It's time to pack the bags and head to the beach! Whether you're off to Ocean City or you prefer the sand and sun of another state or country, we've got you covered with beach hacks that will serve you well, whether you're a family with small children or a group of friends on break from college. Let us know if you try any of these!
1. If you don't have ice packs, soak a sponge in water, stick it in a plastic Ziplock bag, and freeze it! The bag will catch the melted water, and the sponge will stay nice and cold.
2. Speaking of putting things in the freezer, put aloe vera gel in ice cube trays and take it with you in your cooler when you hit the beach. If sunburn strikes, you'll get even more relief.
3. Of course, none of us like getting sunburn in the first place. Want to avoid getting as red as a steamed crab? Create alarms on your phone set to go off every 90 minutes the night before so you don't forget to re-apply your sunscreen.
4. Taking toys for the kiddos? Those plastic buckets and sand castle molds will keep them occupied for hours, but you don't want to bring a ton of sandy stuff back into the car with you. To avoid the mess, pack it all in a mesh laundry bag so the sand will easily fall out when you're done.
5. Taking snacks to the beach is a gamble. Yes, you've got tasty treats, but on the other hand, you risk taking a sandy bite or losing your goodies to the pesky seagulls. Here's a simple tip -- eat a big breakfast before hitting the beach, and you'll cut down on the food you need to take with you. (It'll be less to lug, too!)
6. Need an instant trash can? All you need is a $1 sand bucket and a plastic grocery bag. Line the bucket with the bag, dig a little hole in the sand, and voila! No need to worry about trash blowing away.
7. Don't want to drip popsicle juice on your new Route One shirt or swimsuit? Line the bottom of the popsicle stick with a paper cupcake liner, and you can enjoy your cold treat without fear of stains.
8. Planning to leave your car in a hot parking lot all day while you have fun in the sun? Buckle the seatbelts in the car after you get everything out, and you won't burn your hands on scorching metal. You can also turn your steering wheel upside down so when you return and right it, the top of the wheel will be cooler.
9. It's inevitable -- you'll get water in your ears at some point. Bring a deflated balloon in your beach bag, and when you blow it up, you'll be able to get it out. This can also help kids clear out their ears in a gentle way.
10. Did you know you can check when high and low tide will be ahead of time? NOAA
has tide predictions for beaches all over the country, and you'll be able to look at the expected tides before you head out for the day.