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Going to the beach is supposed to be relaxing, even with kids…right? Yes! Stop dreading all the sand and start looking forward to your seaside family vacation. Use these brilliant beach hacks that are perfect for parents…and kids.

And, while you’re in the traveling mood, we have lots of travel tips from Disney hacks to how to save on airline tickets.

 

1. Keep sand out with this fitted sheet beach hack.

Man sitting in beach chair with to kids playing with toys in the sand

This fitted sheet beach hack is one of the best ways to keep sand out of your bags. Use it as a sand blanket by propping the corners with toys, coolers, or beach bags. When you’re done, just shake the sand off and fold it.

RELATED: 25 Cheap and Easy 4th of July Games

 

2. Freeze aloe vera gel in ice cube trays for literally one of the coolest hacks for sunburns.

woman squeezing aloe vera gel into ice cube trays, freezing the cubes, then placing into a ziploc bag.

How’s this for one of the coolest hacks for summer? Store pre-made aloe vera cubes in a Ziploc storage bag so they’re ready to go. Not only do the cubes help with sunburns, but they’re gonna feel really good on a hot day. Next time, be sure to reapply sunscreen often.

Need more storage bags? Don’t forget to use a free Ziploc coupon!

 

3. Use this sled beach hack to pull all the supplies you need across the sand.

Man pulling a cooler and beach supplies with a sled.

This is one of my favorite summertime hacks for the beach. The last thing you want to do after a day in the sun is walk back and forth from car to picnic spot. Use a sled instead! Just pile on your stuff and drag it.

 

4. Turn baby powder into a summertime hack to get sand off your skin.

man putting baby powder on girl to get off sand on her legs next to car

Sand is a great exfoliant for crusty heels, but when it’s time to leave the beach, you just want it off. Using baby powder as a beach hack will absorb any excess moisture — aka sand glue — from your skin.

Need more baby powder? We’ve got baby deals galore!

 

 

5. Entertain the youngest kids at the beach with their own kiddie pool.

Two toddlers sitting in an inflatable pool on the beach with toys around them

Via Baton Rouge Moms

Parents love this idea because you can keep the kiddos cool without worrying about salt or waves. This tip is great for toddlers who aren’t accustomed to the crowds or are weary about sand. Be sure to add a kiddie pool to your list of cool beach gear.

 

6. Lie on a yoga mat instead of a beach towel for waterproof cushioning.

family playing and relaying at the beach

Since yoga mats are waterproof, you won’t have to worry about lying on a damp towel. If you do a couple of leg lifts, count it as exercise on your beach vacation.

Prefer beach towels? We’ve got towel deals for days.

 

7. Create a cooling beach hack with a DIY sponge lei.

colorful sponges that have been cut and created into a necklace

Looking for one of the coolest hacks to help prevent kids from getting overheated? Cut up sponges and use a large sewing needle to string them onto stretchy cord. Soak the sponges in water, and your kids will stay cool while playing.

 

8. Keep kids entertained by making easy sand candles.

a homemade candle at the beach

Via Child Central Station

Dig a hole in the sand, tie a candle wick onto a stick that’s larger than the hole, then pour melted candle wax in it. Allow the wax to set for a few hours before digging up your candle, and voila! Your kids will be amazed with this easy beach hack!

Get more directions here.

 

9. Keep things in your cooler cold with frozen sponges.

woman putting a sponge into a cooler bag

Freeze a sponge and stick it in a Ziploc bag to keep moisture contained. Simply soak the sponges in water, sprinkle salt over them (because salt helps it freeze faster), and pop them in the freezer. This beach vacation hack puts your mind at ease and cools your perishables.

 

10. Use King’s Hawaiian Rolls to make your beach summertime fun utensil-free.

sandwiches made of King's Hawaiian rolls

Via Easy Peasy Pleasy

Family vacation lunches just got so much easier courtesy of King’s Hawaiian rolls. Just assemble, cut, and pack. Who doesn’t love finger foods?! Grab some chips, too.

As a general rule for food at the beach, anything dairy-based should be avoided because hot mayo isn’t tasty and it could make you sick if it’s not eaten within a couple of hours. But, if you pack it right (use those frozen sponges), you’ll be safe and satisfied.

Get your snack on with these food coupons and deals.

 

 

11. Carry beach toys in a mesh bag so you don’t bring sand home with you.

man putting beach toys in a mesh bag on the beach
mesh bag with sand toys being washed in the ocean water
mesh bag full of toys held over ocean water

Mesh bags should be listed as one of the best beach gear items for 2022 (or really any year), because they’re lightweight, dry quickly, and most importantly — they keep the sand out! Perfect for toys, sandals, and bathing suits.

These bags go for at least $5 online, so head to your local Dollar Tree to score one of these babies for only $1.25.

 

12. Use Plaster of Paris to help kids make a sandy handprint keepsake.

a plaster of paris hand covered in sand

Via Crafting a Green World

Take a zip bag full of Plaster of Paris with you to the beach ($10 for 1 lb on Amazon), and fill your kids’ handprints and footprints in the sand with plaster for a cute keepsake.

Get more directions here.

 

13. Turn a shower curtain liner into a mini pool for your next beach vacation hack.

A shower curtain liner made into a mini pool at the beach with beach toys floating on top

Via Pinterest

If packing a kiddie pool just isn’t your thing, here’s another option for little ones at the beach. Take a shower curtain liner and push it into the sand (in a circle formation) so that the sand forms a mound around the edges. Fill the “pool” with ocean water and add toys.

That’s not all you can do with a shower curtain liner — check out these easy, Earth-friendly ways to reuse a shower curtain liner.

 

14. Hide valuables in an empty sunscreen bottle, the ultimate beach vacation hack.

valuables being hidden in a sunscreen bottle

Via Barefoot Wine

No one will ever suspect that your sunscreen is your secret safe. Need more sunscreen? Use a free sunscreen coupon on top of a sale price!

(Hint: You should never pay more than $5 for sunscreen. Learn how to shop smarter with our Beginner’s Guide to Couponing and shop sunscreen deals.)

 

15. Stay cool with this beach hack — spritz your body with green tea!

someone spraying green tea on a girl at the beach

When you’re headed to the beaches in summer, you gotta stay cool. Steep 1-2 bags of green tea in cold water and transfer to a spray bottle. Keep the spray bottle in your cooler until you’re ready for more sprays. The antioxidants in green tea will help your skin and keep you cool.

 

 

16. Give yourself a temporary tattoo with sunscreen.

a sunscreen heart on a woman at the beach

Okay, this isn’t really a hack per se, but it is something fun to do. Use sunscreen to draw hearts or smiley faces on your skin or your family members’ skin. My teenage kids love this beach hack!

 

17. Use a permanent marker as a summertime hack to remind yourself when to reapply sunscreen.

a spray bottle of sunscreen with times to reapply written in permanent marker at the beach

When you’re at the beach, time goes by so fast. Using this tip helps you remember when to reapply your sunscreen. Never pay more than $5 for sunscreen, folks. Check out these popular sunscreen brands (and coupons) to save before your beach vacation!

17 Brilliant Beach Hacks You Must Try This Summer