Heading to the beach for the day with the kids always seems like a brilliant idea. The kids will play in the sand. You’ll relax in a chair. But it always turns out to be a bit more stressful than you planned. Next time, lose the stress and stick to the fun by avoiding these common mistakes.

1. Overpacking

You don’t need as much as you think you do to have fun at the beach. If it’s just you and the kids, cut back a bit by skipping the umbrella, the beach tent, blankets, and other items that are too hard to carry. Lose some baggage by sticking your towels in an easy-to-carry, lightweight cooler bag. You can’t carry a toddler while also carrying a complete set of luggage.

2. No Caddy

If you've cut back on items but still have too much to carry, it’s worth it to get a beach caddy. These are made specifically for pulling through the sand and will be your new favorite beach item. Plus you won’t be stressing out watching the kids drop the beach toys every other step.

3. Leaving Too Late

If you’re headed to the beach, leave early. Pack the night before and be completely ready to go once you’ve eaten breakfast and put on your swimsuits. The earlier you arrive at the beach, the better. You’ll get a great parking spot, your pick of where to set up on the beach, and it won’t be overly hot when you arrive.

4. No Sunscreen

Always keep a good supply of sunscreen in your beach bag so that it's available when you need it. Reapply to yourself and your children every couple of hours, or as recommended on the bottle, to ensure no one goes home with a burn. Avoid the spray sunscreen as it isn’t safe for anyone to inhale. Apply sunscreen before you leave so that when you get to the beach the kids can start to play immediately.

5. Not Bringing a Garbage Bag

Leaving garbage on the beach is just not cool. But you also don’t want to be stuffing apple cores back into your cooler. A reusable garbage bag is a great way to keep your trash from blowing into nature and keep it separate from the rest of your stuff.

6. Full Wallet

Don’t bring your wallet or your purse. Instead, opt to hide your money, credit cards, and ID in a small, thin, waterproof case. Or you could always take an old sunscreen bottle, clean it out, and make it the spot to hide your money and keys.

7. Sand All Over

Sand in the car and all over the car seats is messy and frustrating. If you rub baby powder on your skin before you get in the car, the sand will fall right off.

8. No Place to Potty

If your kids are smaller and can’t handle the stinky beach bathrooms alone, consider leaving a travel potty in your car. Since you arrived at the beach so early and got a great parking spot, walking to your car for your child to pee will probably be easier than walking to the bathrooms anyway.

A day at the beach should actually feel like a day at the beach. Skip the stress by planning ahead, and have more fun than ever.