So you’ve ventured into distant lands of exotic landscapes, shimmering sunsets over endless undulating oceans, and you plunge into the water headfirst, soak up the magic, and spend the whole time worrying because your camera is sitting there on the beach.
What do you do with valuables while you go swimming?
This is a perennial predicament for solo backpackers who just want to relax, get some sun, swim in a beautiful ocean, and don’t know what to do with their cash while they’re in the water.
Those clever Australians have plastic money they call “surf-proof” and dammit if that’s not the best solution in the universe, but for most backpackers, bringing cash to the beach can be a problem. If you’re on your own, you’ll constantly be looking back onto the beach to make sure everything is fine, and worrying all day long is not what your trip to paradise was supposed to entail.
On the one hand, you could bring a small amount of cash so you won’t be too upset if it goes missing, but if you took a bus to get to the beach, well, you’ll need a better plan.
So, here you’ll find a few solutions to bring your cash, cards, cameras, and smartphones right into the water with you. They want to swim too!
Added bonus? They’re cheap.
1) Waterproof plastic case by Witz
These come in plenty of sizes and plenty of colors, so whether you just want a tiny box for an ATM card and some cash, or you want to stow your smartphone or a small camera in there, these will keep everything protected.
The carabiner and lanyard options let you clip it to a bag, wear it around your neck, clip it to a belt loop, tie it around your waist, or whatever you want. Even the larger boxes will easily fit into a pocket, and you can jump into whatever ocean your heart desires.
You can pick up a Witz case for as little as $5, depending on size and color, but even the big ones are still cheap at around $10.
2) Waterproof Zip Bags
For a glorified plastic bag, these things are super popular and incredibly effective. The zip closure and locking dials or switches keep these little guys waterproof down to depths of 20 meters, making them great for swimming, snorkeling, and minor SCUBA diving.
This style of waterproof protection comes in all sorts of different sizes and shapes, as well as colors, and some even include specialized designs for use with zoom lenses for point and shoot cameras.
They also double as a dry bag for electronics in your regular backpack, and if you get a passport-sized version, you could even use it as a money belt and consolidate your gear into fewer items.
Pick up a Kwik Tek Dry Pak, and check out the millions of different sizes to find something for your particular needs.
3) Pacsafe Portable Safe
This one’s pretty great. Rather than taking the gear with you into the water, you can lock your gear on the beach. It’s not cheap like the above options, but it’s made to store more gear, like a DSLR camera and half a dozen lenses.
Pacsafe makes a huge amount of travel safety gear, and their stainless steel mesh bag protectors are popular with backpackers who don’t want anyone getting into their gear. This beach-friendly version allows you to lock the bag onto a tree, a bench, or whatever else you can find, while you go play in the ocean.
Added bonus? You can use it in a hostel, and lock all your gear to the bed. Not only will your gear be safe, but that way you can grab your laptop whenever you feel like it, instead of bothering hostel employees to open the safe for you over and over again.
4) Stash your gear in a deodorant stick
This is a clever strategy among the budget crowd who like to be clever. Just bring an empty stick of deodorant and stash things inside. It’s big enough to fit a small camera, some cash, and some cards, and the last thing anyone will want to steal is something they think you’ve rubbed all over your smelly body.
Check out a fake Diet Coke can if emptying out a deodorant stick is still a long way off for you.
Be safe when solo!
Solo beach excursions need not be annoyingly worrisome, and hopefully a few useful pieces of gear will give you some peace of mind while you’re swimming around on that beach paradise you’ve been dreaming about for years. Even the cheap options work nicely, and you can jump right in and forget all about your tech worries.
Got any other tips for keeping things safe on a solo beach trip? Share any tips that have worked for you!