When it comes to a family beach vacation, a little preparation can already go a long way in ensuring not only a safe, but enjoyable experience for everyone involved. From packing smart to keeping our family’s health and safety in mind, here are a couple of things to make the most of your beach getaway!
The Beach Packing List: Essentials for Every Family
Before you hit the sun and surf, it’s essential to have a well-rounded beach packing list that covers all your family’s needs. Well, let’s be honest, with kids around, you can never fully be prepared for all eventualities – but hey, we can at least try! And some must-have items already cover a pretty good range. The most important thing is sun protection. Sunscreen with a high enough SPF, wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and UPF-rated swimwear for kids are things you can’t leave your hotel or holiday home without. Sunburns are serious health risks – not only for us adults but especially for our little ones. And when in doubt, always opt for more layers of protection, than less. Similarly, remember to bring a first aid kit. Include band-aids, antiseptic wipes, insect repellent, and any necessary medications. Sharp stones or shells can lead to cuts quite quickly!
Obviously, enough beach gear should be brought in, as well. Beach towels, beach chairs, umbrellas, and a nice big beach tote to carry everything around with are a great base – but make it dependant on what your individual needs are. If you’re enjoying your beach trip with a toddler, you might want to get a little tent, where they can get all snuggled up if they need a little break. Or, if you’re on a family activity holiday with some more independent kids – you might not need as much to bring for entertainment. Beach balls, buckets and spades for building sandcastles, and inflatable floats for fun in the water are always a good idea for some downtime. Similarly, bring something like books, magazines, or beach games.
Healthy Beach Snacks for Keeping Little Tummies Happy
Keeping your little ones (and let’s be honest – ourselves) energised and satisfied during long beach days is crucial. And food just tastes better when you’re out and about. Here are some healthy and portable snack ideas that are perfect for the beach. Ideally, you’ll pack them all in a cooling bag. Not only to have a great refreshing treat but also to have it last longer.
Fruit kabobs – skewer chunks of watermelon, pineapple, and grapes for example – are great for a refreshing and hydrating snack. By having them on skewers, you’ll minimise the number of sticky hands, too. A plus! If you have the option to put your grapes in a freezer the night before, they’ll make for an even cooler (ha, pun intended!) snack. Little yoghurt cups, especially added with granola or fresh berries, as well as trail mix with nuts, dried fruit and maybe a hint of dark chocolate (only if you can keep it chilled, though!), are equally great. And, of course, the classic: tea sandwiches. Prepare bite-sized sandwiches with whole-grain bread, lean protein, and veggies for little noms in between running, swimming, and sandcastle-building. And, finally, pack more than enough hydration for everyone. There should be plenty of water available to keep everyone hydrated more than enough. Pack around two litres for each adult and a good litre for each kid!
Beach Safety Tips for Keeping Your Family Safe and Sound
While fun is obviously the main goal of any beach vacation, safety should never be overlooked – especially at a potentially risky and dangerous location such as the waterfront. The elements are unpredictable and when travelling with kids – you need to be aware of that. That said, always swim close to a lifeguard station, which also means that, whenever possible, choose a beach that has lifeguards to begin with. Keep a close eye on your children and only swim within the designated areas – they are there for a reason. One of them? Rip currents. Educate yourself and your family about them and most importantly, what to do if caught in one: swim parallel to the shore until you’re out of the current.
Stay hydrated and drink, even if you don’t feel thirsty (fun fact: if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated!) and apply sunscreen – those two should be non-negotiable, as well. It should be reapplied around every two hours, but especially after swimming. Don’t forget to protect sensitive areas like ears or the back of the neck!
If you’re in a more open area, please also respect the wildlife around you. Teach your children how to respect marine life and avoid touching or disturbing creatures like jellyfish, starfish, or sand dollars. And just like that, you should find yourself in a position, where you can truly relax on your day at the beach.