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9 tips that will significantly improve your family beach holiday

family on beach holiday with sandy feet

Sun, sea, sand – adding children to this mix can fill parents with dread. But your annual family holiday needn't be a nightmare. From savvy packing to beach essentials, these top tips from well-travelled Mumsnetters will save you time, money AND faff – so you can actually enjoy your summer hols.

Nothing removes sand like talc - FACT

Nothing removes sand like talc - FACT

“Chuck a load on your feet to help brush off the sand that's stuck to them. Works like a charm.”

“Tried talc on sand today… got a few weird looks but lo and behold, it did in fact work!”

Get some at Boots

A multi-socket extension lead is your new best friend

A multi-socket extension lead is your new best friend

“Sometimes you only get one plug socket in a room so it gets tricky when trying to plug in iPads, phone charger, hairdryer, mosquito repellent, camera battery… Take a short extension lead so you can plug in multiple appliances at once (with only one adaptor).”

Do be careful, though, not to overload a socket. Use the correct plug adaptor and, if needed, voltage converter.

Get one at Amazon

Packing needn't be a pain if you follow two simple rules

Packing needn't be a pain if you follow two simple rules

“Roll all clothing into tight cylinders. These take up less space and keep the clothes relatively wearable.”

“Spread everyone's clothes out in different cases, in case – god forbid – one goes missing.”

A nappy is the perfect hiding place

A nappy is the perfect hiding place

At the beach or pool and wondering what to do with your most precious possessions while you pop off for a swim?

“Wrap all valuables (wallets, phones etc) in a clean nappy. Any potential thieves wouldn't think to look inside what they think is a dirty nappy.”

Just be careful no one helpfully decides to do a bin run.

Hammam towels are light-weight, fast drying - and double up as a sarong

Hammam towels are light-weight, fast drying - and double up as a sarong

“Five of them take up less space than one beach towel, and they dry so much more quickly!”

“My husband was sceptical (to put it mildly) that they could replace a proper towel – but was absolutely won over!”

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You will never regret buying a cool sleeve

You will never regret buying a cool sleeve

“Buy a cool sleeve for your water bottle. Keeps them cold for around four hours. We also take a small insulated lunch box with the gel (to freeze once there). Handy for all sorts of snacks you are carrying around.”

Available from Amazon

BYO crocodiles, balls, rubber rings, flamingos...

BYO crocodiles, balls, rubber rings, flamingos...

“Take kids' inflatables with you, but new so they're flat-packed. Sooo much cheaper to get them at home than in the beach-front shops abroad.”

Get them on Amazon

A balloon is a handy way to keep track of little ones

A balloon is a handy way to keep track of little ones

“When on a busy beach, tie a balloon onto your child's arm. You can see where they are playing at a glance.”

Needless to say this doesn't replace being vigilant; you'll still need to keep a very close eye on your children at all times. But this can help.

Zip-lock bags: the possibilities are endless

Zip-lock bags: the possibilities are endless

“You'll find a million uses for them on holiday: snack bag, emergency nappy bag, bag for wet swimming stuff after the beach, somewhere to keep 'leakable' things like suncream or mozzie spray, a rubbish bag, refillable water balloon for the adults to play with – the list goes on.”

Buy from Waitrose