Who here has ever traveled anywhere with a toddler and/or baby?! Good grief, do these little charges of ours need a lot of stuff…Who knew such a tiny person could need SO MUCH?! Like, holy hell…I pack more for my child than I do for me and that is saying something because I’m one of those packers that brings like 5 dresses for a 3 day weekend (and I don’t even wear dresses) because you just never know! I firmly believe in being prepared, unless where I am going has a washer/dryer then everything’s commin’! With my mom in town, I decided to take a few days off of work (sort of) and take a little mini beach vacation.
A little backstory to this mini trip…my mom came up to visit us for the 1st time since early March…while originally I had no plans made, we decided that a quick little trip to the beach where we used to go as a family would be fun. She hadn’t been there in a few years and for me it’s been at least a decade.
If you’re from the NY/NJ/PA area then I am sure you’ve heard of or even been to yourself, Long Beach Island. I don’t remember a lot from my childhood (weird, right?) but one of the things I remember the most about are from our family vacations to this island. Even though we were still in our own state, my parents had a way of making us feel like we were thousands of miles from everything.
This island used to make me feel like I went back in time…it had that small beach town from the 50’s feel to it. However, over the last few years and because of some really bad storms in the area (if you’re from the NY/NJ area, then you will remember Sandy & Ireen), a lot of people are still rebuilding their homes. The businesses and locals have taken this as the opportunity to update/upgrade certain things. The charm is still there but in place of the mom and pop pharmacy is now a yoga studio or the family-owned cafe is now a boutique coffee shop. Some of the mainstays are still there though so that makes all the other changes worth it.
Click here for my free downloadable packing checklist to use for your next trip!! This checklist helps me make sure that I don’t forget anything I absolutely need to bring with us. There are also some blank spaces to customize to your family needs!
When packing for a trip I probably bring about 2-3 extras of each item (depending on the item) based on how many days we are staying. So, for a 4 days trip, I would most likely bring 6 tops (I like options, what can I say?!) For my toddler, that amount might double just because he’s a toddler…and a toddler boy no less. This kid can just look at dirt and get dirty.
Needless to say, my little SUV was jammed packed with crap; 2 adult bags, 1 toddler bag, a bag of snacks (snack king, remember??), a stroller, pack and play & a bag of beach stuff.
- Got on the road about 8:15 AM and made it down in under 2 hours, we stopped for gas and some coffee/breakfast before getting on the highway, so we technically left the house at like 8:00 AM.
- Parked the car near the main part of the town where we were going to be for the day; got out and stretched our legs…walked over to the 5 & 10 store (yes, they still have one of those & no, nothing is 5 & 10 anymore).
- Headed to the town hall to pick up beach passes for myself & my mom. I also changed because I HATE driving in a bathing suit. I also changed Cam into his beachwear because I figured he’d be uncomfortable in his car seat.
- Made it to the beach around 11:00 AM and set up shop near the water…Cam still is a little unsure of the waves but I got him semi-loving it by the end of the day.
- We headed back to the hotel where we were staying around 4(ish), check-in wasn’t until 3 PM so we just stayed at the beach until then.
- Settled into the room and then showered the day away, got dinner & hung out until bedtime. We only got the 1 room so we were all on a toddler schedule; I did, however, do some work once the babe was asleep.
We got a bit of a late start on our 2nd day, the babe didn’t sleep well, he usually doesn’t on our first night in a different place.
- So, we slept in a bit and then headed out for some breakfast & much-needed coffee and hit the road around10:00 AM. Originally we were going to go up to Point Pleasant Beach for the day but since we got a late start, we decided to stay a bit closer and headed to Seaside Heights.
- We arrived and set up shop near the water around 11:00 AM. Cam again was not keen on going near the water itself but was completely content with playing with his bucket and shovel.
- After, spending a few hours on the beach, we headed to the boardwalk for some lunch. We chose a nice little restaurant/bar that did have outdoor seating but we opted to sit inside (close enough to the outdoor area though).
- After lunch, we walked the boardwalk a bit, and I tried to get Cam to take a nap but he was not having it…
- We walked around a bit more and just enjoyed the day, the weather was absolutely perfect.
- We were going to meet a few friends for an early dinner but because of the no-nap situation, we decided to just stay in and relax.
CHECK OUT DAY
I woke up fairly early (7 AM) to kind of start packing and getting all of our stuff together. Cameron had made sure to play with his cars all over the room so I wanted to make sure that we didn’t forget any of them. Cam slept through most of this, which I was extremely thankful for because it made it a lot easier to not have a little one underfoot the whole time.
It is absolutely amazing how quickly everything just gets thrown about when you are staying away from home. We were only gone for like 2 days but you would have thought we were there for over a week.
Click here for my free downloadable packing checklist to use when re-packing to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.
It took me about an hour to make sure we had everything and just do a general pick up of the room. Once I had everything packed up, it was now time to play tetris with the trunk of my car. The drive home wasn’t too terrible, we made it ¾ of the way home before Cam started to get annoyed with being in the car for so long.
The rest of the day was spent unpacking and doing laundry. We also spent some time outside, enjoying the amazing weather we’ve been having. The next thing I knew, it’s bedtime and time for momma to wind down with some adult beverages and mapping out this post!
Doing this trip basically alone with a toddler was an eye opening experience and Ih ave a new found respect for my parents…I can’t imagine what doing this for an entire week adn with more than 1 kid would be like.
I am so glad that I was as prepared as I was because I felt like we didn’t have too many hiccups and the ones we did have, I was able to figure out a solution pretty much stress-free fairly quickly.
Click here for my free downloadable packing checklist to use for your next trip!