Sun, sand, and water make the perfect combination for a relaxing vacation in the Gulf Shores or Orange Beach area. And knowing how to avoid some of the minor annoyances, such as sunburns, jellyfish, or sand everywhere, makes it all that much better and relaxing, and not that difficult at all! What's even better is that these small beach hacks and tips are easy and inexpensive, but will drastically improve your beach days!
1. Avoid burned feet with a makeshift walkway.
The beautiful white-sand beaches are one of the first things you experience when you arrive in Gulf Shores. If it's a particularly hot summer, the sand might be burning hot. Usually, simply running over will do the trick, but if you have little ones, building a walkway from your towels is an easy beach life hack to avoid the scalding sand, and create an adventurous feel as you approach the water.
2. Use a fitted sheet to create a barrier against sand.
Once you set up the perfect spot, not letting sand on top of the blanket would be ideal. One way to avoid this is by bringing a fitted sheet. You can use your coolers or beach bags to wrap the corners around, and the sides of the sheet will provide a miniature barrier against the sea of sand around you. If you want, invest in a waterproof blanket to throw over this, and you can avoid any bit of sand sneaking through the threading to stick to a wet body. To keep your sand-haven from turning into a sandbox, you can put out a small towel at one end to wipe off with.
3. Use baby powder for quick sand removal.
Since it's nearly impossible to avoid getting some sand on you at the beach, keep some baby powder nearby. Sprinkling the moisture-absorbing powder anywhere there is sand on your body is a quick and easy way to get it off!
4. Protect valuables with clever disguises.
If you're worried about leaving your beach towels (or fitted sheet) unmanned while you swim in fear of someone taking your money, phone, or keys, there are a couple of quick hacks to calm your worries. If you have any extra sunscreen containers left over, wash them out, remove the top, and drop in your valuables. For your larger possessions, bring an unused diaper and wrap your belongings in there. No one wants to touch a used diaper, or think of looking in your sunscreen containers.
5. Know the five-flag warning system.
The warmer waters from late June through August tend to draw higher numbers of jellyfish closer toward the shore, although the presence of the marine life is always a potential risk. The beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach utilize a five-flag warning system, and a purple flag is an indication of dangerous marine life, including jellyfish, sharks, Portuguese man-of-war, skates, etc.
6. Treat jellyfish stings with salt water (or Adolph's Meat Tenderizer).
If you do get stung by a jellyfish, rinse the area with salt water, not fresh, as fresh water will only cause the situation to become worse. A common remedy is Adolph's Meat Tenderizer, mixed with saltwater, to help with the stings. So if a purple flag isn't enough to deter you from swimming in the warm waters, grab of the tenderizer at the local grocery store and throw it in your bag, just in case. You can also use baking soda and/or vinegar, just be careful, as vinegar is not recommended for Portuguese Man O' War stings. If you're not sure which species stung you, avoid using it.
7. Have your aloe at the ready.
Spending time in the sun also increases your chances for sunburns. While you can usually prevent burns with the reapplication of sunscreen every so often, sometimes they can't be avoided, and the pain is never fun. Before you go to the beach, put your aloe gel into the fridge and keep it in your cooler while you're at the beach. The cooler temperature will help relieve the pain. You can also bring some black tea or earl grey along with you. Steep a couple bags in water, soak a rag, and use that to cool your skin. Whatever you do, be sure to not put any lotion on your burn, even if it has aloe in it. The lotion only serves to trap in the heat of your burn. If you spent the whole day out and know that you likely burned yourself in the process, take a cold shower to help to decrease the extent of the burn.
Enjoy your stay at the beach even more with these beach hacks and tips and catch some sun on your trip to Gulf Shores or Orange Beach. Contact us to book a condo rental!