How To Survive A Day At The Beach
The Most Important Step
What better way to celebrate summer, sun and nature at it's best than to spend a day at the beach. A favorite travel destination for families, thousands will be heading off to the shores of the sea this year. There are several things you can do ahead of time in order to keep stress out of the equation. The most important step is to plan ahead.
It is always a good idea to plan your day on the beach in advance, especially if you have children. If you are not familiar with the area, online searches are valuable in determining available parking and rates, available facilities, and weather. A good place to get information is the local Chamber of Commerce or Visitor's Center. Some other good information to have:
- maps of the beach and surrounding area
- location of accommodations and restaurants
- location of nearby grocery stores and pharmacies
- location of first aid stations or hospital
- beach water conditions and predicted weather forecasts
- expected tourists on day of visit or events scheduled
Gather Your Gear
Before the day of your seaside adventure, pack everything you will need for the day and have it ready to put in the car. Last minute packing will inevitably lead to something forgotten.
A suggested list of items that are needed for a day by the sea are listed below. Additional items can be added by you to meet your specific needs and plans for the day.
• A large towel for each person
• A blanket or two to spread out
• hair ties or bands
• swimsuit cover-ups
• sunburn creme or gel
• bottled water
• snacks and/or picnic foods
• ice chest
• paper towels or hand cloths
• hand cleanser gel or cloths
• plastic bags
• beach shoes
• first-aid kit
• umbrella and folding chairs (if none are provided at the location)
• plastic buckets, shovels and spoons (for playing in the sand or collecting shells)
• ID cards
At The Beach
Set Up Your Area
Once you arrive at your sandy destination, get set up and organized by laying out your blankets, setting up chairs and umbrella and designating a place where food, drinks, and personal items will be kept. Anything that might get damaged by water or sand like cell phones or electronics, place in a waterproof bag that can be sealed. Those items need to be kept in a shade and out of direct sunlight.
You should already have rules in place for all such as how far in the water they are allowed to venture and check-in times for teens (or wayward adults). Precautions that everyone should be aware of are listed at the end of the article.
Building Sand Castles
One of the most popular activities at the beach is building sand castles. This can be enjoyed by anyone and nothing more than a few plastic buckets or cups are needed.
Sand sculpting is an option for those who are bored with the castles. The ideas are endless when it comes to molding and shaping wet sand and is great for creative expression.
Another popular and fun activity is collecting seashells. They can be used to decorate the castles and sculptures or taken home for crafts and souvenirs. Even very tiny shells can be put inside a clear container along with sand to commemorate this special day.
Sand sculpting usually requires special tools for forms and detailing. This kit has an instructional DVD and basic tools to start building impressive sand sculptures.
Simple precautions should be taken when spending a day at the shore. The following are some examples to ensure safety and to avoid mishaps:
- Limit your time in the sun and avoid the times of day when the sun is the most intense (between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm). Know your skin type and know that some people burn faster and worse than others. Children's skin is much more sensitive than adults.
- Apply sunscreen with an appropriate SPF level and apply regularly. Using hats will add protection as well. Sunglasses protect the eyes from UV damage.
- Wear beach-shoes to keep your feet protected from sharp rocks, shells or glass.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fresh or bottled water. Keeping it cool in a chest will encourage your party to drink more. Fruit is also good to keep available.
- Find the nearest lifeguard stand and let children know they can go there should they get lost or need help.
- Do not leave your child unaccompanied nor unsupervised.
- Do not feed the seagulls or other wildlife.
Always use your best judgment as there are always additional precautions you should take in addition to the ones above. It depends on individual needs, time, place, and conditions as well.