It’s that moment you’ve been waiting for all year long – summer vacation at the beach! Your bags are packed, the car is loaded with gear, or you’re headed to the airport to “fly the friendly skies” on your way to fun in the sun at the beach. While traveling with your entire family can often be stressful, there are a few extra challenges any time you travel with children. If there’s one detail that will make the experience that much better, starting even before you ever leave the house, it’s planning. Here are some tips to achieving harmony and happy kids as you drive, or fly, to Folly Beach SC. 

Any trip to Charleston (or one of the barrier islands nearby) should be a pleasurable experience even before you land in the Holy City. While you may encounter things outside of your control along the way, including inclement weather, airport flight delays, or construction along the highway, with a little planning ahead your trip can still go smoothly.

Allow for Extra Time

Planning extra time in your travel itinerary is one of the best things you can do for yourself, and your children. Leave for the airport a littler earlier than usual to account for any traffic delays, parking issues, and generally walking through security at the airport. Be sure to arrive early to take care of unexpected pitstops such as snack and beverage purchases, longer than expected security lines, and of course, one last bathroom stop before boarding a flight.

Don’t Overpack

Families often have a tendency to pack everything their children use at home. Bringing some familiar items will help keep routines consistent but don’t feel the need to bring “everything but the kitchen sink” on your beach vacation! Try to condense and pack the necessities and utilizing a capsule wardrobe for all members of the family when packing for your vacation. If you’re traveling with infants and younger children, at Luxury Simplified Retreats our Concierge team can work with our friends at Baby Away to help assist in baby proofing your home and providing necessities such as high chairs, strollers, and more so your vacation is as stress free as possible.

Sidestep a Meltdown at 35,000 Feet

Take advantage of today’s portable technology and multitude of downloadable shows to keep your tiny tot occupied during long flights and car rides. Download their favorite movies and shows to a tablet or iPad. Be sure to have a backup activity of books and games in case the battery dies. Bringing a comfort item like a beloved stuffed animal or blanket will help them cope with the change of locations.  Snacks never hurt either! If your travels to the beach bring you from another country or even just from the West Coast, outsmart jet lag and help acclimate to the new schedule by shifting your meals to match your destination to help sync your body’s internal clock. This is an easy way to help everyone adjust to the new times.

Pre-Book All Activities

While you booked your luxury vacation rental and your flights well in advance, don’t just stop there! Try to book all activities that require tickets ahead of time so you can skip the lines and begin enjoying the many sites at the beach as well as in and around Charleston. Don’t miss the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry in the heart of downtown Charleston or the South Carolina Aquarium overlooking Charleston Harbor. Book as many as your schedule, and kids patience, will allow. This will help you have more time to relax and enjoy your vacation.

Snacks, Snacks, and More Snacks!

When kids are hungry they can transform a fun family trip into a miserable one in a matter of minutes! Keep easy and sensible snacks available for your children, and even the adults, traveling with you. Store containers with fresh fruit such as pre-cut apples or grapes, and sandwiches. You can start by heading to Bert’s Market, to stock up on beach snacks and beverages, or anything else you’ll need during your stay. This beloved island grocery store is a wonderland for kids to explore, and inside Bert’s Market you’ll find “The Wooden Spoon” their deli counter where you can order fresh made takeout for breakfast or lunch – or just grab a hotdog and a Coke.  If you’re going to pack a cooler for the beach consider buying cheese sticks or kid friendly squeezable yogurts. Even peanut butter & jelly sandwiches can be a quick source of protein for a those without nut allergies. Make sure to pack a few extra lunches as a way to avoid a walk back to the house or car if your child drops their food in the water or sand.

Sunscreen & Shade

Sun protection for everyone in the group should begin before you pack the beach bag and head out the door. Consider applying sunscreen at the house before you head for the beach and re-apply throughout the day while you’re there. The sun can be a wonderful thing, however, too much of it can cause sunburns and in some instances heatstroke. That’s why it’s important to pack plenty of sunscreen and drinks such as, water or Gatorade.  Kids may not think to pause from building their sand castles or playing in the surf, but it’s important to stop every few hours to reapply sunscreen and keep hydrated. Also, don’t forget to bring a bit of shade with you, too. Beaches don’t typically have very much shade, so a small pop-up tent, beach umbrella or the now wildly popular Shibumi Shade can protect you and your family from the sun and keep your food cool. Ask our Concierge team about coordinating beach chairs and umbrellas for you before you even arrive.

Here are 5 Essentials to to pack for a day at the beach with kids:

  • Sunscreen, hat, long-sleeve shirt or beach cover-up and, if they are very young, extra diapers plus a change of clothes.
  • Backpacks and coolers with wheels to help transport food and drinks to and from your vacation rental or vehicle
  • Flotation devices including inflatable life jackets or “swimmies” can help the younger swimmers of your family stay above water. However, anytime your children are in or around the water it’s imperative to be by their side.
  • Bandaids or small, travel first-aid kit for minor cuts or abrasions
  • A few extra reusable bags help you organize trash and other items before you head back home.

Note: Luxury Simplified Retreats is dedicated to providing the ultimate experience for our all of our guests. Our Concierge Team offers the highest level of service for the most discerning of clients. You can view our portfolio of luxury vacation rentals and book direct on Luxury Simplified Retreats, as well as discover all the things to see and do in Charleston when you are here.

Book your Folly Beach SC Vacation