Planning a Trip to the Beach

Whether you are simply looking to get away for a while, you are hoping for an opportunity to play water sports or simply want some quality time with the family a trip to the beach can promise something for everyone. If you live in an area where there is plenty of shoreline, heading to the beach can be as easy as throwing on a bathing suit and jumping in the car. But if you live farther away you will need to put a bit more effort into planning a family beach vacation.

What to Bring

Obviously you will need your swimsuits and towels, but you should double check whether or not there is an area at the beach to get changed or you will need to come dressed for the day. If you will need to wear your bathing suit home, make sure you bring extra towels, plastic bags or other protection to keep the seats of your car dry. If you are bringing along young children that are not yet potty-trained, remember to pack diapers that are waterproof that will not inflate while they swim and any safety items such as water wings they might need.

If you are planning an all day trip to the beach you will probably want to bring drinks, snacks or maybe even a whole meal. Try to pack as many things as possible in containers with resalable lids to help keep sand out of the food. If the beach you are heading to does not have a picnic area plan to bring an extra blanket to set the food on and pack finger foods that will not be difficult to eat without a table. Avoid foods that are milk based or would easily spoil in the heat as well.

Do not forget the sun protection when planning a day by the shore. This includes sunscreen, preferably a brand that is waterproof if you plan on swimming and extra clothing if you are the type that burns very easily. If it is a very hot day or you plan on spending most of your time sitting in the sand, consider bring an umbrella so you are sure you will have the opportunity to sit in the shade when it gets to warm or the sun is directly overhead. Even if you do not sunburn easily you can become overheated or sun sick if you do not take some time to get out of the sun and allow your body to cool down.

Combining Fun and Safety

If you are heading to the beach with small children, you will need to make sure they are supervised. Playing rough currents or deep water can be dangerous even if your child is a good swimmer and there is a lifeguard on board. Give your children specific guidelines on where it is safe to play and check up on them often to make sure all is well. If your children are very young or have not yet learned to swim you may not want to allow them in the water alone.

Plan things the whole group can do together to maximize fun and safety during your visit. Building a sandcastle, playing volleyball or having a picnic are great ways to have fun together without making it feel like you are babysitting. When planning a trip to the beach you want to make sure everyone gets a chance to do what they want to do without worrying that they are safe or losing track of where they are.

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