20 Essential Life Hacks for Summer


Ready for summer? Me too. If you're looking for ways to prepare for the warm weather, we have you covered. This handy list will get you through anything from keeping bugs away to baking dashboard cookies. If you have any fun life hacks to add to this list, please leave them in the comments! (See also: Wear Frozen Clothes and 9 Other Ways to Beat the Heat)

1. Keep Water Cold

Whether you're exercising or just lounging, cold water is only sips away. Before long runs, my husband and I fill up plastic water bottles half-way, then freeze them. When we need our drink, we pop it out of the freezer and fill the rest with fresh water.

2. Make Coffee Ice Cubes

Make Ice Coffee Cubes for enjoying every last drop of your favorite cool drink. Simply brew, freeze, and plop into your regular chilled cup.

3. Soothe Burns

Freeze aloe in cubes to get "instant" relief for sunburned skin.

4. Freeze Grapes

For a healthy, satisfying snack, just wash seedless grapes and stick them in the freezer. Once chilled, they're irresistible and help keep you cool (and hydrated) on hot days.

5. Rig an Air Conditioner

If you're suffering without AC and that fan plus ice bowl trick isn't cutting it — you could try crafting this elaborate DIY air conditioner using a box fan, some copper tubing, and a cooler. The author claims it costs only $10!

6. Fashion a Skirt

Need a quick coverup? Just twist together this gorgeous draped skirt using a wide scarf (jersey knit might work best). You can head to the beach or to a casual dinner in frugal style!

7. Lighten Your Strands

Summer's a great time to add a glow to your hair. Forget the chemicals by using this lemon and water natural highlighting solution. Just spritz hair and dry in the sun, and you'll see results after two or three sessions.

8. Cool Your Brews

Spending the day in the pool? Take an old pool noodle and open plastic bin and create a makeshift cooler that will keep drinks accessible (and cold) for hours. Cost: $1.99.

9. Avoid Messy Drips

Use cupcake liners to protect yourself from all those drippy popsicles.

10. Create Cheap Beach Games

Make simple checkers or tic-tac-toe boards and use found shells or rocks to play.

11. Banish Sand

Love the sand, but hate the aftermath? Pack a travel-sized container of baby powder to slide the sand right off your feet.

12. Stop Those Ants

It happens every summer: Ants get into our house! If you have some of that baby powder left, you can use it to your advantage. Just sprinkle some near the entry point, and ants will lose their trail in no time.

13. Lounge for Little

I've seen a lot of DIY hammock hacks, but I like the sturdy materials used in this tutorial, as well as the ingenious use of carabiners.

14. Fix a Bad Tan Job

If you got too enthusiastic with the bottled glow, you can fix blotches and streaks with a thrifty paste made from lemon juice and baking powder.

15. Toss Dinner in the Fire

Foil pack cooking is camp food made easy. Make sure you use heavy duty foil and grease it up, but then dinner will cook itself in the coals while you relax!

16. Tend to Bumps and Bruises

Summer is also a time for injuries. Make your own inexpensive ice packs by combining rubbing alcohol and water in a zip top bag, and then freezing.

17. Whisk Omelets in the Wild

Bringing eggs on your outdoor adventure might sound tricky, if not dangerous. But if you'd like to enjoy a protein-laden breakfast without the worry, try this homemade dehydrated egg mix with spices.

18. Ward Off Gnats

A recent study uncovered that Bounce dryer sheets repel gnats. If you're surrounded, stick a sheet in your shirt pocket or place one nearby for protection.

19. Spray the Rest Away

If mosquitoes are more your concern, you may want to avoid store-bought repellents that likely contain the chemical DEET. Instead, try some of these Natural Bug Sprays That Work.

20. Bake Something Sweet

Though "oven" temperatures will vary depending on the day, these dashboard chocolate chip cookies sure look enticing. So, if you're planning a day at the park, use your car as a solar oven — takes around 2-1/2 hours to complete.

Are you getting ready for summer? Please share your best summer tips and tricks!

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