Is it just me, or does it seem like the year just started? But here we are, in June, and we are all thinking of ways to enjoy the summer with our families because we know that in the blink of an eye it will be time to go pumpkin picking.
Whether you stay local, take a long road trip or even fly abroad, going to the beach is a summer activity that most families enjoy at some point. But, with little children in tow, planning for a trip to the beach can be pretty challenging. You don’t want to bring too much, and you also don’t want to forget anything that’s critical.
Here are a few tips I’ve picked up along the way, and I think they will help you and your family have a beach trip that includes a lot more fun, and a lot less stress. Enjoy!
Snacks –Bring things that are easy to eat (pouches of apple sauce, small crackers, etc.). Also, small snack bags with fresh fruits and vegetables are great. And remember to travel with plenty of water and juice kept cold in a cooler. If you don’t like the old-school coolers, you can definitely find one that looks like a giant tote bag.
Toys – Just bring a few beach toys that can keep the kids occupied. Buckets and shovels go a long way. You can also do a few beach balls, but remember to bring toys that the kids can actually play with. If you are going to a crowded beach and a frisbee is not ideal, don’t pack it.
Attire – Swim suits are a given, but bring an extra swimsuit for each kid. Don’t forget water shoes (not flip flops) for the kids that are walking. Bring bucket hats, sunglasses and a cover-up. That beach sun can be brutal, and their skin needs to be protected. And remember extra swim diapers for the babies and a few towels. You will definitely need them.
Protection – Make sure you get waterproof sunblock that does not sting. You’d be surprised but there are many children’s sunblocks out there that will sting your kids’ eyes. Bring the sunblock with you so you can reapply when needed. Lastly, find out if the beach you are visiting rents umbrellas so you don’t have to bother with carrying one — especially since rental umbrellas are typically big and offer lots of coverage.
Carrying Your Things- Leave the stroller behind unless you don’t mind getting sand on it and you have enough adults there to lift it up and take it to your beach spot, because the wheels won’t work at all on the sand. Consider purchasing a beach cart if you have a lot of stuff. Bring a large, waterproof bag with many compartments for the kids, and a separate waterproof bag for your stuff (with a compartment inside that will allow you to keep your camera and cell phone sand-free).
Timing – Try to hit the beach early in the day – especially if the forecast calls for a scorcher. The beach is less crowded in the morning, you can get a great spot, and if they kids are full from breakfast you can enjoy a few hours of beach time before everyone is tired of snacks and wants a real meal again.
Help – One adult per child is great when you have small children with you. That definitely isn’t always possible, so just do your best to keep everyone in your eyesight. Beaches can get pretty crowed and the beach is no place to lose a child. If you are planning to go to the beach alone with more than one small child, I would definitely rethink things. It might be a bit too much.
Comfort – Don’t forget to bring everything you need. When you travel with kids you can often forget about yourself, but there is nothing cute about being uncomfortable while trying to keep children happy. Take everything you need with you so you can enjoy the trip
BMWK – Does your family plan to go to the beach this summer? Which beach do you normally visit?
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