Use these tips for before, during, and after your beach trip to make lasting memories with your kids!

When the kids were very young, Russ and I would sometimes worry they wouldn’t remember our family vacations. We tried to prepare our trips to be as much fun as possible, but we were always uncertain if they would come to appreciate it one day.

Sometimes one bad memory can make the biggest impression. As a parent, you certainly want to try your best to make a positive impact!

With a three-part approach, use these tips for planning and spending an unforgettably fun trip together.

Before you go

Over the years, the best vacations we’ve planned I think were when we invited more than just our immediate family. This means more kids on the trip, but also more adults to take turns watching the kids! While the kids play together, it’s much easier to slip away, and you can go in on renting a bigger place at the beach if you’re staying for more than a day trip.

An I Spy game within an ornament where the items inside represent things from a family trip |

As always, you want to be sure that you pack enough comfort food. This is important for the car ride where you might be tempted to only make snacks available, but an accessible cooler could keep food such as sandwiches. You also shouldn’t be too afraid of over-packing, as long as you know you won’t be carrying your luggage around too much.

During your trip

The number one tip for during your vacation is to relax and keep cool!

Not only should you stay out of the sun, hydrate, and use plenty of sun tan lotion, but you want to try to keep your nerves in the heat. When kids are in unfamiliar places, they can feel uncomfortable, in addition to getting sandy, sun burned, hungry, and any number of issues that can lead them to act out.

A DIY ornament made of a shell with beads, wire and marker |

Accept that your kids will have temper tantrums, and don’t let it be the center of any family outing. When you find that your kids have reached their limit, then it’s time for a break instead of continuing the beach or boardwalk.
The best way I’ve learned to keep cool on family vacations is setting time aside just for the adults. By putting them to bed at the usual time on our trips, we would have a few hours at night to relax.

After your return

After your trip, discuss the best parts by asking your kids about their favorite moments of the vacation. It’s important to hear it in their own words so that as they explain it to you, they also realize for themselves why they had fun.

From there, have your kids come up with a keepsake to symbolize their favorite memories using one of these ideas:An ornament with a family of 6 at the beach wearing sunglasses, snorkler, hats and playing with a beach ball |

  1. A Shell Ornament Craft.

Let the children collect shells at the beach and then use our instructions for creating your own shell ornament. With beads, wire, and a marker, they can use shells from the trip to represent the fun they had playing on the beach.

  1. An “I Spy” Road Trip Craft.

This is one of my favorite ornaments to make because it’s entirely customizable! Using sand from the beach you visited, fill a glass ball ornament and add small unique trinkets. These trinkets can be bought at a craft store or collected throughout the trip. Make a small card for naming what’s in the ornament as an “I Spy” game. The kids can shake the ball, then look for the reasons why they had fun on the trip!

  1. A keepsake to represent the family.

If your kids aren’t interested in making a craft to match their favorite memories, check out our selection of vacation ornaments. You can let the kids choose the keepsake so that they feel it represents the fun they had, and our ornaments can be personalized with each family member’s name.

Do you have any tips for positively remembering your family vacations? Tell us in the comments below!