21 handy beach hacks for parents

Going to the seaside this summer? You'll want to read this first!

Use these brilliant beach hacks for parents to make sure your next trip is a fuss-free family treat.

A trip to the seaside is enough to send most mums and dads into a tizz - as we spend hours running around packing our best suncream and planning our picnics, before trying to come up with fun car games for kids to keep them amused during the journey.

Lucky for us other pro parents have shared a number of amazing beach hacks that are guaranteed to make your day flow a little easier. From genius ice lolly drip collectors to quick sunburn remedies - these are 21 beach hacks that EVERY parent should know about.

The best beach hacks for parents:

1. Pack all the essentials in the car with shoe organisers

Mum-of-four Shannon Doherty posted this essential beach hack for parents in a video on her TikTok account. She loops a shoe organiser over the back of the seat's head piece. Then fills each space with handy products like face suncream, a hairbrush, plasters, baby wipes and more. We think this is a genius way of remembering to pack everything before setting off.

@athomewithshannonBEST SUMMER HACK 💡BEACH READY CAR ORGANIZER! Tips from busy Mom of 4!! #momhack #parentinghacks #carhacks #momhacks #tiktokpartner #learnontiktok♬ original sound - Shannon Doherty

2. Freeze your drinks

Pop your cartons, water bottles, Capri-Sun pouches etc in the freezer the night before you leave, and pack them in your cool box in the morning. Similarly grab some sponges, seal in zip-lock bags and freeze them instead. Both methods will keep your picnic fresh, and result in a cool drink on demand without forking out at the kiosk.

A photo posted by on

3. Apply sunscreen with makeup brushes

Is slapping suncream on the kids a frequent hassle or chore? Mix it up and make it fun by getting them to apply their own at home with makeup brushes. Little girls will enjoy applying their 'makeup'. Plus it's more likely to prevent sun lotion and sand getting in eyes when applied before heading off.

A photo posted by on

4. Turn your steering wheel upside-down when you park

This means that when you get back into the car, the area you actually need to hold will have been out of the sun and won’t burn your hands.

5. Buckle your seatbelts when you leave the car

Again, this will keep the metal part cooler – especially good for kids who are at the age where they'll grab anything in sight.

6. Mark your turf with a colourful accessory

Bring along a bright pinwheel to dig into the sand next to your beach spot. This will help you to locate the area from thousands of spots after returning from your family swim.

7. Hide any valuables in a washed-out suncream bottle

Save and clean an old suncream bottle for storing the essentials. It's big enough for your phone, keys and a stash of cash, and it’s watertight too (well, accidents do happen…). Similarly you could invest in the TanSafe gadget from Firebox, currently on sale for £4.49.

TanSafe suncream valuable beach hack

Credit: Firebox

8. Or wrap them up in a (clean!) nappy

Okay, so it might look kind of gross, but this genius beach tip courtesy of mum Asha Dornfest is sure to stop anyone from stealing them.

beach hacks for parents - nappy

Credit: ParentHack by Asha Dornfest

9. Wrap your phone in a plastic bag

Did you know that your touch phone works when locked inside a ziplock bag? It's cheaper and just as effective as a waterproof case. Be sure to pack one for future beach trips.

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10. Write your suncream schedule on a bottle

This is one of our favourite beach hacks for parents and it's so simple to do too. Inspired by blog Yesterday on Tuesday, grab a felt tip and write down what time you'll need to re-apply lotion to prevent sore sunburns. You could similarly set alarms on your phone as a reminder.

11. Keep your suncream (and after sun) in your cool box

An excellent way to cool babies in hot weather is to re-apply ice-cold suncream kept in the cool box.

12. Pack a potty for little ones

Heather Smith - a mum to four under four - shared this simple beach hack for parents. Bring a potty along so that they don't have to trek to the sea every time they need a wee. It's also great if your currently potty-training your child and don't want to ruin their routine.

@feathrheathrThey had the best nap time after🏖#winwin #SkipTheRinse #momhacks #fyp #momtok #momcontent #doakickflip #draftpicks @wonderfoldwagon #wonderfoldlife♬ RADIUS - Bandeauxx.

13. Use a mesh laundry bag as a toybox

Mum-fluencer Kate Bast has shared a number of handy tips for beach trips with little ones including this clever hack. Pack a mesh laundry bag (with holes in) and add all your toys in. All of the sand will fall through the gaps at the end of the day – genius!

A photo posted by on

14. Bring a baby bath tub for a makeshift paddling pool

Another top tip from Kate Bast is this fantastic DIY paddling pool. Simply bring along a baby bath tub or a large washing up basket, fill with seawater and allow the rays to warm the water up. This way you're little ones can enjoy all the fun of the sea whilst you take time out on a towel nearby.

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15. Use a shower curtain as a toddler play pool

This genius shower curtain hack is a must know for parents. It's also much easier to fit in the car too! Simply pack a shower curtain, lay it down on the sand and weigh it down in each corner. It makes a great area for your little ones to sit and relax without getting sandy. Or create a slight dip and add water so they've got their very own paddling pool.

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16. Use cupcake cases to stop ice lolly spillages

No, not for baking – pack these for an extra-special picnic hack. The idea is that you rip a small hole in the centre and slide them onto the sticks of ice lollies to catch the drips. Less mess and no sticky hands, hurrah!

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17. Water fight with spray bottles

They’re cheaper, less easy to break, and last much longer than conventional guns.

18. Bring balloons

If child (or grown up) size ears get waterlogged after swimming, get them to blow into the balloon a few times. This can help to release the pressure and clear out the liquid.

19. Use talcum powder to get the sand off your skin (and everybody else's!)

This hack for sandy toes really works. Simply rub a generous handful onto wherever the sand is sticking, and it will absorb any moisture, leaving the dry grains to fall away easily. And you’ll all smell lovely too!


20. Freeze aloe vera gel in ice cubes trays and apply to sunburn

Of course, you should apply suncream and stay in the shade as a matter of safety, but if the worst does happen, this will soothe the soreness come the end of the day.

A photo posted by on

21. Banish sunburn with shaving cream

This shaving cream hack has been hailed a 'miracle' by mums who want to get rid of sunburn fast. Invest in some menthol foam shaving foam and generously apply to the sunburnt area. Leave for 30 minutes and wash off in a lukewarm shower. The foam works by drawing out the heat of the burn. So it's definitely one to try over a couple of days to help with recovery.


Emily Stedman
Features Editor

Emily Stedman is the former Features Editor for GoodTo covering all things TV, entertainment, royal, lifestyle, health and wellbeing. Boasting an encyclopaedic knowledge on all things TV, celebrity and royals, career highlights include working at HELLO! Magazine and as a royal researcher to Diana biographer Andrew Morton on his book Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. In her spare time, Emily can be found eating her way around London, swimming at her local Lido or curled up on the sofa binging the next best Netflix show.