This is a classic traveler’s conundrum. You want to bring your camera, phone, and cash to the beach. But how can you enjoy yourself in the water if you’re worried about someone grabbing your stuff? You may be tempted to ask a stranger to watch your things, but that friendly-seeming local may take the opportunity to steal your valuables.
To discourage thieves, tie your bag to your beach chair so it’s not easy to grab. You can even purchase a locking travel bag, which includes a retractable security chain.
Inventors have come up with some clever hiding places for valuables at the beach, such as the TanSafe. It looks like an ordinary SPF-25 sunblock bottle, but it’s a watertight container that can hold your phone (smaller models), credit cards, keys, and cash. Similar products perfectly mimic soda bottles and water bottles.
If a thief lifts your entire beach bag, however, that sunblock safe won’t do you any good. One of the oddest — but still effective — hiding places for valuables is a disposable diaper. Take your phone, cash, and keys and roll them up inside a diaper, then fasten the adhesive tabs. Voila: a hiding place no thief will touch. You can leave it on your beach towel, so if your bag is stolen your valuables will remain safe. There are a few caveats, however: This works best for travelers with kids, obviously, and there’s always the chance someone will toss the diaper by mistake.
If you just need to hide your cash and room key, consider SlotFlop Sandals. These are unremarkable-looking flip-flops for men and women that have a hidden compartment big enough to store six credit cards. Or keep your valuables close while you swim with a waterproof case that hangs around your neck or attaches to your swimsuit. Good Housekeeping reviews several waterproof travel cases here.