Location: Albuquerque, NM
Kids: 4 and 2
With prime vacation time coming up (the holidays), we thought we’d share some of BabyPage Co-founder, Katie Rice’s advice on essentials in preparing for an awesome first baby beach vacation. And if you aren’t going to the beach for the holidays, you can start dreaming about your summer vacation plans!
Before kids, a typical trip for me and G involved high adrenaline adventure, and, to be completely honest, often included some questionable life decisions. Our last big trip before T was born involved camping on safari in Botswana, changing a flat tire in the middle of the night up a mountain in a remote area of Lesotho, and swimming with great white sharks off the coast of South Africa.
After kids, we opted for a trip that included fewer life threatening scenarios, and we went on a safe tropical beach vacation instead. Perhaps we sacrificed a bit of adventure, but we had a lot of fun teaching T all about how to order a cerveza at the swim-up bar, the joys of sand in his toes, mouth and all other crevices, and the dangers and wonders of hammocks.
Here are eight items that helped make that first family beach trip even more awesome for us, and I highly recommend you consider stuffing these into the six bags required for any baby-included beach vacation:
Many people prefer to travel with an umbrella stroller because it’s lighter, but I prefer traveling with our regular stroller. My reasons for taking the BOB along when I travel are:
- If you go to the bathroom to change a baby and YOU also have to go to the bathroom, your life is much easier with your stroller.
- This can be taken care of with an umbrella stroller, but what cannot is: Your baby napping comfortably during layover or napping for longer periods of time at the beach or poolside AND
- Lugging all your beach/pool stuff, food and toys for bambino around without having to carry it and push a stroller at the same time makes life on vacation easier and more chill…and more chill is always better when babies are involved. You can’t drink as much while traveling with babies, so you have to find other ways to reduce stress.
- Also, you can jog on vacation, did once for 20 minutes but totally had intentions to do so way more often.
You may already know how awesome these particular swaddle blankies are, and if so, you probably also know how handy these are as instant shade for your sleeping munchkin. On vacation, this was essential for comfy shaded napping after the sun moves but you are not psyched to move all your stuff from your sweet swim-up-bar-adjacent pool spot.
The necessity of this one is pretty self-explanatory. This particular Speedo one worked out really well.
The geniuses at Target positioned this Speedo swim hat right next to the above Speedo floatie, so of course I bought one, but I had no buyers remorse with this because it was very convenient to have a swim hat that was comfy and always on T’s head in the water, keeping his regular hat dry for apres-swim.
Here’s the thing about inflatable balls. They are inflatable, and they are balls. T, and I believe many kids his age, LOVES balls and they make him very happy at all times, so they are very handy. And the bigger the ball, the better. Luggage room is limited with all the other crap you need to bring, so packing large balls is tough, but inflatable ones take almost no room. Perfect.
It’s a proven fact that fashionable mommies are happier mommies and happier mommies result in more awesome vacations.
We brought two short-sleeve rash guards and one long-sleeve one and wound up really glad we had the long-sleeve option after T got a bit of sun.
A Final Must Have
And last but certainly not least, you must not, under any circumstances, go on vacay without a “Don’t you wish your mom was HOT like mine?” onesie for your baby. My friend brought this for me, and I believe she purchased them from a street vendor in NYC, but I am sure it’s possible to find an online site that sells them. Do it. Cute hat for your baby is optional, but also recommended.
Overall, our first beach vacation was a success, and I definitely think that having the right gear helped make the trip a lot smoother.
We’d love to hear what baby gear you swear by when you travel with your little ones!