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Beach Packing List & Tips for Mom


Discover tips for a perfect day at the beach from moms just like you. From a beach packing list to time-saving tricks, this summer we have you covered.

Mom and Daughter Playing at the Beach

Keep it short and sweet. Go at off-hours to benefit from smaller crowds, indirect sun and well-napped kids.

  • “We plan short beach visits and the adults tag-team watching the kids.”
    Diane C., Massachusetts
  • “We go late in the day and stay for an hour or two. The kids don’t wear out, and we minimize sun exposure, too.”
    Mireya S., California

Get in gear. Your minimalist beach days are over. Umbrellas create a shady oasis, coolers are a godsend for hungry kids, and don’t forget the toys!

  • “We take small plastic dinos and either build prehistoric habitats or pretend we're on an archaeological dig.”
    Kris W., Ohio
  • “Put sand toys in a plastic net carrier and dip the whole mess in the ocean to rinse off the sand.”
    Lisa P., Massachusetts

Pack wisely. Keep your car stocked with allergy medication, bug spray, and a first-aid kit during summer months. Beach and waterpark days often involve 10-minute parking-lot treks, so whenever possible, think wheels.

  • “We love chairs that double as backpacks for easy hauling.”
    Natasha Y., Massachusetts
  • “My 20" wheeled double jogger glides across the sand and serves as our pack mule.”
    –Pamela M., Connecticut

Respect the rays! Floppy hats, sunglasses, and plenty of sunscreen keep kids apple-cheeked, not red-cheeked. Applying sunscreen can be an art and a science – especially with wet kids.

  • “We always put the sunscreen on before we leave the house.”
    –Nancy R., Massachusetts
  • “My kids wear long-sleeved rash guards and hats when we’re in the sun for any length of time.”
    –Lauren W., Rhode Island
  • Spray-on sunblock is easiest to apply—and keep a stick in your purse for touch-ups.”
    –Rachel A., Washington, DC

Leave the beach at the beach. Clean up what you can—and then shrug off what you can’t. There’s plenty of time for post-beach clean-up – and hair repair – when you get home.

  • “We leave a gallon of tap water in the car, where it warms all day. It’s awesome for washing off feet and hands.”
    –Janet D., Vermont
  • “Pack baby powder for the wet-and-sandy post-swim clothing change. The sand falls off and clothes don’t stick to wet skin.”
    –Jasmine E., Massachusetts
  • “I try to let go of expectations that I can keep my kids and car clean!”
    –Carolyn F., Oregon

Healthy snacks keep moods sunny. But say yes to a few treats—what’s summer without them?

  • “Sandwiches wrapped in foil can be held without getting sandy.”
    –Kristina C., New Hampshire
  • “Plenty of water is key—even a cooler with ice to chew on.”
    –Stacy S., Maryland
  • “Bring frozen grapes for a healthy, bite-size treat (halve them for little ones).”
    –Lori S., Massachusetts
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