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Vacationing with the Kids? 6 Tips for Choosing a Family-Friendly Beachfront Escape

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There’s something special about family holidays by the beach. Sunny summer afternoons likely star in your childhood memories, and recreating the experience for your kids is one of the real pleasures of family life.  

However, not all beachfront accommodation is created equal and selecting the right hotel, resort or vacation rental for you and your kids could be the difference between a dream escape and a holiday nightmare.

Here are six things you should consider when selecting family-friendly beachfront accommodation: 


1. Safe-to-swim Beaches

The essential ingredient of a beachfront holiday is, well, the beach. But smiles will quickly turn upside down if your brood arrives with flippers and snorkels in hand only to discover that wild waves and strong undertows have put swimming out of the question.

In many beach communities around the world, the use of colour coded flags warns of the beach conditions for the day. Understanding what these flags mean can help keep you and your kids safe on a beach vacation; however, they are not in use in all communities and certain communities may have special ones, so make sure to ask locals and investigate before venturing into the water.



Many beaches on the East Coast of Vancouver Island are perfect for summer beach days.


The safest option is to seek out patrolled beaches with lifeguards on duty (usually during the summer months). Vancouver’s Jericho, Kitsilano and Ambleside Beaches are all safe for swimming in most summer weather, with long stretches of sand and plenty of child-friendly facilities. 

Further afield, Crescent Beach in the Vancouver coast and mountains region is renowned as one of the best swimming beaches in the area, and the white, sandy beach on Savary Island has been dubbed ‘Hawaii of the north’ for its warm, mild waters.  

For more information, check out HelloBC’s full beaches and swimming guide.


2. Cooking Facilities  

A well-equipped kitchen is a must for family holidays. It will save you money on restaurant bills, and feeding the kids in your room will keep you out of crowded dining rooms that take time away from other activities. Likewise, preparing picnic baskets in your kitchen is a great way to get the most out of a day at the beach. 



Kitchenette at The Black Rock Oceanfront Resort (Ucluelet, B.C.)


Self-contained cabins and resort suites will be your best bet, however if you decide to go kitchenless, ensure there are at least nearby barbeque facilities so you can enjoy a casual meal or two under the stars.

Find beachfront cabins and suites with kitchens here.


3. Babysitting

To ensure you get some quality alone time with your partner, look for beachfront accommodation that provides an in-house babysitting service.

Hotel-employed babysitters can watch over your kids in your room while you and your partner step out for a candle-lit dinner or a moonlight stroll along the beach.

And if you have young kids, check with the accommodation provider that they can provide cribs, high chairs and strollers to save you from hauling them along with you. 

4. Kids’ Facilities

Keeping your kids entertained is the key to a peaceful, tantrum-free family holiday – and this challenge is easily overcome with right accommodation planning.


b2ap3_thumbnail_thumb_IMG_2829_1024.jpgA pool always comes in handy when you have the kids in tow. 


A child-friendly pool with a water slide will keep your kids busy for hours, and playground equipment will help them burn off any remaining energy. And if your accommodation provides free equipment such as bikes, boats or paddle boards, it could be a match made in family-holiday heaven.

When using our site, you can click here to search waterfront accommodations by amenity or service (ie. babysitting, beach gear, restaurants, etc..)! 

Note: Remember to keep an eye on the kids in the pool as the majority of resorts do not employ lifeguards.


4. Dining Options

Treating your family to a restaurant meal or room service is one of the real pleasures of family holidays, however eating out with your kids can quickly turn into a nightmare.

It pays to browse the restaurant and room service menus of the beachfront accommodation you’re considering. Do they offer good options for kids’ meals? And do they cater for any allergies or diet requirements your kids may have?


5. In-room Entertainment

While a good book or a stack of magazines may be all you need to pass the time on your beach holiday, your kids are part of the digital generation.

Many hotels now offer more than cable TV as part of their in-room entertainment packages. An in-room Xbox will be a hit, an iPod/iPhone enabled sound system allows your kids to bring music from home, and a fast, reasonably-priced Wi-Fi connection will let them keep in touch with their friends.


6. Room Safety

Last but not least, ensuring the safety of your family on holiday is paramount and your accommodation should be suitably equipped.

All windows and doors to balconies should be lockable, and any access to water – such as pools, lakes or the beach – should be through child-proof fences. The hotel may also be able to provide electric socket protectors, and make sure sharp kitchen items can be securely stored away from children. 



 Enjoying the beach at The Walnut Beach Resort, Osoyoos


For more advice about holidaying with kids, check out local Vancouver mom Tara Cannon’s helpful blog,, or get started browsing our beachfront accommodation.  







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Shane is an experienced freelance travel writer who has been fortunate enough to circle the globe on a wide range of assignments. From reviewing luxurious beach resorts, to trekking through remote rainforest and getting lost in a Balinese black market, he'll put his hand up for just about any travel experience.

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