In Gear Reviews, Safe Travel, Travel Tips
Disclaimer: Our articles may contain affiliate links. See end of article for more details.

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 Thailand Resort, catching some waves in Cape Town or the summer sipping wine on the islands of Croatia? 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.

If you consider the items many will automatically throw in the 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 take some money for a day at the beach. You may be wearing your watch, 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 holidays, many will have a camera.

Keep Valuables safe at the beach - Greek Islands

Sadly, the beach can be a prime stomping ground for pickpockets and petty thieves. They know that 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 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.

Tip: 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.
  • 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.


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. These are the top three waterproof smartphone pouches on the market at the moment.

 

  • 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 Prices Here  


 

  • 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 Prices Here  


  • 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 under water.
  • 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 Prices Here  


Keep Valuables safe at the beach

Take Your Valuables in the Water With You

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

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

  Check Prices Here  

 


 

Tip: 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 when you are not looking. These are situations to be particularly aware of on crowded tourist beaches.

Invest in an Anti-Theft 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. They are waterproof, have slash proof technology, can be locked to a fixed structure such as a sun lounge or fence and have advanced locking capabilities.

Our favourite, 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.

  • Meets 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 gauge stainless steel wire cable, attach the bag to any fixed structure such as beach chair or fence.
  • Detachable backpack straps.
  • Mesh pockets for cell phones and pockets for both magazines and tablet.
  • 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 cooler side.

 

   Check Prices Here  


 

  • 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 Prices Here  


Keep Valuables safe at the beach - Athens

Tip: Take it in Turns

Taking it in turns to watch your gear is always a good idea at the beach. If you’re heading to the beach in a group, you should always 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.

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 could be taken more easily.

Beach Towel with Zip Pocket for Valuables

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.

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

  Check Prices Here  

 

Tip: 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 them to beachgoers.

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 or travel safe may be for you. Portable safes come in all sizes so 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.

  • Great for travel and the beach.
  • Cut-Resistant, RFID Blocking, Integrally Locking Flap.
  • No Cords to easily cut through.
  • Durable five-layer construction.
  • Heavy-duty, easily packable, flexible, and water resistant.
  • Features belt loop, storage pockets, and padded carry strap.
  • Can be secured to any fixed object.

  Check Prices Here  

 


  • Our top pick for travel and the beach.
  • 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 mesh embedded into poly canvas fabric to help prevent thieves breaking into safe.
  • TSA approved 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.

 

   Check Prices Here  


  • 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 in 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 Here For Prices  


  • Large enough to hold wallets, watches, mobile phones, keys and bigger electronic devices such as tablets.
  • Universal mount design fits on most beach furniture, railings, even bike or stroller frames.
  • Reprogrammable top quality rental grade lock.
  • Sleek design looks great on furniture.
  • Sits up off the ground to keep belongings safe and secure.
  • High grade, impact resistant, waterproof.

  Check Here For Prices  


Keep Valuables safe at the beach - Cape Town

Tip: Keep Your Valuables Out of Sight

Unless you are using an E-Reader or your phone, put electronics away in bags. D0n’t leave multiple devices lying around on sun loungers 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 you avoid becoming a victim of theft.

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

Recommended Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search

Moroccan traderPacking List for Morocco - Travellers on a camel