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What Do You Need For A Trip To The Beach?

I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m not really a fan of the beach.  I love the sea but I absolutely hate sand.  So if it’s a choice between chasing my kids around a pool or dragging their sandy ass*s out of the surf, you know which one I’m headed for.

Not HK.. fyi..

Not HK.. fyi..

That said, there is a time and place for a good old trip to the beach and thankfully today in Hong Kong was one of those days!  (we haven’t seen sun for a long time here). Like with anything in life, you can overpack so here are my essentials:

  1. Wipes
    Even if your kids are out of nappies, don’t forget them.  Hugely useful for everything from wiping sand off a water bottle to well, getting sand off just about everything.
  2. Shade
    Great if you’re already at a hotel/villa with shaded sun loungers on the beach or somewhere you can hire a brolly for the day.  Another option is to buy a pop up UV tent.  These range in size from small ones suitable for a baby to huge canopies that the whole family can sit under.
    UV tentDon’t forget your own personal shade in the form of a hat.  You can buy great ones for kids that are waterproof with a flap shading the neck and ears.
  3. Plastic bags
    Reuse those plastic bags you get from grocery shopping.  Useful for storing your rubbish, wet costumes, sandy items.  You can never run out of uses for them.  
  4. Snacks & water
    Bear in mind whatever food you bring will end up with sand in it.  Grapes are good as they are easily washable.  Keep food in mini cooler bags or you can buy a beach bag where the entire thing is insulated (I had never seen such a thing until recently but I’m informed, commonplace in Australian supermarkets!)
  5. Sunscreen
    Being on the beach is a beacon for sunburn.  Keep slathered up at all times, particularly if you are running in and out of the water.  I detest putting sunscreen on sandy kids but that’s where no 1 – wipes, comes in useful.
  6. Entertainment
    If you’re headed off on a beach holiday, in most cases you’ll be able to buy your buckets & spades etc at your destination.  Don’t make the mistake of getting too attached to a particular piece of beach bucket paraphernalia – it will go missing on the beach.  Best to buy cheap and pay it forward by gifting it to another family at the end of your trip.  Boogie boards are lots of fun and also provide somewhere sand-free to sit on whilst you eat your lunch.  You can’t go wrong with bat & ball, a badminton set and beach croquet!
    Con Dao - Boogie Board
  7. Underwear
    If you’ve arrived at the beach wearing your swimsuit under your dress, there’s nothing worse than finishing your day having to wear your sandy bikini home (ditto for the kids when you’ve just got them cleaned).
  8. Mats
    If you can, save your towels for drying off your sandy little people and bring along a decent mat to sit on.  Did you know you can actually buy sand free mats?  Now I haven’t tested one out myself but aside from the price tag, sounds like a good option. Other beach mat options are those made of parachute nylon or even an old school straw mat.
  9. Towels
    Nothing better than a clean, dry towel at the end of a sandy day on the beach.  If you’ve ever backpacked, you’ll remember the joys of your micro fibre towel (available at your local camping store).  Well it’s time to dig that out again, these are brilliant for family beach use.  Lightweight, compact AND they dry much faster than a normal beach towel.
  10. Waterproof valuables bag
    Growing up, I would see parents at the beach wearing a plastic tube on a string around their neck, usually souvenir style with the name of their destination emblazoned on it (I’m sure my dad had a ‘Benidorm’ one). In this day & age of the iPhone, a small plastic tube just won’t cut it.  However, if you are going to be anywhere remotely dodgy (and bear in mind, robbers can nick your stuff from anywhere), invest in a waterproof valuables case to keep with you at all times e.g. a Waterproof Neck Pouch.  You wouldn’t want to be stuck without ice cream money, would you?

    Guaranteed fun - sticking kids in a hole

    Guaranteed fun – sticking kids in a hole

I’m not affiliated to any of the products I mentioned above. If I have missed out on one of your essentials, let me know!

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