy toward the center of the cooler. 

Step 3: Layer your food

If you don’t want to end up with smushed bread or bruised fruit, then you need to be conscious of how you layer your cooler. 

This is quite a simple step. You only have to determine which are the heaviest, most hardy items (such as tubs of dip and sturdy Tupperware containers) and put them on the bottom. Then place more delicate items like bread, fruit, and chips on top (or carry them in a separate bag). You may also consider bringing one cooler for drinks and one for food. Sometimes it's easier to carry two smaller coolers than dragging one large one onto the beach. That sand can be killer! 

Beach Cooler | Sunset Vacations

Step 4: Remember the rules

When packing a picnic, remember the Rules and Regulations of Sunset Beach

1. No glass bottles are allowed. Please bring your reusable water bottles, or choose aluminum or plastic soda and juice containers. 

2. Take all of your trash with you when you leave. Remember to bring a mesh bag or plastic grocery bag in which to carry your trash. 

3. No grilling is allowed on the beach. 

Step 5: Make your life easier

There are several items the pros always have with them while enjoying a picnic on the beach! 

  • Baby wipes & hand sanitizer
  • Extra water bottle for rinsing hands
  • Umbrella for shade
  • A small table to keep food out of the sand (try this one)
  • Mesh or plastic trash bags
  • Sharp knife to cut cheese, sandwiches, etc. 
  • Reusable utensils
  • Plates, napkins

Kids having watermelon on the beach | Sunset Vacations

Step 6: Have a fantastic time!

The most important thing to remember when having a picnic in Sunset Beach is to just have fun! 

Enjoy yourself. Soak up the life-giving sun. Laugh. After all, that is what picnics and vacations are all about. 

Don’t live close enough for a picnic on Sunset Beach any old day of the week? Then book here now with Sunset Vacations and make one of our beach homes yours for a week and enjoy all the picnics on the beach you can wish for. 

How to Pack a Cooler the Best Way in Sunset Beach

Get more great travel advice on our blog


Comment on this post!