A beach vacation is the quintessential family holiday, yet in our quest for novel experiences we’ve billed the beach as boring. Here are eight reasons to reconsider the seashore. 1) Nothing fascinates children more than sand and water. Kids love to dig in sand, build sandcastles, collect seashells, wade in surf, and play in waves. 2) The classic combo of sea, sand and sun appeals to nearly all children and is appropriate for kids of all ages as it’s on the ‘soft’ side of active adventure. 3) Beachcombing in the backyard? Been there, done that. But have you searched for shells halfway round the world? There are 356,000 kilometers of coastline to discover. 4) It’s a chance to detox from the digital world and plug in to the natural environment. 5) A beach vacation can be synonymous with peace and tranquility but the doings are as different as the destinations. Corsica, Phi Phi Island and Martha’s Vineyard sum it up quite nicely. 6) All-inclusive resorts aren’t the only beach accommodations that cater to families, holiday rentals and even small inns and boutique hotels cater to families with children. 7) A beach vacation doesn’t have to break the bank. A picnic basket, books, snorkels, sand toys and sunscreen are all you need for a day at the seaside. 8) A beach vacation promotes family togetherness and is throwback to simpler times when families made their own fun.
The beach is an awesome place to vacation but it’s not without dangers. Here are few of the most common hazards and tips on how to avoid them. The Element of Water: Never throw caution to the wind. Learn to swim. Don’t swim alone. Supervise children closely. Don’t float where you can’t swim. Don’t dive into unfamiliar waters. Swim at lifeguarded beaches. Swim within rope markings. Heed safety signs and flags. Wear a wet suit in cold water. Finally, be realistic about your child’s fear of water as well as their ability to swim. Those realities won’t change on vacation: If your child needs water wings at home, (s)he will need them at the beach. Heat and Sun: Nothing can ruin a trip to the beach more than a sunburn or heat related illness. Reduce your risk by taking precautions. Apply sunscreen liberally to all exposed skin, including nose, ears, and toes, before you set out for the beach. Repeat applications every two hours and after sweating and swimming. Limit the hours of play under the sun. Carry plenty of water and remind children to drink frequently. Waves, Tides, & Currents: Understanding waves, tides and current will help keep you safe. A rip current is strong channel that pushes a way from shore. If caught in rip’s grip, relax, raise and arm and wait for rescue. Alternatively, swim parallel to the shoreline until free and then head to the beach. Learn to identify safe waves and never turn your back on the ocean as waves are unpredictable. Keep an eye on the tide. Incoming tides can trap the unwary. Jaws, Jellies and Rays: Watch out for dangerous sea creatures. Look but don’t touch. Shuffle your feet in shallow water. Wear thick-soled water shoes. Don’t swim in murky water. Don’t wear shiny jewelry. Don’t swim at dusk. Don’t swim if you are bleeding.