Many families plan to visit the beach this summer and it is easy to see why:
From the fun treats, searching for seashells, splashing in the ocean, or building sandcastles. Each of these makes for an ideal family vacation.
However, a trip to the beach does come with its share of chaos. Between the sunburns and sand getting in EVERY nook and cranny, it can be stressful as it is fun.
In this post, you will find top tips for how to survive your next family beach vacation. In fact, follow these tips, and you won’t just survive the beach vacation, you will enjoy every second.
(Believe it or not, it is possible to end your vacation with nothing but good memories).
1. Pack all of the essentials, including the extras!
Don’t wait until right before your trip (or worse, during your trip), to stock up on the things you know you will need:
You already know you will need sunscreen, lip balm, flip flops, swim diapers, etc.
So, make a list of everything you need to take to the beach for your family. Stock up before so that you can have these items packed and ready to go when needed.
I recommend doing this shopping before your beach vacation because it will almost always be cheaper to buy these items away from the beach. Beach shops take advantage of people and overcharge because they know most will forget these items and have to buy them at their shop last minute.
2. Haul your beach vacation gear with ease
As in the first tip, plan ahead. The bigger the family, the more items you have to bring with you to the beach:
You will likely have beach chairs, toys, and much more. A great way to get all of this down to the beach without a lot of stress and packing is to get a beach wagon!
A beach wagon has huge wheels that make it easy to roll through the sand, and it has plenty of room and pockets for all your items. All you have to do is get it out of your car, load all your stuff in it, and roll it through the sand to your spot on the beach.
Related: Staying Healthy on Vacation
3. Arrive as early as possible
Plan to get to the beach as early as possible. Especially with young children as getting out on time is tough:
So plan enough time for you to get to the beach early. This will ensure you get a good spot close to the beach, which means less distance you and the kids have to walk to get to the ocean.
Doing this also means you can choose a better spot on the beach. You can get close to a lifeguard so you can relax a little more with your children near the water. You’ll also be able to pick a good spot near the water, but far enough back that the waves won’t mess with your little one’s sandcastle, therefore causing a mid-day meltdown because their castle got washed away (speaking from experience here!).
4. Choose a landmark
What I mean by this is for you to decide on a landmark or item that will stay on the beach to be your family’s focal point. If anyone gets separated, or a family member finds that the ocean has drifted them down the beach more than they thought, they can get back to your designated area quickly.
This can happen so easily. We all hope nobody gets separated, but it’s best to plan for it just in case. An easy landmark that is often found at the beach is a certain hotel with a fun feature, such as a big dolphin picture, or something else unique and easily identifiable.
5. Safely store your valuables
One easy way to safely store your valuables is to bring only your absolute necessities to the beach:
Try to leave all expensive jewelry and valuables at home or in the safe at the hotel. Anything that you must bring with you, such as cash or credit cards, should be stored discreetly.
A cool way to do this is to wrap these items up in a (clean) diaper that is rolled up to look dirty. You can also buy things made for storing valuables at the beach:
Lots of these things get buried mostly in the sand so that the top is flush with the ground level. They lock and easily store under your beach chair or towel. These also keep your valuables cool and safe from the summer heat, which is important for cell phones.
6. Stay shady and sand-free
Save yourself a lot of time and trouble on your beach vacation. Invest in a beach bag that is mesh material so that everything placed back into the bag allows the sand to fall right through to the ground. Leave that sand at the beach where it belongs instead of tracking it into your car and hotel.
Another trick with this is to pack bottles of baby powder in your beach bag. When you are ready to leave, but before you get in your car, sprinkle some baby powder wherever sand is sticking to you and rub it in. The baby powder dries out the sand and makes it fall off you:
This is also a great trick for removing all the icky sand from your baby and children before snack time. The baby powder wipes off with a napkin easier than the sand does!
7. Pack plenty of snacks and treats
It is so easy to get extra hungry and thirsty while playing at the beach, especially with small children. The hot summer sun makes you easily dehydrated:
So pack more snacks than you think you will need, just in case. Bring some favorite flavor packets to go in the water bottles as well to spruce up the plain water.