The heat of midsummer means it's prime time to spend hours at the pool. But heading to the pool does take some preparation, especially if you plan to be camped in a lounge chair for a few hours. 

Here's what you should make sure to pack in the pool bag to make a day at the pool the best it can be.

The necessary

Sunscreen. No one wants to go home with a sunburn.  Towels. Maybe extremely obvious, but very necessary.  Sunglasses. They aren't just for looking cool — bring a pair for everyone and protect your eyes on sunny days.  Water. Even though there's water everywhere, it's not for drinking. It's extremely important to stay hydrated. Bring more than you think you need.  Snacks. Refuel than get back in the pool with a sandwich, chips, fruit or something else that will sit well in a cooler. Goggles. Don't open your eyes underwater without them.  Hair ties. For anyone with long hair, this is a definite must. Bring extras just in case.  Clothes to change into after. There's nothing worse than getting in the car wearing a soggy bathing suit that's steadily making your clothes soggy too. Avoid the whole thing and bring a full change of clothes.   

The unnecessary (but recommended)

Frozen fruit. Frozen grapes make a great summertime snack, and frozen fruit like strawberries, peaches or blackberries can make your water a little more refreshing.  Playing cards. Need a break from the water? Pull out a deck of cards and start a game of "Go fish."   Books and magazines. Pools are a great place for some relaxing alone time with your favorite reading material.   Pool floats, pool noodles or a beach ball. If you want to lounge in the water, floats are a must. Or, start a game of casual pool volleyball with a beach ball.  Speaker or headphones. If your pool allows it, bring a speaker to enjoy your favorite summer tunes with the group. Bring headphones if you're looking to relax undisturbed for a little while. Diving rings. Have kids who can swim like fish? Diving rings make for a fun game at the pool.