Summer beach trips are annual traditions for many families. Those in landlocked states make the most of lakes and pools when they’re far from the coast. There is something for all ages to enjoy by the water: Watersports, relaxing in the shade, ice cream, seafood. However, when taking children or grandchildren to the beach, the sun, sand, and shift in their normal routine could upset little ones. To make the most of trips with kids, we compiled a few things parents and grandparents can do to make beach trips less stressful and more joyful:
- Make a time capsule. Remember your beach trip for many years to come. Draw pictures, write letters about the day, gather seashells and rocks and seal the day in a shoebox or metal tin.
- Pack a solar charger. To prevent kids’ digital toys from losing battery power—or having your phone’s battery die!—invest in a portable solar charger. Most of these devices are affordable, simple to use, and can help minimize little ones’ frustrations that surface when their favorite digital game is unavailable.
- Hire a sitter. If you’re traveling with multiple children, one child might need a nap or not feel well after too much fun in the sun. Instead of one cranky child ruining the day for all, an extra hand helping out during a beach trip could entertain a child elsewhere. Whether a traveling babysitter spends a quiet afternoon in a hotel room watching movies, along the boardwalk, or a nearby children’s museum—having extra help ensures others on the beach trip can still have time at the beach.
- Search for treasure. Some metal detectors cost less than $50 and are often light and easy for kids to carry. They make a great gift and offer years of enjoyment. Walk along the surf and let little ones find their next treasure.
- Picnic of all the favorites. Instead of making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for everyone – make the day special and pack each person’s favorite foods. Having a full meal, plenty of drinks, and cookie snacks helps avert a cranky child. This takes minimal extra time and can go a long way at keeping a child from throwing a temper tantrum if they’re a picky eater. Bonus points if you cut sandwiches into their favorite shapes. (Plus, our Walkers Shortbread snack packs already come sealed in individual bags and our Mini Bags are resealable so you don’t need to worry about sand creeping in.)
- Extra clothes – even for day trips. An extra change of clothes is common in travel bags for infants and small toddlers, but folks of all ages should have a spare outfit and bathing suit. Whether you choose to stay overnight because you’re having so much fun, or an unexpected incident ruins a child’s clothing, having a change of clothing can help kids stay comfortable.