Planning a Beach Trip with Toddlers? Essential Tips & What to Pack Checklist

Heading to the beach with a toddler is fun and creating memories with your little one is always a welcome event. Having to pack all of their items and remember the essentials can prove to be daunting. There is a way to have a carefree and smooth day. We hope to alleviate some of the stress of packing and remembering what is needed by providing a few tips as well as a list of essentials that they will need to enjoy a day at the beach with you.

Remember these tips when you are planning an outing to Hilton Head Beach with toddlers

Go on their schedule

Toddlers wake up early, extra early. They typically take naps at least one to two times a day. Plan around those times, as well as feeding times. You do not want a starving toddler on the beach. Head to the beach early after breakfast or wait until later in the day after a nap or two is out of the way. You not only go when your toddler’s list of needs are mostly out of the way, but you also avoid the middle of the day when crowds and the UV rays are at their highest.

No Scream, Sunscreen

Many toddlers hate sitting semi-still while being slathered with sunscreen that protects their skin. Sunscreen needs time to sink into your skin. Your best plan is to sunscreen your toddlers down before hitting the beach, while still at home. Once you’ve applied the first round, its safe to go out in the sun, but you should set your phone’s timer to remember when to reapply.

Remember your Tote

Pack your beach tote the night before. Include extra sunscreen, lip balm, towels, Ziplock baggies or other bags that are waterproof for carrying home wet gear. Remember, waterproof, easy to clean sand off totes made of heavy duty materials are the best totes to bring to the beach. Straps will break if they are not reinforced and you’ll want to wipe out the tote at the end of the day because it will inevitably be filled with lots of sand.

Have a Shelter Plan

You will appreciate a tent or umbrella, or both on a hot, sunny day. It is a nice place to cool off, eat under, and just get out of the sun for a moment or two without having to go back to the car or house. If you are going to pack a tent, make sure you know how to set it up. Bring a hammer or mallet with you if you need to pound stakes into the ground.

Cooler Bags

Pack lunch and snacks for the whole family in cooler bags or one large cooler. You should make sure that it is lightweight and easy to carry after you pack it. Remember you may also have to carry the toddler.

Pack Double the Water

Double up on your water intake when you are out in the hot sun. Most of the time, families pack too much food and not enough water. You can freeze water bottles the night before and pack them in the cooler, in your tote bag and have the kids carry one or two with you while you are setting up your space on the beach.

Essential Products for the Beach

  1. Water Bottles
  2. Coolers
  3. Broad Spectrum SPF for all ages, toddlers to adults
  4. Sunscreen for lips
  5. Sunglasses for all
  6. Umbrellas, tents and other forms of shelter
  7. Beach Chairs
  8. Towels and large beach blankets
  9. Extra totes and bags that you can use to put wet clothing and sandy towels in at the end of the trip
  10. Food that has been split into separate containers and baggies for everyone (this ensures that your big bag of chips doesn’t get ruined by sandy, little, hungry hands).
  11. Your camera
  12. Beach games, sand toys of all types/shapes
  13. Extra clothing – just bring a lot, there might be some mishaps, you won’t regret having extra clothing on hand.
  14. Little swimmies or life jacket if you prefer to have your little one wear one for extra safety
  15. A kite, if you have older children joining you

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