If you ever have been to the beach for a vacation in the sun, you already know you need to take sunscreen, beach towels, a beach umbrella and aloe vera.
But here are a few things to add to your packing list that you may not think about:
- Moo Cream: We learned this lesson the hard way on a beach trip three years ago. When little kids play in the sand, their body parts rub against their swim suits and sand. This can be very painful for the kids — especially the boys. Moo Cream is the most gentle cream we have found to help soothe this chafing.
- Vaseline: Before the kids go out on the beach, we use Vaseline to provide a barrier of protection against those same body parts that will rub and chafe.
- Flashlights: Walking the beach after dark is a great time of discovery and exploration. But you need to have flashlights for each child so they can look for sand crabs and watch the waves. Make sure you take an extra set of batteries. You don’t want to have to buy them while you’re away. Flashlights are also a great thing to keep beside your bed when staying in the hotel or condo in case the power goes off and you need to find your way in an unfamiliar environment.
- Glow-in-the-dark rings: While walking the beach one night, we saw some kids wearing the necklaces and bracelets. This is a great idea I wish I had thought about. Not only did they look cool, but they also helped the families keep an eye on where the kids were playing.
- Ziploc baggies: Great for holding each child’s seashell collection as well as using for snacks when they need a pick-me-up on the beach.
- Sharpie marker: Great for when you need to pack sandwiches for picnic lunch and don’t want to accidentally serve a bologna sandwich without the mayo to the person who specifically asked for mayo. The marker also helps identify the shell bags for each child.
- Face masks: We took a pair of face masks for all three kids. The mask helped protect their eyes and nose from the salty ocean water but it allowed them to discover a whole world under the surface.
- Shell bag: We were able to buy small mesh bags in the summer toys section of the local Wal-Mart while we were on vacation. They cost under $3 and were perfect for each child to collect their treasures on the beach.
- DVD for kids: Even though we really limit electronics when we are on vacation, there are still times when you just need to let the kids totally unwind. (Most condos and hotels will have a DVD player or you can download a movie to your mobile device.) After getting as much sun as they can handle, there’s nothing better than almost two hours of down time watching a favorite movie to recharge the batteries and get them ready for more vacation fun
- Tylenol or Benadryl: No matter how much sun screen you use, you’re still going to get more sun at a day on the beach than you will at home in your backyard. A little medicine goes along way.
- Plastic trash bags: Toss a couple of extra plastic bags in your beach bag. That way, you can collect your water bottles, coke cans and snack trash and not leave a mess on the beach. (Walmart grocery bags work perfectly).
It’s always cheaper to buy things you need before you leave on your trip so start thinking now about what you might need and get stocked up. Then you’ll be ready by the time you hit the beach.
Sharon Williams blogs about saving money in real life at www.reallifedeals.com and ways to pursue your hobbies without breaking your budget at www.hobbiesonabudget.com.