Low Stress Beach Day Trips
Want some ideas on how to take a low hassle,low cost beach trip with the kids?
If you’ve gone to the beach with kids, chances are you’ve had good days and bad days.
I’ve had days where it was the constant stress of “I’m hungry”, “I need to go to the bathroom” “When are we gonna be there?’ “Hurry up, we gotta go” etc that have left me wondering why I even bothered at all. But after years of slowly learning how to minimize the stress, we’ve found ways to have a great family day at the beach with way less stress by using a little planning.
I’m writing this to help you have the good beach days. In my opinion, if you truly love the beach it’s just too great of an experience to stop going. With a little planning and tweaking you can create memorable beach days that the whole family will remember for years to come.
Here are some of the changes we’ve made over the years to give us the best shot at a low stress, easy going beach day with kids.
Low Hassle Beach Day Tips
Plan your meals, water and snacks ahead of time(Saves $$ and Stress)
Wake up and have a filling breakfast such as Oatmeal or a Breakfast bake made the night before. You could also make breakfast sandwiches the night before and freeze them, and microwave them in the morning
Pack lunch for everyone and bring it with you
Our go-to lunch right now is hot dogs(individually wrapped in foil) They stay warm all day and you can fit a bunch of them in an Insulated Lunch Bag. Pack Mustard and Ketchup in a separate cooler bag and you're good to go. I'm brainstorming some healthier options, but this really works nice for us, so we're sticking with it for now
Pack Plenty of Snacks
You won’t have the luxury of grabbing something from the kitchen when the kids get hungry, so think ahead and pack plenty of snacks for the day. KIDS ARE ALWAYS HUNGRY!!
Some relatively healthy ideas are Mozzarella Cheese Sticks, Grapes, Yogurt Sticks
Try to include some snacks that the whole family enjoys to keep it simple
Less is more
Everything you bring is going to weigh you down and contribute to added stress. Consider dropping the following from your packing
Chairs(We either bring just 2 or none at all)
Excess Towels(You can sun dry and share a few towels)
Excessive beach toys (Set a rule for the kids that whatever they want to bring, it is their responsibility for carrying it)
Pick a strategic spot out ahead of time
For us this means we pick a spot directly in front of
Lifeguard station(I can't keep eyes on all my kids at once)
Bathrooms(They will need to use the bathroom and with 7 kids, for us this could add up to a lot of wasted time walking back and forth to the bathroom. When we’re set right in front of them the problem's solved and we can have the older ones take the younger ones up to the bathroom etc)
If you have a choice between different beach towns, consider the drive time carefully
We used to drive 2.5 hrs to Ocean City, NJ which amounted to 5 hours of driving and maybe 4 or 5 hours on the beach. We always felt rushed to get there and we were exhausted at the end of the day
Now we drive 1 hour to Ocean Grove, NJ and the time difference instantly puts less stress on us. It’s opened up the possibility of ½ day beach trips, so if we get a late start we don't sweat it. It also allows us more time on the beach since its a much shorter drive. We can stay later since we are much closer and still get back for dinner or bedtime if we want. The drive no longer "hangs over us" like it use to
Pack a bag with all pajamas, training pull-ups, diapers and put the kids in pajamas before you leave the beach.
Most of the time they'll fall asleep in the car on the ride home, and you can transport them right to bed
The worst is waking them from a deep sleep after the drive home and readying them for bed, and it ends the day in stress instead of relaxation
Use Baby Powder to get the sand off at the end of the day instead of showers
½ Hour before leaving, make sure everybody gets out of the water and doesn’t go back in and dries off
Instead of showers, use the baby powder on your sandy spots and the sand will wipe right off
We’ve found this to be way easier than trying to shower and dry 7 kids and keep them from getting sandy right afterwards when they're still drying and the sand sticks right to them
Time went from 20 min or so to 10 min once we tried this
Have a Beach Essentials Packing List and check it before you leave(Here's mine)
Spray Sunscreen(Works better for us than lotion for applying to the kids)
Formula/Bottles for Baby
Diaper Bag with Wipes, Swim Diapers, Regular Diapers, Plastic Shopping Bags(For trash)
Face Stick Sunscreen(Same as the spray-sun screen, easiest method for protecting our faces from the sun)
Beach Blanket and a few Towels
Keep Experimenting and never give up! If you love the beach but are getting burnt out after a couple trips, don't be afraid to experiment with different ways of going about it to make things smoother. These are just some of the ways we've been able to simplify things to make beach days fun for the whole family, but what works for you might be different. Keep trying different things, and find out what works for you!
Let me know your beach day ideas and tips in the comments below!