Few family-friendly activities top a day at the beach. There’s something for everyone between the sandy shores, sunny skies, refreshing sea breeze, and rolling waves.
With that said, the last thing you want to do is pack everyone up in the car and head to the beach without planning ahead. This is especially true for families with small children.
The good news is it doesn’t take much in order to be fully prepared for a family trip to the beach. Chances are you already have a few things you’ll need.
Let’s take a look at ten must-haves for taking your kids to the beach:
Every parent knows their kids outgrow their clothes within a matter of months, requiring constant replacements. If it’s been more than six months since your last beach trip, chances are your kids will need new swimsuits. From baby bathing suits to preteen swim trunks, the time is now to make sure your offspring have properly-fitting swimwear. That way, you aren’t forced to make a department store pitstop en route to the beach.
Between the sun-baked asphalt of the parking lot, the heat-absorbing sand of the shoreline, and potential hazards beneath the waves, bare feet at the beach are subject to potential pain and discomfort. While cheap flip-flops are the go-to form of footwear for most beachgoers, the thong tends to break through the foam after only a few hours of wear. A better solution is to wear water shoes designed to keep feet protected.
Most parents’ biggest concern when taking little ones to the beach is safety in and around the water. Drownings can be prevented with the use of various floatation devices, starting with arm floaties for babies and toddlers. Life jackets, waist rings, and pool floats can also be used for safety as well as fun. Anything that floats that can be worn or grabbed onto in an emergency is better than nothing.
Beach towels are specifically designed for the typical beach day experience. For one thing, they’re longer than the typical bath towel, providing beachgoers with a comfortable way to lay on the sand. They’re also more durable in the face of constant sand and saltwater exposure. Combined with the colorful, beach-friendly styles and themes, make sure to bring enough beach towels for the whole family.
The bright sun is a welcome sight at the beach for about 20 minutes. Then you start to sweat. While a quick dip is a great way to cool off, not everyone feels comfortable getting into the water. Besides, sometimes all you want to do is sit back, relax, and watch the waves roll in. If you don’t want to sweat and burn, bring a full-size beach umbrella to provide effective shade.
We’ve listed off several key items so far, with several more to go. How will you carry all this stuff from the car to the beach? The best solution is to use a beach cart. As the name suggests, a beach cart provides a mobile means of storing all the items you plan to bring. What’s more, beach cart wheels are specifically designed to power through sandy dunes with a full load, making it easier for families to get from the parking lot to the shore with minimal effort.
Building sandcastles is a fun and exciting beach activity for people of all ages. With this in mind, don’t forget to pack a sandcastle kit before heading to the beach. These kits include several buckets of varying sizes and shapes and child-friendly spades and shovels.
Some beaches include concession stands and other food and beverage options located nearby. But these options are expensive and not always available. With this in mind, bring a cooler packed with snacks, juice boxes, and bottled water. That way, you won’t have to worry about rumbling tummies or dehydration.
Beaches are perennially popular destinations for families around the world. But the experience comes down to whether or not you come prepared.
Julie Steinbeck is a freelance writer from Florida. She enjoys writing about business, finance, health, and travel.