Packing light for a vacation at Sandbridge Beach is part of the fun. Spending a week or two in flip-flops, shorts, and a swimsuit is part of the dream, right? One of the most versatile items you can tuck in your suitcase is a sarong.
Sarongs are rectangles of cotton fabric about two yards long. A staple of Indonesian and Malaysian culture, they are brightly colored or patterned and traditionally worn as skirts or dresses. However, this up-and-coming trend has beachgoers embracing the sarong for its versatility for the whole family. They roll up small (about the size of a sandwich), so they don’t take up much room in your luggage or beach bag.
Here are some of our favorite ways to use a sarong at Sandbridge Beach.
When you’re headed to the beach, it’s easy to pack several sarongs in your beach bag. In fact, half a dozen rolled-up sarongs take up less space than one terrycloth beach towel. Imagine having enough towels for the whole family in one small, lightweight bag. Because they are thin, they dry quickly in the sun. Use a sarong in this manner, and you’ll likely always have a dry towel.
Shawl or Cover-Up
Most of the time you’ll only need shorts and a T-shirt or a light sundress at Sandbridge Beach. However, in the evenings or on breezy days it’s nice to have a quick cover-up. Keep a sarong in your bag and eliminate the need for bulky sweaters or sweatshirts.
Carry a spare sarong, and you’ll always have a light wrap for outdoor meals in the evening, nighttime beach walks, or to cover up in light wind. They can be used to wrap up chilly kids on the beach or at dinner, and they pack and stow quickly. When it’s too hot for a sweatshirt but too cool for short sleeves, sarongs make lovely nap blankets at the beach or on the porch.
Tie your sarong into a small sling and you’ll have an instant picnic bag or grocery bag. At the beach, use it to carry kids’ toys, shells, driftwood, or other treasures.
Sometimes the mosquitoes come out before you’re ready for them. If you’ve forgotten your bug spray, or just don’t want to smell like pine insecticide at dinner, cover up with your sarong.
Use your sarong as a beautiful picnic blanket for two, or spread out several colorful squares to make a picnic table for the whole family. Depending on how tightly you roll them, two or three sarongs will fit in a gallon Ziploc baggie to keep them dry if you want to pack them in your cooler.
Swim Cover-ups for Women, Men, and Kids
You don’t need to buy an expensive swimsuit cover-up. Sarongs can be worn tied below the waist as a short or long skirt, or around the neck for a short dress. Because sarongs are easy to pack, you’ll have more room in your beach bag for a good book and plenty of snacks. Men can wear sarongs, too— in fact, men in T-shirts, flip-flops, and long sarongs are a common sight on world-renowned beaches from Bali to Puerto Rico.
Sarongs come in beautiful, bright colors that blend in with a beachy vibe. With just a few smart twists you can wrap a sarong into a pretty sundress that will take you from the beach to lunch. Wrap it in a longer sundress, slip on your fun flip-flops or sparkly sandals and you’ll be ready for a casual dinner.
Sarongs are great when it’s too hot to wear anything else. They’re also nice to throw on as a robe if you’re renting a house with other people and sharing common space. Wrap a sarong around you if you’re not ready to properly dress yet, or are on the way to or from a shared bath.
Instant Shade Canopies
Midday sun can be hot at Sandbridge Beach. Find four long pieces of driftwood, tie the ends of your sarong to the tops, and then wedge the sticks in the sand. You’ll have instant (and pretty) shade without having to haul a beach umbrella around.
Tie Up Dirty Laundry
Use a sarong to separate laundry from your clean clothes. Tie up dirty laundry and just throw it all in the wash when you get home.
On the drive to Sandbridge Beach, at the beach, or in the hammock on the porch, roll your sarong into a pillow to make your nap more comfortable.
Sarongs are inexpensive, versatile additions to your beach kit. From keeping warm to covering up, stash a few sarongs in your luggage, and you can leave the bulky stuff at home.