Vacations Unpacked: BEACH TRIPS

Hey!  Hey!

It feels so good to be back with you guys!  Hope you had a great weekend.  The weather here was complete yuck-rain, rain, and more rain.  The good news is the Slaughter family was forced to catch up on sleep and relaxation.  I think we’re back on Texas time officially!  Britt even slept ALL NIGHT.  I wish I knew it’d happen from now on, but who knows.  It felt good though-even if it was a fluke!  

Shay and I are sharing another VACATIONS UNPACKED post.  Over the last few months, we’ve highlighted some different vacation destinations and a list of things we’d pack on those trips.

I’ve shared Disney World and Ski Trips so far and today I’m talking THE BEACH!

Shay has shared City Trips and Cruises and she’s sharing TRAVELING ABROAD today.

We’ve shared lots of tips and YOU GUYS have added some amazing helpful hints as well.  So be sure to check out all the comments for lots of info.

The Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast is one of our favorite places to visit…amazing beaches, great weather,  good food, and cute towns are a drive away from us here in Texas.  

We’ve made the trip with and without kiddos.  Let me tell you with kids-the car is ALWAYS packed!  When we go to the beach, we typically rent a condo/house for a week so I’ve always tried to take anything and everything we could possibly need to make life at the beach with kiddos easy.

A good umbrella, beach blanket/mat, and baby pool were all great ideas when we had a baby at the beach.  The baby pool was fun for Bowen and it kept him pretty clean and cool compared to him rolling around in the sand.  We took a little blow up pool so it didn’t take up much space. {And it kept baby Bowen very happy.}

Pre-kids we packed clothes and sunscreen for a week at the beach.  THAT’S IT!  hahaha!

Everyone needs some cute pictures while you’re there…right?  I always throw in some coordinating outfits so we look blended in the pictures.

Slaughter kids require ALL THE SUNSCREEN, rash guards, and hats.  My kiddos have really fair skin and easily sun burn.  We combat that by taking breaks but bringing all those supplies always makes our week easier.

My kids look like The Adams Family…don’t you think?  haha!  We always grab the cheap shovels and buckets at the local store for crab hunting on the beach.  I’m not sure why they’re looking like they hate this.  I can promise you they don’t.  They’re big fans and it’s always a good time.

Cheers to all the sun protection.  🙂

With baby Ebby Lee, we took a pack-in-play to the beach and placed it under the shade during nap times.  When she just wanted to sit and play it was nice too because she wasn’t covered in sand.

Some cute outfits for dinner out are always a must.

 Bowen has a thing where he thinks if he’s using these nose goggles then he can swim.  They’re like magic to him, but without the goggles he just can’t even think about it.  {Trust me…in China I forgot to pack the nose goggles so he wasn’t into swimming.}  I make sure to pack a back up pair for things like this that will affect the entire trip if we misplace them.


When we first began taking our kids to the beach, I stressed about keeping up with all the pool, beach, and sand toys.  I finally realized I should buy a big pack of cheap toys and leave them.  Now I don’t worry or stress about leaving or losing a bucket.  We just go into it knowing we’ll leave the toys for the other kiddos.

One year I packed Bowen’s highchair.  We had the space in our car and I wanted him to be able to eat and chill while the rest of us were eating.  It worked like a charm!

I’ve mentioned on here before how I’m always losing sunglasses.  I’m always sporting the cheap sunglasses.  Before vacations I grab a couple back-ups for the back-ups.  And for some reason I always need them!

Proof this guy preferred his own little pool in the shade. 🙂

Nothing makes us hungrier than a day at the beach or pool.  I make sure to pack all kinds of snacks.  I usually let them eat things on vacation that are outside of the norm.  That tends to make it all a little more special.  The AL/FL area where we go has some great grocery stores but they are usually crazy crowded on the day of arrival.  Because everyone’s arriving and we all need groceries.  The next time we go I’ll have our groceries delivered on our arrival day so we can skip the lines.

I also always pack floaties, puddle jumper, or a baby float…just whatever your kiddos need to keep them afloat at the beach.  {See what I did there. :)}

Some of my favorite family memories have taken place at the beach.  No matter where your destination is when you have sand between your toes…it’s sure to be a BLAST!

What about you?  What are your MUST HAVES for the beach?  PLEASE share!  And don’t forget to check out Shay’s list as well!

Thanks for stopping by today!  XO

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  1. 6.5.17
    Megan @ Letting In The Light Blog said:

    Woohoo for sleeping thru the night! Our one must have for beach vacations is what we call "vacation cereal". Each person gets to pick any box of junky cereal that we don't normally eat at home. The kids love it and plan their choice for months!

  2. 6.5.17
    Mix and Match Mama said:

    My favorite tip is to pack a cheap beach tote and cheap beach toys because they're always too gross to bring back home and you won't care if you lose/damage them. You calling your kids the Addams family in that one picture had me laughing out loud! Bahahahaha!

  3. 6.5.17
    Bailey Bryant said:

    We don't leave the house without our beach buggy/wagon! It's so much easier to carry all beach supplies from the condo to the beach in. We are able to load our cooler, chairs, and heavier items in there. Also, a TENT! Lots more room than an umbrella. And the important beach rule: If you can walk, you can use your arms to carry something.

  4. 6.5.17
    LCC said:

    Love all your beach tips! I'm in Mississippi and have visited Sandestin for summer beach trips every single year since I was 5! It's now my children's favorite trip of the year. We always rent a house on the water for convenience and usually cook all our meals. Anyway here are some of my tips. Rent your chairs!! I'm not into traveling with tents and chairs so for us just paying for chair rental and having that taken care of is awesome. Also if you're in a crowded area, a good tip to the chair crew will keep you in a prime location without having to stake it at 6 am for yourself! Also products! I always pack a few rolls of toilet paper and paper towels as well as a few dishwasher tabs and laundry detergent. It helps to not have to buy these items once you arrive!

  5. 6.5.17
    SarahN said:

    We head to Bethany Beach in Delaware every summer and even though we travel other places too, Bethany Beach is always the family favorite. Your list is spot on, but one thing I would add is a hoodie sweatshirt or a blardigan for the evenings we are on the beach and it is windy or a tad chilly. After reading this post, August can't come soon enough!

  6. 6.5.17
    Whitney Pegram said:

    Cheap beach toys … yes! With kids you literally have to take ALL the things! 😉 Happy Monday!

  7. 6.5.17
    Becky said:

    We are heading out for a beach vacation this morning! When we go on these kinds of trips (not flying), I've learned to bring all the medicines. I know it sounds silly, but I'd rather have a big ziplock with children's tylenol, ibuprofen, cough medicine, benadryl, etc. in it than drive around looking for a Walgreen's in an unfamiliar place. I swear my kids need that kind of thing at the most inconvenient time!

    Looking forward to reading about your China trip on Wednesday!

  8. 6.5.17
    Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} said:

    This makes me so excited for our August beach trip!

  9. 6.5.17
    sarah.gicius said:

    We've been traveling for the last several years with three young daughters to Indian Shores, Florida. I love accessing the Dollar Store for beach and pool toys, bubbles, chalk, floaters, etc — I don't have to worry about packing them or taking them home. We've also rented baby items while in the area {highchair, exersaucer} — if you look online, just about every beach town has a company that offers these items daily or weekly at an inexpensive cost. Having the big items that make vacation feel like "home" really improves the experience for everyone.

    • 6.5.17
      Erika Slaughter said:

      That is a great idea!!!

  10. 6.5.17
    Britt Hensley said:

    Oh yes!! This post has me ready to load up my Mary Poppins mini van with all the stuff & head to the beach!! Love these posts!

  11. 6.5.17
    Narci said:

    Oh, I love this! Great tips, friend!! You have me wanting to book a beach trip asap!

  12. 6.5.17
    Sarah Shaneyfelt said:

    We just got back from Gulf Shores yesterday! I'm from AL and we love the Gulf coast! Since we always stay in a condo, we always bring a cooler for the beach and lots of baggies for us to pack snacks in to take to the beach. And we take an old shopping bag out to the beach to use as a garbage for empty water bottles, etc. That way we're not having to put trash back in our beach bags!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

  13. 6.5.17
    Rick and Angie's Family said:

    Hello, I'm trying to become a beach traveler and I love all your tips. We have been to Destin/Marimar Beach once and encountered "sea grass" (this green slimy stuff that stuck to all our bodies and got in our bathing suits). It really messed up the trip for us. So, this time we're trying Orange Beach, AL, but I'm wondering if we made the right choice. Any suggestions on things to do/eat in the area would be greatly appreciated or if you think we'd like Florida better I'm open to your advice! Thank you!!!

    • 6.5.17
      Gucci Girl said:

      I have been coming to orange beach since I was a kid (here now) and have stayed in the same place every time @ Phoenix 6. You must eat at the Gulf and fisher's dockside (or upstairs if it's just adults!) Lulu's in gulf shores has fun things for kids, too. Ferris wheel at the wharf – plus lots of fun shopping and eating at the wharf as well. Email me if you need more ideas 🙂 Don't mean to hijack, Erika. Just felt compelled to reply since I big puffy heart love orange beach 😉

  14. 6.5.17
    Unknown said:

    For moms with young babies, 'Ciao! Baby' makes a great portable highchair that folds up and packs away in a bag you can throw over your shoulder for on-the-go trips. We use it all the time, in our backyard, over family's house, and especially on trips. It's great for feeding baby without having to hold them on your lap and keeping him/her in one place. It's easy to hose off it gets sandy/messy. Bonus- you can buy an umbrella that clips on the back for extra coverage. It's a must have.

  15. 6.5.17
    crazymom said:

    Great post. So glad you are back! Can't wait to see and hear more about sweet little Britt.

  16. 6.5.17
    Days of a Wife said:

    In my family we always have to bring the boogie boards! Kids and adults spend all their time in the water boogie boarding! lol Oh, and I also always need a good beach read and a comfortable chair to lounge on the beach with!

  17. 6.5.17
    Amanda @ That Inspired Chick said:

    hahahahaha… Love the Adams Family picture! We go to the beach every year too and I always see the people on the beach with the rolling wagon thing filled with all their junk and I want one!! I seriously think the worst part of the beach is hauling all that stuff to the beach every day and then packing it all up every evening.

    That Inspired Chick

  18. 6.5.17
    Kerri M said:

    We always make sure to pack multiple swimsuits (at least three) for each people. Because trying to put a wet suit on anybody feels like one of the worst forms of torture. Baby powder is also great for getting the sand off at the end of the day!

  19. 6.5.17
    Ann Marie said:

    And now I am ready for a beach trip! SO FUN!!

  20. 6.6.17
    giginpink said:

    Zip lock bags are great for the beach! They have so many uses in your beach bag, cooler, packing, food storage, shells, and I could go on. No better vacation than those white sands of the Florida – Alabama Gulf Coast!

  21. 6.6.17
    Alexis deZayas said:

    I am laughing at sweet Bowen feeling like he needs his nose goggles! So funny!

  22. 6.6.17
    Elisabeth Hogue said:

    We travel to Perdido Key every year, and have used a company called Baby Beach Rentals to rent cribs, high chairs, strollers, toys, etc. Our kids are older so we haven't used them in several years, but their equipment was always new, clean & in great condition. You place your order, and all the equipment is set up in your house/condo when you arrive! They pick it up after you leave! Easy!
    We used a similar company during a family reunion in Destin and did not have a very good experience – do your research!

  23. 10.5.17
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  24. 8.3.18
    Blogger said:

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