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.
#1 Sort Your Stuff With Packing Cubes
A beach vacation requires packing lots of little bits and pieces, especially if you have kids. Invest in several small or medium clear packing cubes to quickly sort and group small items. For example, you can have separate packing cubes for miniature toys, travel size toiletries, suntan lotions, and first aid necessities. Clear packing cubes not only make packing more manageable, but they also make it easier to lay your hands on what you need when you arrive.
#2 Make a Pocket Beach Towel
Traditional terry beach towels aren’t nearly as cool as thin, roll-up towels that have pockets for sunglasses, suntan lotion, eReaders, books, and toys. You can buy roll-up beach towels with pockets on Amazon, but you can also make your own. Martha Stewart’s website has an easy-to-follow pattern, and you don’t even need a sewing machine.
#3 Create a Bottle Safe
Upcycle a large format plastic bottle to create a secret stash for your phone, keys, and cash. From the back, cut the top half of the bottle nearly all the way off, just leaving the front panel intact. Wash the bottle with plenty of dish soap and let it dry. Attach a piece of clear packing tape to the back to hold the two pieces together. At the beach, stash your valuables in the bottle and tape it shut. No one will ever know!
#4 Make a Waterproof Camera
Cell phones are expensive, and they aren’t waterproof, so it’s a little risky to take one to the beach. Luckily, several manufacturers have started making inexpensive waterproof bags for phones. Not only do these bags keep your phone (and keys) safe at the beach, you can actually take them into the water so you can snap photos. Waterproof phone bags range from $10 to $30 — not a bad investment when you consider you’ve got a ready-made waterproof camera.
#5 Create a Sand-Free Zone
Beach lovers know that sand has a way of getting into everything, and it’s no fun when it gets into your picnic. You can easily create a clean, sand-free zone with a fitted sheet. Just place the sheet upside down on the beach and put four heavy items, such as beach bags or coolers, in the corners and pull the elastic over them.
#6 DIY Sunscreen
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