What does it take to plan that summer beach vacation and what should we place as an emphasis in our packing. Through the years my wife and I have taken week long beach vacations. First as a married couple enjoying each others company then as a small family unit with two parents and one child, and now as a unit with two adults and two children. Along the way our travel planning has improved.
During our pre-children years we simply packed in two duffel bags and off to the beach of our choice. This took a total of about two hours to pack up the bags and get on the road. Prior to packing we simply selected a destination site and called ahead for reservations. Planning was not at a premium at this stage of our life.
Into our lives popped our first child. That first beach vacation was harrowing to say the least. We decided that maybe a little pre-planning was in order. So we choice our favorite destination at the time, Litchfield, SC. We booked our trip with cost in mind and stayed about ½ mile from the beach in the golf cottages. This was our first mistake, traveling too and from the beach with a 10 month old can be harrowing at best. Even worse if the distance is daunting. So lesson number one plan on staying at the least Beach Side, within 500 yard of the beach if you plan on being at the beach with your young children. They will need to go back and forth from the condo or house on a frequent basis.
Lesson number 2 from this first beach vacation. Do not pack the entire kitchen including the sink to bring with you on your trip. We had an extended cab pick-up truck so the wife, baby, and I were all snuggly secured. We packed all of our needs as we thought that we could accommodate into the bed of the truck, Playpen, Highchair, and changing table were all part of our packing entourage. The entire bed was full of goodies and items for the little bambino. We never thought to ask the rental agency if this could be provided. Of course it can, some companies offer it for free others will charge you a small fee to place these into your units. Just be aware that the service is available.
Finally if you are staying for a week don’t worry about stocking up on your consumable goods before heading out. The beach has the same prices at SAM’s and Wal-Mart that you have at home. You can go out once you arrive and avoid all the extra baggage that would be associated if you were to travel with your food and disposable goods.
So after all of this minor knowledge and planning we had the system beat with child #2 right. Wrong, she taught us a few more things. One is that if your youngest is not accustomed to sleeping in the same room with your other children please make plans to accommodate the situation. Having two children on your hands that are sleep deprived is not a fun event.
Lastly make sure to book a site with a pool available on your first trip. We found out during daughter #2′s first beach trip that she hated the feel of sand on her body. She would go board stiff and start screaming at the top of her lungs should she feel that gritty substance on her body. We wound up using the pool almost exclusively on this trip.
These are just a few of the tips that my wife and I have learned over the years. Please feel free to use them for your trip planning and execution of that summer vacation.
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