Sandcastle building, swimming, and lounging in the sun: a beach trip is truly summer at its best. Don’t let your next trip bum you out, though: we’ve got ways to make sure you stay cool, protect your assets and even keep sand out of your car (well, kinda). Click through the gallery for 15 ideas that will make your next trip to the beach so much easier.

Four Corners

Keeping home base grit-free while at the beach can be a challenge, so if you want to create a large, clean space for your kiddos, try Team Johnson’s idea. Bring an old sheet, and using a cooler, beach bags, or even an umbrella, stretch out the corners, and you’ll have a pretty sweet pad.

photo: Deirdre Johnson via Team Johnson

Do you have any beach hacks to share? Tell us in a comment below!

—Natasha Davis & Amber Guetebier