The beach with little ones can seem like a daunting adventure. I am sharing four key tips and tricks, along with the beach essentials needed to make your trip enjoyable and stress-free.
As a Pensacola native, I have grown up enjoying our white-sand beaches. Whether you are the lounging beach-goer, water-sport adventurer, seashell-hunting stroller, or a mix of all three – our picturesque beaches offer something for all the coastal lovers. It wasn’t until I had little ones that I realized just how LUCKY we are to live near something so beautiful.
The memories my family and I have created, I will keep for a lifetime. We have found an easier way to bring our little ones to the beach (ages 4.5 and 2), and there has been one trick that is a GAME CHANGER.
Tip #1: Go AFTER nap time, and during the late afternoon.
There is nothing worse than trying to soothe an over-tired, hot, sandy toddler while you are also tired, hot, sandy and trying to pack your things up for the car. We have all been there. A rested little one makes all the difference in how your experience will go, and arriving at the beach when it is cooler with the sun setting makes everyone more comfortable. (not to mention you don’t have to reapply sunscreen all day) We often arrive at the beach between 3:30-4PM which is also during the off-peak hours, so there is less traffic and parking spots available.
Tip #2: Simplify what you bring.
While we want to be prepared with all the things our toddlers COULD need or want, there is a way to simplify all.the.things.
We purchased a Beach Wagon with heavy-duty wheels that makes traveling from the car to our spot on the sand SO MUCH EASIER. The tires make the difference, so look for ones that are large to tread efficiently over the sand.
I also pack necessities including extra diapers/wipes, and vinegar-water spray for jelly stings. Another perk to arriving later to the beach is not having to pack the umbrella or tent!
Tip #3: Pack a dry bag to leave in the car.
This bag should include a change of clothes, diapers (if needed), a dry towel, and the best-beach-hack…. baby powder! Simply apply baby powder to the body where areas of sand are and wipe away the sand and powder with a dry towel. The sand comes RIGHT off! Changing into dry clothes for the way home is key, and baby powder is the secret!
Tip #4: Stay until sunset and plan dinner ahead of time.
This time of day has allowed us to bring some yummy dinner picnics, and take advantage of a no-clean-up-dinner with a fantastic view. We have also planned ahead and made dinner plans in the crockpot, which makes it easy to just walk in after returning home to dinner. Simple meals like make-ahead chicken salad, deli sandwiches, or even reheating leftovers work too! Then it is time for showers and bedtime with a little one that is worn out from a fun afternoon in the sand and water.
Our beach evenings have been some of the most enjoyable family moments, and I look forward to sharing many more. These tips have made our experience stress-free, and close to vacation-like even though we travel home afterward. I hope these beach-hacks will allow you to embrace more coastal family moments!