Packing for the Beach
Today is the day! We are headed for the beach! Four adults. Three littles. While the beach is about as relaxing as it gets vacation wise, these words have crossed my mind many a time over the last week: Time away without kids is a vacation. Time away with kids is a trip. It’s true, right? I’m not saying it’s better or worse—both are needed and make for an awesome time. But because we’re traveling with kiddos this round, instead of thinking books, movies, and restaurants, I’m thinking on-the-go snacks, swim shoes, and sun hats. Again, so fun—just a different ballgame. Like tee ball verses the MLB.
This is our fifth time taking Collins to the beach, and you better believe we are living up this season of not planning around a school calendar. April: the month after spring break and before schools start releasing for summer. Also, weather is heaven. We love you, April.
Here we go—the essentials for a successful beach trip for your shorty.
Even if you go to the beach for Christmas and the temperature is a low of 62, you may still have access to an indoor pool. I’m a big fan of the rash guard suits. They’re cute as all get out, and it saves sunscreen time. I ordered the same one for Collins last year—we just switched up colors and sizes. (On Amazon, the category “Baby” is up to 24 months, and then 2T and up are in Girls/Boys. This may be obvious…but I don’t want you to think they’re out of your size when you’re just in the wrong category.)
Again, cute! Yes, you for sure want your little to feel sand and the foam of the ocean on his/her feet, but if you’re in an area that isn’t great for bare feet, these will take care of you. You won’t have to worry about broken seashells, hot sand, or sunburn on your little’s feet.
That ocean reflects some serious light—don’t just rely on a hat for you or baby! These little shades are darling, and they have a strap in case you have someone who isn’t a big fan of sunglasses yet.
Again, the beach is basically just a pool of sun. Enjoy it the whole time you’re there and not just on day one before the sunburn sets in. I know…I may seem like the skincare police right now—this is coming from the one who had to wear prescription sunscreen as a kid. Sun hats are a fashion statement though! Teach your kids while their young!
If yours is still in diapers, you’ll want to trade in your everyday diapers for the swim version if they’ll be in the water. I’m a fan of the reusable swim diaper, too, but we hardly did any swimming last year, and she’s grown out of it now, so it was kind of a waste for us. So it just depends how often you plan to be in the water (and how you feel about the whole reusable thing).
So after all that covering up, you really don’t have to apply that much sunscreen! There are a ton of good baby sunscreens out there. We like Neutrogena, and it seems to be available just about anywhere. Plus, you can get the little stick for tiny faces and ears.
On our first beach trip with Collins, we took bug spray but forgot to use it. After an evening spent outside by the ocean, girlfriend had over thirty mosquito bites. Thankfully, she was too young to really be bothered by it, but I felt terrible. Bug spray, bug spray, bug spray!
If you think you may be hanging at the beach for a while, this tent can be super handy. A place to store snacks, get some shade if needed, and a napping zone if it comes to that.
Do you really want to carry all the things by yourself? On top of carrying your human(s)? This may seem like a pricey addition, but it can make you not dread the walk to and from the beach. Just make sure you get one that will pull easily on the sand– & hey, who said you have to just use this at the beach?
SNACKS! Because swimming and the sun are physically exhausting, and anything fun should include snacks. There’s always the classic go to snacks for both kiddos and adults: cut up fruit, raw veggies (if you’re into that kind of thing), popsicles, etc. I’m also a fan of Justin’s PB packets, Chia Squeeze pouches, Larabars (or these homemade treats!), and smoothies (in a convenient thermos, while we’re at it). These are also perfect snacks to keep your people busy on the actual trip to the beach and any time in between. I’m all about the snacks, you guys. (And hydration! Nothing is worse than being hot on the beach and having nothing to drink that will quench your thirst.)
You need somewhere to store all of those cold snacks and drinks! These range from tiny to hefty. Simple to fancy.
Odd addition to the list? Well, if you’re sleeping in close quarters, this can help your little sleep when you’re enjoying that adult part of the shindig. Unless everyone is out by 9PM. If so, I guess the sound machine did its job a little too well.
A book from your list
Yeah, you know—so you can look at the cover and maybe re-read the first page of the introduction a few times. But really, it’s just there as a reminder of what you used to do at the beach. But hey, you packed it—so good job, mama.
Basically, if you have swimwear, sunscreen, and snacks, you’re pretty much set for a fun week at the beach. The rest figures itself out!