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12 Awesome beach hacks for family vacations

Kim Grundy is a mom, writer, expert laundry folder and sandwich maker, not necessarily in that order. Raised in Oklahoma, she is now a West Coast gal and lives in California with her husband and two sons, along with one dog, two fish (oo...

Ingenious tips for going to the beach with kids

Before you hit the beach, check out these truly ingenious beach hacks to make your family vacation a breeze. From the best way to get sand off of your feet and legs to packable pails and even waterproof pouches for your phone.

We love the beach, however, it helps to be prepared — especially with kids in tow. We chatted with moms who shared these awesome beach hacks for a fun and stress-free day.

Baby powder gets off sand

Yes, really! "Baby powder is very effective for getting sand off of skin," says Eileen P. Gunn, founder of FamiliesGo!

Simply sprinkle baby powder on your legs and the sand will fall right off. For an even easier beach hack, Gunn says she uses the Powder Pouch ($9, PowderPouch) as the powder is inside the bag and doesn't create a mess. "This Powder Pouch is really handy and I’m always sorry when I forget it," she says.

The wet, sandy swimsuit dilemma

Many parents bring a change of dry clothes for kids to change into, along with a plastic bag to keep all of the wet ones, however Gunn has an even easier solution... that’s a lot more fun.

"If you go to a beach with a playground and let the kids run around there for about 15-20 minutes before you change and get in the car, that will dry them off almost completely so you won’t have to worry about wet suits,"she says.

The sunburn dilemma

Keeping your kids lubed up with sunblock quickly becomes a full-time job. This is where swim shirts come in. "I swear by rash guard bathing suits — the ones with T-shirt style tops,"says Gunn. "Shoulders and back are where everyone gets sunburned, so having those covered keeps me from re-applying sunscreen all day long."

Ingenious tips for going to the beach with kids

SwimZip swimsuits (pictured above) are great for kids because they zip right on — no pulling and yanking overhead required.

You have their shoulders and back covered, but what about their faces? Zinc oxide sunblock works well, but grabbing a hat is also a good option to keep kids' faces protected. If you are worried about their hat blowing off or coming off when they are swimming, SwimLids hats (around $12) are a great option because they are designed to stay on while swimming. They are also brightly colored, which means you can easily spot your child.

Waterproof pouch for phone

Yes, I know I should unplug and leave my phone at home when at the beach with the kids... but I can't. I get panicky without it. Plus, how will I take pictures? I don't even know what time it is without my phone. This is where the waterproof pouch comes in. You need to be near your kids in the water, however, you want to keep your phone and money close by — which is why a waterproof pouch is a must-have for the beach. Amazon has a variety of waterproof pouches at different price points that are made for different types of phones.

Tips for packing for the beach

What takes up the most space when packing for the beach? Usually it is the towels and the pails — and luckily we have hacks for both of those space wasters.

Pick up a few backpack towels for each of your kids at stores like Target. These are great because the towel easily fits into the backpack. You can even fit in a water bottle and a change of clothes so each child is responsible for his or her own items.

For moms, Simple Sarongs are a great solution because they are a swimsuit cover up that is also a colorful towel.

A collapsible pail, such as the Packable Pails, is a great space saver when heading to the beach. They collapse down to easily fit into your beach bag, pop up to play in the sand or collect sea shells and collapse back down when its time to head home.

Speaking of collecting seashells, this Hello Beach bag has mesh on the bottom so your kids can collect seashells and rocks at the beach and the sand falls out. How adorable is this?

Ingenious tips for going to the beach with kids

Last three things you need at the beach?

  • A colorful bedsheet: Towels are never large enough to spread out on. "Bring an old bedsheet to use on the sand. They are lightweight and easy to shake off,"says Judy Crockett.
  • Jellyfish stings: Going to a beach with jellyfish? "Take a spray bottle with vinegar in case there are jellyfish in the water at your beach destination. If anyone gets stung, vinegar will take the sting out," says family travel expert Meghan Khaitan.
  • Bring a colorful umbrella. "It can shield you and the kids from the sun. In addition, it is a landmark for the kids," says Beth Bryan. "If they are playing, you tell them to look for a large landmark (maybe a house) and then look for the yellow and orange umbrella. Completely helps my son."

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