Summer is finally here and it's getting hot. There is not a better idea than going to the beach with your family. I am sure your kids are already dreaming of the fun they are going to have and can't wait. Don't overstress about it. Here is a list of do's and don'ts to help you get organized and have a wonderful and carefree time with your family at the beach.
1. Get your sunblock lotions
How many times after a nice trip to the beach you get home and realize that your skin is red and itchy? Sun-burned. Depending on your skin color get sunblocks with SPF 30 to 50. For your kids, I would recommend a sunscreen with SPF 50. Buy one that is water resistant and easy to apply. If you love sunbathing and can't live without tanning oil, there are tanning oils on the market with SPF 6 to 30. Check them out. If you have some lotion left from last year, check the back of the package to see how many months it can last after opening the bottle. Also, reapply as often as possible.
2. Seatbelts and child car seats
Safety first. To make it safe to the beach it is obligatory to wear your seatbelts. For your kids make sure you have the right child car seat depending on your kids' weight. Also, don't get the cheapest but the best one and make sure it complies with the recent regulation.
3. First aid kit
There are many hidden dangers at the beach, like rocks, jellyfish, sea urchins, bees, and mosquitos. Except for the basics, like iodine and bandage, make sure to add to your kit some insect bite relief cream and an ointment to treat your sunburn, in case you get one.
4. Get lots of food and water
If you have kids you know the value of snaking. Bring food with you but prefer something light. Fruits are the optimal solution. Bring some homemade sandwiches as well. Dehydration is a serious condition and you should get prepared. Drink water as often as you can. Also, it's a good idea to keep your water bottles and food in a mini fridge or isothermal bag to keep them cool and fresh.
5. Bring something for fun
If you don't have children to look out for, a good companion for your relaxing sunbathing time is a book. In case you do have kids, bring toys for them and play together, rackets, beach balls and the classic bucket and shovel. Also, don't forget their swimming gear like swimming goggles and floating devices.
1. Stay all day under the sun
Even if you have put on your sunblock you might still get a sunburn if you stay under the sun for too long. Use an umbrella to create a shadow and stay under there especially in the hours of midday. That's 12 am till 4 pm. Additionally, you can use some more stylish accessories, like hats and sunglasses to protect your eyes.
2. Leave the kids unattended
There is an unwritten rule if you go to the beach with your children. Never leave your eyes off the kids. I don't want to scare you, but even grown-ups can drown. This doesn't apply only to small kids. Even if your kids know how to swim keep an eye on them to make sure. Better safe than sorry.
3. Leave your stuff unattended
The same goes for your bags. Especially if you have valuable things in them like money, mobile phones or cameras. It is very important to at least hide your valuables in your beach bags and don't leave them in places where they are visible to everyone, like a beach table.
4. Have a heavy meal before swimming
If your mother is like mine I am sure you have heard her saying "Don't go swimming, you just ate. You have to wait at least 2 hours." What a disappointment it was. 2 whole hours. If you have been wondering if that is true, well, the answer is yes. After you eat your meal, your body temperature rises to begin the process of digestion. When you go swimming in the cold sea you might get a thermal shock due to the sudden temperature difference. Therefore, it is highly recommended to keep your meals light.
5. Leave anything behind
I don't really have to tell you not to litter, do I? Before leaving the beach, don't forget to throw your waste in the bins. Not only it is not polite to litter, but it is also very harmful to the marine life. The oceans are already full of garbage and plastic and the animals have suffered enough.
Have as much fun as you can
You are ready now. Get there safe, relax, and have a splendid and unforgettable time with your loved ones.
© 2018 Mary Petrou
Mary Petrou (author) from Greece on August 09, 2018:
Thank you Finn! The only good thing about summer is going to the beach! I used to live in a small island and now that I am away I really do miss the sea...
Fin from Barstow on July 31, 2018:
Well it makes me wish i lived near the beach. When I was younger I lived on the east coast and there was ocean city to visit and I always longed to go there during the summers. It was so much fun.
Good tips to keep in mind because often we forget some of the simplest things.
Mary Petrou (author) from Greece on July 28, 2018:
Me too Liz. I learned them the hard way... (especially the one about sunburn).
Mary Petrou (author) from Greece on July 27, 2018:
Thank you Kristina! And I just returned home from a family vacation so it's fresh stuff!
Kristina Bouxsein-Hearn from Iowa on July 27, 2018:
Great tips! We're actually visiting a beach this weekend, so the advice is quite timely. Thanks for sharing!!
Liz Westwood from UK on July 27, 2018:
I wish I had read an article like this when my kids were young. There are some great common sense tips here.
Mary Petrou (author) from Greece on July 26, 2018:
Thank you Pamela! Indeed the most important tip is to look after the kids. The sea might look calm and friendly but many dangers lurk under it!
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 26, 2018:
This is great advice for those family trips. All the things you listed are important. It is really important to look after the younger ones very closely to prevent a tragedy.