We just returned from our beach vacation and had to share a few of our absolute MUST-HAVES for being able to enjoy 9 adults and 5 kids (from 3.5 years to 2 months old) all in the same condo for 7 days.
1. Keep your expectations in check. If you haven't read Vacation or Trip? A Helpful Guide for Parents, then you should. Not only will you laugh until your side hurts at the truths of the blog post, but the humor will help ease the pain of your 1.5 year old chanting "Blue suckty (sucker), Mommy!" while dressed as a lizzard from 6 am until 10pm everyday of your trip. My personal favorite from the post:
If you are the Default Parent and/or the Stay-at-Home Parent, you aren’t even on a trip. You are on a work trip, and, in a perfect world, the entire “journey to a place” would be a damn tax write-off. The only known and quantifiable “break” you are getting from life is that for about a week you will not have to open and sort the mail. Other than that, it’s business as usual.
If you have a job outside the house, but are also a parent, you are on a vacation from work, but also on a family trip. You will be doing Default/Stay-at-Home Parent duties, which will seem better than work for the first four days, but by the time you’re driving home you will find yourself humming “Whistle While You Work” as you daydream about the calm and safety of your office and how reasonable your boss now seems.
2. Take alternative childcare. We were fortunate enough to have grandparents with us on this trip. DaddyB was the baby whisper in the condo while kiddos napped and SuSu provided an extra set of hands when everyone wanted to go different ways. We couldn't have done it without them and if there is ever a time when we must, I'll be taking a babysitter.
3. Bring a collapsible wagon.
We transported beach chairs, umbrellas, towels, coolers, and babies in these things and they were AMAZING! Make sure to get the one with wide wheels.
4. Buy a CHILLOW for the babies.
This seemed rather silly at first but I knew that if I wanted to be able to enjoy my favorite part of the beach day (cocktail hour) then I needed a way to keep little brother cool. I think his sweet little grin confirms that it worked!
5. Invest in cute, comfortable bating suits and loungewear for both the kids and Mom.
We had suits from Little English, Eyelet and Ivy, and Old Navy for the kids, and made sure to have everyone coordinating each day. For myself, I chose cute off the shoulder one-piece suits. Although the suits HERE
are both from Amazon (and under $20 might I add!) they were both well made and fit great. I had tons of Moms stop me on the beach and ask where the suits were from. Truly two of my favorites!
What are some of your beach/pool/summer MUST-HAVES? We'd love to hear from you!