Okay, going to the beach always sounds so amazing doesn’t it! You picture yourself sitting leisurely in your folding chair or maybe your beach blanket as the wind gently sprays salty water through the air and you turn another page in your book. The sun is bright, the sky is free of clouds and the kids are having a blast playing with Dad in the water.
Yeah right! Get a grip!
The reality of a beach trip is this….
You pack up chairs, towels, water toys, sand toys, and maybe a cooler with drinks, and healthy snacks. You load everyone into the car and manage to still find room for a book you’ve been dying to read. You drive over- hop out, then unload it all on the backs and arms of each family member as you begin your hike to the water. After bickering with your husband about where the best spot is, you drop all your supplies and try to set-up while simultaneously slathering the kids up with SPF whatever.
Once the kids are good. Your husband realizes this wasn’t actually the best spot- and that he was indeed right. The best spot was his idea and you’ll need to help move all the supplies over immediately, before someone else grabs it.
If you’ve forgotten what this looks like, I have a picture….
Beach trips can be a lot of work. Mix all this with the heat, crowds, and extra energy the kids are burning- they can be downright exhausting. Don’t get me wrong though- you can have an awesome family trip to the beach. You just have to prepare yourself for it. If you want to avoid an anxiety attack- you’ll have to use some planning and knowledge from past experiences to guide you through a safe and enjoyable trip. It’s doable. I promise. And here’s how…
7 Tips to Enjoying the Beach w/ Your Family
First things first- let him pick the spot. Does it really matter, if you’re seated to the left or right of the lifeguard? No it doesn’t. So just let him pick the spot and avoid having to relocate and the whole debate on which spot is best. Trust me!
Slather the kids up at the car. As they pop out of the vehicle- cover them from head to toe with sunscreen then set a time. Setting a timer on your phone will help you keep track of how long you’ve been at the beach, but also let you know when you need to reapply!
Pack a cooler with twice as much water as you would normally bring. Have the kids start drink in the car, to make sure their well hydrated. Make sure to remind the kids to drink water throughout the day. Personally, every time they go to wipe the salt water out of their eyes, I remind them to take a few sips.
When you arrive at the beach it’s a good idea, especially if it’s a crowded public beach, to point out some location indicators to the kids. They’ll be playing in the water, or if their older enough- swimming in the water, which will take them up or down the beach without them noticing. Showing them how to determine where your family is an easy way to avoid anyone getting lost. You might also make a point to bring a bright family flag- to further identify you.
Mentally plan to play a few games. At least 1-2 an hour where everyone can join in and participate. Playing in the water is fun, but tossing a Frisbee or playing a game of beach volleyball can create memories you appreciate when the day is over.
Building a sand castle is a must. You have to do it! Even if you don’t have sand toys, your hands will work just fine! Grab globs of wet sand and create a family castle you’ll be proud of (or not). It doesn’t have to be huge, or pretty for that matter- just do it! Sitting in the sand, with your whole family working on one project will bring everyone closer, again creating great memories to reflect on later.
Don’t cram all your time full of fun and activity- sometimes you just want to chill! Relaxing on the beach with the fresh, salty air and the sounds of children playing can be very relaxing. Take turns just hanging out enjoying a few chapters in your book or just watching the kids. Down time cannot be underestimated, it’s important.
Safe Travels & Many Adventures-