1. At least one very large tote bag, big enough to keep everything else in and carry on and off the beach with relative ease. Preferably it will have a zip, to help you keep sand out of it during the day.
2. More than one big bottle of high-factor sunscreen and make sure that everyone in your group actually uses it! It needs to be topped up after every trip into the sea, even if it’s supposedly waterproof.
3. One or two large rugs or blankets, of a sort that can be easily weighed down at the corners by stones you find on the beach when you arrive.
4. A wide enough selection of different beach toys to keep all the kids occupied all day long. Don ‘t get them all out at once, either release them gradually over the course of the day to keep the children interested and busy.
5. If it is at all possible, you want to bring with you two sets of swimwear for every person. This sounds like a lot, but if anything goes wrong or any accidents happen you’ll be glad that you thought of it. It’s also a really good idea to think carefully about the kinds of bikinis, one-pieces or bathing suits that you choose for yourself you definitely want to opt for something that you feel comfortable and confident in.
6. A towel for each person going with you, and preferably ones that are large enough for you to hold them up and get changed behind them. Beach towels also double up as extra rugs to lie or sit on.
7. Bring a change of clothes for everyone, too. You don’t want to run the risk of something getting stained or soaked and having no replacement for it. It sounds like a lot of hassle, but it’s actually an extremely useful thing to do.
8. Pack a pair of sunglasses for everyone, and if you happen to have spares then take them with you too. There’s nothing more annoying than reaching the beach only to discover that you’ve left your sunglasses at home, after all!
9. It’s not just the children who will need things to occupy them. Make sure you remember to take with you a stack of diverting novels, and remember that thanks to overhead light and glare there’s a very good chance you won’t be able to rely on your devices for reading not to mention, the sand is very bad for them and they’re quite likely to run out of charge
10. A stock of spare change. This comes in handy any number of times over a day at the beach for hiring deckchairs, for letting the kids buy their own ice creams, and for not running the risk of ruining bills or losing larger amounts of money in the sand.
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