Passionate About Des Moines
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Tips for Going to the Beach with Kids

Tips for going to beach with kidsHooray! Summer vacation is here! For about a year, I’ve been counting down the months (now days, whoo!) to travel to our family’s favorite beach- Topsail Island, North Carolina.

This year is sure to be my most stressful adventurous yet, as I will be hauling TWO kiddos (ages two and nine months) and myself to the ocean. Having done flights and travel with them both before, I feel pretty prepared and wanted to share a few quick tips for going to the beach with kids. 

Check the Weather

Yes it can change, but I’m willing to gamble. Nobody needs jeans if it’s going to be 90 degrees, and I refuse to pack them “just in case”. Instead, I throw in a pair of leggings and a long-sleeve t-shirt for each girl as a cooler weather option. Jeans, sweatshirts, and coats take up space and add weight fast. If the weatherman totally screws up, everyone needs a souvenir sweatshirt anyway, right?

Less is MORE When it Comes to Clothes

If your destination has access to a washer/dryer, you are golden. Pack the bare minimum. For me that’s one outfit/day/kid, two pairs of jammies for a week-long trip, a few bibs, and everyone’s favorite blankie.

When you pack, decide if you’re a roller or folder. I am shooting to take ONE suitcase for both girls and I, so I will likely be using a combo of the rolling and folding- roll the small stuff and fold the large stuff. In the end, if I have to, I will opt for the layonthesuitcaseandstuff method to make it all fit. 

If your destination does not have a washer/dryer- NO worries. For my girls, I packed options that required one article of clothing- dresses, rompers, and onesies. You can easily fit a few more of these in a suitcase. Also, anything made of dri fit material is easy to wash in a sink and dry fast hanging. 

Limit shoes

My final piece of advice when it comes to clothing is to leave the shoe selection at home. Bring one pair if your destination can allow for it. In the rare case that the one pair of sandals I have packed for my two-year-old breaks, yay new shoes!

Say NO to Toys

No sand buckets, no games, and only a few books. If I let her choose, my two-year-old would pack the zoo and half a library. Gather things like stickers, travel-sized coloring books, a few crayons, and play-doh to pass the time in airports and on planes or in the car. Don’t let them see them ’til you’re in the air! The curiosity of the plane window does wonders for entertainment too.

If you’re OK with tech, of course bring the iPad. We love the Smart Shapes, Toddler Learning Games, and KidsDoodle apps. The iPad is usually “lost” at our house, but magically appears when we travel, so the newness is always fresh and the entertainment can span longer if needed. 

Pack the Perfect Carry-on

Having lost my luggage on more than one occasion, nothing is worse than getting somewhere with nothing. I can’t imagine losing all my kids’ stuff too. The best carry-ons have the essentials for 48 hours of your trip. I pack one change of clothes and swim suits for each of us, each girls’ blankie, a couple food pouches for a dire emergency, and a few days worth of diapers and wipes.

Anything baby related (pump bag, car seats, baby bag, strollers, etc.) flies for free so take advantage of that. Be sure to take what you need to the gate so you get it right as you leave the plane. A baby carrier, light-weight stroller, and backpack will be my must haves once we’re through the gate- wish me luck!

Happy Travels!

Enjoy your summer vacations and time with family. I hope something here helps you navigate the plane rides and time spent traveling to your destination. 

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