Summer is… almost here? 5 Must-Haves and Must-Know Hacks for the Beach

With the first child:

OMG, get that sand out of your mouth IMMEDIATELY. Ugh. Eww. Yuck!

With the second child:

Oh. Look, the kid’s eating sand… again… ick. Come, sweetie, here’s a sip of water to rinse it out.

With the third kid:

Bon appetit.

We’re at the beach quite a bit at the moment. We always show up packed for a two-day camping expedition – though it’s actually only two hours at the most – because: hungry / tired / swallowed salt water / cut a toe / windy / hot / cold. Pick one.

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A rare 5 minutes.

Can you remember when you could read a WHOLE BOOK in one afternoon? Yeah, me neither. But you should be able to get through one short blog post about the beach. Here we go, my must-haves and must-know hacks for the beach.

Hack #1: The baby powder trick

Problem: The baby plays with (and chows down on) sand. The combination of sand and sunscreen is fatal for baby carriers and strollers.

Solution: Rub baby’s skin with baby powder. Sand comes off easily.

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“All powdered up?!” “Sure am!!”

Hack #2 : Glow sticks at night

Problem: If you walk or eat on the beach at night (e.g. in the Maledives), you have to either hope for a full moon not let the the kids out of your sight for one second.

Solution: Give everyone glow sticks. The kids love them, and the best part: You can always see where they are! As an alternative, hand the kids flashlights.

Not E.T.

Hack #3: Bear pit

Problem: Crawling kids tend to suddenly take off with no warning. Preferably toward waves that even Kelly Slater wouldn’t dare to surf.

The solution is – as people from Bern might say – the pits (as in the the Swiss capital’s famous Bear Pit). Bonus: The older kids (and their father) keep themselves busy digging.

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Please do not feed the animals.

Hack #4: Bring the buggy

Problem(s): The kid gets tired / it’s windy / it’s too sunny etc.

Solution: Schlep the stroller onto the beach. Yes, it’s annoying, but it’s usually worth it because you have somewhere to hang wet clothes and store collected seashells, and most of all: “It’s not only a buggy, it’s also a baby jail!”

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Hack #5: The best beach hacks all in one place

Problem: You always see beach hacks on different websites but you instantly forget them again.

Solution: Watch the video by Really good ideas (even if some of them are unnecessary, e.g. sunscreen tables). Storing valuables in an empty baby wipes container is ingenious, in my opinion.

After all that wisdom, I now present my personal must-haves, 2018 edition – personally tested on the front, of course.

Must-Have #1: Waterproof protection for mobile phones

I ALWAYS bring this case since the part with the magnetic closure protects phones reliably not only from water, but also from sand and other mishaps. Mine is made by Gooper.

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Must-Have #2: UV Beachwear

Why UV shirts always have to be neon pink or plastered with Spiderman to ensure that everyone can feel comfortably certain of the kids’ gender is beyond me. Just because we’re on the beach, can we not show a little style, please? This year, we were pretty much totally outfitted by our partner, and I am especially smitten with the brand Soft Gallery.

Really pretty colors, super quality (we put the clothes through the ultimate stress test with salt and chlorine a-go-go) – and one of those ugly hats with neck protection is even growing on me because this one actually doesn’t look so lame.

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Must-Have #3: The waterproof Aare-Sack bag

Sure, you can wrap your wet, sandy things in a beach towel. Only it might open up at some point and you’ll find the contents blown all over the parking lot. My thumbs up this year go to the Aare-Sack bag by Kitchener. It can be rolled up to the size of a hand, and the contents are not only protected from water, but you can keep everything wet inside, too. And it’s nice looking to boot.

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Power bag. Photo (c)

Must-Have #4: A Sarong

I used to consider them totally overrated, but now I think they’re the ultimate all-around solution: You can sit on it. Dry yourself or the kids. Wrap the kids in it, when even the back-up clothes are wet. Fashion a wind shelter. Use it as a baby carrier (instructions here in the highlights). As protection while nursing. As protection from the sun if you forget a hat once again. For tug-of-war. To play peek-a-boo with the baby. Or simply to wear if you’re having a bad day grappling with the mom bod.

The most beautiful sarongs, by the way, are made by my friend Linda Hering – under fair conditions – in Bali. With the code AWM20% you can get 20% off all her sarongs.

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Sarong = roof

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Must-Have #5: The AWM Poolside-Bullshit-Bingo (in German)

Works great on the beach, too, of course. Whoever fills a row first gets a sand-ice cream cone or gets buried in the sand.

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Badi Bullshit Bingo – download as a PDF right here. Enjoy.


We would love to hear more tips and must-haves in the comments (please scroll all the way down on a mobile phone)!

Disclosure: is our Partner. Other products mentioned were not sponsored.


Did we get you California dreaming (or dreaming of anywhere with warm water beaches, really)? Check out Hawaii with Kids, Los Angeles with Kids, Bangkok with Kids, or some vacation prep tips in Family Packing List.

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