Summer is here! It’s time to pack up the car, get the family together, and head to the beach! Although beach days can be fun, they can be stressful if you aren’t a seasoned pro (especially if you have little ones). Don’t worry, we’ve got the best beach hacks for you and your family to have the best summer ever!
First things first; having a good beach bag is essential for a day at the beach! A bag that’s large enough to fit everyones needs and that is easy to carry is a must. Some of the best beach bags can be found at local surf shops, and souvenir stores. Backpacks also make a great beach bag, just make sure you don’t mind getting a little sand in it!
When you’re on the beach, please keep in mind that we all need to make an effort to keep it clean! Put those plastic grocery bags to good use (and out of our oceans) and use them for trash disposal. Most beach public beach accesses on the OBX have garbage cans for disposal of your trash the end of your beach day. If you want to go a step further and eliminate the need of single use plastics, bring a recyclable bag to the beach for your trash, dump it at the end of the day, and wipe it out for the next time!
Each family and group that visits the Outer Banks is different and has different needs. Beach accesses up and down the Outer Banks feature beaches that have lifeguards on duty, bath houses with changing facilities, handicapped parking and wheel chair access, and more. The handy website OBX Beach Access shows beach accesses from Corolla to Hatteras and the features of them all!
While the beach and the ocean can be fun, it’s also important to be safe. Make sure to be safe while swimming and keep a very close eye on children and pets. Rip currents occur on the Outer Banks and can be very dangerous and can pull you out to sea quickly. If you find yourself in a rip current, remain calm and swim parallel to shore until you’re no longer being pulled. Whenever red flags are up at the beach, DON’T SWIM. If they’re yellow, exercise extreme caution. Remember, if in doubt, don’t go out!
If you’re bringing baby to the beach, be sure they have a good space to play! Inflatable kiddie pools are great for babies and toddlers. The pool can be filled up with ocean water for a little play space or left empty for a perfect play pen or nap area. Make sure the area over the kiddie pool or wherever baby plays is well shaded.
When leaving the beach at the end of a long day, being covered in sand is guaranteed. Baby powder helps get sand off of the skin with ease! Just sprinkle baby powder on the sandy area and wipe away. No more sand tracked in the car, in the house, or in the bed!
A fitted sheet in your beach bag can be the difference between the savannah desert on your sitting area and a sand free oasis. To keep sand out of your sitting area on the beach, bring a fitted sheet and place coolers, beach bags, and backpacks in the corners of the sheets for a perfect beach setup.
Nothing is a bigger bummer than dropping your phone in the water or getting sand in the speakers and between buttons. Place your smartphone in a ziplock sandwich baggie to avoid spills and sand. By using a sandwich bag, you can still use the touch screen! If you want a longer lasting solution, Lifeproof cases are amazing.
Unnecessary ice packs make lugging your cooler to the beach that much harder. Eliminate the middle man and freeze your drinks! They’ll keep everything else in the cooler cold and when it’s time for a drink of water or juice, the bottle will be thawed out enough!
Practicing safe sun care is super important at the beach. Make sure to reapply sunscreen often and wear hats and sunglasses. For more information on sun safety, check out our blog right here! In the event you get sunburned (it happens) turn to apple cider vinegar (ACV). Dilute 1 part ACV with 1 part water in a spray bottle and spray on sunburn. It’ll take the sting and redness out. After, apply aloe or coconut oil to soothe and rehydrate the skin.
A day at the beach can solve all problems and when you come prepared for hours in the sun, it makes it even better! We’ve come up with a guide to a few beach day essentials that will ensure that you’ll have stress-free fun in the sun!
1 // Big Beach Bag
You have to have a big bag to put all of your essentials in! Any big, durable bag will do, but this bag by Billabong will definitely get everything from the car (or the house) to the sand!
2 // Radio/Bluetooth Player
A portable speaker is sure to put you in a beachy mood with your favorite radio station or a beach playlist. (You should check out our Spotify playlists if you haven’t already!) This radio/speaker combo from Sunnylife is perfect for a perfect day spent by the beach.
3 // Beach Blanket
Beach chairs are a no brainer when heading to the beach, but if you have a bigger group of friends and family, a big circle of beach chairs is no fun. A big beach blanket has enough room for everyone to sit or lay comfortably while still being able to have a view of the ocean and great conversation with everyone. The Billabong beach blanket is shown in the photo, but you can find one almost anywhere.
4 // Sandals
Going barefoot on the beach is ideal, but sometimes the sand is just way too hot. Save yourself some time and pain and wear sandals or flip flops while you’re trying to find that perfect spot on the beach! Something like the women’s Billabong sandal and the men’s Reef flip flops are perfect for weathering the scorching sand.
5 // Healthy Snacks
Unless you go to Jeanette’s Pier or Outer Banks Pier, you’re going to have to leave the beach to get a quick snack. If you’re all about getting as much beach time in as possible, pack some snacks or even a full lunch! A salad in a jar is a great, healthy meal and there’s no mess when eating it! Something nice and cool like the corn, avocado, and black bean dip pictured above is a great snack that will keep you cool in the sun too. Don’t forget to help do your part and bring an extra bag to put your trash in, lets keep the beach clean!
6 // SPF Lipbalm
We tend to often neglect our lips when we’re out in the sun. Since the skin on our lips is so thin, they can burn super easily. An SPF lip balm can protect your lips from the suns harmful rays.
7 // Sunscreen
Last, but definitely the most important is sunscreen! Sunscreen is super important to use regularly while you’re outside. You should look for sunscreens that protect against UVA and UVB rays. Sun Bum sunscreen does both and helps protect against skin aging too!
Vacation just wouldn’t be the same without your four-legged best friend, right? Make sure you and your pet are well prepared with our how-to guide on traveling with a dog.
1 – Know Your Dog
Do you know if your dog has travel anxiety or gets car sick? Take them out for test drives if they don’t like to ride around already. Start with short rides of 10 to 15 minutes to help your dog acclimatize to your car and the motion of the vehicle. Then, increase the time daily or weekly until it’s time for your trip. If your pet does exhibit anxiety or car sickness, talk to your vet and they may be able to prescribe them a light sedative or something to help nausea.
2 – Stay Safe
According to AAA, 30,000 accidents a year are caused by unrestrained pets roaming freely around the vehicle. Keep your dog secure by either using a pet barrier, crate, or pet seatbelt.
3 – Plan Your Pit Stops
Plan to stop every 2-3 hours so your dog can get out and exercise, use the bathroom, or have a snack!
4 – Hydrate
The ASPCA recommends you should have a gallon of cold water handy so your pet doesn’t dehydrate on the road trip.
5 – Don’t Leave Your Pet Alone
On an 85 degree day, a car can reach 110 degrees in 10 minutes. If you have to stop somewhere that isn’t pet-friendly, like a restaurant, leave the windows down at least an inch and order your food to go. If it’s available, go through the drive through.
6 – Don’t Let Your Pup Hang Out Of the Window
As much as they love the wind flying through their fur, please don’t let your dog hang his head out of the window. High wind speeds can cause damage to the dogs’ already sensitive ears and lungs. Flying debris and cars driving too closely also can pose dangers to your pup.
7. Have Documents Handy (Just In Case)
Just in case the unimaginable happens, happens, make sure you have important documents handy. Proof of vaccination, microchip registration, and insurance are just a few examples of what you should bring along.
Just a few more tips:
Now that you know how to travel with your four-legged family member, check out the array of pet-friendly vacation homes Resort Realty has to offer you! Between this checklist and our awesome homes, you and your pet will have the best vacation yet!