Once upon a time they were relaxing. Now, they are anything but.

As the title may have already been given away, today we are talking about beach holidays. It would be fair to say that the kids absolutely love them but for the parents alongside them, they can be somewhat stressful (and tiring).

It doesn’t matter whether you have taken advantage of a rare heatwave and ventured to your local beach, or if you have gone further afield to something like Manuel Antonio Costa Rica, the same rules apply.

We will now take a look at some of these rules and show how you can make the most of a beach holiday with the little ones.

The early bird catches the worm

You might be jetting off to the sun and sea with the purposes of catching some shut-eye but let’s be honest, armed with the kids, this isn’t going to happen.

Instead, you need to plan all your activities to be as early as can be. There are a few reasons behind this, with the first being the temperature. As we all know, as soon as you venture past the midpoint in a day, you are asking for sunburn. This is officially the hottest part of the day and it should go without saying that when with children, this is something that you should be looking to avoid.

The other reason is the lack of crowds. In short, most people do want a lie-in, and your day can be made all the more easier if there are less people on the beach.

Finally, let’s not forget those naps. By hitting the beach early, it means that you don’t need to give up one of those naps that will ultimately keep you all sane.

The art of the beach picnic

The scene is set; sandcastles are built and everyone is in their element in your chosen spot on the sands. Then, hunger strikes.

This is what can disrupt even the most enjoyable of mornings and unfortunately, there’s no stopping it. The only option, unless you are prepared, is to pick up everything that you have carted along, and pitch yourselves at one of the ludicrously expensive restaurants that tend to don a beachfront.

Instead of taking this approach, don’t be afraid of going for the traditional packed lunch. Arm yourself with some frozen drinks and Tupperware, and design your own beach picnic. Sure, there might be the odd bit of sand flying around at times – but this is par for the course when it comes to a beach holiday with the little ones.

The great haulage task

Finally, don’t be afraid to get creative when it comes to transporting all of your belongings to the beach. We don’t want to real off a checklist of what you need for the family beach extravaganza, but suffice to say it’s a long list.

Rather than attempting to juggle blankets, toys and everything else that’s needed, opt for a rolling cart or even giant plastic bags to help you along your way. Unfortunately, the days of being fashionable on the beach are somewhat behind you – it’s all about being stress-free nowadays.