Living only 2 hours from the coast provides us with ample opportunities to take beach trips with our kids. We are luckily blessed with two kiddos who absolutely LOVE the beach and would happily live there if we’d let them! Even though it’s only the end of June, we’ve already been to the beach several times this season (4 to be exact!), and have another trip planned in 2 weeks. Sometimes we make a weekend out of it and stay the night, and other times we go just for the day.
Here are some key beach items that we have found extremely useful:
Consider investing in a beach wagon. This is honestly my #1 tip when it comes to visiting the beach with little ones. No matter if you are headed to the beach for a full week or just the day, if you plan to visit the beach more than one time while your kids are small, do consider investing in a beach wagon. We scored ours for $99 at Bed Bath and Beyond. Lugging kids to and from the car while carrying a beach bag, two chairs, tent, cooler, and a million sand toys is WAY easier with a wagon. We have had numerous people stop and ask us where we bought our wagon, and I can honestly say it is worth every penny! This particular wagon has huge all-terrain wheels thus making it a breeze to pull along in the sand (it seriously does work really well). One word of caution is that the wagon does not come with any safety straps/buckles for kids, and can tip over if over-loaded, so please use extra caution if your kids will be riding in the wagon.
Pop-up beach tent. Instead of a beach umbrella, I highly recommend bringing a small pop-up beach tent. Preferably, one that is easy to set up. You really don’t want to be spending 30 minutes trying to set your tent up when you have toddlers who want to run into the water the very second their feet hit the sand! We love having a tent for the kids to take a break in while they eat a snack and take a few minutes to relax. It’s also a great place to change the kids out of wet swimsuits (and diapers) and into a dry set of clothes before we head back to the car.
Beach blanket with anchors. There is nothing more frustrating than getting to the beach while trying to set up and have your blanket keep flying away in the wind. If your kids are anything like mine, they will only actually sit on the blanket for about 5 minutes, but it’s nice not to have to worry about it flying away while you’re off chasing after your toddler! Here’s our bleach blanket that has worked out really well for us.
A few other beach essentials – swimsuits (I usually bring 2 for each kid; 1 as a backup just in case), sand toys, sunscreen, lip balm, sunhats/sunglasses, change of clothes (don’t forget a bag to throw wet swimsuits in), towels, swim diapers for babies + young toddlers, hand sanitizer, small first aid kit, wipes (lots of them!), and of course, bring plenty of snacks and drinks for everyone!
One last tip – if you’ll be visiting the beach often this summer, create a master “beach packing” list on your computer, print it out, and laminate it. Use a dry erase marker to cross items off as you pack your beach bag, and you now have a beach packing list you can use multiple times without having to worry if you forgot anything!
I’d love to hear your beach essentials! Did I miss anything?