My Twitter profile says that I’m happiest on a beach. That’s true.
It wasn’t that long ago that I found myself unhappy, beaten and burdened by the cold late winter/lousy spring weather. That led me to plan a spontaneous trip to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
At first, the trip wasn’t to Florida. It wasn’t to anywhere in particular. My whole goal was to get to a beach, any hot sunny beach and fast.
I googled the driving distances from airports to oceans. Fort Lauderdale Beach was noted as being less than 5 miles from the International Airport, FLL. After a quick check through California airports, and then looking for prices, it became crystal clear that a direct flight from Winnipeg (YWG) to Fort Lauderdale (FLL) was the ticket I was after.
Saturday morning flights, with Westjet are non-stop to FLL. So, we left at sunrise and were actually, physically on the beach by 1:15pm local time. That was fabulous. I paid just over $200 can for that part of the flight.
As soon as my toes hit the sand, I felt a wave of calm hit my body. I was suddenly relaxed. The ocean waves crashing in were music to my ears. Though the bliss was pretty quickly interrupted by my 10 year old son, who was my travel buddy for this ocean adventure.
“Mom, I need a bathing suit.”
“Okay, I replied, we’ll head up to the hotel and change.”
“Mom, I forgot to pack one.”
Suddenly, my vague packing instructions were coming back to haunt me, and just 30 minutes into the vacation. I had said, “pack your bags and grab a new toothbrush, we’re heading to Florida in the morning.” I guess I could have been more specific. Maybe he’d packed for Mickey Mouse or alligator wrestling. Maybe I didn’t actually tell him we were heading to a beach. Oops.
The next 30 minutes were spend at beach shops along the street, looking for something in his size. Then he wanted a water toy. So $50 later, we were back on the sand, and ready for a swim.
This reminds me of 2 of my best beach packing tips:
- Bring 2 swimsuits per person. When one is uncomfortably sandy, wet or drying, wear the alternate.
- Buy and pack inflatable toys from the dollar store. They pack flat and save you so much time and money. A $1 beach ball from home is as much fun as a $7 beach ball you bought on site.