Taking your family to the beach is a lot of fun when you come prepared. Things have changed greatly from your single days when all you needed to bring to the beach was a towel, shades, and sunscreen. When you have your family in tow, it’s important to pack all the essentials that will meet everyone's unique needs throughout the day. As your family grows and gets older, the types of items you’ll need may change, while some will stay the same. Enjoy the adventure at every age and stage, and take lots of photographs, because these are memories that are sure to last a lifetime. Here are the 5 must-have items for your family beach day.
Young children love the water, but they don’t relish interruptions for sunscreen every hour. While you do your best to stay on top of sun protection, investing in a few rash guards can keep your kids covered even if there is a lapse in sunscreen application. Find rash guards with UPF 50 ratings, which block out 98% of UV rays, and get long sleeves to maximize the coverage area. UPF protection hoodies can also protect the top of the head and back of the neck, which are two other areas that are prone to burns for children with sensitive skin. For toddlers and babies, be sure to bring extra shade too. Pop up tents shield them from the intense sun, especially during the hottest parts of the day, and can even be a great place to nap when you have them camp with a portable fan. Get a tent made with UPF 50 fabric and plenty of ventilation so that your little ones stay comfortably shielded from the sun.
Depending on the size of your family, you may need just a few or many beach bags. It’s important to have quick-drying bags that are made for sun exposure and sand so that you don’t damage your existing bags. Grab bags of various sizes and keep the contents organized so that your day goes smoothly. For example, take a small canvas bag to store your sunscreen, brushes, and other small self-care items.
A large tote bag can carry beach toys, while another can carry towels. If your trip requires many items, consider investing in a foldable beach wagon that can fit in the trunk of your car. This can pop open and be filled with all your bags so that you won’t need to carry multiple bags on each arm. These “caddies” can also carry cumbersome items like beach chairs, pop-up tents, and umbrellas. For young families where back and forth trips can cause a lot of stress, this is a wise investment to get the most out of your day.
To enjoy the water to the fullest, you and your children need swimsuits that look great and stay put. Invest in comfortable, high-quality one-pieces and swim separates to have a wonderful time. Consider tugless one-pieces, tankinis, and secure-fitting swim trunks with elastic waistbands and adjustable drawstrings. The less you have to worry about adjusting your swim attire, the more you can focus on having a good time. You can also enjoy the water with confidence because the waves can often be strong. Having a secure fit is important for everyone in the family so you can splash around all day long.
All that swimming and sunbathing can work up an appetite. But it can be incredibly inconvenient to have to abandon your carefully set up beach area to get food. This is why packing your own food in insulated lunch boxes is crucial for an easier day. When your family is hungry, it can be difficult to wait to eat, especially when there are avid snackers like toddlers around. Instead of having to leave the beach for food, be prepared with fresh, cool fruits, vegetables, sandwiches, and drinks to make the most out of your time.
When it’s time to pack up, it can be difficult to chase your children down and keep towels wrapped around them, especially when they are young. But when you pick stylish, no-fuss beach cover-ups that they can just throw over their swimsuit, they can dry off easily. Coverups also make it easier to move about to land activities without needing to have everyone change at the closest family bathroom. Many coverups like UPF hoodies and terry cloth dresses blend into street fashion perfectly too, so they can do double duty.
Be prepared for the best day at the beach when you bring everything you need for convenient toting and long hours of fun with the ones you love.