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35 Tips and Hacks for Your Next Beach Trip

Want to ensure that your next beach trip is a breeze, both literally and figuratively? Then you need to browse our list of tips and hacks to make your beach trip easier and more enjoyable. They range from the somewhat obvious to the why-didn’t-I-think-of-that. Use them all, and you’ll have the best beach excursion ever!

1. Store your electronics in plastic bags. Are you tired of worrying about your cell phone getting wet every time you go to the beach? Hate to take it, but also hate to be without it? Turn to a trusty zip-lock plastic baggie and never worry about it getting soaked or sandy again.

2. Bring along the right type of sunscreen. You know enough by now to bring along sunscreen for your beach vacation, but is it the right type for your skin? In general, most experts recommend nothing less than SPF 30. Remember that it’s not enough just to bring it – you have to use it, too. Plan to lotion up or spray it on every hour or so. You might need to do it more often if you’re going to be hanging out in the water or if you’re fair-skinned.

3. Hide your valuables well. We’ve all done it – put our keys and money in our shoes. Even comedians joke that everyone knows that’s where most valuables are hidden at the beach. Instead of doing the obvious, hide your stuff somewhere no one will look — such as wrapped up in a baby’s diaper or an emptied-out sunscreen bottle. Voila! Your items will be safe and no one will be the wiser.

4. Bring along a first aid kit. It’s easy to get scrapes or cuts at the beach, and there’s nothing worse than not having some kind of first aid with you. Even if you just bring along Neosporin and Band-Aids, you’ll be ahead of the game.

5. Don’t swim with jellyfish. If you hear of a jellyfish sighting, avoid that area of the water. Jellyfish stings can make a beach day turn sour very quickly, and some jellyfish stings can be dangerous and require a trip to the emergency room. It’s not worth the risk.

6. Stop being sandy with some baby powder. Baby powder doesn’t just smell nice, but it can also take all that sand off your body. Everyone hates the feeling of not being able to get totally sand-free on the hands, arms, legs and feet. Instead of trying to rub it off or wash it off, simply shake some baby powder onto it. In no time flat, you’ll have silky, sand-free skin with a soft, relaxing aroma.

7. Bring some snacks. Even if you’re going to a beach with a boardwalk, you’ll walk to save some money and bring along healthy snacks. Don’t be surprised if your kids who normally turn up their noses at good-for-you munchies suddenly devour a whole tower of carrot and celery sticks. For some reason, everything seems to taste better at the shore!

8. Put your aloe vera gel in the fridge. Pure aloe vera gel is awesome for soothing any kind of burns or stings that you might get at the beach. It’s even better when it’s chilled, because it takes away any kind of pain in a few seconds. Try storing your aloe vera in the refrigerator and take it out right before you go to the shore.

9. Don’t swim out too far. Even strong swimmers can get mixed up if they’re swimming in strong tides. Rather than trying to be a hero or looking cool, stay closer to the shore. It’s ultimately the safest way to swim in the ocean.

10. Look for lost kids downwind. Have your kids decided to beachcomb, only to leave your sight? Look for them downwind. It’s been proven that most youngsters will follow a path of least resistance.

11. Bring the fitted sheet to the beach. We’ve all had the annoyance of trying to keep a beach towel planted firmly on the sand. Instead of wrestling with your towel, use a fitted sheet instead. The corners of the fitted sheet can be propped up with a cooler, shoes, etc. That way, the fitted sheet will not only lie flat in the sand, but it will also have some edges with height that can keep you a little more secure.

12. Take along a beach chair or two. It can be downright annoying to lug beach chairs from the condo, hotel room or car to the beach. With that being said, they can be lifesavers! Not only do they give you a comfy place to sit, but you’ll also get less sandy throughout the day.

13. Set a limit for the number of seashells everyone can bring home. Kids always want to keep the seashells they find at the beach. Rather than having a big fight at the end of the day, set a limit before you get to the seashore. That way, kids can decide which ones they’re going to bring home, and there will be less arguing.

14. Give away your beach toys at the end of the week. If the thought of taking $20 worth of beach toys all the way back home with you doesn’t float your boat, why not pay it forward and give the toys to another family to use on your last day? You won’t have to lug sandy plastic back to your house, and you’ll get some good karma.

15. Don’t force little kids into the water. Everyone seems to think it’s hilarious when little kids are forced to go into the ocean, but if yours is scared, it’s best to back off. Let him or her get in at a slow pace. Some children are more wary of the waves than others.

16. Teach children not to bug the lifeguards. Youngsters don’t always seem to understand that lifeguards are at work at the beach. Make sure your kids know that the lifeguards are there to help people, not to be their personal conversationalists. If you have teens who are attracted to lifeguards similar in age, you may have to say this reminder a lot!

17. Get to the beach early in the day. If it’s going to be a beautiful day, there’s nothing wrong with heading to the shore earlier rather than later. It’s not usually as crowded, and although the water may seem a bit cooler than it will be at 2:30 p.m., it will still feel refreshing and wonderful. The sun doesn’t shine as intensely in the morning, either.

18. Get blanket corner holders. Not into the idea of bringing one of your fitted sheets to the seashore? Try getting blanket corner holders instead. You can push them into the sand and then clip them the edges of your beach blanket. You’ll never worry about it flipping over unceremoniously again!

19. Plan for some down time. Families who go to the beach in the morning and expect to be there the whole day may find it frustrating if their kids have sudden meltdowns. Rather than expecting to be at the shore for several hours, plan for a little down time. It’s well worth it, because it will avoid any unhappy scenes and miserable memories!

20. Know where the bathrooms are. Most families forget about bathroom time until they absolutely need it. Unfortunately, the ocean is not a big bathroom facility — you need to find a place to go that’s secure and sanitary! Before you settle in for your beach day, discover where the closest bathrooms are. When you or your child needs them, you’ll know exactly where to look!

21. Bring along a change of clothes – for everyone. Sometimes families seem to forget that they’re going to get wet and sandy at the beach. At the end of the day, everyone is ready for a change of clothes, not just the kids. If you’re carrying your clean items with you to the beach and plan to change in a public bathroom, keep the clean items in large plastic bags. Then, you can replace them with the wet clothes from the beach.

22. Be social — or at least don’t be rude. The beach is a place where you’re going to run into many different individuals and families. Even if you don’t want to talk to the folks who are on blankets next to you, completely ignoring them can be rude. A simple “Hello” will suffice. Who knows? You might even discover that you have something in common if you strike up a conversation.

23. Don’t make strangers watch your kids. With #22 being said, it should be added that strangers aren’t your personal babysitters. You’re in charge of your own brood and no one else’s. Keep an eye on the youngsters you brought with you, and don’t expect anyone else to do so.

24. Make your own beach blanket. If you have an older sheet or blanket, fold over the corners and sew them into pockets. You’ll have plenty of places to store your stuff, and you’ll also have a way to anchor the blanket to the sand.

25. Allow your teen to bring a friend. Are you bringing a teenager to the beach? Allow him or her to ask a friend to come along. Teens have a habit of hating solo beach adventures, and they usually want to hang around with their buddies. By extending an olive branch, you’ll both have better experiences!

26. Bring along lots of water. Staying hydrated at the beach is an absolute must, so bring along lots of bottles of water. If you don’t have a cooler or don’t plan on bringing one, store some of the water bottles in the freezer for a while. They’ll stay nice and cool longer throughout the time you’re at the beach.

27. Remember to take some pictures. You’ll probably have very little time wondering what to do at the beach, but don’t forget to stop every now and then to take some pics. Those images will help bring back the fond days you spent at the shore, especially when you’re back at home.

28. Try not to fall asleep. Napping at the beach can seem like the perfect thing to do, but it can lead to serious sunburn. If you’re going to allow yourself some shut-eye, always make sure you’re under an umbrella or in a cabana.

29. Don’t take your camera into the surf. Sound totally obvious? It might be, but more than one person has ruined a camera or smartphone by accidentally getting it wet. Stay far away from any waves when you’re trying to take pics.

30. Don’t drink alcohol. While a cold beer can seem like a huge treat at the beach, it can quickly sap you of your hydration levels. Also all beaches in Ocean City, NJ are alcohol-free.

31. Bring a babysitter with you. As an alternative to running after your kids at the beach, you can always hire a babysitter to come with you. As long as you trust him or her, it’s a good way to get a little relaxation for yourself while ensuring that your youngsters are well taken care of.

32. Bring along toys for the kids. It’s amazing how many parents forget to bring kids’ items to the beach. Don’t assume that your children are going to be satisfied just playing in the sand or surf the whole time without anything else. Take along some things for them to play with, such as beach balls, boogie boards or a sandcastle kit.

33. Know what you can and can’t take off the beach. At some beaches, you aren’t allowed to take certain types of wildlife home with you. In fact, you can incur some pretty serious fines if you’re caught. It’s essential to do your research and know what’s allowed at the beach you’re visiting.

34. Bring cheap sunglasses to the beach. Don’t bring your $200+ sunglasses to the beach — buy some cheaper versions instead. Cheaper sunglasses should always offer the same amount of UVA and UVB protection, but they’ll be constructed of flimsier materials. If you lose your inexpensive sunglasses, you won’t be as concerned as if you lost your pricier ones!

35. Eat a hearty breakfast. Make sure you eat a hearty breakfast the day you go to the beach. It’s easy to lose track of time while you’re enjoying everything the shore has to offer, and that means you can suddenly become dehydrated. So fuel up for fun in the sun!

These tricks aren’t the only ways to make sure your beach trip is memorable, but they’ll help you get off to a great start!