Successful summer travel starts at home with being prepared! Put together a Beach and Boat Tote to take with you with all your summer essentials.
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Over the last couple of summers, I have perfected ‘the tote.’ It goes everywhere with us, and has everything we need for hanging out at the beach or the boat. I picked up a cheap shower caddy and stuffed it full of all the small summer essentials I could think of from must-haves like sunscreen, bugspray, and sun glasses, to practical items like a first aid kit, hand sanitizer and hair elastics. Here are a few of the items we tote along:
Here’s how to build your own Summer Essentials Beach and Boat Tote:
- Wipes – these work great for all kinds of things at the beach or on the boat. The Huggies Triple Clean wipes are great for wiping sunscreen out of eyes, cleaning messy hands, even wiping up spills. The Clutch N Clean Carrying Case is super convenient!
- Sunscreen – I pack a variety of sunscreen and start with a cream first. I reapply with the spray every 2-hours, or after water play. I swear by the Neutrogena Clear Face sunscreen, which doesn’t make my skin breakout. We also use the Neutrogena Beach Defense Spray and Neutrogena Beach Defense Lotion. I love that these products don’t leave our skin feeling greasy!
- Hand Sanitizer – this comes in handy (pun intended!) after using any public bathrooms or changing areas especially. The travel size is perfect for on-the-go.
- Bug Spray – we spend a lot of time up in Maine where the mosquitos can carry off small children in the evenings. You want a product with 10-25% DEET so you have protection against ticks as well. (You can get additional Tick Advice from our pediatrician here.) We use OFF! Familycare on the kids, Mr. Juggling Act prefers Off! Deep Woods for himself.
- Anti-Bite Medicine – see above! This helps stop the itch, at least for a little while! After Bite Kids is my go-to when the kids are scratching!
- Benadryl Cream – Ethan tends to have small allergic reactions to certain bug bites, just like his grandfather. Have this cream on hand helps soothe those. This cooling gel is our favorite.
- Hair Accessories & Comb – keeping your hair out of your face is a must, and extras come in handy for little ones that like to pull out their braids! I swear by these ouchless elastics, and we attempt to tame Olivia’s wispy curls with snap clips. A wide tooth comb comes in really handy, too.
- Extra Sunglasses – your eyes need sun protection soon. My kids are forever misplacing their glasses, so I bring a spare pair for each of them.
- Baby Powder – this works wonders for getting sand off wet skin. Sprinkle on sandy feet, hands, legs, etc then gently brush off. The sand will fall right off, and the kids will smell great on the way home! (My favorite is this lavender scented one.)
- First Aid Kit with bandages, anti-biotic ointment, gauze, etc. – we always hope that we won’t need this, and we’re always grateful we have it when we do! The travel-size first aid kit is the perfect size, and then I like to tuck in some of these waterproof bandages and Neosporin antibiotic ointment and pain killer.
Beach & Boat Tips:
I love these Tuga Bucket Hats for girls and boys, they offer UPF 50 protection from the sun. They cover the back of the neck and ears, two places my kiddos are always prone to burns. I love the adjustable strap, too, which comes in especially handy in when we’re out on the boat. Swim shirts are a must, too.
Pack lots of water, keep the soda to a minimum and instead pack 100% juice boxes for the kiddos. Look for BPA free water bottles with handles that make it easy for little ones to carry. Load up on snacks that help them stay hydrated, too, like fresh fruit and applesauce pouches.
This goes for everything from how long you’ll stay at the beach or on the boat, to how many seashells or rocks the kiddos can bring home. Setting limits and expectations ahead of time helps you avoid meltdowns later on. “We’re going to drive around the lake twice before we stop at the sandbar to swim” is one of the expectations we typically set for our kids when we pull out of the dock. It keeps them from whining about when we can go swimming, and they pay attention to their surroundings because they’re watching for when the second loop is done!
Bring some things for the kiddos to do. Sure the beach is a place to make your own fun, but a few sand toys will keep them busy much longer. Have one kiddo that likes to smash everyone’s castle? Have a contest to see who can make the most, or have them play separately, then show one another what they made after.
Play it Safe!
Puddle jumpers are great for the beach or shallow swimming areas, but be sure you are monitoring your children at all time. Buy a good quality Coast Guard-approved life jacket for each of your children, and make sure to check your child’s weight frequently. Life jackets can be expensive, but they usually will last 2 seasons since they typically have a 20 pound weight range.
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