I’m a planner. I like to write list after list, crossing things off as I go to make sure I don’t miss that crucial item and then most likely blame my husband for causing me to forget it. I write lists for the day, for the grocery store & my newest list, for vacation. Our family chose to go to the beach this year for vacation and I am so excited because we are going to a beach near Wilmington, NC. We just recently moved to Charlotte due to my husbands job, so we picked a spot that was close enough for us to make the drive with a toddler and a newborn and not go completely insane before we even got there. Also, all I think about when I think of Wilmington are the Nicholas Sparks movies filmed there and I get super fan girl excited.
I’ve been doing some research on the most important things we’ll need for the beach with a toddler and newborn in toe and I’ve written a list out for myself to makes sure I’ve included it all. This Mama needs a relaxing vacation so preparation is key! I’ve linked a bunch of stuff below so if you’re planning on going on a beach vacation with your kids, I hope my list makes your life a little easier :)
This list doesn’t just have to be for the beach…. most of this stuff you can take with you to the pool all summer too!
Beach Bag: You have to start with a cute beach bag! This popsicle one is absolutely adorable. If you don’t want your bag to be see through, these canvas tote beach bags are classic and durable.
Swim Suits: Old Navy/Gap are my go to stores for most of my kids clothes. So affordable and so cute. Love this swim suit for a boy and of course we have the American flag ones from last year that still fit him! Maya will spend most of her time in clothes on the beach since she’s still so little but if your baby girl is a bit older, I love the pineapple suit!!
Beach towels: One for each person. I found these at target and got one for Kyle and I. I had to get this Paw Patrol towel for Grayson because he’s obsessssssed and I got a cute pink towel for Maya.
Baby powder: I heard this is a must have to get all the sand off of you and the kiddos!
Sunscreen: We’ve heard really good things about Blue Lizard Australian baby sunscreen. You can use this one as a daily face moisturizer all summer! I also hear COOLA is a good brand that I might use for myself!
Wet/Dry bags: I keep these in my diaper bag as well just in case Grayson has an accident or gets super dirty while we are out and about. These will be perfect for the beach so his wet clothes don’t ruin everything else in the bag! Love this set so I have one for Grayson and one for Maya.
Beach tent/umbrella: We really like this beach tent but an umbrella would work too. Need a shaded area for Maya and breaks out of the sun!
Beach Caddy: A beach caddy could really be a lifesaver to hall all the stuff you need for everyone. This beach wagon is a good option too!
Beach hats: Maya won’t be spending anytime in the sun but this beach hat for a little girl would be smart to have. Love that it’s SPF protective. This one is perfect for Grayson. On a side note – how cute is this toddler Fedora?!?! I have to have it.
Beach shoes: I know Grayson will be spending a lot of time building castles and playing in the sand and I also know that sand can get pretty hot. These toddler crocs are a good beach shoe to keep their little feet comfortable or another option are these adorable water shoes!
Sand toys: well this is a no brainer! ;) love that this sand toy set comes in a nice bag!
Beach cooler: to stash all the snacks, juice boxes, bottles & beers! This Coleman cooler is a nice affordable option. If you want to spend a little more money, I’ve heard great things about RTIC coolers. And then there is always the classic yeti’s.
Now that we have the essentials out of the way, here is a list of fun things that might not be necessarily needed for your trip but could make your life more organized/easier and that’s always important for us Mama’s on vacation ;)
Snack organizer: whoever came up with the original idea for this is just a genius. Grab a Outus Crafts Organizer Storage Box and divide out all your toddlers favorite snacks! Bring this in the car or pack it in your beach bag for snacks on the beach! Some of our favorites snacks we will include are animal crackers, fruit snacks, strawberries, grapes, blueberries, cucumbers, carrots & pretzels. Also, include a few of these CuteZCute Bento Animals Food Picks and Forks in one of the compartments in the box so your toddle doesn’t get their sandy fingers all over the delicious food!
Mesh bags: these are perfect to keep in the car, bring with you on the beach or add to your diaper bag. I really like these Mesh Diaper Bag Organizer Inserts because they can be hooked together on one ring or taken off and used individually. I love the tabs on top so you can label each pouch & they are see through so you can see what’s inside. I’d use these mesh bags for first aid items, outdoor lotions (sunscreen, bug spray, hand sanitizer, etc) – we love these travel hand sanitizers, coloring books/crayons & other things to keep them entertained. I love these Melissa & Doug Water Reveal Pads (mess free!!) & small coloring booklets – perfect for traveling. Don’t forget to include a portable lap tray for the carseat so they have something to do their activities on!
Gathre Mat: We use our Gathre mat all the time when we are outside. I will probably bring it to lay on the sand so our towels aren’t directly on the sand. Biggest pet peeve is sand on my towel!!
Battery operated fan: I’m debating on getting this to keep Maya cool on the beach. I’m not sure it’s necessary but since she’s still so young, I don’t want her overheating. If I decide to get one, i’ll go with this portable fan.
Portable phone charger: between streaming music, taking pictures & videos and Grayson wanting to use my phone for god knows what, my phone battery won’t last long on the beach. I carry around this portable phone charger so I don’t miss out on a photo opt!
Ocean/beach books: read these to your toddler before your beach trip to get him excited about the ocean or bring them with you to the beach to read under the umbrella for a nice break out of the sun. Here are a few that look exciting! Wish for a Fish, Commotion in the Ocean, Pete the Cat: Pete at the Beach.
As I said, we’ve never been to Wilmington, so if anyone has any recommendations on what to do or where to go, please let me know! My parents are giving Kyle and I two nights for date night (just us….what?!) and we’d love to explore the town and go to a delicious restaurant for dinner. Let us know what’s good!