Packing for a summer trip to the beach
Do you remember the last time you went on a vacation or trip to the beach and actually relaxed? Yea, me neither. That’s just the new normal with kids. The days of reading a book, and taking a sweet nap whilst baking in the sun are long gone, a distant past. That ship has sailed. That’s ok, though. I love to get buried in the sand, don’t you? Haha. Sike! That’s what dads are for anyways! We are leaving very soon for a trip to Avalon, New Jersey. We have been to the Jersey shore before, but this will be our first time in Avalon. And if you are thinking “Jersey Shore” like Pauly D and Snooki, you are sadly mistaken. There are some really great spots along the Shore that are really family friendly and have the cutest little towns!
I’ll include a packing list at the end, but thought I would share some other items to make your trip with kids a little easier! Our family will be staying for 5 days. We will be driving, so we can bring more than we would if we were flying. Hope this helps!
Beach essentials- Our hotel provides chairs and umbrellas, so we don’t need to pack those. I’m thankful for that, because they take up a lot of space that I would like to use for other items. We do need our beach towels and I found this great bag that is super easy to clean and is water resistant and so easy to brush sand off. Bonus points for cute prints and patterns! It is really big, and will fit a small cooler, towels, diapers, and other essentials. We usually bring some beach toys, and purchase some when we get there from those touristy shops. I saw some cute sets in the Target dollar spot for around $3. We use mesh laundry bags for beach toys (I spotted some at the Dollar Tree yesterday too), so cheap, so easy to carry, and the sand falls right through. HIGHLY recommend. And just throw them in the washing machine after your trip. I got this little pool for the baby. I have a feeling she isn’t going to love the feeling of the sand (not a fan of grass), so we can put this under the umbrella for her to play in and put some water in it to keep her cool. We also have a portable fan that you can charge with a USB for hot days. We throw all of our stuff into a beach buggy (use your 20% off coupon too!) There is nothing worse than lugging all this stuff down to the beach. I’m sure you all know how helpful 5 year olds are when it comes to carrying things long distances! This is a necessity with kids, trust me. Don’t forget sunscreen for the kids! There are so many articles about safe sunscreens, it is really overwhelming. I will read one list of the best baby sunscreens, and then another article will have that same sunscreen on the “worst” list. It is really confusing and frustrating for parents. Well, guess what? I think any sunscreen is better than no sunscreen. We have really liked Babyganics sunscreen and the face stick. Besides lugging stuff on and off the beach, sand all over my body drives me crazy. Hence, another best kept secret: baby powder. I keep a whole thing of it in the beach bag. Just sprinkle some on the sand and rub it right off. Like a miracle!
Sleep- Honestly, sleep gives me the most anxiety when we travel. If this wasn’t an issue I would travel every weekend if we could. At this point, I don’t really worry about my 5 year old. He doesn’t nap, and I know he will be really tired. I’m not sure if it’s in my head, but I just make babies that are very particular about sleep. Probably because I’m such a stickler for crib training. I’m a firm believer that babies/kids thrive with routine, so that is what we have at home. I have to remind myself that we are on vacation. Naps might get missed, or need to be in the carrier or stroller. I do try to bring as much as possible to keep the sleep environment similar to home. Sound machine, baby monitor (my parents will also be staying at the hotel), sleep sack, & pack n play. Personally, I feel like the pack n play mattress is extremely uncomfortable, so I found this mattress recently and will bring that as well. Our hotel does offer cribs or pack-n-plays, but I’m a bit of a germaphobe, and know that I will stress if there happens to be none available when we get there. I will say that I have recently come across a company called Baby Quip, and you can literally rent everything from someone that lives in the area that you are staying. You just put in the city and a whole list of potential providers populates. It’s like the Airbnb of baby stuff. Toys, cribs, strollers, car seats, etc. I don’t think we need that for this trip, but I will keep this in mind for future trips. Can you imagine going to Hawaii and not having to pack all that stuff? Genius! June is currently sleeping through the night, so fingers crossed for restful nights during our trip!
Snacks- Anyone else’s kids want a snack like every 15 minutes? I paced the aisles of Target the other day to try to find somewhat healthy options and I found some great snacks for the kiddos. We can never have enough snacks! I found these bowls that might be a quick bite for the baby to get some fruit and veggies in at the least. They had oatmeal breakfast ones too! I always feel like we don’t eat as many veggies on vacation and the bowels get a little out of whack if you know what I mean (sorry, TMI). I get pouches of just prunes or pears to help keep the kids’ bowels normal during the vacation.
Other random things- I’m going to bring a drying rack for this trip. Four people in one hotel room is kinda cramped for 4 nights, and we are going to be in the pool or the beach almost the whole time. Hooks are hard to come by in hotels, so I thought a drying rack would be useful to put in the shower at night to dry our towels and suits.
Need some ideas for a car ride or plane ride? Check out this post!
Comment below if you have any other great tips or must have beach essentials!