I just got back from an amazing trip to the beach in Wilmington, NC. We went there for my sister’s college graduation and decided to make a vacation out of it. The drive is about 6 hours without stopping, but with a 2 year old and a 9 month old, we made about 4 stops. We left at 7:30am and arrived at about 3:30 to 4:00pm. The key to surviving this road trip was knowing ahead of time we’d be stopping every two hours or so. We stopped and let the kids stretch, eat, and refresh. It made all the difference and resulted in NO FITS! Yay! (The trip back was a little rougher).
We stayed in an Airbnb which was an awesome decision since we had the kids with us. I feel like I could bring more to make my time there with the kids a little easier. I have three lists: 1) Beach Necessities 2) Car Necessities and 3) Hotel/house necessities
- Sunscreen, hat, the obvious..
- Washable swim diaper—I love these so much more than the disposables!
- Umbrella or beach tent
- Outdoor blanket–much easier than towels or sheets
- Water sling or baby carrier of your choice–I thought my son would nap on the beach blanket while listening to the waves…but nope!
- Sand toys for the toddler
- Bucket of water for the baby to splash in
- Water shoes depending on if the beach has lots of shells or super hot sand!
- Umbrella stroller–we were able to keep a lot of our items on the stroller which we just kept at the end of the boardwalk where we could see it (it wasn’t a crowded beach)
Car Necessities—Hopefully you’ve got more than one adult riding in the car!
- Blankets and toys
- Coloring materials
- Tablet/TV–I had my 9 month old watch some baby shows just to keep him calm throughout parts of the ride. My daughter switched between the tablet games and movies.
- Lots of snacks and drinks
**This list is very short to me because a long car trip just isn’t ideal and it all depends on what’s going to keep your kids entertained! For mine, it’s the movies! On the way home, my son literally needed my face to be in his face or else he’d cry. So you just have to go with it.
- High chair: I used this high chair from Amazon that is small and portable. It can also be taken to the beach!
- I brought my son’s DockATot for him to sleep in. This avoided the large space a pack and play would’ve taken. My son, daughter, and I all squeezed into a bed together! Lol
- Lots of food—easiest to have breakfast at the hotel/house. We had pancakes and eggs with fruit most mornings.
- Blankets from home
- Toys/Books from the car
- Double stroller
- Baby monitor—I brought my Owlet Smart Sock but I wish I would have brought the monitor as well because my kids were upstairs sleeping in the big bed for a couple hours alone.
I don’t think anything on these lists are out of the ordinary, but to me, I think simple is best. Keep it as light as possible and as normal as possible for the sake of the kids and your sanity. What travel tips do you have? I’m going on another long trip in August so give me all the scoop!!