We took our family Spring Break beach trip a little earlier than usual this year, but I want to share my 5 Essentials that really made our trip amazing. Follow along on IG @LTSwims as I share more in stories about these 5 things that made all the difference to make this the best trip yet!
1. Sun Protection
Being in the Bahamas, the sun just hits differently on the islands. It's hot and powerful and unrelenting. With all the fun activities we want to do, from playing on the beach, being out on a boat, or in and out of the water, sun protection is a MUST. Sunburns typically don't make for a great day #2 on vacay.
Quick tip on traveling with sun hats - add a binder clip to your bag and clip your hat to the outside. Super simple way to stay 'hands-free' with your hat!
2. Packing Cubes
Packing for a family of 5 is no easy task, but a way I've found to make it a little easier both in packing and travelling are with these packing cubes! A friend introduced me to these a couple years ago and while they seem like they're too small to fit much, you'll be amazed at how much you can fit. Roll everything up Home Edit style and you're set! If you have laundry where you're staying, that's a bonus so you won't have to pack nearly as much! Each person gets their own cube, they all go into the suitcase together and keeps things organized and makes unpacking a little easier too. If you like your kids to be more independent, this is their chance to grab their cube and pack and organize it just like they would their own bag. Reduces your overall luggage and saves a few headaches of so many bags to manage.
3. Snack Bags
If you're traveling for any amount of time, whether you're on a plane or in a car, I love to make snack bags for kids and adults alike. Helps to save a little money in the airport or at gas station stops, plus, I love to pack snacks the kids don't usually get to eat, so they look forward to the trip. We love fruit snacks, dried fruit, chips, granola bars. I pack them in gallon size zip locks, and when they're empty, we always have a use for them on the way home for wet gear, dirty shoes or souvenirs. If I'm really on top of things, I pack 2 sets of snack bags so they have some for the trip home too, but I call it successful if we get some for the way there.
4. Dinner reservations
After a LOOOOOONG day of playing in the sun, we're usually wiped and hangry. Having reservations or at minimum, a plan for what we'll eat is ALWAYS a must. And if you can do this before you leave for your trip, it will give you some time to do a little research and get some reco's before. You can always cancel if you find a better option, but there's nothing worse than getting to your destination, tired and hangry, and trying to decide where to go - just to get there and realize they're fully booked or it's not what you wanted. A little planning goes a long way on this one and will save some headaches.
5. 1 memorable activity
Minimum of one memorable day. Again, a little planning goes a long way here! If you have a sleepy beach town, see if you can rent kayaks, go horseback riding or find some cool shops to explore. Or if you're finding a location for 1 memorable day, don't feel like you have to fit multiple days of excitement. Ok to have a little down time to reflect and talk about what a great day it was! You'll have something to talk about at the dinner table and help you make the most of your vacation. As much as I would love to just sit by the ocean and listen to the waves, it's just not enough for my family. They need to be active and doing something, so if I can plan something big for one of the days, the next day, we can sit on the beach and play in the sand! It's a win-win.
I hope this helps you to have an absolutely epic Spring break and one your family will be talking about for months! And maybe make it just a little less stressful for you too!
PS - if you have the bandwidth for a few more things, toss in some screen-free games like cards or family board games, a notebook for everyone to write about their favorite part of the trip each day, some extra swim suits so you don't have to wear wet ones the next day, and your turkish towels for the beach (they don't pick up the sand, so you can use them later too!).