10 Creative Tips for the Beach
Tips & Tricks
10 Creative Tips for the Beach

Ah, the beach. The surf and sand sure are relaxing, but sometimes it requires a little extra effort to get packed with the essentials and make sure the cooler is packed with refreshing drinks and snacks. Plus, it’s nearly impossible to keep your bags and car sand-free after splashing and sunbathing. Lucky for you, there are some DIY tricks and tips for making your beach vacation a breeze. Here are 10 creative ways to make the most of your day on the coast.

Set a Sunscreen Alarm

Woman sitting in sand applying sunscreen to leg.
Credit: CandyRetriever/ iStock

First thing’s first — don’t forget to reapply your SPF. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, so make sure you give your skin an extra layer of protection by lathering up 30 minutes before you get in the water and again every two hours. It’s easy to lose track of time, so set an alarm on your phone to remind you. Also, be sure to check the expiration date on your sunblock — there should be a series of numbers on the label or across the top edge of tubes, and make sure the sunblock isn’t dark or watery. Most sunscreens are good for a few years, so you should write the purchase date on the bottle in permanent marker and store it in a cool, dark place for safe reuse.  

Make Aloe Vera Ice Cubes

Frozen aloe vera in ice cube tray and aloe vera plant.
Credit: Alena A/ Shutterstock

No matter how often you reapply, sometimes you slip up and find yourself with a stinging red sunburn. Treat a bad burn with frozen aloe vera ice cubes! Just pour aloe vera into a tray the night before and pop them out if your shoulders, neck, or back are in need of quick relief. Be sure to apply moisturizing lotion to your burns before bed. Keeping sunburned skin hydrated is important for preventing further irritation and dryness.

Attach a Cork to Your Keys

Brown cork floating boat trinket for keys.
Credit: Denis Churin/ Shutterstock

Help your keys float in the event that a wave washes them away. We hope it doesn’t happen to you, but a quick fix is buying a buoyant keychain to attach to your key ring. Need one in a pinch? A cork from a wine or Champagne bottle will also work!

Hide Your Wallet and Keys in an Empty Sunscreen Bottle

Sunscreen, towel, hat, glasses on a wooden background
Credit: White bear studio/ Shutterstock

You should never leave purses, wallets, phones, or backpacks unattended when you’re in the water, but if you must, avoid leaving such personal items in plain sight. Conceal small cash amounts, your phone, and car keys inside an empty sunscreen bottle and place it beneath a towel.

Freeze Water Balloons

Bowl of water balloons.
Credit: antpkr/ Shutterstock

Large objects take longer to thaw, so if you’re tired of ice cubes melting quickly, try filling balloons with water and freezing them overnight. The large round spheres are ideal for packing and will keep refreshments cool for a lot longer.

Bury Your Cooler in the Sand

cropped shot of man holding beach cooler while friends resting on sand behind
Credit: LightField Studios/ Shutterstock

Still want to ensure your sandwiches stay chilled? Bury your cooler in the sand. The earth will add an extra level of insulation and it’s a fun activity for the kids. If you want to be overly cautious, an attachable thermometer inside isn’t a bad idea to ensure your stored food stays safely edible.

Invest in Eco-Friendly Accessories

Row of colorful flip flops, sunglasses, floppy hat on beach.
Credit: Kenishirotie/ Shutterstock

The world produces around 350 million tonnes of plastic waste each year, and scientists estimate that roughly 8 million tonnes end up in our oceans. Protect our coastlines by picking up plastic wrappers and other garbage and keeping track of items that can easily float away. Investing in compostable beach toys from brands like Ekobo and Rogue Wave Toys, biodegradable flip-flops, polarized plant-based sunglasses, and other accessories made by companies devoted to making a difference will ensure that any item accidentally left behind won’t wreak havoc on our environment.

Use a Fitted Sheet to Stay Sand-Free

Bed corner with fitted sheet.
Credit: World_of_Textiles/ Shutterstock

Create a sand-free environment for infants and others who prefer to be undisturbed by the occasional gust of annoying grains. A fitted sheet held in place by large objects in each corner will create a light barrier from the breeze so that you can read, snack, and lounge unperturbed.

Fill a Trash Bag With Seawater

Feet splashing in ocean.
Credit: BrianAJackson/ iStock

When it’s time to head home, most people head to the water for one more splash to remove sand from hands and feet. Make the process a bit easier by filling a bag with seawater and carrying it to your towel for a makeshift footbath. When you’re done rinsing your feet, empty the bag and bring it home.

Carry a Mesh Tote

Flip-flops with mesh bag, sunglasses and cosmetics on sand beach
Credit: Pixel-Shot/ Shutterstock

Those heavy-duty canvas totes sure are cute, but all those extra pockets won’t protect you from sand. Mesh bags are a beachgoer’s best friend, so make sure you bring a few along for especially sandy items like flip-flops and wet bathing suits. The holes will allow the sand to shake right on through on your way back to the car.

Sweep Your Feet With a Hand Broom

Plastic hand broom and scoop on pink background.
Credit: New Africa/ Shutterstock

Still have extra sand on your toes? No problem. A hand broom and dustpan in the car will do the trick. Give your feet and legs a brush or two before you put on socks and sneakers to drive home. The soft bristles will remove sand with ease and you won’t have as many sandy towels.

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