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So You’re Off To The Beach

  • 11th Apr 2014

So You’re Off To The Beach

If there's one thing recent years have shown it's the growing popularity of family holidays in the UK. The number of families packing up and heading off to a caravan for the summer is ever on the up and the UK's coastlines are pulling people in from near and far. Of course, we are lucky in the UK to have holiday homes equidistant from beautiful beaches and rolling countryside. We can please ourselves with quiet afternoon ambles through country lanes just as easily as we can go for an early evening paddle at the beach but what about when we want to make a day of it? How can we make sure we are prepared enough to enjoy a full day of sun, sea and sand without forgetting the towels or turning a fetching shade of lobster? Well, this quick guide of what to take to the beach should help you perfect the art of the beach day.

Smart Sun Safety

  • Sunscreen is a must - even on a cloudy day. Make sure it is at least 15 SPF and try to combine it with SPF lip balm and a gentle after sun lotion
  • Sun hats are the best way to protect heads from the sun's heat and rays. Even when you are feeling cool in the water, the sun is beating down on your head and posing a risk of sunstroke
  • Your eyes are delicate, especially in the sun so make sure you take (and wear!) sunglasses to protect them
  • Any family will know how priceless a first aid kit can be. Plasters, antiseptic wipes and Paracetamol are staples but getting yourself a travel first aid kit will make sure you are well prepared
  • Keep hand sanitizer in your beach bag, especially if you have young children who will seek out the dirtiest thing on the beach, touch it and then try to eat their sandwich
  • For young children or non-swimmers (weak swimmers) you will need floatation devices because they will almost certainly decide they need to swim

Pack Practical Things

  • A charged mobile phone is indispensable. It helps you keep tabs on your older children and it will come in handy in the event of an emergency too
  • A camera is a necessity if you want to capture all of the memories you make on holiday. Whether you use a camera or a high quality smartphone, check if it's waterproof; if it's not, invest in a waterproof case
  • Pack a roll of toilet paper. Conveniently located public toilets are great but they aren't always stocked up on toilet paper
  • Extra clothes and extra towels are always useful. One set for getting salty and sandy at the beach, the other for brushing off sand and going home in. Take a light extra layer to keep the coastal evening chill off too
  • Set up camp with practical things that cater for the beach environment. A blanket will keep you comfortable and act as a barrier between you and thousands of itchy little grains. Umbrellas will keep you in the shade whilst pole windbreakers will protect you from coastal gusts; beach tents will do both

Fun In The Sun

  • Anything that can be used for on-beach or in-water entertainment is going to be a good choice; beach balls, Frisbees, foam cricket sets and the traditional spade and bucket can keep the fun going all day long on the beach as you build sand castles, look for shells and run around. Goggles, snorkels and other floatable items are good for the water
  • If you anticipate a chilled out day (or moment) at the beach then be sure to pack quiet activities like books, magazines, colouring and personal music players
  • Don't underestimate the power of traditional beach games like sandcastle building, hunting for fossils, collecting shells and racing back and forth between the water and your day site

Beach-friendly Refreshments 

  • Picnics and school lunch style pack ups are ideal for keeping snacks simple at the beach
  • For a treat, fish-n-chips is always a winner. In fact, it is the seaside meal
  • Similarly, don't forget the simple pleasure that is an ice cream at the beach
  • Keep drinks cool by using icepacks or freezing bottles of water and squash the night before
  • Make sure you have some loose change on you in case your snack stash runs low or you need an ice cold drink from somewhere that doesn't accept cards

These are just some of the ways you can make your beach day super fun and fuss-free. The best way to go about planning and executing a beach expedition with the family is to think about what your family's preferences are and what you might need to be prepared for. After that, all that's left is for you to get to the beach and have fun!

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