Living in Southern California, summer can only mean one thing: time to hit the beach! A trip to the beach is the perfect daycation that the whole family will enjoy. All four of my babes love some supervised seaside playtime, and it’s something Dean and I always look forward to, too. But before my beach babes and I hit the sand I always make sure we’re fully prepared. So today I wanted to share my five must-haves for any family trip to the beach.

But if you’re not near the shore, don’t you worry… most of these tips apply to the lake or neighborhood pool too! Check them out:

1. Broad Spectrum SPF. Sunscreen is the No. 1 thing beach-bound mamas should never leave the house without. But with so many options these days, it can be hard to know what to look for in an SPF. First of all, make sure your sunscreen is at least SPF 15 and says “broad spectrum” on the bottle, which means it keeps out both UVA and UVB rays. For super easy application, try sunscreen towelettes, spray, or fun wacky foam sunscreen that the kiddos will be excited to put on. And whatever sunscreen you choose, make sure to reapply every two hours or after dips in the water—even if you’re using a waterproof formula.


2. Haute Hats.
Babies’ skin is especially delicate, so in addition to slathering on the sunscreen I usually bring hats for Hattie and Finn. I try to teach my babes at a young age that you can look chic while protecting your skin against harmful rays. These great hats from my toddlerista clothing line Little Maven are on sale right now!


3. Sand Toys. Liam and Stella love digging for sand crabs so I always have buckets and shovels in our beach bag. But this sweet sand cupcakes set would really take things to the next level! Or, if you want to get really fancy, try making plaster of Paris sandy footprints like I did with my older babes a couple summers ago.


4. Mesh or Rafia Beach Bag. Here’s a little trick I learned for keeping the sand where it belongs: swap the canvas tote for a beach bag with holes in it. Instead of taking the entire beach home with you, just shake, shake, shake, senora before getting into the car and you’re good to go.


5. Beach Blanket.
Bringing a beach blanket is a lot easier than packing individual towels for the whole family. These chic striped throws from Steven Alan are big enough for all four babes to lay on but lightweight enough to tote around.


What are your essentials for a family trip to the beach?

Share them in the comments below.


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