No matter what kind of accommodation you choose, and where you go on holiday, children always favour and remember their beach experiences over most others. Although a couple of days at the beach can be relaxing for parents, you have to remember that constant parental supervision is needed to ensure your children's safety. It is a good idea for parents to schedule shifts to look after children, so that both parents have some time to relax with peace of mind.
Young children will love the beach, just to be able to play in the sand and walk along the shoreline. Older children can attempt surfing, have snorkelling lessons, try jet skiing, wave jumping, wind surfing – there are many options, depending on your location, budget and the swimming proficiency of your children.
When planning your beach holiday, check how far away your accommodation is from the beach, and what kind of access the beach has. If there are long, steep flights of stairs to get to the beach, it might be too difficult to navigate with a toddler, or infant in tow. Find out if there is any natural shelter, such as rocks, trees, or bush. You may need to take umbrellas. Shower and toilet facilities are important, so that you can keep your toddler clean and you can wash off sand and salt prior to meals at the beach.
If you and your children intend swimming at the beach, choose beaches that have lifeguards. Also take into account how rough the sea is, how strong the winds are and how far out the continental shelf extends. Beaches with a sudden drop on the continental shelf are particularly treacherous, in terms of strong waves and currents. Most tourist-friendly beaches have museums, water parks and other interesting attractions in the surrounding area. This is handy in case of bad weather, or if your children have had enough of sand and surf. Beware of sun exposure and little children. If you go during the height of summer, it might be too extreme for your children to cope with.
Your choice of beach accommodation is largely budget and need driven. If you are going to spend most of your time outdoors, then fancy five-star accommodation isn't a necessity. Most Irish tour operators provide family-friendly beach packages. Sunway, Directholidays.ie, Citalia and Panorama have good range and online offers available. The UK has Kuoni and Soverign, who offer good options.
DIY booking and planning can be done with online companies such as booking.com and mrandmrssmith.com. This allows you to fine tune your holiday to suit your budget. If you have to fly to your destination, consider hiring a car for greater mobility and independence during your holiday.