10 Genius Beach Trip Hacks Every Parent Really Needs

Judy Dutton | Aug 1, 2014 Big Kid
10 Genius Beach Trip Hacks Every Parent Really Needs

beach family

A family beach trip with kids sounds like the perfect summer outing ... in theory. The reality involves packing tons of gear and snacks, struggling to slather squirmy kids in sunscreen, and lots of sand, of course -- getting everywhere from your sandwich to your sandals. There has to be an easier way, right? Turns out, there is! 

Try following a few of these 10 smart, parent-approved beach hacks to cut down on the stress of a family beach trip and enjoy all the benefits with far fewer hassles.

beach hacks

Images ©iStock.com/OJO_Images and ©iStock.com/ampueroleonardo

  • Bring baby powder


    Image ©iStock.com/gvictoria

    Rub a handful on your kids' hands or feet and voila -- no more sand! Just like on baby's bums, baby powder absorbs moisture, which leaves skin dry so sand can't stick. That way your kiddos can easily shake off those gritty granules before eating food or putting on flip-flops.


  • Wrap your valuables in a diaper


    Image ©iStock.com/Renphoto

    Want to join your little ones in the surf, but afraid of leaving your valuables unattended? Wrap your wallet, keys, smartphone, and other pricey possessions in a diaper to look as if it's been used. We absolutely guarantee no one will touch it.

  • Sit on a fitted sheet


    Image via Phaniel/Reddit

    A fitted sheet's elastic edge works as a perfect sand barrier: Just pin all four corners with your coolers and bags to create a sand-free area.


  • Turn your steering wheel


    Image ©iStock.com/spooh

    Parking in the sun? Turn your steering wheel 180 degrees. That way when you're ready to leave, the part of the steering wheel that you use won't burn your hands.

  • Dress your kid like a surfer


    Tired of struggling to cover your kids in sunscreen? Minimize the work by dressing them in surfer clothes, which are typically made out of a fast-drying, breathable material that blocks the sun's damaging rays.

  • Bring balloons


    Image ©iStock.com/happyfoto

    If your kids' ears get plugged with water after a swim, have them gently blow into a deflated balloon three or four times. This will force the water out. Problem solved!

  • Sew pockets on your towels


    Image ©iStock.com/baytunc

    Sew pockets onto the corners of your beach towel where you can place things inside. Added bonus: It keeps your beach towel weighed down, too.

  • Pack snacks in an insulated tote


    Image ©iStock.com/wwing

    Don't feel like lugging a whole cooler? A far lighter option is an insulated tote, which will keep your munchies cool without straining your back.

  • Fill a freezer bag with water


    Image ©iStock.com/DustyPixel

    Stick it in the freezer overnight so the water inside is frozen by the time you leave. This bag does double duty: Use it as an ice pack for your cooler, and after the ice melts, you can use the bag to hold wet swimsuits.

  • Go early -- or late


    Image via Pandu Adnyana/Flickr

    To avoid the biggest crowds and the worst of the sun, families should consider heading to the beach early and coming back before lunch, or going there in the late afternoon or evening. Added perks: You'll get better parking and may not have to pack as much food for your trip. It's an easier and more kid-friendly strategy all round. 

    How do you make family beach trips with kids easier and more fun?

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