Ready to hit the beach at the beautiful Outer Banks?
No doubt you’ve packed the essentials: swimsuits, sunscreen, cooler, flipflops, shades, towels, and so on. But did you remember the waterproof camera? Or the sand-free beach blanket? Or the portable waterproof powerbank?
These clever gadgets – and others – can add comfort, fun, and convenience to your family’s Outer Banks getaway.
Here are 13 cool items to consider taking along for the trip:
#1. Sand-Free Beach Blanket
We all love that pristine, pretty white sand… but not when it sticks to our skin, gets in our food, and makes a gritty mess all over the place.
That’s where sandless beach mats come in. These ingenious blankets feature new fabric technology, with light, two-layered mesh that lets sand and dirt filter through. Result? The blanket surface stays comfortably clean, soft, smooth, and sand-free. And so do you!
You’ll find sand-free beach blankets at big-box and sporting-goods stores… and, of course, online at Amazon.com and elsewhere.
#2. Portable Powerbank Charger
When you bring multiple devices to the beach, you need a way to keep them all safely charged.
Powerbanks to the rescue. These portable wonders typically charge everything from smartphones to cameras to GPS units, all without running out of juice through two or more recharges.
You can even find models that recharge with solar power – perfect for hot, sunny days at the OBX. Available at any electronics department or online at Amazon.
#3. Waterproof Camera
Concerned that your camera could get thoroughly drenched while you snap shots of friends and family frolicking in the surf? No worries; waterproof cameras and camcorders are now widely available. Some are so watertight you can use them underwater, so they’re ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and “splashy” watersports like surfing and paddleboarding.
#4. Pop-Up Beach Tent
Why struggle with a cumbersome umbrella? Today’s beach tents pop up in seconds, stay secured with weighted anchors, block out harmful UV rays, and provide enough shade and shelter for your entire family. Made of water-resistant fabric, they come in all sizes, shapes, colors, and price ranges.
For even more shelter – plus protection from bugs – spring for a pop-up screened cabana. Talk about living the good life!
When you’re done for the day, simply fold your tent or cabana back down into its portable sack. Couldn’t be quicker or easier.
#5. Waterproof Phone Pouch
Love wading through the waves and strolling along the shore? Bring your phone along in a waterproof pouch, and you’ll never have to worry about getting splashed. Many pouches come with convenient straps, so you can enjoy your walk hands-free. Some are even designed to float, so if your phone slips overboard when you’re sailing or kayaking, you can quickly retrieve it.
#6. Portable Shower
Grit in your hair. Sand on your toes. Sticky soda residue on your hands. Prefer to shower off before hopping back into the car? That’s easy with a portable shower. These compact kits produce pressurized spray for up to several minutes at a time, depending on the water capacity of the attached PVC pouch. Some models even soak up solar power to deliver hot showers on the go – a welcome boon on chilly evenings.
#7. Portable Travel Safe
Longing to go for a swim but worried about leaving your watch, phone, and wallet behind? No need to conceal your valuables under the edge of the beach blanket. Just pop them in a portable waterproof lockbox, secure with a key or combination, attach to your tent or umbrella (or stash safely in your car), and you’re good to go.
#8 Inflatable Beach Loungers
Foldable beach chairs are fine, but loungers are even better – bigger, softer, and so much more relaxing. What’s more, they’re amazingly easy to inflate. No more struggling with hand pumps. Instead, whisk your lounger through the air, and the wind will fill it out, transforming it into a cool and comfortable airbed.
Many loungers are large enough to accommodate several people. Some have side sleeves to hold soft drinks and small essentials. And most are specially designed to resist puncturing and deflating.
When you’re finished using your lounger, deflate it and fold it down to easily fit in its compact carrying sack.
#9. Waterproof Bluetooth Speakers
Eager to bring your music to the beach? (That’s why they call it beach music, right?) With a waterproof Bluetooth speaker, you can safely enjoy your favorite tunes without worries about water damage. Most models are compact, portable, and priced right to fit your budget. Perfect for shoreside parties!
#10. Waterproof Playing Cards
Who doesn’t love a fun, family-friendly card game? Whether it’s Crazy 8s for the kids or pinochle for the grownups, it’s a great way to keep everyone entertained.
Use a deck of waterproof cards – available in stores and online – to play safely by the shore. Even wet sand and salt spray won’t damage these virtually indestructible cards!
#11. Personal Folding Beach Tables
Picnicking by the sea? Wondering where to put your food and drink so they won’t get covered with sand?
Check out personal beach tables, available in stores and online.
Each compact, collapsible table comes in its own convenient storage bag. Simply remove it from its bag, then fold it open so the attached legs lock into place. Presto – you’ve got your own sturdy molded-plastic picnic table, ideal for keeping snacks and sundries right there at your fingertips.
#12. Handy Hanging Clips for Beach Towels
The beach can often be windy. How can you keep your beach towels from blowing away in the breeze? Easy. Use jumbo plastic clips (available at Amazon) to secure them to your beach chair.
Later on, you can use the same colorful clips to hang wet towels up to dry. Also perfect for drying wet socks, swimsuits, clothes, coverups, you name it.
#13. Backpack Cooler
Let’s face it. Lugging around a cooler can be a real pain in the arm. That’s why you’ll appreciate today’s lightweight cooler backpacks. These leakproof insulated sacks keep hot stuff hot and cold stuff cold, so you can pack them full to the brim with frosty drinks and tasty goodies. Plus, since they’re designed to sling over your shoulders – with adjustable, ergonomic straps – you can keep your hands free as you hike along the shore.
Discover Endless Ways to Enhance Your Outer Banks Beach Vacation
From inflatable bean bags to portable baby tents, you’ll find so many handy, affordable products that can ramp up your fun in the sun.
But, whether or not you stock up on gizmos and gadgets, you’re sure to have a wonderful time at the NC Outer Banks. That’s because these breathtaking barrier islands have so much to offer everyone – families, couples, singles, seniors, school groups, you name it.
From grass-covered dunes to sparkling blue ocean… from quaint fishing piers to legendary lighthouses… from towering forests to shimmering marshes… you’ll find it all here in this spectacular coastal paradise. Gather family and friends and head to the OBX now!