Taking your children to the beach and having a relaxing beach day? Wait… is that an oxymoron? No, it’s not. With these tricks, you can enjoy your time at the beach with your kids. I rounded up my top 15 summer beach hacks that have never failed me.
#1 Put your Phone in a Waterproof Dry Bag
Nothing makes your beach day more frustrating than having to dig sand and water out of your speakers and charging port on your phone.
Then the other option feels like leaving your phone in your car. But then how are you going to capture all the cute and funny beach moments that you can scroll when you can’t sleep at night?
You can do it old school and double bag your phone with Ziplock bags, but what works even better is these cell phone dry bags. They fit any sized cell phone, and they are so freaking cheap. But don’t let the price fool you. They work so well. I use them at the beach, the pool, the splash pad, and even the river. Trust me on this one. It’s a must-have.
#2 Baby Powder to get the Sand Away
I have no idea when I learned this, but I felt robbed of all the times I drove home from the beach, itchy and annoyed by the sand.
That isn’t even mentioning all the hours I spent cleaning sand out of my car and bathtubs.
Simply put some baby powder in your hand and rub it over your sandy skin.
It works because of science. The baby powder dries your skin, so the sand can easily fall off. It works in hair too.
#3 Kids Medicine Cup to Wash Sand Out of Eyes
Medicine cup? For sand in your eyes?
Yes, I know it sounds weird, but a medicine cup that comes with Tylenol or other liquid medications is a perfect size.
To do this, simply fill the cup up with water. Lean your head over the cup and press it against your eye, so it creates a seal. Then tilt your head back and blink. It works like a portable wash station.
(Other helpful hints replace the water for milk if you ever rub your eyes after cutting peppers. That’s how I discovered this neat little trick.)
#4 Inflatable Pool for Safe Beach Play with Littles
A small inflatable pool filled with a little water from the ocean is the perfect way to introduce any reluctant child to the sea.
They are used to playing in a pool, so it doesn’t feel as scary as that big wide ocean that seems to go on forever.
It is also a smart idea for kids who have little fear of anything and have no qualms running out into the middle of the ocean.
You can also add in a bucket or two of sand for a self-contained beach.
#5 Mesh Laundry Bags make Beach Toy Clean Up a Breeze
I adore mesh laundry bags for all kinds of things. They are essential for beach toys, though.
Getting ready to head home? Grab the beach toys, toss them in the mesh laundry bag and give them a good shake. You won’t be taking tons of sand home in the toys.
Furthermore, if there is a beach shower or rinsing station, you can rinse the toys completely clean in the bag, shake the excess water off, and your toys are good to go.
#6 Easy Hand Washing Station from a Water Bottle with a Spout
I used to use a laundry bottle with a spout for a handwashing station, but that takes planning, and honestly, the water we washed our hands with always smelled a little soapy.
Instead, you can take a water dispenser that has a spout to wash your hands. I know you probably think a regular jug of water would work the same, but that requires either washing one hand at a time or someone holding it while you wash your hands or your toddler’s hands.
And I don’t know about your toddler, but my toddlers have always needed me to help them wash their hands if I wanted them clean.
#7 Frozen Water Bottles to Fill Your Cooler
Stopping to get ice on the way to the beach used to be a normal part of our trip, but of course, I can’t walk into a convenience store without grabbing a snack or a drink. But I found a workaround for not having to stop and get ice. Simply freeze water bottles that you are taking to the beach anyway.
I freeze about half of the water bottles we plan on taking so we don’t have to wait for them to thaw.
The best part is no yucky cooler water that everyone has stuck their dirty hands in or stopping your toddler from snagging a piece of dirty ice when you open the lid.
Also, at the end of the day, when everyone is thirsty on the way home, the last few water bottles will be thawed but still icy cold, so no stopping for more drinks, saving you money.
#8 Drink Holders to Keep your Drinks from Tipping
It seems most of what we bring to drink at the beach winds up kicked over or knocked over and poured out in the sand.
The solution? These brilliant drink holders stick down in the sand and do not tip over easily.
Not only do I use these to keep my drink upright, but I always have one that I put an insulated cup with a lid on and toss in my keys, money, and other small valuables (like my wedding ring that I forgot to take off at home).
#9 Avoid Sunburns by Creating a Timer on your Phone
Did you know that just one severe sunburn in your lifetime can nearly double your risk of skin cancer? Did you also know that most of the sun damage our skin receives in our lifetime is before the age of 18?
Avoiding sunburns is so important, not only to prevent the pain and itch but to reduce your risk of skin cancer.
I use a timer on my phone to remind me to reapply sunscreen.
Because my phone is in the waterproof case and hanging around my neck, I will hear it and not lose track of time and wind up looking like a lobster.
#10 Frozen Aloe Vera Gel for Sunburn Relief
If, for whatever reason, avoiding a sunburn doesn’t happen, make sure before you leave home to put some aloe vera gel in ice cubes and freeze it.
Most aloe vera sunburn relief gel has a numbing agent to help reduce the pain, but freezing it can help reduce the heat coming off the sunburn.
Remember, sunburns can show up any time between 3 and 8 hours after you get out of the sun, so even if you think you were spared, you may wake up to find that you were not.
#11 Skip the Beach Umbrella and Grab a Beach Tent
I love the look of a beach umbrella, but a beach umbrella does not hold a candle to the coverage and protection of having a beach tent.
A beach tent can make going to the beach a little harder to set up but so much better in the long run.
Protection from the sun and harmful UV rays are not a beach tent’s only purpose. They can also give you a break from the wind at the beach.
You don’t have to have a special beach tent if you already have a small pop-up tent. For those of you who don’t or don’t want to take your pop-up tent to the beach, you would not believe how cheap you can get these beach tents.
#12 Keep Camp Chairs together with a Rubberband and a 5 Gallon Bucket
The idea of camp chairs is brilliant. Just toss one over your shoulder in the bag and head to the beach.
Except the reality is you aren’t just carrying one, and the idea of carrying 4 or 5 camp chairs like a backpack is not fun. And if you have ever tried it, it is really not fun.
My hack for keeping these wild chairs from wiggling around chaotically is to rubber band them together.
I use these big rubber bands that I grabbed from Amazon, and honestly, I can’t even remember why I originally bought them because I am constantly finding ways to use them.
After the chairs have become a band of brothers, I put them in the 5-gallon bucket I always bring to the beach. Boom-bam. Camp chairs are contained and easy to transport.
#13 Bring a Trash Receptacle
For a long time, I just would tie a bag to the back of a camp chair or the leg of a table or to my car’s side mirror, which works pretty great unless your hands are full, then not so much.
I use a 5-gallon bucket because if I am bringing one, then bringing a second or third takes up very little extra space because they stack, but you can use any kind of stand-up container for a trash receptacle.
Keep your make-shift trash can in place by adding a few scoops of sand to the bottom then putting a liner or trash bag inside. It won’t get blown or kicked over easily.
#14 Save Your Back with a Foldable Wagon
I am not sure who invented the foldable wagon, but it feels like it had to be a mom with several kids.
The foldable wagon is possibly my favorite mother’s helper I have ever purchased. I bring in my groceries with it, tote sports equipment, and even take it to the beach.
If you wonder how not to make 7 million trips to your car to get everything you need and not look like a walking floaty, camp chair, cooler monster, the foldable wagon will save you.
#15 Pay for a Vacation Photographer
Vacation photographers do not have to cost a fortune, and getting some quality vacation photos or beach photos will be well worth it.
You can plan on 30 minutes when you first arrive with a vacation photographer. Grabbing some beautiful shots will give you something to look back on for life. Then you have the rest of the day to play in the sun, the sand, and the waves!
Now you are 15 tips smarter about going to the beach with your kids. You can enjoy the beach trip with your family instead of wishing you could get away from your getaway by lunch.
I hope this post has given you some ideas for your summer beach adventures. Be sure to share it with friends on social media and subscribe below for more tips that will help make every day of the season a success!