How to plan a day at the beach with your family

A beach vacation is a great way to unwind, relax and spend time with your family away from the stress and restrictions of daily life.  The sun, sand and surf have a way of washing away the worries of life and injecting energy into you and your family.  A warm, sunny day building sand castles, play catch and swimming in the ocean is a great way to spend your vacation. However, when you are traveling to the beach with small children, preparing is the key to avoiding disaster.

The first step in planning a beach vacation is to decide which beach you will visit.  If you are traveling with children, it is important to research beach resorts to make sure that they are family friendly and offer the facilities and activities that you need and desire.  Pay close attention to the activities that are offered both on and off the beach such as kid’s clubs, babysitting services, swim instructors, beach equipment available, etc.  Some beach resorts cater specifically to families and young children by providing services and facilities that make planning a beach vacation easier for parents.

When packing for your beach vacation, there are several items that you do not want to forget to throw into the suitcases.  Beach resorts have almost every item that you need for a fun day at the beach; however, they charge two to three times as much for these items than you would pay at home. Therefore, do not forget to pack the following for your beach vacation:

  • Sunscreen – Sunscreen is essential for a beach vacation.  For children, get a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and make sure that it has both UVA and UVB protection.  It should be waterproof but you will still need to reapply it several times throughout the day and after swimming.
  • Bathing suits, cover-ups & towels – All essential items for spending a day on the beach but you do not want to buy them at the resort.
  • Insect repellent – This is good to have for the evenings when bugs may be out.
  • Water bottles and small snacks – Hydration is essential when you are spending your days on the beach.  Bring bottles that you can refill with water and small snacks to carry down to the beach with you.
  • Water shoes – Some children do not like the feel of the ocean floor.
  • Aloe Vera gel and lotion – Unfortunately, someone may get too much sun.  Aloe Vera gel will help with burns.  Applying lotion after bathing helps keep skin from over drying from the sun, sand and saltwater.
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