Beach Vacations – What worked for us!

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I’ve take a little hiatus from blogging the past few weeks mainly because I’ve been overwhelmed and tired. We also have some other things going that have kept me from being online a lot. But here I am and before I forget I wanted to share some of the practical tips we picked up on our recent vacation to the beach.

Here are just a few of the practical things that made our vacation that much better:

Saving for vacation ahead of time. Usually we are scrambling to get our finances in order about 2-3 months before our actual vacation. I’m always trying to find an are in our budget where we can skip and save so that we can set aside some money for vacation. This year we took all of our vacation money immediately out of our tax return. Off the top! While we could have used that money to pay off debt (Dave Ramsey would flip if he knew!) we discussed it and realized that Kevin works really hard all year and the one vacation we take is really important “down-time” for him. So Vacation is a priority.

Let me note here that I have absolutely amazing in-laws who have always been very generous with us, this year they paid for the condo rental at the beach so all we had to save for was spending money. Truly a blessing! So when we got our taxes done we decided how much spending money we would want for vacation and put that in our savings account.

The WAGON! – This was Kevin’s big idea that turned out to be a perfect beach investment. He found a used wagon on Craigslist for $25.00 and thought it would be great for the beach this year. I was a bit hesitant, mostly because it already seemed like we were packing for an army! And I didn’t know how we would fit everything! Well he made it fit and it was really helpful. Every morning Kevin would head out to the beach with all of our beach chairs and umbrellas loaded on the wagon and set up on the beach. Then he’d come back with the wagon and we’d strap the Little Guy in along with our beach bags and head off to the beach. The wagon rolled pretty smooth on the sand and made dragging all the stuff and kiddos along much easier!

Storing all beach stuff in the car – After coming back from the beach each day we would throw all of the umbrellas and chairs in the wagon and pop it in the car. This helped to keep the sand in one place and we didn’t have to drag it all into the condo.

Nap times- Having one person bring in both kids for a nap time was great. Not only did one of us get some child-free time on the beach but the one who brought the kids in for a nap got to have some child-free quite time (TV time, reading a book or simply taking a nap).

Planning out meals for the week – My mother-in-law and I planned out 4 different meals for the week. We knew we’d be eating out a few times during the week (it is a VACATION after all!) but we also knew that there would be nights that we just wanted to stay in. The meals that we planned were easy and some of them were prepared before hand. We ran to the store when we arrived to pick up fresh produce and dairy items. We planned meals like taco salad and stuffed shells (from Costco- easy and super yummy!). We also brought a lot of lunch meals and snacks. I’d rather spend my money on a good dinner out then lunch.

Be sure to check back for: The Beach – What didn’t work

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