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Beach Vacation with Toddlers? Go for It!

Beach Vacation with Toddlers? Go for It!

Sunshine, blue sky, warm sand between your toes, and the calming sound of ocean waves hitting the shore. Doesn’t it sound wonderful and relaxing? Add a toddler or preschooler to the picture and it may not sound quite as relaxing, but a beach vacation with young children can still be wonderful with some patience and a little bit of planning.

Choose the right location for your family

When picking a spot to set up for a day at the beach, choose wisely. Make sure that the area is family friendly. It is also wise to make sure there are public restrooms available. Picnic areas, public showers, and restaurants nearby are also a bonus.

Bring the basics

When packing up for the beach make sure you have the essentials–a stocked diaper bag, lots of water, snacks, towels, extra swimsuits, and sunscreen. If you are transporting little ones along with a lot of beach gear, figure out what stroller or wagon that would work best to drag across the sand. Use makeshift sand toys such as cups, plastic containers, or inflatable items that are easy to travel with.

Sun protection

Apply a high level of sunscreen to protect everyone from sunburn and reapply frequently. Use hats and protective swimsuits so that a sunburn doesn’t ruin the rest of your vacation. Find a place with shade or set up umbrellas or tents to create a shady spot. This will make the day more pleasurable for everyone. Try putting a inexpensive baby pool in the shade to keep little ones out of direct sunlight.

Have a backup plan

Plan alternative things to do in the area in case weather doesn’t allow for a beach day. Families may also choose to take one day out of the sun and sand. Many beach vacation destinations have other options for entertainment such as an aquarium, mini golf, shopping, go-carts, or water parks.

The type of vacation you take may change quite a bit after you become a parent, but it doesn’t have to stop you from traveling. Plan ahead, be flexible, and make the most of the time together. Whether your beach vacation is relaxing or not, it is sure to be memorable.

Sarah Lyons tries to be intentional about spending one-on-one time with each of her six children and giving them the opportunity to explore the world around them.

Kid-friendly Beaches – Pick Yours!

Ship Island, MS

When you first see Ship Island from a ship (which is the only way to get there), the vibrant color contrast of the turquoise Gulf water and sugar-white sand of the island is breathtaking. This beach is particularly convenient for families with young kids because you can rent umbrellas and chairs already waiting for you on the beach, and there are concessions available both on the ship and on the island – burgers and fries for a yummy lunch, ice-cold soda, and ice cream – everything for a fun day in the sun without a heavy load to bring along. 

Dauphin Island, AL

This hidden gem about 4 hours away from Jackson, MS is a paradise for nature lovers. Shallow water around the island and the abundance of fish make this place a popular destination for fishermen. And pelicans, too. This beautiful island is quiet and peaceful. 

Destin, FL

This beach destination is only about 5 hours away from Jackson, MS. It offers an amazing assortment of family-friendly activities. Situated on Florida’s Emerald Coast, in a northwest corner facing the Gulf of Mexico, Destin is popular with anglers and water sports enthusiasts, both young and young at heart.

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