Life’s a beach

If you want to take it easy at the beach, start by making the trip easier on yourself. Cameron Williams reveals the discoveries that made his time at the beach more enjoyable.

Written by Cameron Williams

As a kid I adored carefree days at the beach. Swimmers, sunscreen, rash shirt, a hat and a boogie board were all I needed for hours of maximum fun in the sun. As an adult, with the difficulty curve of being a parent, it’s a different story because now I’m in charge of the fun. It’s my job to ensure everything is perfect so my kids can be as happy-go-lucky as I once was. If only it were that simple. If my parents are reading this, I am so sorry for not offering to help more when I was little.

A trip to the beach is a test. It’s a test of grit, determination and how many laps one can do around a carpark on the hunt for a spot on a hot day. The fact I didn’t book a place to stay within walking distance to the beach is already a huge red flag.

But I always try to keep in mind that it’s possible not to get overwhelmed at the beach if I have the right tools. I used to focus on the basics at the beach until I realised that technology had advanced. Beach innovation exists. I discovered there’s a better way. A better life. I saw the light and I can now say with confidence: life’s a beach.

Here’s my guide to the beach tools that may help you take it easy at the beach.

They see me rollin’

The first time I truly felt like I had been doing the beach wrong was when I got my hands on a beach wagon. What is a beach wagon, you ask? It’s your new best friend on four, all-terrain wheels that glide through the sand with ease. The beauty of the beach wagon is its ability to hold everything. All the beach gear I used to carry from the car fits. The towels fit. My kids fit! It’s one trip from the car and one trip back. And just when I thought I couldn’t love the beach wagon more — it folds up so easily. Plus, I get to feel like the Incredible Hulk when I pull the wagon around.

Hats on to you

Have you ever typed ‘oversized beach hat’ into a search engine? I don’t mind if you hit pause on this article to look it up. It’s important to wear a hat at the beach and I say the bigger the better. Oversized hats are not just the domain of sports events, parades or the circus.  A wide brim hat not only protects you from the sun, but it sends a message to your family. It says you’re serious about sun protection. When my kids say they don’t need a hat, I’ll often say “Son, have you seen the size of this hat?!?” If you’re going to lead by example, go big.


How many times have you gone to the beach as an adult and not built a sandcastle? You’re missing out. Become an urban planner and redevelop the beach into a magical kingdom — or just dig a big hole. Or dig a hole and see if you can turn it into a pool. It’s amazing what you can achieve with the humble shovel and bucket, but sand toy technology has advanced rapidly and there are so many cool sand building toys available. Make sure you’ve always got a least one bag of sand toys in your bag of tricks and tap into your creativity.

Gimme shelter

The Rolling Stones were way ahead of their time when it comes to being sun smart. A portable shelter is vital at the beach to create a little DIY shade. Umbrellas, tents and even pop-up gazebos (ooh la la) are more portable than ever and fit nicely in, you guessed it, a beach wagon! Proudly plant your shelter on the beach like Neil Armstrong on the moon.


Yes, those who enlarge are in charge at the beach. Not only will you have a giant hat but an extremely large towel, too. I used to always hate how normal-sized towels would get coated with sand and scrunch up throughout the day. Eliminate this problem by investing in giant towels, also known as beach blankets. The large surface area means there’s more room to move about without a full-scale sand invasion.

Wet bags for the win

There’s nothing more annoying than when wet bathers mingle in your bag with phones, wallets, or a snack you were saving for later. Keep wet gear in its place with a dedicated wet bag. It also makes it much easier to wash all the wet gear when you get home.

Father hugs his daughter

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Written by Cameron Williams

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