You and your family are super excited! You're off to a friend's backyard BBQ. They've got a pool, great food, a cooler full of beer and a pitcher of sangria...waiting for you! You'll want to make sure to bring these five essential items.
Yes, it's messy and it can feel greasy. But the Skin Cancer Foundation reports that nearly 5 million people in the United States are treated for skin cancer each year. Make sure to lather up with a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen, SPF 15 or higher, they recommend. (For this BBQ, SCF suggest using a water-resistant, broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.) And remember to reapply often.
2. Bug Spray
You never know what pesky insects could be lurking in the backyard. An outdoor party area with tall grasses or swampy areas can be a haven for mosquitoes and ticks. We know bug spray can be smelly, but it's better than suffering itchy bug bites or worse...Lyme disease from infected ticks.
Though there's always a chance of jumping back in the pool after you get out, it's not a good idea to spend long periods of time in a wet bathing suit. Certain types of bacteria and fungi (read: yeast) can build up inside a wet bathing suit pressed against your skin. Change out of that swimsuit and into dry underwear before a yeast infection has the chance to brew.
BONUS for the ladies: Pack a female urination device like Ms. Whiz. This enables you to pee standing up, which is a great idea when you don't know what germs might be having their own party at this BBQ!
You'll be running around in the heat or climbing in and out the pool. You'll sweat...and you don't want to stink! With anti-antiperspirant or deodorant in your pocket, you can freshen up whenever you need to, and that means you'll feel comfortable staying longer and having more fun.
5. Host/Hostess Gift
Chances are that you've signed up to bring a Jell-O salad or some such to your friend's house. But if your friend said 'nothing' when you asked what to bring, feel free to disregard and opt for a gift instead of a prepared food. If your friend drinks alcohol, bring wine. There are many delicious, top-rated wines available in the $12 to $20 range.
If the barbecue is kid-friendly, bring something fun for everyone to enjoy...something like Battle Balloons Color Burst. This great gift idea lets you fill and tie 120 water balloons filled with vivid color in mere seconds. At a pool party, you can dump the balloons right into the pool for added water play.
These items are essential at backyard BBQs, but unfortunately they are easy to forget at home. On the other hand, they are also easy to remember if you try...and most everything fits inside a purse, handbag or tote.