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Beach Bound with Little Ones: My top essentials for family beach trips


As the warmth of summer draws near, there's a special kind of excitement that fills the air, especially for us moms gearing up for beach days with our little ones. Whether it's a long-awaited vacation or a spontaneous trip to the beach, preparing for these adventures is a must.

There's something magical about watching your toddlers' eyes light up at the sight of the ocean waves and feeling the sand between their tiny toes. As moms, we cherish these moments and strive to make them as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. That's why I'm excited to share our tried-and-true beach essentials that help keep things smooth sailing. You'll find it all linked at the bottom of this post! We’ve always loved the beach and lived for our yearly vacations, but since moving to Charleston last year we are only a short drive to the beach and try to go at least once a week.

Packing for a Beach Getaway

For those extended beach vacations, thorough packing is key to ensuring a stress-free experience for the whole family. Here's what we never leave home without:

1. Sun Protection Essentials: Hats, sunglasses, and of course, plenty of sunscreen with a high SPF to shield delicate skin from the sun's rays. I am very picky about the types of sunscreen we use and have tried so many different ones. My favorite so far is Think Baby. Don’t forget to pack a makeup brush to use to apply sunscreen on your little one’s face!

2. Beach Tent or Umbrella: Providing a shady space for rest and snack time, especially during the peak hours of sunshine.

3. Beach Toys: From buckets, shovels, and sand molds, these simple toys can help keep your children entertained for hours. We also love to bring a cheap watercolor set to paint seashells with! 

4. Cooler Packed with Snacks: Fresh fruit and veggies, sandwiches, and plenty of cold water keep our energy levels up and hunger at bay.

5 . Splash Pad: This is a different one but hear me out. For the last few years we have been bringing a splash pad to the beach with us. We dig a hole in the sand and fill the splash pad with water then put the umbrella up so the area is shaded. It makes for a safe spot for your little ones to hangout. I’ve seen other products that are purposely designed for this but since we already have a splash pad it makes sense to use it for this too.

6 . Chairs: Kind of obvious but for those longer beach days we try to bring chairs to relax on, but this means the kids need their own chairs too because you know how that goes. 

7 . Wagon: A good beach wagon is a must for lugging all of your beach essentials (including your kids) across the sand. 

Quick Dip, Big Thrills: Essentials for Spontaneous Beach Trips

Sometimes, the best beach days are the ones that happen on a whim. Here are our must-haves for those spontaneous outings:

1. Grab-and-Go Bag: Pre-packed with swimsuits, sunscreen, swim diapers and towels, this ready-to-roll bag ensures we're always prepared for impromptu beach adventures.

2. Waterproof Bag: Essential for storing wet swimsuits, sandy toys, and any unexpected messes along the way.

3. Quick-Dry Towels: Lightweight and absorbent, these towels are perfect for drying off little ones before heading home.

4. Snack Pack: A stash of on-the-go snacks like granola bars, dried fruit, meat sticks, and crackers.

5. Blanket: I like to use a thin sheet that can fold up easy to fit in my bag. 

Creating Beach Memories That Last a Lifetime

Whether it's building sandcastles, collecting seashells (Isla’s favorite), or simply laying out in the warmth of the sun, every moment spent at the beach with our little ones is a precious memory in the making. By packing these essential items, we can focus less on logistics and more on soaking up the joy of motherhood and the magic of summer.

So here's to sandy toes, salty kisses, and the sweetest moments shared with our little beach babies. 


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