What to take for a family trip to the beach this weekend
Summer is here and if you're anything like our family, the weather is so beautiful that you're swimming at the beach every day. Nothing beats an Aussie summer, with the smell of barbeques in the air, sunburnt bodies walking along the beach and Mums and Dads all over the country saying "There's no point vacuuming the car, we're just going to get sand in it tomorrow anyway!"
Each time we go to the beach, there is a long list in my mind of the things that I need to take - and then I usually get there and realise that I have forgotten the most important things. So here is a list for you, and me, about the Top 10 Essential Items to Put in your Beach Bag This Summer - particularly if you have kids. If you have more ideas and tips, please leave a comment at the bottom of this article - you can never hear about too many hacks when it comes to making life easier!
1/ The Basics are what we all put in our beach bags, and most of us put in the same things (yes, I've asked my friends what's in their beach bags for research!). Try and pick the biggest and best beach towels that you own, which aren't scratchy after being washed over an over (kids will complain if they get a scratchy towel!). A good sunscreen that rolls on and doesn't get into your eyes is a must - we use Woolworths Kids Sunscreen, for just $4. You also need hats that aren't too fancy - they will probably be worn both in the water and on the sand, and most likely end up getting lost in the wind. Lastly, you will need water bottles for everyone - freeze them overnight and pop them in a cooler (or wrap them in tea towels), so they will still be somewhat cold by the time you drink them.
2/ A Bucket & Spade is a "must" for entertainment for all ages - even older kids will find something to dig or build with them! If you can find one, a larger spade will also help dig a hole for your beach umbrella. If you have room, also pack a Frisbee, kite, beach game or a blow up ball for more fun out on the sand. For a cheaper option, take a soup ladle and a plastic mixing bowl from home - our daughter loves mixing up "sand cakes" and walking up the beach with sea water in her soup spoon!
3/ A Change of Clothes in case kids get cold, itchy or their rash vest gets hot in the sun. A loose cotton shirt with long sleeves would be ideal to keep the sun off their skin.
4/ Snack Box and Wet Wipes for their sandy fingers, so they can eat their snacks without crunching on sand. Alternatively, put a small bottle of sanitiser in each snack box and the kids can clean their own hands.
5/ Multiple Plastic Shopping Bags always come in handy, for when kids take off their wet swimming costumes and drop them in the sand, for rubbish when they hand you their empty banana skins, or as a "dry bag", if you are trying to take home dry clothes or snacks.
6/ Sunglasses for all ages, as the sun is damaging to little eyes.
7/ Your Phone in a Zip Lock Plastic Bag, because you are going to want to take photos of all their cute antics down the beach, for them to look back on in years to come.
8/ Croc Sandals for the kids, if you are going to the beach with a rock platform to explore. We have found that thongs can be hard for kids to walk on and someone usually gets a thong caught and has a painful tumble. You can pick up some cheap crocs from the local bargain shop and they can walk through the rock pools, without scraping their toes or falling over.
A change of shoes, if you are going to a beach with rock pools
9/ A First Aid Supplies Box with just a few band aids, paw paw cream, antiseptic and a spray to take the sting away, in case they get bitten by sand flies or insects on the beach.
10/ Another Set of Towels to sit on for the drive home. I know that sounds excessive, as you will have twice the amount of towels to wash, but it keeps the car seats dry and dries up little bottoms before you get home and they run through the house.
Do you have any more hints, tips or things to pack, when you go to the beach? Every family has their own routines, with great ideas to make life easier and have fun along the way. So spend the summer getting your feet buried in the sand, helping collect shells and searching for Nemo and Dory in the rock pools. Kids grow up so fast, they will be memories that you will look back on and wonder where those early years went...
A moment in time - three generations of feet, all on the one beach
I wear a poncho towel (an adult one) - the LOLL brand love it, I can just throw it on at the end of the day and jump in the car, don't have to worry about getting dressed. The kids have their own poncho towels to wear as well, just means less stuff to take and less to forget!
Great Article and photos! Some good tips. I read it word for word.
Another thing my husband and I take is a roll-up beach mat with a shoulder strap. That way I can carry it like a shoulder bag and keep my hands free. It means that your (wet) beach towel doesn't get all sandy and soggy when you sit or lay on it.