Best Family Travel Games For Beach Vacation
It is a good idea to pack a few family travel games to take on your beach vacation.
Why to pack family travel games:
- Bad weather happens if that day at the beach ends up with an afternoon thunderstorm, then youve got a back up indoor option.
- Family Bonding which occurs when laughing and playing with your kids.
- Fill the gaps sometimes you just need something to keep the kids busy for an hour between activities. A quick and fun card or board game will come in handy.
- Wind down after a busy day of sightseeing its hard to head directly to bed. Try letting the kids play a board game while you relax with a good book.
Snacks And Bottled Water
Similar to road trip snacks, opt for snacks that are portable and mess-free when considering a food packing list for a beach vacation or trip to the beach.
Insert all of your personal preferences when it comes to fun and healthy snacks and beverages to keep you and your littles hydrated and fed.
Meanwhile, keep food safety in mind by making sure that perishables are kept chilled in an insulated tote or soft-sided cooler, along with any chocolate that will otherwise surely melt.
We recently purchased and love, this collapsible cooler that can easily be stored in a suitcase if youre flying to a beach destination.
Essentials To Include On Your Family Beach Vacation Packing List For Your Next Escape To The Coast
A sign of the times: Add these pandemic supplies to your family beach vacation packing list.
- Comfortable masks for the whole family. These lightweight masks are the familys favorite.
- Disinfectant wipes.
- Hand sanitizer.
The sun provides a dose of Vitamin D, which our body needs to absorb calcium and promote bone growth. However, the harmful rays of the sun can increase your risk for skin cancers, including melanoma. The sun also causes skin damage and premature aging. Plus, as you know, sunburns hurt.
- Pack sun protection. Make sure it is not expired. Re-apply often, meaning every 60-80 minutes and after swimming.
- Lip balm with SPF.
- Epi-Pen if Concerned with Allergies.
Snacks and hydration.
Beach activities can bring on thirst and hunger, so be prepared, add these necessities to your family beach vacation packing list.
- A soft cooler full of cold drinks. **Do not bring glass bottles to the beach.**
- Grab-and-go, non-perishable, individual snacks such as pretzels, chips, popcorn, and cookies for a sweet treat.
- A simple picnic with sandwiches plus some cut up veggies and fruit.
Now on to swim essentials.
Pack a swimsuit that makes you feel comfortable and confident. Grab a cover-up.
**Ninja Mom Tip: Wear a modest cover-up that can double as a summer dress, pack some undergarments, and be on your way for an evening of fun straight from the beach.**
And dont forget your flops.
Swim essentials for the littlesto add to your family beach vacation packing list.
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Mesh Laundry Bag With Strap
So, I had seen this item on packing lists, but I didnt quite get the point of it. I bought the bag pictured below at Target for a few bucks.
My thought process was that it wasnt too big of a waste of money if I ended up not using it. This bag turned out to be SO HELPFUL though!
The mesh laundry bag is huge, and we were able to stuff it full of our beach items. After my kids played in the sand with their toys, we put all the items back in the bag and rinsed it in the ocean.
This helped get a ton of the sand off so we werent carrying it back to the house. We also hosed off the whole bag and toys before storing it for the next day.
I noticed a lot of the bags didnt have a strap like this one. The strap made it so easy to carry it back and forth to the beach on our most recent vacation to Seaside, FL!
Swim Goggles & Flippers
Many kids dislike water in their eyes and who can blame them. Especially when its salty seawater!
A pair of goggles or a swim mask with a snorkel can be a fun way of keeping their eyes protected from the stinging saltwater.
If you are heading out snorkelling during your beach trip, having flippers and proper snorkel gear are also essentials for your beach day if hiring is not an option or if you prefer to use your own gear.
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Jbl Clip 3 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker
A beach day falls flat without a rocking playlist, and this JBL speaker is your solution. Waterproof, portable and boasting an integrated carabiner for hooking onto your chair or umbrella, the Bluetooth speaker has 10 hours of playtime and is an Amazon fave with nearly 32,000 positive reviews.
If youre looking for an even bigger sound, opt for JBLs Xtreme 3, which has enormous sound packed with tons of bass, is dust- and waterproof and has 15 hours of playtime and comes with a carrying strap.
/8 Snorkel Masks & Gear
It might be possible to rent snorkel gear, but it’s easy enough to find and is usually pretty affordable. Snorkel masks are a great thing to bring on vacation for families with avid swimmers, especially if the destination is somewhere tropical. Snorkel gear can even be used in clear lakes where the water is shallow, so it’s an easy thing to pack for big underwater adventures.
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Packing Tips Before You Get Started
- Check the local forecast. While bathing suits and shorts are normal staples for your Outer Banks summer vacation, you will likely also end up needing a sweatshirt , a rain jacket, etc.
- In addition to your family beach vacation packing list, your preparation should include making a list of activities planned for the vacation. Include outings and day trips, beach-specific activities like fishing or biking and events like special dinners or meetings. Make sure you list any special clothing and equipment that’s required.
- Make a family beach checklist of of all the items they need. Start making your lists a couple of weeks before you leave so that you can be prepared and aren’t packing haphazardly at the last minute.
- Organize a wardrobe on paper for each day. Write down everything individually including underwear and sleepwear. Be specific about items of apparel: short black skirt, linen blazer, white sleeveless tee, etc. Then review each day’s wardrobe needs and start to consolidate. Arrange for clothing items to do double and triple duty to reduce your chances of over packing. Nearly all homes have laundry on site so it’s easy to wash clothes to wear again later in the week.
Tip:Try and pack a couple days before your trip. The less rushed you are when packing, the less likely you are to forget something important.
Groceries And Meal Planning For Family Beach Vacation
When traveling with children on a family vacation it is helpful to have access to a kitchen to prepare meals. There are times when a hotel stay is appropriate, but for a family beach vacation we prefer a rental house or condo because there is a kitchen. Kids want to eat all day long so its easier to stock the kitchen with groceries at the beginning of the week. And then have access to prepare food whenever you want to.
Its helpful to put together a grocery list ahead of time and plan simple, quick and easy meals that your family likes to eat. Consider bringing any dry goods and pantry items with you, and then pick up fresh produce and refrigerated items when you arrive at the beach. Ordering ahead from Walmart Grocery Pick Up will also save you time.
We often carry a cooler so we can add groceries with a bag of ice, and pick them up before we arrive at our beach property. Often check in isnt until after 3:00 PM so we try to arrive at the beach destination earlier in the day so we have time to pick up the groceries.
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Choosing Our Flex Homes
Many of our villa rentals also benefit from our new flex cancellation policy. Youll be free to cancel within the specified time for any reason, for a full refund. Alternatively, amend your travel dates for free.
To benefit from this extra peace-of-mind, reserve a vacation home with one of the following badges:
- Flex 14 Cancel for a full refund or amend your dates free of charge, up to 14 days before check in.*
- Flex 30 Cancel for a full refund or amend dates free of charge, up to 30 days before check in.*
*Ts & Cs apply.
An avid travel writer who has lived in the UK, Switzerland and Italy, Tamara enjoys nothing more than being inspired by the world around her. Her favourite vacations have been to New York, Estonia, Croatia, Peru and Vietnam. Her next bucket list destinations? The state of California, the exotic Caribbean and America’s Deep South!
Beach Vacation Clothes To Pack
- Beach swimsuits, bikinis or swim shorts
- A pair of flip flops or sandals
- Beach cover ups
- Fresh underwear
- Vacation clothing, such as shorts, t-shirts and dresses for exploring
- A linen pashmina or large scarf perfect as a towel, sarong, blanket, bag, etc
- Light waterproof anoraks
- A light jumper/hoody it can get nippy when the wind changes direction, or the sun goes down
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What To Bring To The Beach House
When renting a house for your beach vacation, consider adding a few items to take advantage of your home away from home. Whether you pack these items at home or add them to your shopping list when you arrive at your beach destination, consider including these on your family beach vacation packing list to make your vacation a little easier.
- If there is a washing machine, pack laundry detergent. Rentals often have some, but it might not be your preferred brand, or there may not be enough for all of your laundry.
- We bring paper products, including paper towels, paper plates, and disposable utensils and cups. With so much activity during our beach trip, we dont always stay ahead of the dishes. We use these as backups when the dishes are all dirty, but wed rather be out at the beach.
- Your favorite specialty kitchenware that may not be available at the beach house, like an immersion blender, citrus juicer, or garlic press.
- We bring pre-mixed seasonings for planned meals, so we dont need to transport or buy full bottles of herbs and spices.
- We also pack hand soap for the beach house because the small bars usually provided are very drying.
- Extra toilet paper because the rental house often has only a roll or two.
We like to keep this list relatively simple, so were not overpacking. Here are more ideas to consider for your beach vacation checklist for family vacations when staying at a rental house.
Waterproof Camera Or Case For Your Phone
Throughout the holiday, youll definitely be taking photos on your phone. But what about capturing the kids in the water? Get a waterproof phone case and you can take your phone swimming with you!
If youre worried about losing your phone in the water why not add a waterproof camera to your packing list to capture the true essence of your beach vacation.
Get unbeatable shots of your kids on the beach, or some action shots of your kids first time in the water with plenty of waterproof cameras available at an affordable price today, now is a great time to add a waterproof camera to your standard beach accessories.
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Beach Tent Or Umbrella
Either a beach umbrella or beach tent are good options for providing the family with some shade while spending time at the beach. Especially if you are planning to spend a few hours or a full day at the beach!
A beach tent or shelter is our preference, although make sure its one you know how to pack down again when youre finished. Weve come close to divorce over trying to pack up a beach tent .
Practice at home before you leave for the beach so you know how to operate it!
Cool Cabanas beach shelters are by far the most popular here in Australia. The beaches are always lined with them!
How To Pack Your Vehicle For A Family Road Trip
Each person should pack a small bag to keep their personal items / toys / activities close by. These items will help entertain the kids on a long family road trip.
Make sure you keep needed items within easy reach. The last thing you want to realize when youre headed down the interstate at 70 mph is that little Tommys activity bag is packed deep inside the trunk with all the suitcases!
Think about what can be stored in the back for use at stops. And if youre stopping overnight in a hotel to break up your journey, then make sure to pack an overnight bag. This should include changes of clothes for the entire family, toothbrushes and basic toiletries, and dont forget swimsuits if you plan to use the hotel swimming pool.
We find it easier to pack one small carry-on size suitcase for the entire family, for the overnight stop, rather than dragging everyones big suitcases into the hotel for one night.
We always carry these Must Pack Car Supplies for a Road Trip with Kids in an easy to reach place. This includes a Car Clean-Up Kit which helps to take care of unexpected messes, injuries, and the occasional upset stomach. These items include: napkins, paper towels, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, Kleenex tissues, towels, Kids N Pets Odor Remover Spray, trash bags and a travel first aid kit.
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Beach Shovels And Pails
Every kid loves to dig and build when at the beach!
For that reason, be sure to leave room in your beach bag to bring along the necessary beach items to make a classic sandcastle or to execute an epic sand dig!
Having a beach shovel with a sturdy handle that wont break mid-construction is a must.
If you have enough room, collapsible sand pails are fun, additional things to bring to the beach.
Additional planning tip: You may run into a family on their vacation departure day who offers to give you their sand and/or pool toys.
This is a win for them to not have to haul them home, and just as good for you to score some new stuff!
R emember to pay it forward when its your turn to leave by gifting the beach toys to another family just arriving.
Countdown To The Ultimate Beach Vacation
Picture: Have fun with your favorite Sesame Street Characters at Beaches Turks & Caicos all-inclusive family resort.
Now that packing for your family beach vacation isnt so much of a mammoth task anymore, the only thing left to do is wait in blissful anticipation of arriving at a destination filled with golden sandy shores and sparkling white sand, where the weather is a little slice of heaven in itself. When you get there, youll be able to create more amazing family memories, while soaking in every last bit of your tropical escape!
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Organizing Your Beach Bag
For lots of activities, you’ll have a lot of supplies. From sandals and walking shoes to sunscreen and shades, you need to keep it all organized. This is doubly true if your beach vacation includes kayaking, boating, or other outdoor adventures.
Keep your beach essentials straight with packing organizers like packing cubes, and save space by compressing your clothing. You can then quickly slide organizers of any kind straight into the drawers of your hotel dresser, making unpacking a breeze.
For beach vacations when youre on the move more than youre staying put, keeping organized with packing cubes makes it easy to load up and head out if everything is contained. Compressing your clothing saves up to eighty percent more space, so for extended trips, it can reduce the amount of luggage you needmaking it more likely you can fit everything into a roomy travel backpack.
Use packing folders for your dress clothes to keep them nice and neat so you can enjoy date night without worrying about wrinkles. Using zippered compartments for things like toiletries makes it easy to keep track of makeup, jewelry, and other necessities.
To keep your electronics sand-free, consider a packing organizer designed to keep your cords, cables, and gadgets in order.
Lastly, youll surely need to bring some food to the beachand a way to keep it cool. Coolers are too bulky for a beach vacation, so instead pack a large lunch bag or insulated bag with your food essentials.
Sunscreen For The Entire Family
One of the most essential travel tips and beach vacation packing must-haves is sunscreenand plenty of it!
Be sure that your sunscreen is 30 SPF or higher and blocks both UVA and UVB rays.
Our family of 5 goes through 1 spray bottle of sunscreen every 3 days when vacationing in tropical climates.
My favorite sunscreen products overall are the Neutrogena Beach Defense products.
Additional planning tip: Apply sunscreen before getting to the beach or pool for maximum absorption and less hassle upon arrival.
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