|by Nicholas DeRenzo||Beaches, Trip Ideas, Family Travel||2752|
How do you get all that sand off your feet? Fix a broken bikini? Or stay cool during a hot day in the sun? Here are our top ten tips from readers:
•Take a container of baby powder along the next time you go to the beach. Before you get back into your car, sprinkle the powder on your feet—the sand falls right off!—Christine DeFrehn, Mercerville, N.J.
•When we go to the beach, we put a damp washcloth in a Ziploc bag and keep it in our cooler. It's an instant refresher, and it's great for removing sand and saltwater residue.—Sharon McCormac, Richmond, Ind.
•While I was on vacation in the Caribbean, the plastic hook on the back of my bandeau bikini top broke. Most of my friends throw their bathing suits away when this happens, but I didn't want to give up so quickly. Instead, I threaded a key ring through the loops to hold the top together. It turned out to be a great quick fix, and I was able to mend the top as soon as I returned home.—Kaye Powell, Washington, D.C.
•My wife and I always bring our own towels to lay across our lounge chairs when we go to a beach resort, to a hotel with a pool, or on a cruise. Because most of the other guests use the white towels supplied by the resort, our chairs are easy to spot. We use the resort's towels to dry off if we go into the water.—Brian Metzler, Fair Lawn, N.J.
•I've found yet another use for antibacterial wipes. On a beach vacation in Ixtapa, Mexico, I cut my leg on some coral when I was snorkeling. I used the wipes to first treat the cut so it wouldn't get infected.—Genny Goode-Chase, San Diego, Calif.
•When we were in the Dominican Republic, we walked many miles collecting seashells, but someone told us we might not be able to take them home. We looked into it and learned that some Caribbean countries limit the number and type of shells you can take from the islands. Offenders can be delayed at the airport and get slapped with a fine.—Donna Mercier, Stratham, N.H.
•My husband and I often vacation in St. Maarten, and a fellow traveler gave us this tip: Get your boarding pass and check your luggage as soon as your airline counter opens. Some companies, like JetBlue and United, will help you at 10 a.m., even if you have a later departure. Once you get your seat, it's back to the beach—a five–minute walk away.—Kathy Baker, Manakin-Sabot, Va.
•For family vacations, we pack matching beach towels, which serve as pillows, blankets, or seat cushions on the plane. If we arrive before our hotel room is ready, we can also dive right into the pool or ocean.—Calli Berg, Coloma, Mich.
•Scuba divers know how difficult putting on a wet suit can be. My wife and I figured out a solution: Place a Ziploc bag on your hand or foot before you slide it into the suit's sleeve or leg. The smooth surface of the bag helps you slip the wet suit on easily.—Eugene L. Dubay, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
•If you don't have a sunglasses case, store your shades in one of those tube–shaped containers that Crystal Light is sold in. The tubes are just the right size and rigid enough to protect the glasses. Plus, it's no great loss if you misplace one.—Christopher Wolters, Pearland, Tex.
Now it’s your turn! Share your tips for a successful beach vacation in the comments!MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL