22 Beach Hacks for a Perfect Day at the Shore

What’s not to love about the beach? You’ve got the soothing and gentle roar of the ocean, soft sand to dig your toes into, and a perfect panoramic paradise on all sides. Still, even when you’re in your happy place, you can usually find a few sneaky tricks to really improve the experience. Consider these seashore savvy beach hacks to keep your day going your way.

Best Beach Hacks

  1. Take a picture of where you park. Was it halfway up 25th or 26th? No need to worry. Snapping a picture of the intersection nearest to your vehicle gives you one less thing to worry about when it’s time to pack up and head home.
  2. Hate that icky sand-all-over feeling when you leave the beach? Whisk it away in a wink with a quick dusting of baby powder. This is one of my favorite beach hacks. Choose the travel size bottle for easy toting in your favorite beach bag!
  3. Tired of that rogue wave crashing over your sweet setup? Opt for a lightweight flat or fitted sheet instead of a large towel or other beach blanket. These lighter linens offer effortless wringing potential and can considerably lighten your load compared to the alternative. With a fitted sheet, you can stash your beach bags and cooler in the corners to create a sweet seashore fortress sans the sand.
  4. Love collecting shells but always tire of carrying around a bucket? Make your own seashell satchel by hooking a carabiner clip through a plastic zip-seal bag. Simply attach it to your swim bottoms or through a loop in your shorts and you’re good to go. Alternatively, you can also stash your surfside treasures in a small drawstring backpack or a bag designed specifically for shell hunters.
  5. Forget worrying about water or sand on your valuables. Stash your phone and car keys inside a zippered dry bag or its primitive and practically free cousin, a Ziplock bag. 
  6. Do you feel like what you need is ALWAYS on the bottom of the beach bag? If so, it’s time for a little organization inside your tote. Keep sunscreen, hand sanitizer, and like items inside a small pouch that will be much easier to find than random bottles or tubes. 
  7. Take advantage of the straps and attach to your heart’s content. Use elastic hairbands, carabiners, keychains, or other handy connectors to keep important things accessible. This is one of those beach hacks that will likely grow with you as you go from singles and newlyweds to parents of babies, toddlers, and big kids or teens.
  8. Ensure easy rinsing with a bucket of seawater by your side. You can play in the sand all you want without worry of a long hike to the surf every time you want to snack or reapply sunscreen.
  9. Create a secret hiding place for your valuables. Cut open and clean out an old sunscreen bottle to fashion a sneaky place to stash your cash and keys. Likewise with an old, used-up tube of lip balm. (Don’t forget to bring the real lip balm with sunscreen, though!)
  10. Store sand toys in a netted drawstring bag. When the meter’s about to run out, you can quickly rinse the whole thing and go. Challenge your kids to bring only what fits in the mesh bag for easy back and forth walks from the car.
  11. Bring the ocean to the little ones. Some little loves don’t immediately love the ocean’s crashing waves, and that’s okay. Bring along a pint-sized inflatable baby pool you can quickly blow up and deflate. Your infant or toddler may find this way more thrilling than the ocean, and you can relax right beside with your snacks and beverage. Besides, a tiny pool gives a great place to rest your feet if you’re taking a break from riding the waves. You can also dig a hole and use a cheap shower curtain liner to create your own baby pool without the hassle of deflation at the end of the day.
  12. Give your seashell-hunting prowess a boost. It’s no secret that some beaches have way more shells scattered about than others. Depending on the tides and the roll of the waves, your perfect ridge of shells may be just slightly out of reach. Bring along a handheld bait net to scoop up piles of shells and bring them to the shallows. Your little ones will love hunting with a net for the perfect treasures and you may just find that perfect shell you’ve been hunting.
  13. Make your own disappearing DIY ice packs. Freeze your juice boxes, pouches, and water bottles ahead of time. Then pop them in your cooler with your sandwiches or lunch and snacks for instant cooling power. Remove from the cooler just a little while before you want to drink them and simply toss or recycle when empty.
  14. Choose a popup tent for instant shade on the beach. This creates a superb napping environment for the littlest of beach-goers. Be sure to stake your tent down so it doesn’t fly away with the seaside breeze.
  15. Set the alarm on your phone as a sunscreen reminder. Remember to reapply every 80 minutes or as directed by your particular product. When in doubt, reapply.
  16. Rely on a small wash bottle with a pointed tip for perfect part protection. Enjoy expert precision as you trace a line of sunscreen between your princess’ pigtails or behind her bangs. Make sure you get a tiny rinse bottle with a cap. You can also store it inside a zip-seal baggie for extra caution against spills.
  17. Get all of your kids looking at photo time. Forget snapping your fingers and making a crazy commotion of weird sounds. Hold up a seashell or other object you found on the beach and ask them to identify it. Most of the time their curiosity gets the better of them and you can get them looking right where you want.
  18. Always remember what year the vacation was. Beach hacks can go beyond dealing with the sand and sea. Write your kids’ names and the year in the sand and then get everybody to gather round. You’ll love having these pictures for years to come and there’ll be no question on the date and ages of your crew.
  19. Keep your smartphone safe and still get the action shots you need. Use an underwater disposable camera or a rugged waterproof camera or kiddie camera to snap along the shoreline. You can also take your pictures on your phone through the zip-seal bag, although they may not come out quite as sharp as usual.
  20. Become the sultan of snacks. You can pack up snacks in empty coffee creamer containers as well as those M&M Minis containers so you can just shake them into your mouth or your child’s outstretched hand rather than getting sand everywhere while snacking. Go for Goldfish, Nerds, pretzel sticks, raisins, trail mix, and other yummies.
  21. Weave a little beach braid for hair that’s not quite long enough to tie back. Pull back what you can and use a tiny rubber band to fasten a tiny braid. Clip the braid onto the existing hair with a little metal snap hair clip.
  22. Save your sandwich with squirt guns. Keep the seagulls at bay with a small squirt gun that you can refill and shoot as needed to (humorously and humanely) defend your lunch.

These beach hacks should lend a touch of convenience and some added style for your next trip to the shore. If you know of other beach hacks to try, please share them in our comments below.

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