With more lovely summer days ahead and for a fun filled day on the beach we have put together the best beach packing tips for you to make the most of your day out. Before you pack a picnic, check out this great guide. We don’t want to toot our own horn, but when it comes to spending days on the beach with a tribe of young children, we have done extensive road testing and research. So you don’t have to eat the gritty sandy snacks, tasting slightly of sunscreen!
On a recent early morning swim, I watched a family coming down onto the beach with everything but the kitchen sink. From experience I know that planning a day on the beach with the family usually starts the day before. Gone are the carefree days of grabbing a towel, book and suntan lotion to cat nap and relax on the beach.
But not all is lost, a day on the beach with your bubs can be awesome! Follow these simple steps to make the day smooth sailing all the way.
Start planning as early as possible, if the weekend weather looks like it’s going to be a corker start scheming to hit the beach.
The Night before
As soon as the bubs are in bed, pull out a cooler bag and a big beach bag, a wet bag and reusable plastic bags.
On the dining room table make 4 piles;
- Pack in the Beach Bag Pile
- Wet Bag Pile
- Pack in Cooler Bag Pile
- Put on before Leaving the House Pile
Let’s face it, by the time the children are up bright and early in the morning and hear the word “Beach” it’s going to take you an extra hour to get out the door.
- Beach Bag Pile:
- Towels – one for each person, kids won’t share a towel so just be prepared to give them their own.
- Baby change kit – diapers and reusable swim nappy, packet of baby wipes, a wet facecloth in a box with a lid, baby powder – it is great for getting sand off chubby leg creases and out from between little toes. A hairbrush and hair bands.
- Pack a bug spray for the sand flies.
- Family size sunscreen, both spray on and UPF50+ baby sun lotion for sensitive skin.
- Lip Balm with sun factor and a stick of zinc for extra nose and ear coverage.
- Arm float bands and floatation vests, one for each child – if you’re using inflatable arm bands blow them up the night before and if they are soft in the morning, you’ll know if they have a leak and will need replacing.
- Zip lock bag for keys and phones.
- Wet Bag Pile:
- A change of underwear for older kids and a change of clothes, a coverall after swim – dress, romper or jumpsuit – I prefer one-piece clothing styles for on the move changes. I pack these into separate wet bags or plastic bags for each child. These items will be exchanged for the wet towel and bathers at the end of the day.
- Cooler Bag Pile:
- 4 Water bottles - 2 with water and place 2 water bottles ½ filled into the freezer, these are great as cold blocks in the cooler bag.
- Pack a picnic! Dried fruit like apple rings, raisins or apricots, these make a great mid-morning snack. Lunch is usually a salad wrap or simple sandwich. Vegie sticks and grapes. Leave these in the fridge overnight and put them cold into the cooler bag.
- Pack separate lunches for adults and buy small bags of chips so sandy little hands don’t contaminate yours.
- Avoid sticky finger food and melty foods – like chocolate and cheese.
- Put in an extra trash bag. Rubbish from the day can be easily disposed of on the way home.
- Put on Before Leaving the House Pile:
- Sun protection rash vests and bathing suits.
- Sunscreen and lip balm – this will need to be packed into the Beach Bag.
- Sun hats for each person and thongs and sunnies.
Then it’s time to raid the shed for beach tent, beach mat, boogie boards, portable potty, sand toys with bucket and spade in mesh bag. A Trolley or big wheeled pram for navigating over sand, don’t bother with a small wheeled urban stroller, you’ll need to carry it over the sane. Forget the frisbee no one ever plays with it, except the dog and she’s staying home, instead pack the tennis ball there are so many fun games that you can play with it, rounders and catch, or Cornhole – where you try and throw the ball into the hole from a distance.
If you have a baby with you then taking a plastic or waterproof sheet with you is a genius way of creating a small paddle pool under the umbrella. I highly recommend this and will save you running back and forth with small bucket of water.
Now it’s time to fall exhausted into bed, quickly check the tides on your phone, beach facilities, toilets and parking. Get a good night’s rest and enjoy the craziness that is parenting and making lifelong memories on the beach.