Foolproof tips for family holidays in the sun and sand
Ahhh, this is the classic vacation escape!
Soft sand, turquoise waters and endless sunshine appeal to just about anyone looking for a getaway on a cold winter’s day.
Wake up from the fantasy, though. Now you’ve got kids and it’s not about carefree body surfing, solitary sunbathing and sipping pina coladas anymore. Hammock time is limited when you have to change a sand-filled diaper, watch the twins in the hazardous pounding waves and engage in sunscreen-reapplication battles on an hourly basis.
However, arrange to switch-up with your spouse or use the hotel childcare facilities occasionally and you’re sure to get some well-deserved downtime for yourself as well.
Kids seem to have fun on a beach whether you’re at a motel near a local lake or at a five-star island resort. Sand, sun and water are the key ingredients, regardless of your travel budget.
There’s no other environment that lets kids run around, make noise, collect shells, dig holes, splash with abandon and invoke giggles like a beach. Kids never seem to tire of a beach trip and you’re sure to create some warm memories.
Some kids are a bit spooked by the ocean and are fussy about the itchy, icky sand. If you’ve got one of these kids (and you might not know until you get there), try to have a pool around as a back-up plan. Be hyper-vigilant with the kids around water and take it easy in the sun. Rainy days can throw you for a loop if there’s nothing else to do in the area.
All ages can enjoy a beach vacation. Babies will sleep in the shade, kids will revel in the sand and surf, and teens can laze on a beach chair for hours – and if you’re lucky, you can find some sunny snooze-time, too.
Have fun in the sand. Build a mega-sandcastle, make sand angels, have your kid bury you up to your neck. Chase the waves.
Sunscreen, sun hat, sunglasses and sand toys. Bring some kind of sun shade (umbrella, beach tent) if you’re not sure your hotel has them. Pack insect repellent as beach destinations are often plagued with pesky pests like mosquitoes, sand flies and no-see-ums, especially at dusk.