La Isla Bonita – Packing 101


Summer has officially arrived and we are so blessed to have a beautiful beach within hours of us!

For the last few weekends we have packed up what seems like the entire house, loaded up the kids and headed to South Padre Island for some fun in the sun. Before we had the boys we could survive a trip to the beach with a towel, sunscreen and a change of clothes.

Since having the kids our packing list has grown just a little bit. Refer to Exhibit A and B below. I remember my husband’s reaction when he saw the bag I had packed for our first day over there.

“Seriously, Jen, all of this?”
“Yup,” I responded.
“ALL OF THIS for one day? Let’s go!”


Now that we’ve survived a few weekends of this, our beach bag stays packed and is ready to go by the door. So what’s in it? Just the essentials of course!



1. H20 – Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! We’ve taken both individual water bottles and a gallon on our trips and found that individual bottles worked better for us. We try to get both of our boys to drink up about every 45 minutes or so and keep the water nice and cool by storing them in daddy’s cooler with his “daddy juice.”

2. Sun Safety – Living in the great RGV we all know the importance of sunscreen. There are so many options out there to use and I know we all have our favorites. It doesn’t matter what you use as long as you use something on you and your kiddos! Nobody wants to come home with a bad sunburn. Also don’t forget to reapply every so often. SPI also offers beach umbrella rentals for even more protection from the sun. We have invested in a beach canopy which is great when friends and family join us on the sand. You can find a great deal on these at Academy, Wal-Mart and even Target.

3. Beach Toys – The first weekend we made it out to the beach we forgot our beach toys and had to make a last minute stop at Walgreens for that exact set you see in the picture. Turned out to be a great buy! Kids love to spend their time building castles, covering their siblings/friends/mom/dad/ in sand or just filling and dumping those pails with sand or water. If you do forget the toys no worries remember that the beach is so much fun for the kids. You can hunt for shells and then use them to dig. If all else fails look for a spot next to another family who didn’t forget their toys 🙂

4. Towels – I love these hooded towels for my boys. They make clean up time so easy and come in so many cute options for boys and girls. Truth be told if they came in adult sizes I’d be wearing one too! We always try to pack extra towels just in case.

5. Wipes – Since becoming a mom I carry wipes everywhere — my purse, my car, daddy’s car! There’s always a pack of wipes in our beach bag too. They come in handy after snack time and before settling back in the car.

6. Carry all tote – This 4 Boys bag by Scout has been a lifesaver for us at the beach. It is large enough to fit everyone’s essentials and comes with a zippered top which is great because nothing falls out.

7. Baby Powder – Who knew baby powder was such a miracle worker? It is perfect for removing sand from legs, toes and little fingers especially when they are reaching for a snack. Apparently what happens is baby powder removes moisture from the skin which allows sand to come off easily. Once you try this you won’t head to the beach without it!

8. Water shoes – These are great protection from the hot sand and work great while walking around in the water too, They are easy to get on and off and dry quickly.

9. Sunglasses – We talked about sun safety earlier but don’t forget about your eyes! Make sure everyone has a pair of shades on. I know this can be hard because sometimes kids won’t leave them on but if they do make sure they are wearing UV protected sunglasses. Besides them being safe for your kids, who doesn’t love a baby in sunglasses!

10. Plastic bags – On our way to the beach I use these bags to hold an extra change of clothes for the boys and ourselves. On the way back I put their wet trunks and towels in them. I know there are lots of other cute options out there for holding wet swim trunks and suits but this has worked great for us.

11. Snacks – I’m not sure what it is about the beach but it seems like as soon as we hit the sand everyone is famished and needs a snack. To save on money we’ve learned to pack snacks with us. Fruit is one of our favorite things to pack and thanks to daddy’s cooler it stays nice and fresh for us. Our other go to’s are Mum-Mum’s, trail mix and sandwich goodies. Those Ziploc bags work great for snacks as well.

12. Change of Clothes – No ride home is ever fun with sandy clothes so don’t forget to pack an extra change of clothes. Sometimes I even throw in two changes just in case! I try to pack something loose and comfy because most trips back the boys (sometimes even daddy)  are knocked out by the time we get over the bridge.

Download and Print this Checklist Below:

Beach checklist RGV Moms Blog-01



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