Ozoola beach tent

Family Beach Holiday Essentials

With overseas travel out of the question for the near future, holidaying in our own beautiful backyard is going to be the first choice for most of us this summer.  Lucky for us, in Australia we have over 12,000km of coastline to choose from, which means the chances are fair that you, too, are in the throes of planning a well-earned seaside getaway this summer.  

If you have visions of early morning swims, shady beach towel naps and daily ice creams on high rotation in your mind right now, you’re not alone.  As we enter the final straight of this harrowing marathon of a year, I literally can’t WAIT to see the city disappear in my rear-view mirror on Boxing Day.  In fact, I plan to forget it even exists until we return with our car weighed down with sand, but our hair – and souls – a little lighter in January.

Before you start packing through, take stock of your beach gear to ensure you’ve got everything you need to make life a breeze while you’re away.  I’ve rounded up a list of my favourite new and clever ‘must have’ beach essentials to help get you organised this month. And yes, this list doubles nicely as a Christmas wish list for family members who are stumped on what to buy for you!

A Beach Blanket

Forget a skimpy little towel or a sticky, hot plasticised woven mat. If you’re planning to do a lot of ocean-side lounging (and especially if you have little people in tow), you need to invest in a large, luxurious beach blanket. Our favourites are the Turkish style beach blankets which are generous in size, neutral in colour and wonderfully soft – check out Hard to Find for options.  Not big enough? Go simply HUGE with the 9 square metre ‘Big Towel’, which comes with four corner pockets to fill with sand, helping to anchor the towel when in the wind!

Waterproof Speaker (Or Earbuds!)

Perhaps not strictly ‘essential’, but how cool would it be this summer to swim some solo morning laps in an ocean pool, listening to a chill playlist as you kick gently along? This is not a pipe dream – waterproof earbuds are a thing, and they even have a name: Swimbuds.  I haven’t tested them out yet, but at such an affordable price, I am hoping Santa will pop this pair from Underwater Audio under the tree for me this year!  

On a more social note, soundtrack your families beach holiday this year with waterproof speakers.  They’re perfect for a day on the sand, a pool party or for certain family members to listen to the cricket far, far away from those of us who don’t care (I’m looking at you, hubby). I bookmarked this handy round-up of the top waterproof speakers to choose from – there are options for every budget.

Look Cool, Stay Cool with Stylish Hats

It can be hard to find a hat for everyone which looks good, covers you well, and is hard to repeatedly pull off (for the little members of the tribe). Through bitter experience, I’ve discovered that Bedheads are one of the few brands most kids will leave on, and I love their styles and coverage too.  The Cancer Council also produce a sensible, safe and colourful range each year for small beachgoers.

For grown-ups, I have a new hat brand crush to share with you – please meet Will and Bare. Timeless, well-made and stylish, they will make you feel chic and protect you from getting a red nose at the same time.  You can’t ask for more than that. 

A Quality Beach Shade

When I visit the beach, I am all about the BYO shade. Last year’s big success story for me was the OZoola Beach Tent – a favourite Christmas present.  They’re designed to protect everyone in the family with a sizable shade footprint and UV protection of UPF 50+. They hold up in the wind, are light to carry and easy to pack, plus they’re much quicker to put up than you’d think. After one too many breezy beach days spent chasing the old brolly down the sand, it is super satisfying to sit under this rather classy looking shade which (short of a cyclone) won’t budge an inch.

A GIANT Beach Bag

When I say giant, I mean giant. Save your IKEA blue bags for shopping trips and invest in something which will handle the WHOLE family’s towels, a cooler bag of drinks, spades, snorkels, the newspaper and everything else I’ve listed above. Country Road do a great range of large totes which are hard wearing and in non-garish colours and prints.  I also like that they come with a shoulder strap for when you’re seriously laden down!

Happy packing, and relaxing.

1 comment on “Family Beach Holiday Essentials

  1. If you’re visiting the beach with a larger group or if you need to keep coolers and other items under the shade, the Kelty Noah’s Tarp Sun Shelter is a great oversized option. Measuring 12 x 12 feet (other larger sizes are available), the versatile, minimalist canopy can comfortably provide shade (50UPF) for four to eight people. The sun canopy can be used for shade or light to heavy rain protection on the beach, as well as on camping trips and comes with a roll-top carry bag. The tarp includes several storage pouches, guy lines for easy assembly, sturdy seams, and is made from 68D polyester. 

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