How to Plan the Perfect Beach Vacation
How to Plan the Perfect Beach Vacation
Right as the sun starts to shine and the snow begins to melt, there’s one thing that immediately occupies our mind: the warm weather right around the corner! Maybe you’ve had the privilege to travel this winter, but for most of us who were cooped up throughout the cold months are itching to get out there and soak up some vitamin D… which means it’s time to start planning your perfect beach vacation!
If you live near the ocean, lucky you! You won’t have to do much travel planning when the beach is right in your backyard.
For the rest of us inland folks, there are a few things you should think about before spending hours driving (or flying) all the way out to where land meets the sea—only to realize you chose a lackluster tourist destination, forgot the essential shade equipment, or broke the rolling wheel on your faulty ice chest and are forced to drag 30+ pounds throughout the sand the rest of the weekend.
Whether you’re from Michigan and heading towards your favorite campsite at the Great Lakes, or adventuring out of the country on a flight to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic,
Choose Your Beach Strategically
You might have your heart set on a certain city or state, but are you sure you’ve thought it all the way through? Say you live in North Carolina and are contemplating a quick family vacation down the nearby coast of Florida; stay away from the glittery allure of Miami and the expensive traps in Orlando and opt for the lesser known Clearwater Beach instead!
Here you’ll find sugar-like sand, clear, shallow waters, and lifeguards galore. This family-friendly beach will keep the whole team entertained with pirate ship rides, parasailing adventures, and long walks down Pier 60. Be sure to stop by the Clearwater Aquarium while you’re in the area!
When we talk about packing your luggage, we mean more than just your items of clothes. Of course, whimsical men’s short shorts and tropical, flowy dresses are a must if you want to get into the beachy vibe, but if you actually want to enjoy the beach—and not just look like you’re enjoying it in all those photos ops—you’ll need to be a bit more comprehensive with your packing. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a hotel room nursing blistered feet and sunburned skin!
What you can pack along and what you’ll have to rent upon arrival depends on whether you’re driving or flying and how much space that leaves you with. The kids will more than likely need to leave their favorite boogie board at home and pick up a disposable or rentable one at the resort.
Think about taking a trip to the general store to stock up on all the goods you’ll need for the weekend (sunscreen, ice, groceries) to save yourself money and space. If you’re running a little low on room, check out these creative beach hacks for summer fun to see how everyday products can be used on your vacation!
Budget in Advance
There’s nothing better than traveling… but also few things are more expensive. Research which cities are cheapest during your travel month, how expensive breakfast on the beach might be, and the amount of times you can say yes to pleading requests for delicious ice cream.
You want to save up plenty in advance so that you and your family can fully enjoy the trip and all of its activities, but the spending has to stay within reason. If you stray too far from your budget, it might prevent you from taking your annual fall vacation in the months ahead.
Do you have any other beach vacation planning tips we should know about? If so, let us know in a comment below.
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Wow! Some great tips. Thanks for sharing
Thanks Nellie! When my kids were younger, we routinely visited the beach and loved it!
Such a great list!! We love the beach and I would love to visit Clearwater, great tips thank you!
Great tips! I always struggle with what to pack. We have 18 inches of snow here today so really enjoyed your article. Thanks!
18 inches of snow is 18 too many! 🙂 I hope your weather warms up soon and you can plan a beach getaway.
Clearwater is one of my favorite Florida beaches!
I need to be better at budgeting for our holidays. thank you
I agree, Clearwater Beach and the Gulf side of Florida is wonderful. Madeira is about an hour South of Clearwater and is quiet with clean sandy beaches. Wouldn’t have known it existed without research as you suggest.
My dad lives on the Gulf side so I have to agree with you! I’m glad my article helped you out in your travel plans.
Great tips. This reminds me, still need to find our house for our beach vacation this summer. Off to my favorite beach.. Topsail, NC!
As a North Carolina resident, I love NC beaches too! I hope you have a great time in Topsail!
I really love how you included advice on where to go, what to pack as well as budget. Great post. I would love to use this link in a fun post that I wrote about what to pack in a beach bag. I think it would be the perfect fit. If you wouldn’t mind me using it, let me know. I’m kinda new and it’s a small travel blog, but it’s fun.
Thank you Jenny. Please do use the link if you like! Sharing is caring!
Very good list and very timely as we are headed to Florida for Spring Break quite soon!
Sweet! Have fun Pam! I’m headed to Indiana. 🙂
That picture is so great! I love how excited she is to be in the water!
The joy in her face is just priceless!
Great tips. Staying away from where everyone else will be is the best tip!
I’m glad to help!
After our bomb cyclone in Colorado, you make me want to go to the beach! Thank you for the tips.
I saw the crazy snow the bomb cyclone brought to Colorado. Crazy!
We like to pack light for beach vacations. Lots of swimsuits and sunblock. 🙂
Sunblock is a must!
Love it! I particularly love the photo you chose for the title. LOL Sheer joy!!
Agreed. Joy personified by a little girl!
Great Tips, thanks for sharing! We love the beach can’t wait to be back!
I’ll be beaching it a couple times this summer. Love it!
Great tips!! I’m SO ready for beach weather!! : )
Me too! The rain and cold have been nearly unbearable in North Carolina this winter.
These are great ideas! There are so many beaches to choose from that this is very helpful!