Planning for a trip to the beach

With summer upon us, the beach beckons us home. Ahhhh...the beach...my happy place. As you prepare for your descent upon the Gulf of Mexico (for my Alabama peeps) or east or west coast depending on where you live, here is my practical advice for preparing and packing for that long awaited summertime fun.

Here's my advice in two parts:

1. If you have small children -

tip Utilize towels and plastic bags to catch spills and messes. Take two towels and lie them lengthwise across the backseat and then install the car seats. Take another two towels and do the same thing for the floor board. If you want to make sure that liquid doesn't seep through to the upholstery, place kitchen trash bags under the towels for extra protection. Not only does it prevent damage to the car, but allows for easy clean up after the trip by just lifting the towels up and shaking them over a trash can.

tip Develop a system for snacks, DVDs, toys, diapers, and trash that works for you. Check out this post on how to organize your car for the upcoming road trip.

tip Change a diaper every time you stop for gas.

tip Pack light and pack casual. This is the beach, not Project Runway. Leave the high heels, pack the flip flops. Read here for my thoughts on beach towels.

2. If you don't have children -

tip You are losing time reading this. Grab you toothbrush and swimsuit and head out the door. Embrace the spontaneity of life. :) I will live vicariously through you and your adventure.

Happy swimming!

Which beach are you vacationing at this summer?