This past summer has been one that I’d call “on-the-go” with my family. And I’ve loved it! After being gone all summer long, we wrapped up our school-free time with a vacation to the beach, something we haven’t done in years. I’m happy to say that I’ve since picked up some tips for a drama-free beach day. (Affiliate links included).
5 Tips For a Drama-Free Beach Day
This is entirely different than our summers of old, and I’d say the move to the east coast is working out well for our traveling selves!
I do love a good road trip!
The last time we spent more than a day visit was when Jake, Luke, and Claire were all wee babes, and we were concerned with diapers, baby slings, and strollers.
I gotta say, having older kids made things a lot easier in some ways, but the over-tired and hangry kiddo drama never goes away!
This time around I was more concerned with keeping up with my active kids who were all over the place once we hit the sand.
Apparently, no one has inherited the “beach and chill” genes of their mother.
So, I needed to be prepared. Thankfully I stopped into Walmart and stocked up on everything I needed.
Walmart: don’t ever leave me!
Here are my tips for keeping a beach vacation on-the-go and out of the drama.
1. Go Early
This one is easy for us, thankfully. My kids don’t tend to sleep in too late when we are on vacation. They are ready to get up and get going!
Heading out to the beach early means you miss the crowds of the afternoon when the sun isn’t quite as hot, and you can often catch some early wave action.
It also means that everyone is ready by early afternoon for some downtime.
I’m a huge fan of slowing the action and taking a few hours to recharge out of the sun. It’s the best way to keep all of us out of the drama zone. With a big family like mine, that’s important!
2. Pack Wisely For the Day
Make a list and cross it off. I started mine a few days before the trip and took it with me to shop at Walmart.
I had quite a bit from our other activities, but I needed to pick up a few beach-specific items as well.
Short and easy list:
I highly suggest some type of shade (beach umbrellas are easy to set up- seriously!).
Bring the towels, bring the chairs, bring the flip-flops. Sunglasses, hats, and cover-ups are great too.
Above all else: do NOT forget the sunscreen. This will bring all the drama to your life when you have kids with sunburns who refuse to wear clothes to dinner.
Because, yes, shirts and shoes are required, kiddos!
3. Beach Day Activities
We have kids aging from 6 to 14, so we brought a little of everything with us to the sand.
Buckets and shovels, boogie boards, frisbees, and footballs. I even brought a pack of cards in case anyone was up for a game of Go Fish.
Does anyone want to play? Nope. Because they all told me, nah, mom… we’ve got things to DO!
My kids were running around from surf to sand depending on what activity sounded best at the moment.
Surf low? They threw the football.
Waves kicking back in? They grabbed the boogie boards and hit the surf.
4. Re-Fuel With Smart Snacks
With all that craziness going on, I knew the kids needed to stay hydrated & fed.
The ultimate mom truth: drama comes when the teens & tweens get hungry. Do NOT let them get to that point, trust me.
With 25% fewer calories than regular sports drinks, I loved handing off these convenient Capri Sun Sport packs (found next to your traditional Capri Sun packs in the Walmart juice aisle).
We threw them into the freezer the night before, so they were cool and crisp when it was time to pop one open.
I also tossed protein around like it was candy.
A sugar rush does not last, but a protein one does. Okay, I don’t know if there’s such a thing as a protein rush since I might have made that term up.
But if I’ve learned anything about being a mom to all these kids, it’s that snacks are necessary, and the right snacks are absolute lifesavers.
The P3 Protein Snacks were the perfect on-the-go choice to pair with the Capri Sun sport. They don’t need refrigeration, come in handy packaging, and bring a whopping 13 grams of protein with them.
You can find these in Walmart’s snack/nut aisle.
My teen eating machine said the packs were perfect for the day and asked that these come home with us for school lunches.
And of course, he had 2 to the other kids’ 1, but, yeah, that’s the norm with my 6-foot tall “baby.”
Both of these items were new to us and got big thumbs up. The kids loved the taste; I loved how easy they were to pack and go.
It looks like we’ve found a new on-the-go combo for the upcoming school & sports year. Boo-yah!
5. Go Late
If you miss the early morning beach time, you have a 2nd chance. Go in the late afternoon or early evening to enjoy truly spectacular views.
The sky can put on quite a show, and the beach is serene.
Most families have packed it up for the day, so it tends to be a much more chill experience.
You’ll have the place to yourself if you time it right!
Family time is so important, especially in this on-the-go world.
We’re already picking things back up with school and sports, which brings its own brand of drama into our lives.
At least the drama-free beach day was a success, and you can bet we’ll be doing this again soon!
Patty Holliday is a Marvel loving, Disney obsessed wife, and mother of four. She’s a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)