Best Beach Hacks for Families Visiting Sandbridge Beach, VA

Sandbridge Beach hacks

A trip to the beach should relax you, not stress you out. Here are a few simple ways to facilitate a fun-filled getaway at Sandbridge Beach, VA.

Make Ice Packs from Balloons

Filling your cooler with ice to take to the beach doesn’t last very long. The high heat of a sunny afternoon quickly melts the ice, leaving you with lukewarm drinks and food. Ice packs are great, but often take a long time to freeze before use.

The solution? Fill regular balloons (not water balloons) about halfway with water and freeze. You get small icepacks that freeze quickly and fit easily into coolers of every size. When they thaw, just refreeze.

Put Floats on “Auto-Deflate”

Trying to deflate your beach or pool floats? Seems like it takes forever with squishing them, lying on them, or attempting to roll them up to get the air out. Take a large binder clip (available in the office supply section of most Walmart or Target stores), squeeze the air tube, place the clip around the BOTTOM of the air tube (to keep it open), and it will deflate on its own.

Free, Disposable Beach Towel Anchors

Forget expensive towel clips. To keep your towel’s corners from flipping up with the breeze, fill quart zip-top baggies with sand and place them on all corners of your towel. Problem solved!

Little-Known Secret for Bug Bites

Bugs are part of life in the South. Sure, you can use bug spray to ward off mosquitos and other flying critters, but it isn’t 100% effective. For the critters that get through the spray, treat your bug bites with … toothpaste.

It’s true! A little dab of whichever toothpaste you have on hand will stop the itching in seconds.

Keep Your Valuables Out of Sight

Wondering where to safely store your phone, jewelry, watch, wallet, keys, cash, and other essentials while you’re playing in the water? Here are two suggestions:

  • Shut your valuables inside a tackle or bento box. Then dig a hole under the edge of your beach blanket. Place the box in the hole, cover with a layer of sand, and replace the blanket’s edge to conceal the hiding place.
  • Wrap your valuables inside a disposable diaper. Make sure the diaper looks bulky; then secure it with its sticky tabs. Whether you stash it in a beach bag or leave it in plain sight, it will probably stay safe and sound. After all, most would-be thieves won’t want to mess with a full-looking diaper!

Dig a Baby Pool

Are your children too little to wade in the ocean? Bring the ocean to them. Use a plastic kiddie shovel to dig a hole in the sand, just deep and wide enough to comfortably hold your youngster. Line it with some sheet plastic you bring from home or buy at the local hardware store. Then use a beach bucket to fill it with sea water. Sit nearby and watch your little one splash and play. It’s as much fun for you as it is for your baby! 

Build an Instant Beach Chair

Forgot to bring along a beach chair? Make one! Using a plastic shovel, dig a shallow hole in the sand (for a makeshift seat). Then heap up a mound of sand to form the chair’s comfy “back.” Line the “seat” with a tarp or sheet plastic you bring from home, sit inside, lie back, and relax. You can also build similar (smaller) seats for your children.

Keep Little Kids Cool in the Sun

Even if your whole family’s smeared with sunscreen, the sun’s heat can be uncomfortable. So, before you head to Sandbridge Beach, freeze liquid aloe vera in an ice-cube tray. Then empty the frozen cubes into your ice-filled cooler, so you’ll have them handy at the beach. When your youngsters complain about feeling hot, you can use the soothing cubes to instantly cool down their skin.

Wash Beach Toys in the Dishwasher

When you go to the beach, sand gets everywhere! It’s part of vacationing at the shore. Rinsing the sand off toys gets most of the grit off, but to ensure your toys are perfectly clean, run them through the dishwasher on a short cycle.

Protect Your Car, Truck, or Van from Sand 

Want to avoid getting sand all over the back of your vehicle? Cover the entire area with large, clean, dry beach towels. When your family’s ready to leave the beach, load your wet, sandy beach gear atop those big terry towels. Once you’re back, shake out the towels – outdoors – to dispose of the sandy mess; then wash and reuse the next day.

Above All, Just Relax

Remember, even if you leave something at home, you’ll always have access to stores. So, don’t worry. You’re here to have fun at Sandbridge Beach, VA. Forget your everyday cares, kick up your heels, and enjoy!

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