Beach Vacation With Children – What You Should Consider

On summer vacation, swimming and splashing around are very popular, especially with children. But what should you rather decide for when booking: The sea or the pool? We show you what details you should pay attention to on a swimming vacation and what other alternatives there are for water rats.

Swimming is one of the most popular vacation activities. Image: Fotolia, © Sergey Novikov.

There is nothing better than frolicking in the water and enjoying the refreshing cooling. For many, proximity to the sea or an existing pool is therefore an important criterion when planning a vacation. But isn’t the big ocean with its treacherous waves and possible currents too dangerous for small children? Instead, the ambience on the beach is simply unbeatably beautiful. The hotel pool, on the other hand, can be hopelessly overcrowded – but there are often great play facilities for the little ones.

This article clearly shows you the advantages and disadvantages of the various options and makes it easier for you to make a decision when booking.

The Advantages And Disadvantages Of A Pool

For many parents, it is primarily the safety factor that makes them prefer a pool for a swimming vacation with children. The issue of hygiene is also very important to many. With both criteria, the pool can score manifold:

Advantages:

  • The pool area in a hotel complex or resort is a closed and protected area where children can move freely and safely.
  • No unwanted encounters with algae, fish or other critters are to be expected at the pool.
  • Swimwear remains free of irritating sand.
  • Often, more extensive pool facilities have special areas for children or babies with varied play options or slides for even more action.
  • From the pool, it’s usually not far back to the hotel room, clean restrooms are usually nearby as well, and it’s also just a few steps to the bar for a snack.
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Disadvantages:

  • Unfortunately, the pool in reality can not always keep what the advertising brochure or the glossy photos on the Internet promise. Here, the cleanliness is often criticized or the water surface and lounging options are simply too crowded.
  • For sensitive people, a possibly high chlorine content in the water can lead to skin irritations, breathing problems or even allergic reactions.

Despite the presence of supervisory staff, you should not think you are too safe and leave your children to their own devices without hesitation. There is no obligation to supervise children at the hotel pool, as is the case in public pools in Germany.

At the hotel pool, children can splash around in a safe environment.
Image: Fotolia, © travnikovstudio.

The Advantages And Disadvantages At The Seaside

The unique atmosphere of the beach – with palm trees, fine sand and an endless view of the ocean – cannot be matched by any pool area, no matter how well designed it may be. Children can also really let off steam here and romp around undisturbed. But the sea also has its pitfalls.

Advantages:

  • At the sea, there is usually simply more space to spread out and play exuberantly without other bathers feeling disturbed by it.
  • In addition to the water, the combination with the sandy beach offers many creative play opportunities. Children can also keep themselves busy for hours building sandcastles.
  • The fresh air by the sea is also unbeatable. In addition, the salt water is good for the skin. Allergy sufferers will be especially happy about the stimulating climate.
  • Especially with children, a vacation by the sea offers a unique experience of nature. Here, the little ones can discover many things while playing.
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Disadvantages:

  • Sand is not only a disturbing factor in bathing suits, but also often causes children to grind their teeth.
  • If necessary, sun beds or sun protection (umbrella, beach shell) must be provided on the beach itself. It may be necessary to carry your luggage a long way on foot.
  • Sanitary facilities, such as a toilet, are not always available on the beach.

When choosing a place to swim, you will certainly find information on the Internet or in the information provided by the accommodations as to whether the beach is suitable for children. A shallow sloping coast with a wide strip of low water is best for splashing.

For older children, on the other hand, it may be quiet once a few waves. Also the offer of other water sports becomes more interesting then.

The sea and the beach offer plenty of space for romping.
Picture: Fotolia, © Sergey Novikov

Alternatives For Water Fun On Vacation

Especially if the various advantages and disadvantages are not decisive – for example, because the safety aspect is omitted for older and independent children – it can make sense to provide choices. Depending on the destination and vacation spot, there are several alternatives available.

If you have concerns about both ocean and pool swimming, you can always opt for an alternative vacation destination that can provide suitable alternatives for water rats. For that, you can find a few typical examples here:

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Mallorca is not for nothing the most popular vacation island. In addition to the short journey also attract the many great destinations for the whole family. All around the island there are spots for swimming – besides numerous child-friendly beaches also exciting aqua parks like in Alcudia, Magaluf or S’Arenal. Numerous festivities with music and dance can also provide entertainment for the kids. At the same time, there are hotels and other accommodations equipped with a pool not only in the crowded centers, but also in the quieter areas in the west and east of Mallorca.

If you don’t want to miss out on a Mediterranean vacation ambience, but you’re apprehensive about swimming in the sea, the upper Italian lakes could be a good alternative. Whether it’s Lake Garda, Lake Maggiore or one of the other inland lakes on the southern side of the Alps – you certainly won’t miss out on the summer feeling here. Here, too, a visit to an aqua park is an additional highlight:

  • Cavena Aquapark near Lake Garda.
  • Aquatica Park about 60 kilometers southeast of Lake Maggiore and about 50 kilometers south of Lake Como.
  • Aquaneva about 40 kilometers south of Lake Como Aquaworld about 50 kilometers south of Lake Como.
  • Ondaland water park about 45 kilometers south of Lake Maggiore.

Holland is another grateful vacation destination with children, if water sports are to be in the foreground. In midsummer, it also gets warm enough to swim on the Atlantic coast. Alternatives are the larger inland waters in the Zeeland region (Veerse Meer, Grevelingen, Ooster- and Westerschelde, Haringvliet) or the Ijssel- and Markermeer in the north.

Bathing vacations at a lake can be a good alternative.
Image: Fotolia, © Кирилл Рыжов

Checklist When Booking

Which criteria you give the most weight in each case depends not only on the age and independence of children, but also, above all, on your preferences and individual ideas of a dream vacation. However, so that you are not disappointed on site, here are some important points that you should clarify in advance.

  • Basically, it is a good idea to look for special offers for family vacations with small children or babies when booking. Hotels and other accommodations have specialized in these special requirements. In addition, there is usually a large selection of child-friendly attractions, excursions and, last but not least, sports activities.
  • Does the pool facility of the desired accommodation offer special areas for children with low water, easy entry or various play options and accessories such as swimming boards, balls or pool noodles?
  • Does the tour operator or accommodation ensure supervision by professional staff for their pool area?
  • Is there a basic sanitary infrastructure with toilets or showers at the beach and are they in a clean condition? An inquiry to the local tourist office may help here.
  • Is the beach area supervised by a reputable organization such as the local water rescue service or, in the case of private beaches, by special security personnel? In addition, special markings by flagsprovide information about safe bathing areas.
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Conclusion

When planning your vacation, you should carefully consider how independently your child can already move around the water. Even after passing a swimming badge, the challenges at the sea with the unfamiliar saltwater or the waves are quite different.

Therefore, when packing, think about useful swimming aids or, if necessary, swimming goggles. These protect the sensitive eyes not only from chlorinated water in the pool, but also from the salty water in the sea. Bathing shoes protect against sharp stones on the beach. As you can see, some supposed disadvantages can be easily overcome with the right equipment.

The best products for you and your baby.

Baby monitor

With a baby monitor, you can use your time flexibly, sleep peacefully at night and still know at all times that your baby is doing well.

Nursing pillow

A good breastfeeding pillow has several advantages, because it helps you not only to breastfeed, but also to fall asleep and is also suitable as a nest.

Diaper bags

A diaper bag offers you a lot of storage space, so that you have everything you need for your baby on the go - from the changing pad to the bottle.

Pucksack

A pucksack gives your baby the feeling of security, like in the womb, and thus supports a peaceful and restful sleep.

Bicycle trailer

Bicycle trailers can be used in combination with a baby seat shortly after birth. They are not only safer than child seats but also more comfortable.

Playpen

A playpen can be very practical in everyday life! Which model is suitable for your needs, you can read in my guide.

Baby bed

The first bed accompanies your child for years. Fortunately, there are beds that grow with your child. I have made for you on the search for the best baby beds.

Stroller

A stroller is a worthwhile purchase. But there are the most diverse models on the market. Find out which is the right one.

Radiant heater

Radiant heaters provide your child with the necessary warmth when changing diapers or after bathing.

Extra bed

Side beds are very practical and offer both mother and baby a lot of advantages, because for babies, especially in the first months of life, it is reassuring to be able to sleep next to their parents.

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