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How to Keep Your Valuables Safe at the Beach.

Keeping your valuables safe at the beach is a greater concern today than ever.

Planning a Greek Island getaway, a week by the pool in a Thai Resort, catching some waves in Cape Town, sipping wine on the islands of Croatia, or hitting the beaches of Maui. No matter where or how you enjoy your summer by the water, all of these idyllic pursuits have one thing in common – what to do with your valuables.

In a time where we rarely leave the house without money and at least a smartphone, theft at the beach is a legitimate concern for summer travellers. So, let’s look at how to protect your stuff at the beach

Beach in Thailand

What to do With Your Valuables While at the Beach

Below are some of the things you can do to keep valuables safe at the beach during your travels and summer vacation. We’ve also rounded up some great beach safe products that will help securely hide your valuables at the beach or pool.

beach umbrellas and blue ocean on a greek island, an anti theft beach bag will allow you to relax while in swimming.
A beach safe or lockable beach bag will give you peace of mind on your next Greek Island holiday.

For More Safe Travel Tips: Read Our Safe Travel Guide

Consider the Valuables You Take to The Beach

If you consider the items many automatically throw in their beach bag for a relaxing day at the beach, petty theft is a serious consideration. 

The big question is; how to protect your belongings at the beach.

Obviously, you will want to make some money for a day at the beach. You may be wearing your watch, and have your smartphone and possibly your car keys with you.

You may even want to take your Kindle over a traditional book or magazine, an iPod or other music device. And of course, if on holiday, many will have a camera. While a good anti-theft handbag is perfect for travel, it’s not always the best solution for the beach.

For More Ideas on What to Pack: Read This Beach Vacation Packing List.

Organised beach in the Algarve Portugal. Do you worry about keeping your valuables safe at the beach?

Leave Your Valuables at Home

It might sound obvious, but if you don’t need it, don’t bring it. There really is no reason to have too many valuables on you for a day of swimming and sunbathing. Think about downsizing and taking only the basics. Leave all other valuables locked up at home or the hotel.

  • Don’t bring your entire wallet or purse with all of your credit cards, just bring enough cash for the day and put it in a zippered pocket or lockable bag.
  • Only bring the minimum of electronics with you, or better still, none at all. Try switching off for the day.
  • Consider an actual book, magazine or newspaper over an E-Reader.
  • If you must bring a camera, a big (noticeable) DSLR is not ideal for a day at the beach. Apart from potential damage to the camera, it is hard to conceal. Opt for a compact point and shoot that can be hidden in your bag or even just your smartphone for beach pics. The new GoPro camera is ideal for the beach because you can take it swimming with you and unlike its predecessors, it is reasonably priced.
  • Finally, leave your passport back in the room.

Even if you have checked out of your hotel and want a little spare time at the beach before you leave, most hotels will happily store luggage and valuables for you after check out.

The Beach is the Perfect Place for Thieves

Sadly, the beach can be a prime stomping ground for pickpockets and petty thieves. They know people will have their guard down and may not be watching their possessions while swimming or sunbathing.

And, it’s not just at the beach. Petty thieves target the poolside areas of resorts and beach clubs too.

So, how can you keep your valuables safe at the beach and make sure a relaxing day by the sea or pool is not ruined by thieves?

Here’s a look at some beach safety tips to help you keep your valuables safe on the beach as well as some of the best anti-theft beach bags and waterproof solutions for storing your valuables on the beach.

Beach Safe Recommended Products Quick Guide

From practical locking beach bags to portable beach safes, towels with hidden pockets and the best waterproof cases and bags for your phone and valuables. These are some of the best and most practical beach safe products for your valuables on the market. 

Take a Waterproof Smartphone Pouch

If you must take your smartphone to the beach or pool, consider a waterproof dry bag with a lanyard so you can take your phone in the water with you.

Many of the best waterproof dry bags for phones on the market today are completely waterproof as opposed to splash-proof.

Some even have touch sensitivity so you can continue to use them in the water for taking photos, video or even calls.

With the minimalist approach in mind, a smartphone pouch is also good for keeping some money, credit cards, keys, and small jewellery.

Most are relatively inexpensive starting at as little as $7. Just make sure you have the lanyard securely around your neck or wrist while you swim.

The Top Three Waterproof Smartphone Pouches on the Market.

Kona Submariner Waterproof Phone Case

Submariner Waterproof Phone Pouch - Heavy/Duty Floating Universal Waterproof Case for Apple iPhone 11 X 8 7 Pro Samsung S20 S10 S9 S8 Note Pixel LG Sony & More
  • Waterproof to 100 ft.
  • Premium clamp and lanyard.
  • Will float if accidentally dropped.
  • Touch sensitive and talk through design.
  • Crystal clear cover for beautiful photos anywhere.
  • Will hold any device up to 6.3 inches diagonally.
  • Five-year free replacement warranty.
Check Price

JOTO Cellphone Dry Bag Pouch

JOTO Universal Waterproof Pouch Cellphone Dry Bag Case for iPhone 12 Pro Max 11 Pro Max Xs Max XR X 8 7 6S Plus SE, Galaxy S20 Ultra S20+ S10 Plus S10e /Note 10+ 9, Pixel 4 XL up to 6.9
  • The most-reviewed waterproof dry bag for phones on Amazon.
  • Waterproof to 100 ft.
  • Maintains full touchscreen functionality of the phone.
  • Clear windows for taking photos or checking emails.
  • Great for underwater photos and video.
  • Will hold any device up to 6 inches diagonally.
  • Secure strap and a simple snap and lock access.
Check Price

Mpow Universal Waterproof Phone Pouch

  • Amazon’s number one best-selling waterproof bag in the “Marine Dry Bags” category.
  • IPX8 rating makes it waterproof to 100 ft.
  • Simple snap and lock closure.
  • Cover offers full touch screen functionality underwater.
  • Can take photos and video through the clear cover.
  • Comes as a two-pack so is good value.
  • Holds devices up to 6 inches diagonally.
Check Price

Surf boards against a tree at the beach. Keep Valuables safe at the beach with a beach security bag.
A waterproof beach bag that you can take into the water with you will reduce the chances of beach theft.

Take Your Valuables in the Water With You

Use a Waterproof Dry Bag

If you really have to bring valuables with you that won’t fit in a small waterproof pouch, consider a waterproof bag for valuables when swimming.

A good dry bag will float along on the surface next to you, like this Freegrace Waterproof Dry Bag, avoiding complete submersion.

Always test with a plastic bag liner for any leaks before you trust your electronics to it.

Although, in this age of technology, unless you are buying a knock-off brand from SE Asia, most reputable brands will be reliable and watertight.

Freegrace Waterproof Lightweight Dry Sack

Freegrace Waterproof Dry Bag - Lightweight Dry Sack with Seals and Waterproof Case -Float on Water -Keeps Gear Dry for Kayaking, Beach, Rafting, Boating, Hiking, Camping and Fishing (2L, Orange)
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Wear a Waterproof Waist Pouch

Keep your valuables safe and dry and your hands-free with a waterproof pouch with a waistband. Fits snugly around your waist or crossbody leaving you free to enjoy your time in the water. It is also a little more discreet for smaller items. 

Waterproof Pouch (2 Pack) with Waist Strap for Men & Women

GO BACK TRAIL Waterproof Pouch Set – Includes 2 Large Heavy Duty Dry Pouches Plus 4 Bonus Valuable Bags – Adjustable Waistband – for Men, Women or Kids – Protect Cash, Credit Cards, Keys Smartphones
GO BACK TRAIL Waterproof Pouch Set – Includes 2 Large Heavy Duty Dry Pouches Plus 4 Bonus Valuable Bags – Adjustable Waistband – for Men, Women or Kids – Protect Cash, Credit Cards, Keys Smartphones
  • Made of durable and soft high-density PVC.
  • 3 zip seals and fold over Velcro top keep your items safe and dry in the pouch.
  • The soft, heavy-duty material is touch screen responsive so you can use your touchscreen smartphone without opening the pack.
  • Comes with 4 bonus opaque credit card size zip pouches to hide cash, ID and credit cards.
Check Price

Know How Thieves Operate

Did you know some thieves specialise in stealing beach bags and valuables from distracted people on the beach or, people who leave them unattended while swimming, or walking?

Even people taking a quick nap while they sunbake are a prime target.

Beach thieves have a variety of ways of stealing valuables from beachgoers. The most common is to wander crowded beaches looking for unattended bags.

Thieves will be on the lookout for people heading to the water, leaving their belongings behind.

They will keep an eye on you and wait until you’re not facing the beach, or you are underwater to grab your stuff. You will be none the wiser until you return to your towel or lounge.

Be Aware of Unusual Distractions or Disturbances

While there is no need to be paranoid, be aware of your surroundings and on the lookout for unusual distractions.

Sometimes pickpockets stage distractions, such as groups of young people playing loudly and unusually close to you, someone tripping over you or spilling something on you.

While you are distracted, an accomplice can snatch your things. These are situations to be particularly aware of at crowded tourist beaches.  A secure beach bag will assist to keep valuables safe at the beach and help you avoid the problems of beach theft.

Invest in an Anti Theft Beach Bag or Locking Beach Bag

Obviously, any anti-theft bag or backpack will suffice for the beach but the new anti-theft locking beach bags appearing on the market make great sense.

So much more than just a beach bag with lock. A locking beach bag is waterproof, has slash-proof technology, can be locked to a fixed structure such as a sun lounge or fence and have advanced locking capabilities.

Our favourite lockable beach bag, the CoolBag anti-theft beach bag also comes with dedicated cooler compartments which makes it absolutely perfect for all outdoor activities.

A good anti-theft or lockable beach bag is also suitable as an alternative airline carry on bag, so it is versatile for travel.

Two Best Anti Theft Beach Bags

CoolBag Locking Anti-Theft Beach Tote With Insulated Cooler Compartment

CoolBag Gen 2 Locking Anti-Theft Travel Tote With Insulated Cooler Compartment (Tahiti Turquoise)
  • These secure beach bags also meet airline regulations for carry-on luggage and holds up to 14.5 kilos.
  • Puncture-proof zipper with a hidden combination lock.
  • Light-weight, cut-resistant cotton liner.
  • UV-resistant polyester bag with water-resistant panels.
  • Padded straps with reinforced ten gauges stainless steel wire cable, attach the bag to any fixed structure such as a beach chair or fence.
  • Detachable backpack straps.
  • Mesh pockets for cell phones and pockets for both magazines and tablets.
  • RFID pocket to protect credit cards, room keys, and ID.
  • Separate, temperature-controlled cooler fits seven 12 oz cans with additional pockets for wine.
  • Locking connector to prevent entry into the bag from the cooler side.
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Pacsafe Anti Theft Dry Beach Bag

Pacsafe Travel Tote, Charcoal 104
  • Carrysafe slash guard strap.
  • RFID blocking pockets and material.
  • Roobar™ deluxe locking system.
  • Internal attachment point for wallets and keys.
  • External attachment points for items such as jackets, towels or beach mats.
  • Detachable straps.
  • Wet/Dry separation.
  • Heavy duty 1000D Nylonx900D Polyester construction.
  • High-frequency welded seams to keep water out.
Check Price

Related:  Best Anti Theft Travel Gear and Devices   A Complete Guide

Anti Theft Pool Pouch

If you don’t need an entire beach security bag, an anti theft pool pouch is perfect for e-readers, phones, keys, and cash.

Great for cruise ships or by the pool in a resort where you don’t need to carry a lot of stuff.

Loop and lock the tether to your sun lounge to keep valuable safe while you swim or snooze. These anti-theft pool pouches make a great little gift for travel lovers.

Vaultz Locking Pool Pouch with Tether

Vaultz Locking Pool Pouch with Tether, Medium, 7.5 x 9 Inches, Blue (VZ00724)
Vaultz Locking Pool Pouch with Tether, Medium, 7.5 x 9 Inches, Blue (VZ00724)
  • The medium size (7.5 x 9.5 inch) pouch is large enough for Kindles, E-Readers and other mini e-readers.
  • Perfect for wallets, cash, medication, jewellery, and keys.
  • Water-resistant nylon and water-proof zipper keeps valuables dry.
  • Combination zipper lock with Vaultz Double Loop Tether cable for added security. 
Check Price

An anti-theft fanny pack or waist bag is also great for the beach. See our top picks for the most Stylish Anti Theft Fanny Packs and Waist Bags on the market.

A crowded beach of white umbrellas in Athens. Keep Valuables safe at the beach with a locking beach bag.
Stay safe from thieves on a crowded beach with an anti-theft beach bag.

Keep Valuables Safe at Beach by Taking in Turns

Even if you are using beach safe containers of some description, taking it in turns to watch your gear is always a good idea at the beach. It’s a great deterrent for would-be thieves. 

If you’re heading to the beach in a group, take it in turns to have someone in the group keep an eye on your gear while you go swimming.

This isn’t always ideal if you are only a couple or on your own.

You could always try to enlist the services of a trustworthy looking stranger while you take a quick swim but be careful in who you choose.

Spend some time watching people on the beach and the people who are seated close to you.

Many solo travellers say they tend to lean towards other solo beachgoers around their age, families or older couples.

While no one demographic is going to be 100% trustworthy, you can usually get a good feel for what doesn’t feel right.

  • Try to avoid groups of young people – teens or early twenties.
  • Be wary of local kids, especially in certain countries.
  • Those who are drinking, especially groups.
  • Take note of how they are looking after their belongings before you ask.

Be Mindful of Where You Place Your Bags

Remember; if you are at the beach in a group, or even as a couple, keep your bags to the centre of the group rather than around the perimeter where they are an easy target for snatch and run thieves.  A bag with a lock is also handy.

Consider secret hiding containers, under towels or buried in the sand, however, a beach security bag is a better option.

Beach Towel with Zip Pocket for Valuables

Wondering how to hide valuables at the beach? While not entirely theft-proof, a beach towel with a zip pocket for small valuables is a very good idea and quite a clever way to hide valuables at the beach.

Keep smaller valuables like your phone in the pocket and out of sight while sunbathing so would-be thieves can’t snatch it while you have your eyes closed. Keep keys and small change both safe and on hand.

Related: Looking for the Best Sand Free Beach Towel? We Have Just the Towel for You.

See here for more details.

Towels like the DryFoxCo Quick Dry Microfiber Towel have a water-resistant pocket large enough for a phone, keys, change, sunglasses, even snacks! Hanging loops on the corners mean you can tie the towel to a sun lounge for added security.

We would not recommend this as an entire theft-proof solution to keeping valuables safe at the beach, but a good solution to keeping certain items handy while out of sight.

Microfiber Beach Towel with Water-Resistant Corner Zip Storage Pocket Conceal Valuables

DryFoxCo Quick-Dry Compact Travel Towel with Water-Resistant Zip Pocket for Valuables- Sand-Free, Lightweight, XL Size, Reversible, Soft- Beach, Camping, Swim, Sports (Camo)
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Sit Close to the Life Guard

While the lifeguard will not actually watch your stuff for you, thieves will usually steer clear of the area near the lifeguard tower to avoid being noticed.

Sitting near the lifeguard, or security guard if not at the beach, you have a better chance of not becoming a victim of beach theft.

Get a Portable Beach Safe

The portable beach safe is becoming so popular, some organised beaches and resorts have started hiring beach chair safes to beachgoers. Some beaches have a beach lock box or beach safe containers attached to tables or parasols.

If you want an alternative security solution to the anti-theft beach bag, or, don’t trust your electronics to a waterproof dry sack, then a portable beach safe or travel safe may be for you.

Portable safes come in all sizes so they can hold laptops, cameras, and tablets.  They are also handy for keeping valuables safe in the hotel as well as the beach.

Obviously, you will need something to attach them to – a beach chair, umbrella or even a fence is sufficient to deter would-be thieves.

These are a few of the more popular portable beach and travel safes on the market today.

While some are not cheap, some designs are a versatile travel investment.

Four Best Beach Safes

Lewis N. Clark Waterproof Portable Safe

Lewis N. Clark Safebox Portable Safe with Anti Theft Combination Lock and Slash Resistant Material to Protect Wallet, iPhone and Valuables at the Beach, Pool, Camping + Hotel, Large
  • Great for travel and the beach
  • Cut-Resistant
  • 3-digit resettable combination lock (no key)
  • Secure it to any stationary object
  • Durable multi-layer construction
  • Heavy-duty, easily packable, flexible, and waterproof
  • 3 Sizes, large will fit large tablet plus additional items.
Check Price

Pacsafe Travelsafe X15 Anti-Theft Portable Safe

Pacsafe Travelsafe X15 Anti-Theft Portable Safe, Hawaiian Blue
  • Our top pick for travel and the beach.
  • It can be locked to a secure fixture to protect your valuables.
  • Folds flat for easy packing when not in use.
  • 360-degree exomesh stainless steel wire meshes embedded into poly canvas fabric to help prevent thieves from breaking into safe.
  • TSA approved a three-dial combination lock to secure stainless steel cable to a fixture.
  • Large enough for up to a 15-inch laptop, tablet, camera, jewellery, and other small items.
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SAFEGO Portable Indoor/Outdoor Lock Box Safe

SAFEGO Portable Indoor/Outdoor Lock Box Safe with Key and Combination Access (White)
  • This portable safe ranks high for its quality, convenience affordability and durability.
  • Indoor and outdoor lock box safe with 3-digit custom combination code + key access.
  • Heavy-duty 17 inch adjustable steel cable locks securely around almost any fixed object.
  • Adjustable plug opening, so you can listen to music while your device is safely inside the box.
  • Rust-resistant, nickel-plated lock.
  • Lightweight ABS plastic is extremely durable, impact and water-resistant.
Check Price
Multi coloured beach huts on white sand in Cape Town. Keep Valuables safe at the beach with a lockable beach bag or beach safe.

Keep Your Valuables Out of Sight

Unless you are using an E-Reader or your phone, put electronics away in bags. Don’t leave multiple devices lying around on sun lounges or towels.

If you are not wearing your watch, pop it in a zip pocket inside a bag. Again, while it may sound obvious, we see it all too often, people who have all of their valuables on display for potential thieves to see.

Even if you have a lockable beach bag secured to a chair. It is still wise to cover it with a towel or have stowed under the chair out of sight when you go for a swim.

It pays not to advertise when you are on the beach.

Even when sunbathing, keep bags zipped up and close to you and smaller items tucked under your towel. You only have to shut your eyes for a moment to have a bag snatched.

At the end of the day, petty theft and pickpockets are a fact of life no matter where we travel.

Employing a little common sense and taking some simple precautions can go a long way to help keep valuables safe at beach.

You can read more about the best anti-theft travel gear and tips for avoiding theft while you travel here.