Travelling light with kids on a beach trip

@Comagirl (146)
June 2, 2010 9:41am CST
Hi everyone, I have a 5 yr old and a 10 yr old, and am trying to simplify family trips to the beach as the summer season develops. Always the girls want to take every tool, toy, towel etc, and we normally take a picnic lunch as well. But with our local beaches, the bits you can most easily walk to are the most crowded - the only way to enjoy any peace is to walk quite a way from the carparking areas, which is so difficult when laden with stuff. I see plenty of other families clearly managing without the entire kitchen sink experience! So what are your tips for getting to the beach without an army of pack mules? Here's mine, to build on... 1. each child carries own bag, with towel + all toys they want to bring 2. put swimwear on at home under clothes 3. get towelling beach dresses for girls - sun protection, towel and clothes, in one item (that can be worn there in the car) 4. Use a squashy picnic bag not a fixed-sized cooler 5. Take a spare carrier bag for litter, sort as you go, then at least you can offload all the junk soon as you pass a bin 6. Don't take separate things to lie on and to dry on. Sunbathe/sit on your towel, then after your swim just shake it off and use. What has everyone else found works for them?
2 responses
@maximax8 (31058)
• United Kingdom
4 Jun 10
I live just four miles from the beach. So I can take my children there quite often. I have a teenage son that likes to build out of drift work. He and my two nephews are very good at that. I like to let my toddler son build with sand. So therefore I tack a bucket and spade. I take some shade for my baby daughter. I take a towel and some suncream plus some drinks.
@Comagirl (146)
• Spain
6 Jun 10
Such a great point about shade! Really really important, especially for the smallest members of the family - and one of the bulkiest things to carry! Ah well...
@dorannmwin (36392)
• United States
2 Jun 10
I've never yet had the opportunity to take my children to the beach, so this is something that I've not had to deal with yet. However, I have to say that I love the tips that you've shared. We are planning on going to the beach this summer for vacation (we can't just go on a day trip because the nearest beach is 500 miles away). I think that it is definitely not asking too much for the children to carry their own bags and wearing their swimwear beneath their clothing is an excellent idea.
@Comagirl (146)
• Spain
3 Jun 10
Thank you so much for being my first ever responder :-) How exciting your vacation is going to be - first ever trip to the sea for your kids, wow! Have a fantastic time!