Sea breeze, sunshine, sand between your toes, the kids playing in the sand...it's so easy to imagine an idyllic beach holiday, where you can relax by the sea while the kids build sandcastles. Oh wait, is that the toddler screaming because he ate sand? And is that a thunderstorm on the horizon?
No need to fret! Ask Team Clean has crucial tips on how to pack like a pro for your trip to the beach, along with some life hacks on how to cope with the sand, what sun protection to wear and what towels to pack. That way you can avoid some tantrums and disasters and have fun instead.
You want to avoid spending most of your time at the beach when the sun is high in the sky and the UV rays are strongest. We recommend going either straight after you get up and having pastries and coffee in the car, or heading out in the late afternoon for a refreshing end to your day.
The best way to apply sunscreen for you and your family is to put on a thick layer before you get dressed. Apply so much SPF that you need to wait for it to sink in before you can put your clothes on. Afraid that you might forget to apply sunscreen when you're trying to get everyone out the door? Set an alarm or timer on your phone.
Still managed to get sunscreen on your clothes? Here are a few tips for getting rid of sunscreen stains.
Clouds or not, it's crucial to create as much shade as you can for your whole family. Ideally, you can combine an umbrella and a tent (or two depending on the size of your family), so that everybody can eat and play fully protected. If your toddler hates wearing a hat, it might also be a good idea to bring an umbrella that you can hold over the both of you as they play outside of your shade fortress.
If you already have some shelves put up in your garage, then these can be organised further to give you even more space. Sometimes no matter how organised you are, there’s just nowhere to put certain things. For those wondering how to organise a garage on a tight budget, one of the best garage storage systems that you can make use of is storing things in large and small plastic bins. These are great for hiding away those annoying things that just don’t seem to fit anywhere else or for putting things in during a garage clean out. They’re also really useful for keeping seasonal equipment or clothing in. Keep boxes holding similar items together, or, to be even more organised, arrange them seasonally. Boxes with everyday items could go on the lower shelves, while seasonal boxes can sit higher up, out of the way. Throw some labels on there and you’ve got a really efficient garage setup! Storage boxes are great. They’re cheap, they look good and there’s no fancy DIY skills needed. Definitely one of the best garage storage ideas out there!
We also recommend a loud, colourful beach flag to help lost members of your tribe find their way back. Getting a recognisable umbrella or setting up near a clearly identifiable landmark are also good options.
Turkish towels are super lightweight, flat-woven towels (also called hammam, peshtema or fouta towels) that take up less space and still feel great after a dip in the sea. Bring an extra beach blanket or two for some extra comfort inside the tent or place a blanket in front of the tent to avoid sand being carried in.
Speaking of sand, some kids don't notice the sand in their swimwear, others find it a constant irritation. We recommend making the beach tent as a sand-free zone, which makes it the best place to store and consume snacks and refreshments, change nappies and take naps. Another good way to leave the sand at the beach is packing your things in mesh bags, since the sand will sift right through and you can see what's inside.
Avoid bringing cherished toys and keep the playthings you bring to the beach to a minimum. A shovel and a bucket for each child should be enough. All electronics should be left at home or in the hotel, as they might just get sandy or wet and break. If you have a toddler that's potty trained, bring a travel potty and a swim nappy so you don't have to worry about number two.
When you choose the beach, it's wise to pick one that has 'built-in entertainment', such as boogie-board rentals, boat rides, playground or food vendors. Bike rentals, shops or a restaurant near the beach can also break up the day and make for a nice change.
Food! Always bring twice as much food, water and juice as you think you'll need. The fact is, no matter how hard you try, some of the food will get sandy and the kids will be hungry after so much activity outside. To avoid sandy snacks, try to compartmentalise your food by packing it in small individual, reusable bags or containers. Also know that your kids need to be reminded to drink enough. Juice boxes or water mixed with juice can entice your little one to sip more.
Pro tip: Keep a few frozen water bottles in the car. They'll be melted but cold when you get back.
Wipes, tissues and hand sanitiser are always worth bringing when you leave the house with the whole family. Reusable plastic bags are great for trash, separating wet and sandy clothes and scooping up everything else. Bring a fresh set of clothes for everyone. A bit of baby powder on your kids feet will help keep their feet sand-free on your way home.
Consider this beach day checklist before you start the car:
- multiple sunscreen options
- wipes, tissues and hand sanitiser
- reusable plastic bags to store sunscreen, wet and sandy swimwear and more
- fresh clothes for everyone
- water bottles
- beach hats, sunglasses and cover-ups
- talcum-free baby powder
Now it's time to dig your feet into the sand and dive into the waves. Enjoy the beach!