What to pack for a day trip to the beach

Summer is finally making her debut here in Cape Town. I don’t know about you but I am thoroughly over winter. I don’t like getting cold and the warmer weather brings with it a sense of freedom in a way. The freedom to stay out late because it’s still light out. The freedom to go on a drive because the weather is amazing and it’s not pouring with rain. The freedom to go to the beach and let the kids run free.

Speaking of the beach, Mark is an avid fisher (even though he mostly just feeds the fish lol I’m joking babe) and we mostly accompany him on his adventures. The kids could spend most of the day splashing in the waves, soaking up the sun and watching dad cast his line over into the ocean. Matthew especially loves to join his dad. We bought him his own little fishing rod and he enjoys casting that line. Only problem is, he doesn’t like to put his own bait on (yuck!) and the call of the waves is too much for him to stand there for more than 10 minutes before throwing his rod down and joining Ethan in splashing in the water.

We’ve been to many beaches here in the Western Cape over the years and I’ve picked up some tips on what to pack to make it an easy and comfortable trip for the whole family.

What to pack
Sun cover
We have a little pop up tent that we take everywhere with us. It shades us from the sun and provides a bit of cover should the wind pick up. We also have a 2 man tent that we used when Harper was smaller. This is awesome because baby is completely sheltered and you have loads of space to put your belongings. You could always use a beach umbrella but those things tend to fly away with just a little bit of a breeze.

Babies and children’s skin are super sensitive. Find a great brand that offers a 50+ SPF factor. There’s nothing worse than dealing with a sunburned toddler.

Public restrooms are the pits. Be sure to take a toilet roll with you because kids need to poop at the most inopportune time. We also pack in our Baby Dove wet wipes to not only wipe the seat but to wipe their hands after using the loo. We all know public toilets get vandalised from time to time and there’s often no water available. The Baby Dove wet wipes are great because they’re just wet enough to deal with those grubby hands and they’re wonderfully soft to deal with wiping a sensitive toddler’s bum. Oh and I pack in a tube of Baby Dove nappy cream too. Have you ever been in the sun for too long and your lips become chapped and dry? Did you know you could use a bum cream on your lips to help heal it?

Lots of snacks and drinks
I think the fresh air does something to my kids’ appetites because this seems the only time they’re always hungry. We always pack picnic-style foods and lots of snacks and drinks.

Beach towels and spare clothing
I don’t know about you but my kids love changing their clothes. They’ll suddenly start feeling cold and want to get dressed. Then, 10 minutes later you’ll find them strolling mid thigh in the water in those clothes. So I always pack extras.

And a bonus tip – I’m sure we’ve seen that parenting hack where you use baby powder to rub sand off your kids’ legs and feet. Spoiler – it really does work. Sand is a bitch to get out of the mats in the car, so I’d rather spend a few minutes to shake some baby powder on their legs and feet and use a towel to rub off. The sand literally just jumps off their skin

These are items I definitely cannot do without at the beach. Do you have any other tips and tricks to add? Let me know in the comments.


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2 thoughts on “What to pack for a day trip to the beach

  1. Helen_77 says:

    Ermm, are your kids holding a blaasoppie? Aren’t those things poisonous?
    Apart from all you’ve mentioned, I have a bucket for our rock-hopping shoes. Some of the rocks at the PE beaches are ouchies on the feet so these kinds of shoes are must for us. And then all wet clothing, including the rock-hoppers go in the bucket so as not to leave puddles in the car. Also good for plonking shells and other beach pick ups in. I always have pockets full of shells and pebbles when we leave.
    I like your powder trick. We usually have a 5l jug of water just to rinse off when we get back to the car but in these droughts I feel kind of bad just washing my feet off with it.

    • Kim Muller says:

      Lol I have no idea what fish that was?!?! Ah the shoes are a good idea, although we don’t often go to beaches where the sand has broken shells and pebbles. But Mark has a pair of those for when he climbs rocks to get closer to a certain spot to fish. The kids usually take their buckets and spades with and I always have those disposable nappy sacks in our bag for the wet clothing. But good tip, I didn’t even think to mention it 🙁

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