We’re getting pretty excited around our house. We’ll be heading off on a family beach vacation in a couple of weeks to get a break from the dreary Canadian winter.
My wonderful mom, who I love very much, is a bit of a nervous packer. Whenever she gets ready to go away she starts packing two weeks in advance, setting out her clothing, her toiletries etc and making sure everything is properly organized and thought through. I think some of her packing anxiety has transferred to me…. Even though we’re a couple of weeks away from our trip I’m already thinking about what we need to bring and what we better not forget.
When it’s just E and I traveling I’m a bit less nervous but add R to the mix and I’m constantly thinking of what I need to get before we go, where to buy it and whether or not if I forget something I’ll be able to find it at our destination.
Family List: What to Pack for a Family Beach Vacation
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- Sunscreen. obviously a very important item to remember. We like to use sunscreens that have a SPF of 50 or greater, are waterproof and sweat proof.
- Leave in hair conditioner/de-tangler. swimming in the ocean and the pool can be very drying for your hair. Since both R and I have crazy curly hair we need the extra conditioning to make sure it doesn’t get too dry and crunchy.
- Bug spray. I don’t use bug spray very often but if you’re visiting somewhere that the Zika virus is present, it’s a good idea to take the necessary precautions. This is particularly important if you’re pregnant or planning to get pregnant. To learn more about Zika check out the CDC website.
- Aloe vera. We bring Aloe vera gel in case we miss a spot with sunscreen or experience any other mild skin irritations. It’s cooling and refreshing, which helps with burns and itchiness.
- Reusable Water Bottles. We usually have one reusable water bottle per family member so we can keep filling them with water throughout the day. Staying hydrated when playing outside is very important plus we like to consider the environment and try not to use plastic bottles that often.
Mom’s List: What to Pack for a Family Beach Vacation
- Comfortable bathing suit. Having family time is the most important part of a family beach vacation. If you’re stuck in a bathing suit that’s uncomfortable, too low cut or exposes a bit too much skin when you bend down it’s going to be hard to play with your kids. While I used to wear a bikini, one c-section and one bout of thyroid cancer later I’m sticking to either a one piece or tankini. The more coverage the better!
- Bathing suit cover up. If you’re not 100% comfortable running around after your kids in a bathing suit, then a cute coverup is a definite must have. I like to buy coverups that look like dresses so I can just pull it on and head out for lunch or to the store if I need to.
- Wide brimmed hat. E tells me I look ridiculous in my big hat but I like wearing a wide brimmed hat because it covers my face and neck. A few years ago I had melasma on my upper lip (also known as the “mask of pregnancy”) and the sun made it really dark. To avoid ever getting it again I try to wear a hat, put on loads of sunscreen and stay in the shade.
- Sunnies. Wide sunglasses go with my theme of covering up when out in the sun. I also find them glamorous and fun to wear (until R decides to take them for himself). I can’t seem to find the exact Tory Burch sunglasses I have but these ones are pretty similar.
- Sundresses. What’s easier to throw on after a day at the beach then a comfy sundress? Here are some that I really like.
- Beach bag. As the mom I find that I’m often the designated family schlepper. As a result, I need a waterproof, good quality bag that I don’t mind getting wet or sandy. I’ve professed my love for the Longchamp Le Pilage tote in one of my earlier posts. Since I have a couple of these purses, I use one for work and travel and one for the beach. It’s a great size, is waterproof and easy to clean if it gets sandy or dirty.
Kid’s List: What to Pack for a Family Beach Vacation
- Hat. For kiddos who are going to be playing under the sun all day a good hat is super important. My son loves his sports teams so we have a few baseball caps to choose from – Blue Jays, Raptors or Montreal Canadiens. As long as he’s wearing it and it’s protecting his eyes and his head from the sun I’m happy.
- Bathing suits and Rash guards. Of course what would a family beach vacation be without swimming! In the ocean or the pool and few bathing suits and rash guards are important items to pack. I like using rash guards since they protect R from the sun a bit more than a regular t-shirt and they keep him warm in the water.
- Goggles. Like many kids, R doesn’t enjoy water in his eyes. Initially he didn’t want to go swimming at all because of it. Once we bought him a pair of goggles swimming lessons and everything else involving water became a lot easier.
- Crocs. These slip on rubber shoes are great for the beach, the pool and even heading out for dinner or lunch. They are comfy, waterproof, light to pack and easy to clean. Each year we buy R a new pair for the summer and vacations.
What do you pack for your family beach vacations? Is there anything I’ve missed? Please let me know in the comments!
For more info on traveling with kids, please check out these posts:
- Secrets to traveling with kids
- Top tips for going to Disneyland with a 4 year old
- How to beat the post holiday blues
Here are some of the link ups and blog hops where I’ll be sharing this post.