Chill Your Sunscreen and 25 Other Beach Trip Hacks


Hittin' the beach before summer ends? Not without perusing this list of fun-in-the-sun hacks that'll make your seaside trip easier, breezier, and much more comfortable.

1. Wipe Away Sand With Baby Powder

Sprinkle it on your body to dry up the sand then brush it off.

2. Use a Corkscrew Anchor to Keep Umbrellas From Flying Away

Because I don't want to be the annoying jerk on the beach who can't properly secure his umbrella when even the slight gust of wind blows through, I picked up this nifty corkscrew anchor to keep my shade firmly in place. It has never failed me.

3. Use High SPF Lotion as Your Base and Spray for Touch-Ups

You'll get more all-over, longer-lasting protection out of the rub-on sunscreen than the spray. Cover your body with the lotion before you leave the house, then follow-up with sprays throughout the day.

4. Put Your Cell Phone in a Plastic Baggie to Protect It

I've found that those snack-size baggies are the perfect fit for iPhones, in particular.

5. Place a Tarp Under Your Beach Sheet or Blanket

You'll have an easier time shaking the sand off the tarp (it'll just slide right off, in fact) than trying to get it out of your blanket or sheet.

6. Place a Shower Curtain in a Large Hole in the Sand

When the water rushes in to fill it up, you'll have an instant pool for the kiddies to play in. This is an especially good idea for those who aren't very keen on swimming in the ocean — like me.

7. Stash a Few Grocery Bags in Your Gear for Your Trash

Use them throughout the day to keep your trash from blowing all around and so you don't have to keep walking to the trash cans every 30 minutes.

8. Put Meat Tenderizer on a Jellyfish Sting

Most meat tenderizers contain papain, which helps break down venom proteins. Wash it off after 10 to 15 minutes so it doesn't start to irritate the skin itself. (Vinegar works, too.)

9. Create a Sand-Free Zone With a Fitted Sheet

Lay the fitted sheet facedown on the sand and use your beach gear to fill in the elastic corners. Instant sand barrier.

10. Use a Balloon to Clear Your Ears

Kids have water in their ears? Bring a balloon to the beach and let them blow it up to help unclog waterlogged ears. Works just as well for you, too.

11. Use a Child's Wagon to Load up Your Gear

A child's wagon — particularly the Playskool brand — has wide plastic wheels that roll through the sand easily. Load up your gear and make the trek to your sandy oasis a hands and hassle-free experience.

12. Use a Frozen Sponge as a No-Drip Ice Pack

Freeze a wet sponge and place it in a plastic bag before putting it in a cooler to keep your refreshments chilled. No heavy ice or water to dump or lug later.

13. Place Valuables in a Clean Diaper That's Wrapped Like It's Dirty

Only the most desperate of beach thieves will attempt this heist. A friend of mine also told me that she wraps her valuables in a clean pair of underwear and places that in a Ziploc baggie. "Even left out in the open no one has ever stolen my panties, but they've stolen my friend's cash/cards that were just inside their totes," she said. Both tips are solid.

14. Use a Soft Paintbrush to Brush Off Sand

If you don't have baby powder around, pack a clean, soft paint brush to whisk the sand off your body.

15. Sturdy Your Umbrella With a Sand and Water Mix

This method of digging a hole for your umbrella then securing it by filling in the hole with a 50/50 sand/water mixture comes from an Eagle Scout — so you know it's legit.

16. Avoid Sunscreen Marketing Tricks

"Sport" and "For Kids" high-SPF sunscreens are the exact same product with different labeling. Compare the cost of the two and buy the cheapest.

17. Place Valuables in a Clean, Empty Sunscreen Bottle

If diapers or underwear aren't your preferred methods of theft deterrence, go with the more modest route by placing valuables inside a used sunscreen bottle.

18. Freeze Water Bottles as Ice Packs in Your Cooler

This trick works threefold: Your food stays cold; the ice melt stays contained; and you have cool, fresh water to drink later in the day, making your cooler much lighter to carry back.

19. Pack Fresh Fruits and Veggies Along With the Junk Food

Your idea might be to pig out on junk food on your day at the beach, but you might find yourself craving for cool, fresh fruits and veggies once you start playing in the water and baking in the sun. You can keep the chips, of course, but pack healthier alternatives — cucumbers, watermelon, oranges, and more — just in case.

20. Leave the Expensive Sunglasses at Home

Have you ever been to a beach where it looks like everyone is walking the runway? Totally not worth it — especially when you can look just as good for less and without ruining your stuff. This especially applies to sunglasses. Leave your pricey pair at home and take the cheapies with you. If you lose or scratch them, you won't mind as much.

21. Pack the Bug Spray, Too

Everybody remembers the sunscreen, but many of us often forget the bug spray. I've had several annoying days at the beach because of biting flies that a little bit of DEET would have controlled.

22. Make a Mini-Emergency Kit and Place It in a Plastic Container

Put a few Band-Aids, wipes, aloe gel, sanitary products, and other first aid-type items in a plastic container, like GladWare, so everything stays clean, contained, and organized.

23. Make Ice Cubes Out of Aloe Vera Gel

Soothe your sunburn even more by placing aloe vera gel in ice cube trays in the freezer and rubbing those frozen blocks on your skin. (Or, ya know, just don't get sunburned — which is highly recommended!)

24. Cool Down With Chilled Sunscreen

Place your sunscreen in the fridge or cooler before applying for a jolt of refreshment.

25. Use a Laundry Basket to Clean Beach Toys

Instead of washing beach toys individually, place them all in a plastic laundry basket and rinse them off in one fell swoop at a washing station while the water drains from the sides.

26. Add a Flotation Device to Your Keys

Attaching a floatable keychain or cork material to your keys is a great way to ensure that your keys don't sink to the bottom of the ocean if you accidentally drop them. To minimize any potential hazard further, only take your car key to the beach while locking your other valuable keys in the car.

Do you have more beach hacks that you'd like to add? Please share in comments!

Disclaimer: The links and mentions on this site may be affiliate links. But they do not affect the actual opinions and recommendations of the authors.

Wise Bread is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Guest's picture

Put cut pool noodles on the bottom of zero gravity( or any chair ) that goes to the beach, just like you would insulate pipes at home, the chairs don't sink as much, for us big guys.