My family is headed to the beach for the 4th of July so, of course, my Amazon cart is already loaded with beach essentials to purchase before we go. Everything feels overwhelming the first time you travel with kids but, after the first time, it becomes second nature. (But let me tell you, there’s nothing like the freedom of a solo flight when you’re a mom.)
One of my favorite traveling tips? Ship the Amazon boxes to your destination. You’ll save precious suitcase space and have everything you need when you arrive. There’s no need to cart sunscreen, beach toys or diapers with you on the plane. Just make sure you double check the hotel accepts packages. If they do, add the hotel name along with your name in the ship to address.
Read on to see what’s in my Amazon cart for our upcoming beach vacation.
Finding swimsuits when you're a mom is hard. You want it to be cute but also functional for chasing your kids. This one is fashionable, and 575 4-star reviews can't lie.
Recommended by many dermatologists, this sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays, is water-resistant and won't give you a white cast that you get with some zinc sunscreens.
Full disclosure – these aren't in my cart anymore because I already bought them. They're reasonably priced, haven't scratched yet and look just as fancy as designer sunglasses.
On beach days, I spend most of my time packing, unpacking and wrangling. So basically, the world sees my bathing suit for about 10 minutes. The rest of the time is spent in a cover up - like this cute one that's coming on our trip.
I'm all about SPF now that I'm older and realized sun damage causes cancer, wrinkles and brown spots (yes, I'm vain). These packable tan towels aren't too orange and don't streak.
For the Kids
Not only does this sun hat offer SPF 50 protection, but it covers baby's neck, face, and is machine washable. I'll take 3, please!
One of my friends turned me onto the Fiream brand. It looks just like Hanna Andersson but is a third of the price. All of the reviews say it is soft and washes well.
This is one of the only spray sunscreens that contains zinc oxide, which sits on top of the skin so it forms a barrier against sun rays.
I can't tell you how many times I've recommended these shoes. They're perfect for water play, can be rinsed with the hose and worn all summer long. My son has two pairs.
For the Beach and Pool
Dock & Bay
These towels are sand-proof. Enough said.
Yes, you can buy beach toys when you get to your destination. But these are BPA-free and come with a mesh bag so you don't have to throw them in your beach bag.
This bag is basically indestructible – it is washable, made of mesh so sand doesn't hide at the bottom, and can be used for years worth of beach days.
This cabana isn't the dreamy blue and white stripe one you think of when you hear the word cabana. But it's functional and that wins for me. It can be assembled quickly and is the perfect spot for a beach nap out of the sun.
Sometimes the only saving grace on a long flight is an iPad. I have no shame in letting my toddler indulge in a little Curious George to get through a long flight. These headphones are padded so he keeps them on, fold easily and come in multiple colors.
This stroller has all the bells and whistles for a budget price. The seat reclines for nap time, has a large canopy to block the sun, and has lots of storage.
And this stroller is a major splurge. A car seat can be attached and it folds down with one hand. It's great if you're traveling alone with kids and need every free hand you can get.
Curious Minds Busy Bags
Between planes, cars and more dinners out than usual on vacation, you need all the tricks your purse can handle. This pack has a doodle pad, games and stickers.
When you're traveling as a family, packing cubes are life. These keep everyone's stuff separate. You can even buy a certain color for each family member if you're feeling very organized.
For Those Few Moments of Relaxation
Vacation is one of the only times I can get through a full book these days. With all the crazy going on in the world, I want to sink into a beautiful world of intrigue and romance.
This tumbler keeps hot drinks warm for three hours and cold up to 12 hours. Steal away for a few minutes to enjoy a nice hot cup of coffee or cool glass of rose.
Instead of standard iPhone shots, give your kids a camera while you're on vacation and let them go wild. It will let them be creative, is a fun activity to keep them busy, and you'll see the vacation through their eyes.
Mae is one of Amazon's newest lines. Not only is it all adorable, but this pair is perfect for cool beach nights and early mornings on the porch.
Throw this in your suitcase for hours of fun at the pool or at night with your family.
Did I miss anything? What are your summer vacation must-haves? Share in the comments!