Trips to the beach can be enormous fun, especially when it’s a trip to with friends and family is priceless, and enjoying relaxation and recreational time is something we all need.
However, when you’re not prepared, a beach trip, well, is no day at the beach. To avoid disaster and ensure your next sand and surf trip is the best it can ever be, these beach trip tips and hacks are invaluable.
General Beach Tips and Hacks
When you’re packing for your trip and taking a look at where you’re going to stay, consider these tips:
• Carry a sand-free beach bag. Sand is so much fun when you’re at the beach. However, it’s a huge annoyance when you get home and find that it’s covered virtually everything you own. With this in mind, try getting a mesh tote bag for carrying your things. Just give it a few shakes at the end of the day, and the sand will fall out.
• Pack some bug spray. Getting bitten by insects is no picnic, so don’t get caught without bug spray in case the bugs are out.
• Add a flotation device (or cork) to your keys. This is a great way to ensure your keys don’t sink to the bottom of the ocean’s floor if you accidentally drop them.
• Learn how to identify rip currents. You can learn to spot a rip current by looking for a break in the incoming wave pattern, a line of debris, seaweed or foam steadily moving seaward, a channel of choppy, churning water or a notable difference in water color in a specific area. According to the United States Lifesaving Association, the annual number of fatalities due to rip currents on American beaches is over 100, so it’s imperative to be aware of this natural threat.
• Learn how to avoid and get out of rip currents. It’s good practice to only swim as beaches with lifeguard protection and obey all their orders and instructions. If you do get caught in a rip current, remain calm and don’t fight the current. Instead, start swimming parallel to shore, and once you are out of the current, start swimming toward the shoreline. If this isn’t possible, float or tread water. If this still doesn’t work, wave and yell for help. Similarly, if you see someone in trouble, get the lifeguard immediately or call 9-1-1. Never jump in to save the person yourself.
• Bring plenty of bags. Although they’re not good for the environment, carrying plastic bags to the beach will ensure you have somewhere to collect your trash before you put it in the garbage. Alternatively, you can use a reusable bag you can dump your trash out of and wash.
• Pack lunches separately. Pack lots of small lunch containers. When you bring lots of food in separate containers, if one sandwich falls onto the sand, you will only lose that sandwich, and not the whole lot.
• Keep a dust broom in the car. Buy a soft-bristled dust broom from any hardware store and keep it for brushing down any last sand from your body, clothes and footwear before you set off for the drive home.
• Bring cupcake liners. Place cupcake liners over the top of your drinks. They can keep both bugs and sand at bay. Cupcake liners can also be used to catch drips from popsicles.
• Bring along any medications your family need. Remember to bring along any medications you or your family need, such as asthma inhalers, etc. It’s imperative you don’t forget to bring any important medications due to being overly focused on your beach preparations. You don’t want to have a medical emergency while you’re away from home.
Sunscreen and Sunburn Tips and Hacks
We all know of the importance of wearing a sunscreen whenever we’re outside, as well as reapplying it frequently. However, it’s easy to get burned, even if you think you’re doing all the right things. In cases of severe sunburn, that causes extreme pain, nausea oTipr blisters, you should seek medical attention immediately.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, an estimated 90 percent of skin aging is caused by the sun. If your sunburn is minor, we have a few sunburn hacks that will help you soothe that pain and burn, as well as prevent your skin from peeling:
• Bring a spray bottle filled with even amounts of apple cider vinegar and water. For the first few hours and days after your skin gets burned, use this homemade mixture to calm the inflammation, as well as to alleviate your itch.
• Apply yogurt to your skin. On your way home from the beach, buy a plain probiotic yogurt and spread some thinly over your sore skin. Allow this to sit for ten minutes or so, and then gently wipe it off with a damp cloth.
• Apply raw honey. Spreading a thin layer of raw honey to your affected skin, then covering it with gauze for a while will help, as honey is a natural antiseptic.
Going to the Beach With Kids
Many of us have wonderful childhood memories of long summer days at the shore, and these times can be even more magical by knowing a list of beach trip tricks and hacks that work. As well as getting to the beach early so you have lots of playtime with your kids, you also need to keep the following in mind:
• Create a sponge lei. Before you go to the beach, get some thread and add pieces of sponge at regular intervals. If your kids get too hot, all they need to do is wet the necklace to cool down.
• Freeze water balloons. For a fun twist on freezing water bottles to keep your food cool, freeze water balloons instead, and when they thaw out, you can have a sure-to-be-fun water balloon fight!
• Bring a beach tent. Pop-up beach tents or shelters are perfect for when your little ones need some time out to rest. They’re also ideal for keeping them out of the way of the elements. Too much sun, heat and wind can make babies (and adults) very cranky, so bringing along your own little safe area where everyone can rest and recharge is something you shouldn’t forget under any circumstances.
• Bring along a washable cuddle toy. If you have young kids who still need to take naps, they’ll settle far better for a sleep in the beach tent if you bring along their favorite stuffed animal or soft blanket from home. Having something familiar around them will help sleep come more quickly, therefore making them less irritable. A bonus point is that you can throw the toy into the wash when you get back home.
• Think about potty time. It’s a great idea to buy a folding travel potty for your toddlers, so they can discreetly use it, even in the back of the car. Remember to bring along some good quality baggies to dispose of the potty contents when your little one is done using it — and don’t forget to bring wipes and toilet paper.
• Plan for extra-hungry and thirsty kids. Enjoying playing on the beach is hungry, as well as thirsty, “work“. It’s important to bring along as much sustenance as possible for your children. Frozen juice cartons make awesome slushies once they start thawing. You’ll also want to pack up your cooler with water and lots of healthy snacks like cheese sticks, apples, sliced oranges and grapes. Remember that your kids will likely make friends at the beach, too, so bring extra.
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