Packing Light- Beach Trip Tips with a Toddler

Toddler playing in the sand - Beach Trip Tips with a Toddler.

Beach Trip Tips with a Toddler

We just got back from a quick beach trip. The beach is a relaxing vacation that can make you forget about your everyday responsibilities and stresses, even the one-year-old had a blast. *record scratch*  Wait, I said beach, relaxing, and one-year-old all in the same sentence? Toddlers have a way of making everything complicated, but it is possible to take trip to the beach with the youngest member of the family. I’m going to share some beach trip tips with a toddler that I used to have a relaxing, fun time.


Pick a hotel that is right on the beach or within walking distance. We have found one that is right across a beachfront road from the beach.  This way, we get no fuss access to the beach, but don’t pay actual beachfront prices.  It’s a win/win! Heading to beach doesn’t have to consist of loading up a car full of stuff and towels and toys and making everyone in the family go at the same time.  (Because let’s face it, sometimes the toddler just ain’t feeling it.) Also, if you go, and it starts raining, or somebody starts to burn within 15 minutes, or the baby needs a nap or something, you just grab your stuff and walk back to the room; no biggie. The convenience cannot be overstated.  Beach vacations are great, but let’s face it, there are a lot of factors that can turn them to no fun in a hurry.  Rapid access to your lodgings ameliorates many of them.

Public Beach Access


I chose to pack lightly when heading out on the beach. I did not want to worry about too much stuff. Another reason having a hotel by the beach is convenient. Don’t forget sunscreen, baby powder, water, sand toys, and towels. Baby powder? Yes, this will be a lifesaver. Baby powder will easily get off all that sticky sand. Just sprinkle some on your sandy parts and rub it off.

As for sunscreen, I recommend the rub-on sticks for the face. You don’t want spray or lotion getting into little eyes. And then I use spray for the body. The spray goes on quick before your toddler takes off again. 

Keeping Your Drinks Cool

It is important to stay hydrated while on the beach. To keep our drinks cool, I froze bottles of water and Capri Sun pouches and stuck them in an insulated cooler bag. This way your drinks stay nice and cold when you are ready for them. I even tried to keep my cooler bag separated from the rest of our stuff to keep as much sand off of it as possible. I succeeded until little Bean grabbed his drink with sandy hands before I could clean them off. You win some, you lose some. 

Image of toddler drinking a juice pouch with sandy hands.

Keep Your Phone Safe

Keep sand and water away from your phone by keeping it in a Ziploc bag. You are still able to use it while it’s in the bag, but you don’t have to worry about basically everything that is at the beach, because it all is harmful to your phone.  A good Ziploc will waterproof and sandproof your phone, although you still shouldn’t drop it in the ocean, because then it will be waterproof and gone. 

Make an Area to Splash

The ocean can be overwhelming and even our water-loving little one did not want to get close to it. The waves washed up on the beach and created a little “pond” of standing water. This was the perfect spot for him to splash. If you can’t find a spot like that, you can even create your own by digging a shallow hole and filling it with water.

Leave Only Footprints

Toddlers seem to generate a lot of trash. Be sure to pick up everything on your way out. You don’t want your trash to harm an animal. Also, refill any holes. Those holes can cause injury to wildlife and people. Leave only your footprints.

Have fun

Have fun. It won’t be perfect, and that’s okay. It won’t be as relaxing as those pre-kid days, but hopefully these beach trip tips with a toddler help you create lasting memories. 


Beth is a stay-at-home homeschooling mom and photographer. She spends her days coming up with creative ways to inspire and teach her two oldest kids. Let’s be honest though, a big part of the day is spent chasing after the smallest one. She hopes to spread goodness and magic with her DIYs, recipes, and tips. Follow her on Instagram @PaperAngelsPhotos

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