Beach Trip Hacks (Dad Stuff)

We’re heading down to the beach at the end of this month.  I can’t tell you how excited I am.  We’ve rented a house down on 30A with a couple other families and all the kids.  The roster will be as follows:

Adults: 6
Kids: 7
Nanny: 1

I like our odds.  This will be the forth beach trip that I’ve done with kids.  It’s a whole different animal.  All the kiddos are under 8, so the typical day will be beach in the morning, lunch (naps for those that take them), then pool in the afternoon.  The kids eat dinner, then the nanny starts the nighttime routine, as the adults get ready and head out for dinner/drinks.  Should be a blast.

Now, going to the beach with kids presents a whole new set of challenges.  Besides safety, there is an element of STUFF.  The kids require so much stuff.  We rent chairs and umbrellas each day as it’s totally worth not having to drag them back and forth from the beach along with everything else in tow.

I’ve gotten pretty good at having kiddos on the beach…here are a few hacks that make the most of the adventure:

From top left:

1. Dandux Large Coal Bag:  I got this about ten years ago from A Continuous Lean, and love it.  It’s titled a ‘coal bag’, which I translate into ‘huge’.  On the trip down from Atlanta, it holds everything that Mrs. RCS and I carry to the beach – towels, sunscreen, koozies, books, the speaker, and some small odds and ends.  It becomes the catch-all while we are down there.  The thick canvas can withstand anything.  I usually hose it off after our last trip to the beach and hang it in the sun to dry.  The patina is first ballot HOF.
2. Onward Reserve Beach Cups:  I’m not a Yeti guy on the beach.  I’m also not a solo cup guy.  Instead, I opt for old Masters cups.  They are sturdy enough to withstand the chaos, yet cheap enough to be disposable (should something happen to them.  Don’t have any from Augusta?  Onward Reserve sells sets of ten, which should be good for a week at the beach.
3. White Tour Visor:  I always go for a white tour visor at the beach.  Call it a habit.  By the end of the week it’s full of sweat and sunscreen, so I soak it in the pool and hang it with the canvas bag.  Again, patina.
4. Nylon Beach Blanket:  A new addition to the arsenal, a much better option than terry cloth towels in the sand.  Sand doesn’t stick to nylon, and it’s washable.  This should be big enough to act as home base for the kiddos and three families worth of stuff.
5. JBL Clip Speaker:  A must have on the beach.  It clips to the umbrella or the wagon and keeps it fun.  The deeper we get into the Miller Lattes, the closer we get to late-night college playlists.  Reliving the glory days…
6. Short Sleeve Linen Button Up:  When at the beach, I wear these almost exclusively around the water.  I get the sun shirts, as well as the tech polos, but I like the look of these.  I can throw it on over a swimsuit and look somewhat put together.  The linen is breathable, and the short sleeves let the pythons loose.  Always white, so they can be bleached.
7. Foldable Side Tables:  A serious hack.  When renting chairs and umbrellas, they NEVER include side tables.  So, I always bring a few of these folders to the beach.  They are super cheap, but highly utilized.
8. HUGE Beach Towels:  Huge beach towels.  Always white so they can be bleached with #6.
9. Mesh Toy Bag:  We limit #HJS to anything that will fit in this bag. He’s got trucks, shovels, rakes, buckets, and other odds and ends.  All plastic.  We load it up to go to the beach, then hose it all out when we get back to the house (along with #7).  This is seriously helpful to ensure the boys have a good time.
10. Lens Wipes:  I hate smudged glasses.  I throw a few of these in our beach bag and do the deed as needed.
11. Marsh Wear Swimsuit:  Every year I treat myself to a new swimsuit.  This year’s winner is the camo option from Marsh Wear.  I love the fit, and I love off-season camo.  They’ll love this anti-Pinterest option down on 30A, along with my tall boy Miller Latte and Pantera blaring on the speaker.
12. Folding Utility Wagon:  Wagons are a huge thing down there, but it’s key to get one with good wheels.  We’ve used this one twice and it’s great.  Same with the toy bag and the tables, we hose it out the night before we leave and it’s clean as a whistle as we head back to the big city.
13. Hard Cooler:  When it’s just our family, a soft cooler works.  However, when we’ve got a dirty dozen of us, we need the space, as well as the extra seat.  Kids eat all the time, so this holds everything but the beer.

Got any hacks you’d like to share?



  1. Kaleb
    06/12/2020 / 7:57 AM

    Solid recs. We got my oldest a radio flyer with inflatable tires a few years back, and it’s been a mainstay if our beach spread. Not quite as convenient as the foldable, but easy to lug across the sand when it’s full of STUFF (and maybe even a kid).

  2. HL
    06/12/2020 / 8:34 AM

    Great list. You hit the nail on the head with the wipes and side table – living accents makes a bungee one with cup holds and they sell at ACE hardware.

    My two sons are almost 4 & 2 – so we also bring :

    Kelty Cabana Shelter – for beach naps (on sale at REI in Deep Teal which is what we have )
    Dewalt Portable fan & extra batteries – put this in the cabana shelter for the kids to cool off quicker when eating/napping/cool down

  3. Tanner
    06/12/2020 / 9:33 AM

    Great list. We also bring a beach tent to let the kids and mom play and nap in. I used to haul my 50 qt Pelican but the thing is a beast so switched to the Yeti Hopper Flip 18. We are able to throw that in the wagon or carry it easier. Usually at some point in the day someone will run back to the beach house so just restock it then if needed.

  4. Christian
    06/12/2020 / 11:46 AM

    Do y’all own or are you renting? These are all solid suggestions to have already stored down there!

  5. PDB
    06/12/2020 / 4:18 PM

    Heading down to Kiawah in a few weeks with our three (9,4,2) and these are some great suggestions. Already pulled the trigger on the nylon beach blanket. I can’t deal with lugging the full Yeti down to the beach, so I just picked up a really nice waxed canvas insulated tote from LLBean….plenty of room for the PB&J sandwiches, the tall boys, and the pre-mixed cocktails (don’t forget the ice).


  6. Tait
    06/12/2020 / 4:48 PM

    Not a hack necessarily, but don’t forget to tip the beach service guys! Actually, it might be a hack…just got back from my third trip to South Walton county in as many weeks and the beach service guys quickly remembered my name and reserved my chair set up for me each morning…even on TS Cristobal days.
    Stick around till late in the afternoon and you’ll see just how hard they work!

    Also, side tables are a game changer!!!!

  7. Daniel
    06/12/2020 / 5:08 PM

    I have an Igloo Trailmate. It’s 70 qts, and has giant all terrain wheels. Another plus is it has two tie down spots on each side so you can bungee strap stuff to the top. Holds ice for 5 days outside in SE Alabama heat.

  8. Pete
    06/12/2020 / 5:39 PM

    Zip lock bags for the phones! Great list. Thanks as always. Love the content.

    • HL
      06/15/2020 / 6:32 AM

      I used to use the nylon pocket that came in the older Southern Tide swim trunk back pocket for phone/money/cards. Now I use the yeti sidekick pouch for phones/wallets/cards/small goods/etc.

  9. Stephen
    06/12/2020 / 5:41 PM

    Having moved recently to West Palm Beach, those are all solid recommendations. I use my collection of old Mardis Gras cups collected over the years and some Yeti Ramblers for cool refreshments,

  10. Mimms
    06/12/2020 / 7:36 PM

    The Onward Reserve / PDC knockoff towels made me lol

  11. whiskeydent
    06/13/2020 / 8:43 AM

    Sunglasses, strong sunscreen (SPF redhead) to prevent kiddo sunburns, aloe vera cream for the inevitable kiddo burns, Deep Woods Off for mosquitos,, anti-itch ointment for mosquito bites, and lotsa coozies. You might also consider some small field glasses for monitoring kids from a distance and/or observing and appreciating other sights on the beach.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Close Me
Looking for Something?
Post Categories: