packed_suitcaseNothing is easier than packing for a family holiday at the beach. Carry-on only, here we come. With no need for heavy sweaters, hats and mittens, it’s easy to cram everything we need for a beach vacation into a small suitcase. My son sometimes takes only his backpack.

Ease of packing is just one reason I love vacationing at the beach. There’s also the sun, surf, sand and warmth, the laid-back beach vibe and, of course, the margaritas.

Whenever you travel, it’s important to consult a general packing list to be sure you have all of those things you need wherever you go—such as a  power strip to keep everyone charged up.

But when your destination is one of the world’s loveliest beaches, like the beaches in the Turks and Caicos, everything else you pack is about staying cool, protecting yourself from the sun, and spending time in the water.

Sunscreen

This is critical, especially if, like me, you’re pasty white in the winter and heading to the harsh Caribbean sun at spring break. Look for eco-friendly sunscreens to help protect the fragile ecosystems off the coast. If you don’t want to check a bag, wait to buy the sunscreen when you arrive at your destination. Even if you’re paying inflated resort prices, it’s still probably cheaper than paying those onerous baggage fees.

beachfamilyClothes

  • Choose light colors and light fabrics.
  • Soft pajamas or T-shirt for sleeping when your sun burn hurts
  • One long-sleeved cotton shirt to protect yourself from the sun during the day or dress up for dinner
  • T-shirts, camis or tank tops
  • Shorts
  • Capris
  • Light-weight pants, skirt or sundress
  • Undergarments
  • 2 bathing suits (so one can be rinsed and hung to dry while you wear the other)
  • Sun shirt
  • Jacket/fleece/sweater for cool nights
  • Raincoat or plastic poncho
  • Robe

Shoes

  • Beach shoes or flip flops
  • Water shoes for wearing in the water to protect feet from rocks under water and really hot sand on the beach.
  • Dress shoes or sandals for evening (wear your dress shoes or sneakers on the plane to save suitcase space)
  • Sneakers for exploring nearby towns

Accessories

  • Sun hat
  • Sun glasses–even for little ones.
  • Wrap that can double as a beach cover-up and be used to keep your sun-burned shoulders warm in the overly air conditioned restaurants at night.

Other

Plastic resealable bags (Ziploc bags work if you don’t want to invest in travel bags) so you can take a last dip the morning before you leave, then pack up the wet, sandy beachwear and head for the airport.

The world is full of beautiful beaches and FamilyGetaway.com offers deals for many of them.  My personal favorites are in the Turks and Caicos, Mexico, and, of course, Hawaii. FamilyGetaway has vacation deals in all of those beach destinations.

This post was sponsored by FamilyGetaway.com, the first advertiser on the Family Travel Ad Network, a partnership among Ciao Bambino, Delicious Baby, Travel Savvy Mom, The Vacation Gals, Trekaroo, See Jane Fly, and Traveling Mom.  To get $100 off your first FamilyGetaway booking, sign up for their newsletter here.

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