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10 Tips For An Effortless Family Trip To The Beach Or Pool

Summer down here in Australia is well and truly hotting up, with some whopping temperatures already recorded – and it’s only mid December!

For those of us that have grown up here, the beach or the local pool is pretty standard on days like this. We all have fond memories of easily slinging a towel over one shoulder and heading out for a refreshing splash – no bags or paraphernalia required.

Then you become a parent – and nothing about the beach or pool seems easy anymore. There are rash vests, 3 types of sunscreen, hats (where are all the hats!?), millions of beach towels, pool-approved swimmers, snacks (so many snacks), beach mats, tents and sunshades, toys, prams, nappy bags… oh the bags, my god, how much stuff do these kids need!? Perhaps staying home with air con is a better idea?

Here are some tips for an effortless family trip to the beach or pool – genuinely simplifying your beach/pool experience so that it doesn’t snowball into a horrendous experience, with everyone being shuffled back into the car.
10 Tips For an Effortless Family Trip To The Beach or Pool - Here are some tips for an effortless family trip to the beach or pool – genuinely simplifying your beach/pool experience so that it doesn’t snowball into a horrendous experience.

1. Pack bags the night before

This is where it begins. We generally know when that heat blast is coming, so pack the beach bags the night before. I generally have one ready and packed throughout summer – hanging in the laundry for a quick grab and go. There’s nothing worse than trying to pack a bag with a toddler hanging off your leg. Then said toddler has a tantrum because mum isn’t paying attention, and that trip to the pool/beach seems impossible.

2. Keep all pool/beach gear in one spot

Rather than rummaging in multiple drawers when you’re heading to the beach – store the entire family’s beach/pool gear in one spot (a drawer or box). Chances are you’re heading to the beach/pool together 99% of the time, so it makes sense that all these items are in one spot – swimmers, sunglasses, hats, rash vests, towels, sunscreen etc.

3. Get the kids dressed before you go

Yes, it takes what seems like hours to get that rash vest on, but it will save you chasing them around the pool yard or changeroom once you get there. Kids have no concept of ‘wait’, especially once they’ve spotted that water. This includes applying all sunscreen and putting on hats. Have them ready to jump straight in.

4. Call in reinforcements

If at all possible, don’t do this alone – especially with multiple kids! Try and plan trips when your other half, a grandparent or a friend are available. If not for your sanity, it is much safer to have one set of eyes on one child at all times. Multiple kids makes it tricky.

5. Use food as bait

If you need to reapply sunscreen, you will need snacks to lure the kids back from the water. Use the time wisely whilst they snack, as they’ll be off again in a shot. If you need to buy snacks, have change in a separate purse so you’re not fumbling through the beach bag and whipping out your whole wallet for all to see.

6. Quick nappy changes

If you’re needing to change nappies, here’s how to do the quickest possible turn around. Pack one clean nappy in one plastic bag (pack multiple sets of this if you’re out for the day). Then you just need to take this one bag to the changeroom, whip off the wet nappy, stick on the clean one, stick the wet one in the bag. Done! No need to take the whole beach bag, digging around for a nappy then wandering what to do with the wet one in your hand whilst struggling to hold baby.

7. Use family changerooms

Most pools these days have family changerooms – these are amazing, especially for the myriad of dads taking their kids to the pool these days. Mens change rooms are not pleasant for kids! Make use of this fabulous facility.

8. Leave them in their swimmers

If they’ve already dried off, leave them in their swimmers and change them when you get home. If your car seats are on their way out and you don’t mind them getting a little wet – they’ll dry so quickly in the heat anyway – just get them in and deal with it at home.

9. Forget about getting yourself dressed

You’re dreaming, right!? If you think you’ll be getting changed afterwards, you can forget about it. A day at the pool or beach makes for tired and hungry kids, so you want to get out of there at the first sign of tantrum-ville. Take along a loose dress, sarong or shorts that you can just whip on afterwards and get out of there as quick as possible.

10. Try and see the funny side

What seemed like such a brilliant idea may have turned into a nightmare but remember how precious these moments are with your kids. As ridiculous and frustrating as a trip to the beach/pool may be, try and see the funny side and enjoy the look of pure joy on your child’s face – you are making magical memories for them.

What are your top tips for an effortless family trip to the beach or pool? Leave us a comment below.


  1. January 7, 2016 at 11:25 PM

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing on Toddler Fun Friday 🙂

    • January 8, 2016 at 8:44 PM

      Thanks Tina 🙂

  2. January 5, 2016 at 1:28 AM

    Congratulations! You were the most clicked link at the Faith Filled Parenting LinkUp. Check it out here http://faithfilledparenting.com/2016/01/faith-filled-parenting-linkup-party-5-2/. And share with your readers!!

    • January 5, 2016 at 8:18 PM

      Thanks Christia! 🙂

  3. […] like we all are ready to hit the beach because the most clicked link this week was from Maja at Mumma Hack. She shared her 10 Tips for an Effortless Family Trip to the Beach or Pool. These are great tips […]

  4. January 1, 2016 at 3:27 AM

    Some great tips for a stress free day at the beach. Preparation is key, thanks for sharing. Happy new year X #justanotherlinky

    • January 2, 2016 at 8:42 PM

      Thanks for reading 🙂 Happy New Year!

  5. December 30, 2015 at 12:20 AM

    This post is making me drool for a summer holiday and the beach, Fab tips. I think having everything in one place and getting organised the night before is s fab idea. You can just get up and go!! Enjoy! Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst xx

    • January 8, 2016 at 8:50 PM

      Thanks for reading Sarah 🙂

  6. December 29, 2015 at 10:48 AM

    We LOVE the beach and now have a beach home to go to each year. These tips are spot on. Being prepared is absolutely key. And going with the flow. Thank you for sharing. Pinning for others. #faithfilledparentinglinkup

    • December 29, 2015 at 12:11 PM

      Thanks for reading Christia 🙂 A beach home sounds lovely.

  7. December 28, 2015 at 3:25 PM

    Yes doing it on your own is hard, so I love going with hubby or friends. My kids are getting older now which makes it so much easier, no more nappies full of sand and other surprises lol. I agree that as soon as they see the water they want to go straight in so sunscreening before is a great tip! Linked up after you #justanotherlinky

    • December 28, 2015 at 7:04 PM

      Thanks for reading! 🙂 Nappies on the beach are hard, aren’t they!?

  8. December 21, 2015 at 5:25 AM

    We head to the beach ALOT and these are all great tips! We pack baby powder to get rid of all the sand too. 🙂 Found your blog through the Newbie News Linky party! 🙂

    • December 22, 2015 at 12:56 PM

      The baby powder is a great tip! Thanks Melissa 🙂

  9. December 21, 2015 at 1:47 AM

    As a Brit the idea of Christmas time at the beach is so alien! But one day I would love to do it. Meanwhile, I’ll be saving this post to re-read just before our holiday in June! 😉 Thanks for sharing #coolmumclub

    • December 21, 2015 at 7:25 AM

      Thanks Laura 🙂 I grew up in Europe so I know what you mean. It’s lovely though, having a summery Xmas. Have a great holiday in June!

  10. December 20, 2015 at 7:52 AM

    Great tips. We love the beach in the summer but it’s just that more stressful with children. Thanks for linking up to #justanotherlinky xx

    • December 20, 2015 at 12:19 PM

      Thanks 🙂

  11. December 19, 2015 at 9:56 PM

    Top tips and the way the mercury is rising this summer, I think we’ll be needing them sooner rather than later!

    • December 19, 2015 at 11:00 PM

      Thanks Sammie! 🙂 It’s going to be a hot one.

  12. December 19, 2015 at 9:11 PM

    It is all worth it for a splash in the waves, I love the beach at any time of year, in fact I hope to go on Christmas Day #justanotherlinky

    • December 19, 2015 at 11:01 PM

      It is, isn’t it 🙂 We’ll be on the beach Christmas day too!

  13. December 19, 2015 at 2:07 PM

    I think I am always more exhausted than the kids are!!! Ah well…making memories I suppose. Thanks. #coolmumclub

    • December 19, 2015 at 2:37 PM

      I know! It’s not just the kids that sleep really well after a trip to the beach!

  14. December 19, 2015 at 11:04 AM

    Great tips. Definitely keeping food handy and packed with some thought beforehand is a great tip.

    • December 19, 2015 at 2:39 PM

      Thanks Simone 🙂 Food helps so much. Hungry kids are a nightmare!

  15. December 19, 2015 at 9:52 AM

    great common sense tips here have a great summer

    • December 19, 2015 at 2:38 PM

      Thanks Mark 🙂

  16. December 18, 2015 at 1:17 PM

    I keep a beach bag in my car so I can go swimming at the drop of a hat any time or place. Well not any place, water is pretty handy for it. But you know what I mean.

    • December 20, 2015 at 12:19 PM

      Great tip! Thanks Vanessa 🙂

  17. December 17, 2015 at 8:55 PM

    This is making me green with envy! Could so do with a bit of sun and sand action right now being a Brit. Thank so much for linking up to #coolmumclub! x

    • December 18, 2015 at 1:01 PM

      Thanks Talya 🙂

  18. December 17, 2015 at 7:49 PM

    Completely agree with reinforcements! I haven’t been to the pool in so long just because its so much easier with someone else as back up!

    • December 17, 2015 at 8:19 PM

      Thanks Leslie 🙂 Reinforcements help so much.

  19. December 17, 2015 at 5:57 PM

    I’m currently in Australia and looking at the weather predictions over the weekend we are definitely going to have to find somewhere to cool off. Than you for these tips, they will be coming in handy x #coolmumclub

    • December 17, 2015 at 8:17 PM

      Thanks Kat 🙂 It’s going to be a hot one!

  20. December 17, 2015 at 5:38 PM

    Ah yes, I thought this had to be written by an Aussie. I’m a Brit and trips to the beach happen about twice a year! Not doing it alone is the bets bit advice I think. #coolmumclub

    • December 17, 2015 at 8:17 PM

      Haha. I’ve lived in the UK too. Funnily enough, never visited a beach 🙂

  21. December 17, 2015 at 5:30 PM

    Such great tips. I too try and get mine dressed before it is way easier. I’m all for a bit of food bribery too. I like to keep an emergency towel separate as they always end up sandy. The emergent towel is good for faces or hands when eating #coolmuclub

    • December 17, 2015 at 8:16 PM

      Thanks Catie 🙂 Great tip on the towel! I do that too.

  22. December 16, 2015 at 11:08 PM

    Great tips.