Welcome to #BareFeetontheBeach week here at Bare Feet on the Dashboard. Our family has traveled to the Florida panhandle for a family beach vacation almost every year since I was a toddler. After more than three decades of beaching it, we have it down to a science. Today I’m sharing our best beach tips for your family beach vacation. A family beach vacation can be pure magic if you take the time to plan ahead and be prepared. Read on to find out how we do it and get ready for a great beach trip.
Taking a big family to the beach can be quite the adventure, and we’ve learned a lot over the years. Most of what I know I’ve learned from my mom and her besties, Tricia and Mary, who together make our trips fabulous. If you are looking for tips for a laid back, relaxing, and frugal week at the beach, check out our best tips below.
Our Best Family Beach Vacation Tips
1) Rent a house or condo instead of hotel room. This allows you to have more space as well as to save tons of money by cooking at home rather than going out to eat. We use VRBO.com. Check with the homeowner or rental agency to find out what your rental has on hand so you won’t be caught off guard if they don’t supply linens or cookware. Beach houses are often big enough to house more than one family, so split with friends to make it more affordable.
2) Go beach front for your rental whenever possible. It is worth it for the ease of getting to the beach and for the views all day every day. Hauling all of your stuff and your kids down the sidewalk to get to the beach will make you frustrated.
3) Find the best local seafood market and buy your fresh seafood there instead of the grocery store. The merchandise will be fresh off the boat and often less expensive. Bonus: seafood markets are a fun experience for kids to learn more about their food. I’m sharing fabulous fabulous beach meal plan here. We love Joe Patti’s in Pensacola and Sexton’s in Destin, Florida.
4) Keep the beach the main attraction. Beach towns often have a wealth of touristy stuff to do that could fill all of your days with pricey entertainment. We usually pick one excursion to do during the week as a group, and the rest of our time is spent frolicking on the sand. Read our post about the best beach themed activities for kids here.
5) Essential Packing List: We always say as long as you bring your swim suit, sunscreen, and towel, you’re good to go, but there are a few other essentials that can help make the week incredible. We bring a portable beach canopy and set up early in the morning, leaving it up all day. It provides a shady spot for everyone and reserves our beach space. With babies and toddlers, a kiddie pool and sand toys can really come in handy. A small inflatible pool doesn’t take up much space in the car and can be a huge help when the surf is rough or jellyfish are around. Read my post about 5 Fun Games for Kiddie Pools here. We also bring our favorite spices from home, because we cook most meals ourselves. This year we will be bringing our Swim Zip suits for the kids and me to make our beach time even easier.
15 Great Resources for Family Beach Vacations
1) How to Survive a Family Road Trip to the Beach + FREE Printable Packing List from 2 Groovy Moms
2) Summer Go Bag Essentials and Sun Safety Tips
3) Great Tips for Keeping Children Safe at the Beach from My Fave Finds
4) Taking Baby to the Beach – Tips from NateandRachael.com
5) Five Ways to Have Fun at the Beach as a Family from The Busy Mom
6) Must Have Beach Bag Essentials from The Socialite’s Closet
7) FREE Printable Packing List for the Ultimate Family Beach Vacation
8) How to Take Your Own Family Beach Photo without harassing strangers or hiring professionals.
9) Travel Safety Tips from a family who lived through a knife attack while traveling
10) Beach Bag Necessities for a Day of Fun from Newlywed Survival
11) A Really Cool Tip to Help Get Your Feet Beach Ready from Sippy Cup Mom
12) Our Best Frugal Family Travel Tips
13) 20 Ways to Entertain Kids while Traveling
14) 12 Essential Beach Items – Great list from Huckleberry Love
15) Here are 2 great resources from Have Baby Will Travel – One on Beach and Sun Safety for Babies and Toddlers, and one about Portable Sun Shelters.
What is your best tip for a family beach vacation? Leave it in the comment section below.
Don’t miss our other #BareFeetontheBeach posts:
A Fresh Seafood Meal Plan for Your Family Beach Vacation
The Best Beach Activities for Kids and Families
Bring Home the Beach – 20 Beach Inspired Craft and Decorating Ideas
Follow Becca’s board Beach Inspired Ideas on Pinterest.
I really want to take my kids to the beach after seeing all of these posts! I love the idea about renting a house/condo off of the beach. You’re right – it’s no fun lugging stuff all over creation to just try and have fun in nature! 🙂
What a truly great resource…..we made our very first trip to Destin this summer and definitely needed some of these ideas! While we were in a hotel, our extended family all rented houses.
Thanks, Becca, for including us here. You’ve been one of our top referrers. By the way, your tip number 3 & 4 are really smart. I love to take a trip and not have to spend any money other than travel and room.
Great suggestions! Thank you for writing such a fantastic info about family beach vacation.