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Few things are more exciting for young families than the long-awaited beach trip your kids have been looking forward to all year. It’s a chance for you to relax, and for your kids to enjoy themselves while splashing about, and getting some Vitamin D. However, as most parents will know, traveling with children can be pretty energy-consuming, which is why it’s vital that you plan everything ahead of time (to make your job as easy as possible).

While you may not be able to chill on the beach with a cool beverage in hand or a good book, as you once did, vacationing with small children can still be great fun, provided you plan ahead!

1. Sunscreen before you leave the house.

One of the biggest struggles of holidaying with kids, especially small ones, is the dreaded “sunscreen time”. That usually right as you get onto the beach, and your kids are running around all excited, ‘because you’re finally at the beach, which usually isn’t the best time to start pestering them about sunscreen and other “boring” grown-up concerns. The good news is, that you can avoid a big bite of that sunscreen-induced stress by simply gearing up beforehand. Since your kids’ sensitive skin will probably be exposed to the hot sun even as you travel toward the beach, applying sunscreen before you leave the house is usually a really good idea.

2. Pack baby powder.

We’ll let you in on a little secret – while we’re all familiar with the pesky, sticky sand that just won’t come off your kids’ skin, some of us have also figured out a solution. Even if your kids are past the baby powder stage, do yourself a favour, and pack some baby powder. Then, when you’re ready to head home, dust your children in the stuff, and watch that sand brush right off.

3. Get a storage box.

As all parents know, there’s no beach-going with kids, without packing at least some of their favourite toys. This is where the Geomag storage box comes in as a real lifesaver. This compact, nifty design provides you with easy-to-use storage space to keep you rods & spheres secure and neatly packaged. The storage box will make your trip to the beach easy to manage, while also keeping your little one entertained throughout. If you don’t want to run the risk of taking your kids favourite toys to the beach don’t worry! Sand and water are a combination that invite free play and will trigger most kids’ imaginations to create fabulous, undirected games and activities.

4. Pack a cooler.

While packing half a dozen snacks might not have seemed essential when you were going to the beach with your friends! When you’re hitting the sands with kids, there’s nothing more important. As a parent, you know the importance of being ready and thinking on your feet. You also know how unpredictable children can be – so even if your kids are fed and hydrated before you leave the house, that may change at any moment, while at the beach. So, pack yourself a lot of water (including frozen water bottles, to cool off), as well as plenty of healthy snacks. While a cooler might seem like a hassle when it comes to the journey, you’ll thank yourself for it, when you’ve got a cool water bottle to sip from, or some yummy fresh fruit to feed the kids when they (inevitably) get hungry.

5. Time your beach trip right.

While spending an entire day at the beach may sound like a dream, the mid-day heat might discourage even the more avid beach-going parents. Coinciding with naptime, the hours from noon to about three in the afternoon are best to avoid since that’s also when the sun is at its most intense. When preparing for your trip, make sure you consider timing. Either spend the morning at the beach or opt for a cooler evening beach experience. Don’t worry, chances are little children will grow bored a lot quicker than you expect, so they won’t really mind (though of course, they’ll kick up a fuss, just for good measure).

6. Pack an umbrella and/or sun tent.

It’s tempting to say you won’t need cover or to assume you’ll find some shade at the beach, but that’s not always the case. And when traveling with small children, it’s vital that you have somewhere to hide from the sun, especially when it’s at its brightest (noon-ish). So do yourself a favour, and bring an umbrella with a sand anchor, or alternatively, a beach tent (ideal if you’re a larger family).