A trip to the beach or pool should be something you look forward to. You put on your sunscreen and other protective wear, lay out on the beach, build sand castles and experience the water unique only to the ocean.

But nothing can put a damper on your fun more than being a victim of beach theft. Returning to your beach site to find that some of your belongings have been stolen can turn your fun in the sun into a summer bummer.

Protecting your belongings at the beach can be done, but it takes planning and creativity on your part. Here are five ingenious ways to protect your stuff at the beach.

1. Put them on ice

Who said that coolers were only for carrying edibles? Stick your keys, sunglasses, and other valuables in a bag, wrap them up in a small towel to prevent freezing, and let them join your food for a while.

2. Hide them in a your beach toys

A day at the beach is made much more enjoyable with beach toys. But what if one or more of those items could double as a hiding place for valuables? Wrap them in a plastic baggie, and put them in the center hole of a swim noodle; just don't forget which noodle you hid them in or your valuables might wash up on shore on another continent.

3. Bury them under a sand castle

If you're going to build a sand castle or sand mermaid, why not put that art to use by burying your valuables underneath it? Make sure to seal your belongings in a bag. Sand and phones don't mix well, and trying to find a wedding ring beneath your creation may put a damper on your evening - and your marriage.

4. Create a diversion

Creating a diversion does not mean doing acrobatics in an attempt to distract the potential thief, although that may be a possible deterrent. In this case, a diversion is turning an item, such as a Pringle can or sunscreen bottle into a container for your valuables. You can create your own, or purchase some online.

Perhaps one of the best diversions can be found in your diaper bag. Stick your valuables in a sealed plastic bag, wrap it in a clean disposable diaper and submerge it in the ocean. This will create the illusion the diaper is soiled. What thief will fish through a dirty diaper for valuables?

5. Invest in a 'Sand Locker'

While it is fun to think of ways to trick potential thieves, sometimes it is best to find products created by expert inventors.

The Aqua Vault and Beach Vault. Both items are designed not only to hide your belongings, but also to have them safely locked.

With a little creativity and vigilance on your part, a trip to the beach will be filled with memories of playing in the sand and ocean and donning your best beach-wear and accessories that may or may not have spent the better part of the day under a carefully crafted sand dinosaur.

_Del Sol is your fun-in-the-sun expert! Check out their line of color-changing sunglasses, flip-flops, T-shirts and more at delsol.com

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