Summer is around the corner, and so is beach season! Bright sun, fresh breeze, the sound of waves crashing against the shore… sand sticking to your feet, drinks getting hot within a second, scorching flip-flops! Uh, sorry, got carried away there. But I recently tried out some great solutions to these beach problems, and here are my top picks!
#1. Sandy Feet I’m sure just like you, my feet get covered in sand as soon as I step foot on the beach. And it’s nearly impossible to get rid of no matter how much I try to shake or brush it off. The worst is trying to put my shoes back on after a day at the beach (you know what I mean). But I’m pretty sure I’ve found the perfect solution! I just take baby powder, sprinkle some on an old handkerchief (or any piece of cloth, really), and wrap it up tight. At the beach, before going home, I rub the baby powder onto my feet, and guess what? It absorbs all the moisture and even the tiniest grains of sand fall off!
#2. A Car Key Hideaway Something catastrophic always seems to happen every time I take my car key to the beach. I’ve had a set disappear into the sea, another time I lost it somewhere in the sand, and there was that time the key got so hot that it wouldn’t work. Please tell me you’ve dealt with this too! Well, if so, then here’s a nice trick: take a flower stem or a blade of grass and tie it to your keyring. After that, squeeze the plant in between the tread on your tires and let the key hang down on the inner side. Voila! Now you don’t have to worry about losing your keys at the beach!
#3. A “Safe” for Your Valuables Sometimes (or most of the time) you just wanna hit the beach alone. But the bad thing about that is you don’t have anyone to watch your stuff for you. The answer turns out to be much simpler than you’d ever think. I put my phone, wallet, and other valuables in a diaper. (A clean one, of course!) I also know that some people use underwear for the same purpose. Believe me, thieves wouldn’t even think to go digging through a diaper or underwear!
#4. Dealing with Headaches I used to get really bad headaches almost every time I went for a swim. Then a friend of mine told me that the change of pressure when you go underwater can do that to you. She told me about this thing you can do to prevent these sorts of headaches, and I do it every time now. Before I go underwater, I pinch my nose, close my mouth, and try to blow out my nose for about 5 seconds to create some pressure in my head. Then I take a deep breath in, and do the same thing 2 more times. Your body will then adapt to this new pressure, and you won’t experience even the slightest headaches anymore.
#5. A Waterproof Phone Case Luckily, it’s never happened to me, but I’ve heard horror stories about smartphones getting damaged by the water or sand. Now, if my phone isn’t hanging out in its handy little diaper “safe” (like when I wanna use it!), then it’s always in a Ziploc bag when I’m at the beach. Before sealing the baggie completely, I take a straw and suck all the air out. Then just zip it up, and there ya go: a completely waterproof, sand-proof phone cover!
#6. Unblocking Your Ears Yep, I’m talking about that really annoying feeling of having water stuck in your ear. You can lean over to one side, swirl your finger around in your ear, yet nothing seems to get rid of it. Well, except for one thing: a simple balloon! As soon as I feel like my ears are all blocked up, I pinch my nose and start blowing up a balloon. At some point during that time, I hear a quiet clicking sound, and my ears are back to normal. So, yeah, don’t forget to grab a balloon next time you hit the beach!
#7. A Fast Refreshing Drink If you don’t have a cooler to keep your drinks chilled at the beach (or you just don’t feel like packing one with you), then try this: a few hours before I leave, I fill a plastic bottle about halfway up with water and put it in the freezer. Once it’s frozen, I take it with me to the beach. Then I can just pour some of my drink into my frozen bottle, and the ice inside cools the drink down right away.
#8. The Perfect Beach-Lounging Setup Feeling the sand between your toes is amazing but having it cover your towel or chair is definitely not. Especially when the wind picks up and starts blowing stuff all over the place, ugh! So instead of using a towel or chair, now I spread out a mattress cover and secure its corners to the ground with the help of some heavy objects, like my bag, clothes, or flip-flops. It kinda ends up looking like a little kiddie pool without water, so your stuff gets protected by the makeshift walls.
#9. Cool Flip-Flops It’s crazy how hot the sun can get your flip-flops after they’ve been sitting on the beach even for just a few minutes. Now, this hack has got to be the quickest and easiest. All you have to do is turn your sandals or flip-flops over when you’re not wearing them. This way, they’re not sitting directly in the sun, so they won’t scorch your feet when you put them on!
#10. Another Way to Protect Your Phone Remember that Ziploc bag trick I told you about earlier? Well, let’s say you’re out of plastic baggies, but you obviously still don’t want your phone getting covered in sand or water. If you have some Saran wrap in your kitchen, then you can use it instead! And guess what? The touch screen still works! I even took my phone into the water with me and tested it out. (Not recommended, but I just wanted to make sure!) The main thing is to wrap your gadget as thoroughly as you can. Of course, the more layers you add, the less the touch screen works, but, hey, at least your phone won’t get damaged!
#11. First Aid for Sunburns No matter how much SPF I use, I always end up with a sunburn. Yeah, lucky me! So, as you can imagine, Aloe vera gel is my best beach buddy! But here’s the cool hack I wanted to share with you: squeeze some Aloe vera into an ice tray, and leave it in the freezer. Whenever I come back from the beach, I just grab an Aloe vera “ice” cube and use it to wipe my face, arms, back, or wherever else the sun managed to burn me. You won’t believe how cooling and refreshing it feels! Plus, of course, it’ll heal your burns too! Speaking of protecting your skin from the sun, I can’t stress how important it really is. Not that you didn’t know that yourself, of course, but still! In any case, always remember to: – Use SPF, even when it’s cloudy! – Apply at least 1 ounce of sunscreen 20 to 30 minutes before you set off for the beach. – Don’t forget to protect your lips because the skin there is the most vulnerable! I use a lip balm with SPF 30. – Put some more sunscreen on your skin at least once every two hours. But if you go for a swim, do it once an hour. – Try to stay out of the sun from 10 AM to 4 PM. That’s when it’s the most intense and can do the most damage to your skin. – Make sure any medications you might be taking don’t increase sensitivity to the sun. A lot of anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, antifungals, and blood pressure medicines can do this. Do you know any other tricks that can make your time at the beach way more comfortable?