7 Tips for Planning a Beach Trip

By Kara Reynolds | Dec 17, 2021

Planning a vacation to the beach is an exciting time for families. The warm air, soft sand and blue waves entice multiple families to the shore every year. To make a family beach trip worthwhile, though, it takes some planning. 

Beach vacations mean a couple of different things for people. Some plan a beach trip and expect to lay on the sand every day with a cool drink in hand. Others plan more activities, like water sports, snorkeling and parasailing, complete with mini-golf on the boardwalk at night. Families, though, often have a mixture of the two, along with chasing little ones around the beach and splashing in the water.

There’s not a right or wrong way to go to the beach, but there are ways to make it less stressful and more enjoyable for everyone. 

Here are eight tips for planning a beach trip. 

1. Decide Where and When to Go

Before going on a beach trip, a family should decide where to go when to go. Many families choose to vacation in the summer when it’s warm, and there are plenty of activities. However, it’s essential to research the safest places and times to go to the beach. Some of the best beaches for families include:

  • Outer Banks, North Carolina
  • Sanibel Beach, Florida
  • Maui, Hawaii
  • Nantucket, Massachusetts
  • Monterey, California
  • Cape May, New Jersey
  • Jekyll Island, Georgia

Families should also consider safety while at the beach. Research hurricane seasons and times of the red tide. Avoid these times of year to ensure a safe beach trip.

2. Create a Budget

It’s important to create a budget for a family vacation to the beach. Without a budget, a family can easily spend much more than intended, especially if kids beg for a specific souvenir or experience at the beach. 

Deciding how much to spend early on will save a lot of frustration and money later. Some things that should be in the budget include transportation, accommodations, food, drinks, souvenirs and any experiences or activities. Start saving for travel expenses as soon as possible.

3. Plan How You’re Traveling 

Some families may choose to drive, and others might opt for a flight. Either way, planning how everyone gets from their home to the beach is an essential part of planning a beach trip. 

If the beach is a shorter distance away, driving might be better to save money on flight tickets and luggage fees. However, if the beach is further away, the family might decide to purchase plane tickets. Prepare the children with snacks and entertainment for the traveling portion of the beach trip.  

4. Choose the Accommodation Situation

Accommodation is a primary consideration when traveling with a family. It should be somewhere safe, comfortable and located near attractions like the beach, boardwalk and other excursions the family is interested in doing. 

There are a few options for accommodations at the beach. One option is a hotel, which often has suites that can hold a large family. Another option is a resort, which often provides all-inclusive access to food, drinks and activities. There are also beach houses, which are a popular option among families. 

5. Create a Packing List

Creating a packing list for a beach trip can be a huge task, especially when packing for children. Without proper planning, someone might leave behind a bathing suit or that special stuffed animal that helps one of the children sleep. Making a joint packing process with older kids can significantly help. 

Additionally, if traveling to a foreign land, everyone needs passports, plane tickets, travel documents and local currency. Other essential family travel items include baby products, entertainment for older children, special toys, extra clothes, sunscreen, hats, wipes and reservation information.

6. Meal Plan or Find Dining Options

How will the family be eating during the beach trip? Depending on the itinerary and budget, some families may choose to eat out most of the time, and others might meal plan. Either way, it’s an essential factor in planning a beach trip.

Resorts often have all-inclusive dining options, but checking before heading into a resort buffet is essential. Checking out the dining options before booking is a step in the right direction, especially when needing kid-friendly dining.

7. Talk About Beach Safety

The safety and well-being of the children, at any location, are at the forefront of every parent’s mind. New challenges and dangers arise at the beach, though, especially if it’s the kids’ first time at the beach. 

Before heading to the beach, parents should discuss beach safety with their children. This includes wearing sunscreen, not going in the ocean without a parent and listening to the lifeguards. 

Let’s Go to the Beach

With these tips, planning for a beach trip will be a breeze. The next step is to sit back, relax and enjoy family time at the beach.

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