Everybody loves a trip to the beach — but as parents of toddlers can attest, traveling with young children can also be an exhausting endeavor at times. This can be especially true for a destination like the beach, where a lot of sand-, surf- and sunshine-specific gear can not only come in handy, but can often prove downright vital to the health and happiness of everyone involved.
But, of course, parents of little ones don’t have to let a trip to the shoreline intimidate them — with the right planning and tactics, the beach can be a blast for everyone. Before you head for the coast, consider these eight tips for surviving a beach trip with a toddler in tow:
Plan (and pack) ahead. Well before you leave home, start making a list of all the gear and supplies you’ll need for your beach trip, then start packing well before time to leave and check items off the list as you pack them. As with most trips, you’re still likely to discover that you’ve forgotten something once you get there, but your chances of covering all the bases are much higher if you start planning and packing early.
Schedule ample downtime. Be realistic and recognize that your toddler isn’t going to be able to endure especially long stretches of any activity, whether it’s time spent sitting on the beach, playing in the sand, swimming in the ocean or pool, sightseeing around town, or doing pretty much anything else. Plan for shorter stretches of these and other activities, followed by some much-needed relaxation before attempting to tackle the next activity on your vacation itinerary.
Prioritize sun protection. When headed to the beach, we all need to protect ourselves from overexposure to the harmful rays of the sun, but this is especially important for the youngest of beach-goers. Be sure to slather on the sunscreen, pack his or her sunglasses and a sun hat, and consider bringing along a beach umbrella or a small shade tent.
Go early — or late. On that note, try to plan your beach time for mid to late morning, ending with lunch at the beach, or late afternoon following your child’s afternoon nap, ending with a seaside picnic. Either way, you’re likely catch the more moderate temperatures that come early and late in the day — and miss the most intense midday sunshine.
Bring plenty of water and snacks. Even on short beach treks, you never want to risk having a hungry/thirsty child pitching a fit because you didn’t come prepared with food and water. Keep easy-to-carry snacks like individually-wrapped cracker packs or granola bars handy, and bring a couple or a few along every time you head out. And, of course, you never want to take a toddler anywhere without bringing a sippy cup along — especially when headed to a place like the beach, where staying hydrated is key. Bonus tip: Pack your snacks in zipper-sealed plastic bags, and be sure to get all the sand off your and your kid’s hands before digging in. Few things will ruin a meal or snack quite like getting sand in/on your food.
Ditch the devices. We get enough time on our screens when we’re back home navigating the daily grind. And vacations are meant to provide a break from the routine. So unless you really need it, consider leaving your phone in the hotel room so you can spend some time in the sand (and in the moment) with your toddler, distraction-free.
Take advantage of the resort pool/water features. Both you and your kid are sure to love some pool time, and many beachside resorts boast not only a pool, but a kiddie pool as well. In fact, at Long Bay Resort on the Myrtle Beach oceanfront, the on-property Silly Sub Water Park features splash pads, a spraying serpent, buckets bursting with water, and plenty more opportunities for wet and wild fun with your toddler. Be sure to enjoy some time relaxing poolside together, which provides an easy and relaxing escape, with no need for sand cleanup afterward.
Follow your kid’s lead. Sure, you’ll be doing the planning, and most of the sightseeing and activities you pursue will be your calls to make. But you’ll often find that if the kid’s happy, everybody else is, too. Don’t get so set on your itinerary that you can’t follow your toddler’s lead and have some fun doing what he or she wants to do. You might be surprised where the day takes you — and how much fun you can have going with the flow.
After an exciting day out on the Grand Strand with the kids, head back to Long Bay Resort on the Myrtle Beach oceanfront to enjoy your comfortable accommodations and the resort’s long list of fun, on-property amenities. Book your family getaway at Long Bay Resort today — and get ready for an amazing time on the Grand Strand that visitors both young and old can enjoy.