Sometimes pools are easier to access than beaches. Depending on where you live, a neighbor or a neighborhood may have a pool you can enjoy during the heat of summer. If you're setting aside time for a visit to the pool, if you live a little ways off, you don't want to forget anything and have to travel back to get it. So what do you need to remember? Here's how to prepare for a day at the pool.
If you're at the pool, part of your time should definitely be spent lounging in the sun or under an umbrella. If towels are not provided, make sure to bring along a beach towel to spread either on the nearby grass or on a piece of outdoor furniture like a lounge chair if you're chatting with friends around a table or a chaise lounge if you want to recline and take a nap. Beach towels can keep you both dry and clean as you enjoy your time relaxing next to the pool. If you know it will be hot out, consider bringing along water, juice, or another beverage in an ice cooler. That way, you can hydrate yourself and stay chill when things heat up.
Whether you choose to lounge or choose to swim, protection from the sun is essential. You don't want a bad sunburn to be the main thing you remember about a fun summer day at the pool. Bring along sunscreen with a high SPF to protect your skin, and be sure you remember to reapply it every so often. If reapplication is easy to forget or you have little ones who may be hard to track down when it's time, consider sun-protective swimwear. Rash guards and swim shirts are pool-friendly and keep shoulders and arms covered. Board shorts are generally a little longer than other kinds of shorts, so they help cover the legs, plus they can be worn in water, too! If you're more of a lounger than a swimmer, consider bringing along a big floppy hat to protect your face and a beach coverup or light sarong from shielding you from potential sunburn. Don't forget your sunglasses!
Sometimes the pool can be its own entertainment. There are many pool game options (Marco Polo or Sharks and Minnows, anyone?), but sometimes you want to have a few more items available so you can liven things up at the right moment. An inflatable beach ball or other inflatable pool toys might be a great idea. When flat, they fold and pack easily, and when they are blown up, they can be a great diversion either for floating or an impromptu game of pool volleyball. Goggles, fins and kickboards might also be good pool items to make pool swimming interesting. Remember to bring along some fun items to dive for! Alternatively, when you're lounging a nice book might be a good way to pass some time. Some music and headphones might also aid your relaxation, especially if rowdy families and kids are enjoying the pool right next to you. Remember to bring along things that will help you and yours have a good time.
We've already mentioned water and staying hydrated, but food is important, too! A picnic basket of sandwiches or a tote bag full of snacks could be just what you need when you're partway through your pool day, and you realized you have played hard enough to make yourself super hungry. If you're interested in something beyond sandwiches or a bag of chips and dip, consider baggies of raw veggies or cut up some fruits for your snack. You may not need a cooler for food depending on your food choices, but if you're having a party and want to bring along something special like ice cream, that ice cooler is going to be critical. It's totally up to you!
There are a few items that might be helpful just in case. A few waterproof bandaids might be helpful if someone's knee gets a scrape. That way the new wound is protected and you won't have blood in the pool. Speaking of waterproof, a waterproof bag might be a useful item to protect your phone and other sensitive valuables from a poorly-timed cannonball splash. It also allows you to swim with your valuables if you would rather not leave them unattended on the deck. If you have a little one who doesn't swim well, a lifejacket may be something that can give you peace of mind while your family is scampering about the pool.
You have categories and you have suggestions, now all you need is to put your pool day on the calendar, pack up your pool item choices, and you're ready for an awesome summer day!