Going to the beach can be a fun trip for the entire family. But beach survival for an entire day, or in my case an entire week with kids, depends on having the right plan in place and the right tools to make it a memorable day.
To some without kids or with teenagers and older, this may sound extreme; but to you I say nay, it is what needs to be done to survive small kiddos at the beach! Going to the beach without kids is totally relaxing, and you hardly need anything to enjoy your day. With older kids, they can help and are unlikely to need nearly as much for a day at the beach.
So, let’s get into what you need at the beach!
Beach Survival Guide
First off, I have a few tips that I think really help plan your beach trip and make it a fun time, even for mom and dad! These are tips I use to make my trips to the beach easy on me, hopefully you will find them useful for your trips too!
Head there earlier
With younger kids, I think this is the best tip – get to the beach around 9 am. There are several reasons that this is a great idea. First, the beach will have fewer people at this time of day. It makes it easier to get settled in. With fewer people it is easier for the kids to explore and play. Second, the sun is less intense, so it is easier to keep everyone from getting burned. But do not forego sunscreen, rash guards and a sun cover! Third, the family can pack up and head home in the mid afternoon, right as the sun is most intense and the beach is busiest. This will give the family some down time and cleaned up before getting dinner.
Food for all and freeze what you can
My best advice here is to use modular lunch containers, one for each. I like these lunch boxes the best. They even come with an ice pack that locks the boxes together. It you pack each one their own it makes for less fighting and if one goes in the sand not all the food is lost.
Pick the best toys
Take a few favorite sand and water toys. I have a set that we got at the end of the season, similar to this. It works great for toddlers and younger kids. They especially love the water wheel. Plus if you have a water table at home, they can double as toys there too. Just make sure the set you get comes with a bag and that they are relatively compact. A bonus would be if they are recyclable!
Protect their toes too
Depending on your beach, it make make good sense to have your kids wear water shoes/socks. It will keep their feet safe from anything sharp on the beach. Older kids probably would not need them, but younger kids I would say take them!
Stow the Wet Stuff
It is inevitable that there will be wet swim suits, towels, etc. That is why I like to have either a ton of shopping bags (for wet items, or trash) or you can get a wet bag. I personally use the wet bag for everything and then dump it in the washer together when we get home. Wet bags work not just for the beach, but the pool, splash pad, and in case of diaper emergencies. Check out this awesome wet bag for your family.
While a plan is definitely important to having a successful and fun day at the beach. I totally believe that what you bring to the beach will make it a great day! I have a few go to items that I use over and over when we take day trips to the beach, beach vacations and even trips to the local splash pad and park.
Here are Five items to buy that will help you with your beach survival.
We all know that a sun burn is no fun, but if you are not on a Caribbean holiday where the hotels have the straw umbrella’s where can you hide from the sun? I personally use and LOVE this Sunshade. It kept 3 adults, 2 kids and 2 coolers shaded all day.
It is easy to carry (I carried it like a backpack on my shoulders). The set up takes about 5 minutes and it can be used a ton of places. A huge bonus for me was that it is open on all sides. This meant that we were able to see from all sides and also enjoy the breeze to keep cool.
I think it is worth mentioning that I have used this (affiliate link) Sunshade at the splash pad and the park. It comes with stakes that are just as easy to use as the weights. It is a definite winner in our household!
Getting Tech-y Without Ruining It
While I love being at the beach, I do not want to be away from my phone! With smaller kids you want to keep their wet and sandy hands away from your phone! Plus sunscreen grease on the screen it not so fun either.
So to keep my phone with me but also protected from the sun, sand, and water around me, I bought this (affiliate link) Waterproof case. It works for the newest phones and you get 4 cases, so one for everyone! The one drawback is that you cannot use your fingerprint to open your phone. But I would much rather keep the elements off my phone. I also have used it hiking, camping, and at the waterpark.
A bonus is that they are relatively small and lightweight, so they do not add a ton of bulk to what you are taking to the beach.
Leave the Sand At the Beach
One thing that really annoys me about the beach is that you can NEVER get rid of the sand. It is in your bathing suit, the car, your home, the tub. Enter this awesome little invention to (affiliate link) remove sand. It is a small bag filled with powder that takes the sand right off of your body. It is great for kiddos as it is super quick! Plus there is a pouch that comes with the bag. It makes it so easy to use, throw back into its pouch and into your beach bag. The (affiliate link) powder pouch is worth it. Take that sand!
While I know that straight baby powder can do the trick, I just did not like carrying around a bottle of the stuff. This cute sack with carrying bag worked much better and I did not have to worry about baby powder getting all over my bag!
Keep It Locked up Tight
Having a day at the beach means you have your keys, wallet and potentially other valuables with you. Rather than leaving them where someone can nab them or the kids can hide them on you, put them in this (affiliate link) SAFEGO Lockbox. It is small, so it will really only hold your keys, wallet and phone. But, it works in so many other environments to keep those items protected, not just the beach, so it is worth the investment. I actually bought mine after my youngest got a hold of my keys and buried them in the sand! The SAFEGO means I always know where my car keys and wallet are. We use the cable to tie it to the chairs and found that it worked the best for us.
Lay it all out
The last item that is a lifesaver at the beach is a large blanket. I especially like this (affiliate link) over-sized sand free beach blanket. It comes with 4 spikes to keep it in place or you can use the pouches filled with sand. It is 9 foot by 10 foot, which is more than enough space for everyone. Ours easily held 3 adults and 2 small children. Plus, since it is made of rip stop nylon, it is light weight. It fits into a small bag and can just be thrown into your beach bag. It is SO much easier to carry than chairs. But if you must bring chairs, then the bonus beach survival item is for you!
BONUS ITEM: Best way to carry it in
While it can be no fun having to lug all that stuff to the beach and back, there is an awesome cart called the Wonder Wheeler Beach Wagon that will hold a lot of it so you don’t have to carry it all or make so many trips. This fold-able beach cart carries up to 100 pounds and 4 beach chairs. Plus the bottom is mesh so that the sand will fall out as you work your way back to the car. If you go to the beach a lot, I cannot recommend the Wonder Wheeler beach cart enough. This item is a must have for beach survival!
Ready to go!
If you add any of these items to your Beach Survival kit, then you are sure to have a nice, relaxing time at the beach. I know with these items in tow, it is a few less things for me as a mom to worry about!
Looking for all the items I talked about above in the Beach Survival Guide?
Check them out here (affiliate links):
Beach / Park / Splash pad SunShade for the whole family
Check out this Waterproof Case for your phone
Simple way to remove sand from you and the kids
Keep your valuables safe while you are having fun
Huge sand free beach blanket for the family
Best Beach roller is this Wonder Wheel Beach Wagon