Packing up and heading out to the beach is a favorite excursion for many families. With just a little planning you can keep a beach day from turning into work and avoid some of the unexpected annoyances that can dampen a good time. Use these 5 tips to help make your family’s beach day more enjoyable for everyone.  

Protect

The sun is no friend to our bare skin, so take the necessary precautions. Choose a broad-spectrum protection, water–resistant sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or greater. Apply a thick coat at least 15, and preferably 30 minutes before heading out in the sun. This will give it time to soak into your skin, maximizing protection. Reapply every 2 hours, after swimming or after you have worked up a sweat. Don’t forget those lips! Use a lip balm with an SPF of 30.

Shade

In addition to sunscreen, put up a couple of umbrellas or pitch a tent to provide protective shade from the strongest sun between 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Having your own shade isn’t just protection from the sun. It can go a long way to erase sad faces if a brief shower interrupts your fun, giving your kids a place to ride out the rain.

Other shade items to pack are hats, long sleeved shirts and sunglasses. These are key items to reduce the chance of getting sunburned or to cover up with if a family member has gotten a bit too much sun. If your little ones are resistant to sunglasses, a wide brimmed hat is a good option.

Refuel

The constant heat and never-ending activity drains everyone. Take time to cool off and replenish.  Stay hydrated by keeping everyone sipping on fluids. Having plenty of portable, healthy snacks to fill empty tummies will maintain everyone’s energy level and keep your kids smiling.   

Eliminate

Stinging saltwater is a painful eye irritant for children hitting the waves. Masks and goggles are a great way to reduce complaints from frustrated kids. Bring extra pairs, in case a strap breaks or they happen to float away in a big wave. Having some saline handy to rinse irritated eyes will aid in clearing away the unpleasant saltwater.

Simplify

Reduce unnecessary lugging by shrinking the amount of toys. Let the sand and waves be their entertainment. For kids ready to hit the waves, a boogie board or an inflatable boat are fun choices. A couple of small buckets and a few shovels can provide hours of creative activity for kids of all ages.

Take the time to craft a smart game plan for your family’s beach day. You’ll score big points with your kids when you can instantly solve a lot of their biggest complaints. Plus, you will have more time to breathe in the salty air, feel the cool sand between your toes, and let gentle waves lap at your feet.  

(Sources:  American Academy of Dermatology)

Photo Credit: Sarah Kendall

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Sara Kendall writes about travel, parenting and lifestyle. She is just as passionate about photography as she is about writing, so you will find her writing paired with her beautifully captured images. Sara’s work has appeared in numerous print and online publications including the following CLT ones – Charlotte Observer, Charlotte Parent and Epicurean Charlotte. Need travel inspiration? Check out Sara’s travels at latitudecrossing.com.

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