What not to pack
Leave all your valuables at home! Unless someone is going to sit on the beach with your stuff while everyone else is swimming, bring as little of value with you to the beach as possible to avoid potential theft or loss of your items. Our money is waterproof so we zip a few notes into our pockets and keep them with us even in the water and leave wallets in the hotel.
Prepare for the heat
Summer in Australia is literally one of the hottest places on Earth. With temperatures often soaring above 40 degrees Celsius (that’s over 104 degrees Celsius) and a giant hole in the Ozone Layer directly overhead to boot, take care of yourself and the kids to prevent both sunburn and heatstroke.
1. Stay out of the sun in the middle of the day
Go to the beach in the morning or late afternoon and head back to the shade before the sun reaches its peak. Use the middle of the day for lunch, naps, reading books or even a bit of screen time in an air conditioned house.
2. Go crazy with the sunscreen
Apply broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen every 2 hours as well as after swimming. Our whole family uses the Australian Cancer Council’s SPF 50+ Kids Sunscreen range.
3. Wear wide-brimmed hats
We also buy our wide-brimmed hats. Bucket hats are best for kids as they protect their necks and ears as well as their faces.
4. Pack a pop-up tent or umbrella
If you’re planning on sitting at the beach all day it’s a worthwhile investment and you can find one pretty cheap from Kmart or Target.
5. Dress appropriately
Long sleeve rash tops for the kids (and you!) and light cotton tops/dresses with long sleeves where possible over the top for when you’re not in the water.
6. Stay hydrated
Pack plenty of cold water. I freeze water the night before, or add ice cubes to insulated water bottles that stay cold for up to 12 hours.