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So, the weather is great, the sun is shining, and you are looking for something to do with the kids. What better way to spend the day then head off to the beach for a day playing in the sand. However, there are some things that you should do to make your day trip go well without any incidents. Here are some top tips on how to prepare your family for the beach.
Plan Your Trip
Although you will be eager to jump in the car and drive to the beach, you will need to plan a little first, especially if you have young kids. Think about where the nearest or best beach is to you, and how long it will take to get there. If you are looking at an hour or more, then you might need to plan some breaks in along the trip. Check out the map and see if there are any roadside cafes or picnic areas that have toilets. Your kids will likely need a toilet stop along the way, so knowing where they are could be a lifesaver. A long trip also means you need to think about entertainment for the kids along the way. A DVD is a good idea, but what about some games as well.
Take a Pop-Up Tent or Shelter
Spending the day on the beach is fun, but if you are out in the sun constantly, then it can quickly become unpleasant. For that reason, you should invest in a pop-up tent or shelter that you can take with you in the car. Many of the newer tents can fold up into a small area so they won’t take up much space. You can sometimes hire beach umbrellas from the beachside huts, but these don’t always offer enough cover, and they can easily blow away.
Plan the Route to the Beach
If you have packed a lot of beach equipment, then you will need a way of transporting it down to the beach. If it is particularly busy, you might have to park some distance away. To try and make the journey easier, plan to take some trolleys with you that you can put all the beach things in and wheel down to the sand. They are also a good way of keeping everything together while you’re there so that it doesn’t get lost or blow away. It is also a good idea to take with you a cool bag that you can put lunchtime snacks in. It will stop the food from getting warm, and you can keep some cool drinks in there as well.
A day at the beach might seem like just a shorts type of day, but you will need to think ahead for later in the day. If you get to the end of the day and you don’t fancy cooking, you might want to go to a local restaurant for dinner. Unfortunately, you cannot turn up in your swimming shorts, so you need to pack some clothes. There are some nice designer ranges online, and there is more info here, ideal for any parent looking to improve their kid’s wardrobe.
Planning Nap Time
If you have younger children that still take naps during the day, then you will have to make a decision on them napping at the beach. You can always forgo the nap just this once, but you might end up with a cranky little one later. Another option is to plan a nap into the day at the beach. Try to stick to the normal time of day as they will be used to this, you should also take their favourite snuggle toy with them to sleep with. Try to choose one that can go in the washing machine, just in case it gets grubby.
Get There Early
If you want to get the best possible spot on the beach, you need to think about going early. The kids can sleep in the car so it won’t disrupt their sleep too much, and they will appreciate being close to the sea. Another reason why you might want to get there early is that you don’t want to be on the beach when the sun is at its strongest. Getting there early means you will have plenty of time there before you have to go.
Choose a Recognizable Spot
When the beach gets busy, it can be difficult to find out where you are, especially for young children. That is why it is a good idea to pick a spot that has something recognizable such as the lifeguard’s tower. It is going to be seen from a long way, so your kids will know where you are, and you can find your patch if you go down to the water. Be aware that you shouldn’t sit right in front of the lifeguard as they need a clear path to the sea, and they will ask you to move.
Probably one of the most important things about the beach day is sunscreen. You need to make sure that you and the kids are covered before you get on the beach. If you wait until you are there, your kids won’t be so co-operative, and you might miss spots. You need to take a high SPF or Sun Protection Factor with you, one of at least 30, but preferably 50 for the kids. You also need to set a good example for them by using sunscreen as well. It is also important that you get a sunscreen that protects from both UVA and UVB rays as some of them only protect against one type. Another thing you need to remember is that you need to keep reapplying the sunscreen throughout the day every two hours. It will give your children the best possible protection and replenish any that might have washed off in the water.
Your day at the beach will be both tremendous fun for the kids, and a nice relaxing time for you. All you need is a little planning and some preparations.