With the holidays on the horizon, the ocean is calling our names! And while a day of sun, sand and sea can be a wonderful time for the whole family, the planning and organising can be a bit overwhelming.
Make life a little bit easier and be sure you get the most out of your seaside holiday with these simple beach hacks…
No one enjoys attempting to get the sand off your towels after a day at the beach. Create a sand-free space with a fitted bed sheet by placing bags and coolers at each of the four corners.
Now you have a perfect spot to keep sand off your belongings (and little ones).
No-melt ice packs
Want to know how you can avoid wasting ice and ending up with a puddle of warm water at the bottom of your cooler box? The night before, freeze a few water bottles and use them as ice packs. As an added bonus, you’ll have cold bottles of water to drink once they’ve melted.
Another option is to freeze a saturated kitchen sponge and seal it in a Ziploc bag. This also works for school lunchboxes.
Sand filtering bag
Building sandcastles on the beach is a family-favourite activity but packing sand-covered buckets and spades back in the car is far less enjoyable.
Buy a cheap mesh laundry bag to carry around beach toys. Sand will filter out through the fabric meaning you won’t need to take the beach home with you.
A mini key safe for solo trips
Heading to the beach for a quick dip on your own? Then you’ll probably face the same problem many other solo surfers do, what do you do with your keys? This Portable Combination Mini Key Safe by Master Lock, R729 on Takealot, could be the answer you’ve been looking for…
Choose the right sunscreen
Before we can enjoy a day of beach volleyball and surfing, we have to choose the right sunscreen to protect you, your family and the beach.
Read more: Understanding sunscreen: UVA, UVB and SPF
Unfortunately, not all sunscreens are made equal; when choosing a sunscreen, you should always take into consideration the application type, the SPF, as well as the active ingredients. These factors all impact how your skin is protected and certain kinds of sunscreen can even have a negative impact on marine life.
Fun photo op
Try this creative take on a family beach photo:
Bring an old photo frame and place it in the sand. Have your family stand on the beach and angle your camera so they match up with the centre of the frame. You can even write your family name, location and/or date in the sand, under the old photo frame, to personalise your shot.
Another clever photo idea is to create an optical illusion with a sandcastle.
Stand some distance away from your creation and have the photographer angle the camera so that it looks as if you’re standing on the sandcastle. The kids will love this one!
DIY cup holder
Tired of your bottles falling over and getting sand on or inside your icy (non-alcoholic!) drink?
Try making a super sturdy cup holder out of PVC pipes – it’s inexpensive and will keep everything from your drink to your sunnies away from the sand.
Want something a little bit simpler? Try using empty jars as cup holders and add some ice to keep your drink chilled. Just make sure to pack it all up when you leave – no littering, please!
Your skin will need some extra TLC if you’re out in the sun all day. Pour some aloe vera gel into an ice cube tray to freeze overnight. Then pop out a cube for an easy application on dry and sunburnt skin.
Read more: 5 more home remedies for sunburn
Layered sand vase
Going on a beach holiday can be such an amazing experience, so much so that we wish we could take the beach home with us. With this craft idea, you can!
During your visit, collect some sand and bring it home with you. Pour it into a large glass vase and create layers with the different sands from each holiday. Print labels of each beach and place them with their corresponding sand.
Kiddie pool playpen
Trying to keep toys as well as little hands clean and sand-free? Bring a blow-up kiddie pool along to make a private playpen. Add an umbrella to protect your baby’s sensitive skin from those harsh UV rays.
Before the kids track sand into your car, sprinkle baby powder on their hands and feet before brushing it off. Now you can leave the sand where it belongs and keep your car beach-free.
Add a splash of colour to your sandcastle creation with this cool hack. Bring along some plastic bags and non-toxic food colouring (to avoid causing harm to the water source and wildlife). Pour sand into a few bags and add a few drops of colouring to each bag before shaking.
You only need to bring a few colours – primary colours are the most ideal as you can mix different coloured sands together to make new shades.
Ziplock phone protector
Avoid getting wet and sandy hands on your phone by putting it in a ziplock bag. It should protect your phone from wet hands and will keep sand out of buttons and important openings, plus you’ll still be able to use the touchscreen.
Beachy Christmas decor
Create a holiday memory in a bauble your family can cherish every Christmas.
Collect some sand and small shells during your beach trip, and pour them into an empty bauble. Write your beach destination and the year on the bauble, tie a festive string to the top and display it on your tree.
Sand print memories
Let your kids have some fun in the sand while creating a keepsake. Bring a bag of plaster with to the beach, have your kids make hand and footprints in the sand before pouring the plaster mixture into the little prints. Allow the plaster mixture to dry before removing newly-made sculptures and taking them home as souvenirs.
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