Jump to content

The good, the bad and the ugly of a beach holiday with kids.

  • Please log in to reply
2 replies to this topic

#1 Kylie Orr

Posted 16 January 2015 - 12:29 PM

The Great Australian Beach Holiday: most of us have done it at least once in our lives either during our own childhoods, or once we have children of our own. Staying in a fibro shack, carting all the gear like a Griswold with the intention of spending endless hours lazing on the beach. Idealistic visions of beach holidays are soon brought crashing onto the shores of reality when kids are in the picture. Here's the good, the bad and the ugly of a beach holiday with kids.

The Good


An entire expanse of sand and water we have access to FOR FREE. As soon as kids pop into our lives we seem to be opening up the wallet every waking moment. To have a country encased by amazing beaches we can venture to whenever we like at no cost is truly a gift.


Staring at the waves collapsing on the shore may be a clichéd scene in romantic comedies but it’s certainly a mesmerising, serene place that’s easy on the eyes. It sure beats the unpleasant sensory overload of a screaming play centre.

Hours of simple entertainment.

Jumping waves. Building forts out of sand. Shell searching and seaweed avoiding. Rock pool explorations uncovering nature’s gems. Hours of creative outdoor fun requiring minimal parent input (maximum supervision however).

The Bad


Luscious golden grains searing your feet and making their way into every nook and cranny of your life - bags, clothes, shoes, and unspeakable cracks in your body. Like confetti after your wedding day, you seem to find it forever after. Usually once you’ve vacuumed the house for the 14th time.

Fights and tears.

An accidental shake of a towel sends sand flying into siblings’ eyes. Hysteria. A harmless water fight – usually dad having a bit of overzealous fun with the little ones – turns to tears. A broken bucket and spade, a stepped on sand castle, a precious shell stolen are all cause for that peaceful setting to be pierced by the fights of children.


Beach playing is a hungry game. The constant need for food has children rifling through bags looking for more goodies in the cooler bag. Food that inevitably ends up covered in sand. “Dropped your apple again, darling? No fear, we have the entire ocean of salty water to wash it in!” Under catering can be devastating. Over catering can mean manky sandwiches wilting in the sun.


Mostly mine. The desire to lie back with a book and have a mini shut eye under the rays with the water nipping at my feet are overturned by children who are tired and crying over anything and everything. A sure sign it’s time to pack up the picnic and head back to the fibro.

The Ugly


I have my Irish heritage to thank for my freckled complexion and sun scorched skin. I cover myself and my children in sunscreen like some kind of obsessive-compulsive lotion-latherer yet there’ll always be one spot I’ve missed. A handprint on a back, a line on a foot where the thong once was. The pain of sunburn brings back memories of my childhood. Not fond ones. So when you see that dork on the beach, covered from head to toe sitting under an umbrella despite it being 40 degrees, think only one thought: blister-free.


One shoe, a towel, a buried spade, seven sections of my sanity and once, a child. All lost. Most of them I can say goodbye to without fuss, but the lost child was certainly a heart-racer. She was only three, we were at a surf beach, the husband turned to check on one of the older children catching a wave and our daughter vanished. Through charades and incomprehensible sign language he motioned to me further up the beach: “Is she with you?” Panic stations. A crowded beach, a sea full of black wetsuits where every kid looked the same, beach umbrellas and identical shade tents confusing to adults, let alone children. Violent waves that could quickly snatch our little girl away. We called her name, running up and down the beach. Friends and strangers joined in the search, as headlines ran through my mind “three year old drowns while on family holiday”. A crying little girl in the arms of a dad was delivered safely to us. She’d become disoriented looking for our spot under the umbrella and walked the wrong way. I don’t think I’ve ever been more thankful of anything in my life.  


Australian coastal waters are renowned for their strong currents and unpredictable rips. As fun as ocean play can be, I’m like a hawk watching my children in the water. Little bodies and big waves don’t mesh. The draw of jumping that next wave, further and further out can mean young children can be out of sight and in danger within seconds.

So until next summer, when I pull out the beach bags still laden with sand, a cracked bucket and spade, out of date sunscreen, what was once a banana, and a novel I never finished, I’ll put the blinkers on and focus on the dreamy, hypnotic waves, sparkling sand and pleasant components of that Great Australian Beach Holiday.

#2 macnneons

Posted 02 February 2015 - 02:14 PM

well, very nice describe ! etui sony xperia e3 coque sony xperia e3

Edited by macnneons, 09 February 2015 - 01:08 PM.

#3 Hollycoddle

Posted 02 February 2015 - 02:19 PM

We went to the south coast last weekend for 3 nights.  Kids didn't even want to go to the beach (so we didn't) which makes me wonder why I bothered!  Instead I spent $30 each day for 2 days (which in reality was only a few hours each day) to use the facilities (ie. pool) at the Big 4 caravan park across the road from where we were staying.  If they just wanted to swim we should have stayed home and they could have swum every day for free in the pool at the hotel where my sister works.

Methinks they've been too spoilt by too many coast getaways too often ( usually about 3 times a summer for a few days at a time).

Edited by Mollycoddle, 02 February 2015 - 02:22 PM.

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Top 5 Viewed Articles

Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.