Skittering across hot Summer concrete, sound familiar? How about the immediate, even shockingly cool, wet, and weightless respite of a pool, river, or ocean? This transition is as satisfying as 100 sneezes at once. Nothing compares to the quick rejuvenating shiver that goes up the spine when you first jump in, signaling relief from the hot gravity of land. Not to mention the health benefits like anxiety reduction, increased flexibility, decreased depression, and improved mood.

Get Out and Swim for Under 50 Bucks

Only a few items are needed to make swimming a common method to recharge during hot Summer days. Below are items that are not just affordable but well-made. Throw them in a tote and keep them near the front door to reduce the friction of getting up, out, and into immediate cool-down mode.

  • Banana Boat Sunscreen - Straightforward with high or low SPF options.
  • Simple Bathing Suit or Trunks - These options work for most tastes and body types and are very affordable.
  • Beach Towel - These towels have some of the coolest designs, are made of microfiber that dries fast, and also, somehow, are the most affordable options.  
  • Absolute Cheapest Hat That’s Still Cute - For a few more dollars, this more utilitarian hat offers UV protection.
  • Amazon Basics Folding Chair - This is an important one. Having a good folding chair mitigates hot river rocks or poolside concrete, sand, or even mud. A solid chair makes chilling out much easier. This is why we feel, at camelcamelcamel, that having at least a no-frills chair is necessary.
  • Coleman Folder Chair - There really is no difference between a solid camping chair and a beach chair. And if you like name-brand gear, this Coleman chair is the lowest-priced option.
  • Goggles - A must-have for kids. For extra credit, have a screening of The Little Mermaid the day before to get them excited about the underwater world of wonder.
  • Aloe - Because nobody is perfect.

Beach, River, and Lake Gear Hacks

Pictured: Sun Tan Lotion Stash Container | Galaxy Water Shoes

There are unique circumstances to keep in mind when visiting beaches, rivers, and lakes, like an increased number of people and, of course, hot sand and rocks. Pro to: grab the waterproof bluetooth speaker before heading out.

Mesh Bag - Mesh is a great defense against persnickety sand. Keep it packed and by the door. Also, this particular bag is giant, so it can double as a sports bag for a teenager or a gym bag.

​​Beach Shade - To help deal with overheated and cranky kids, a systematic approach to sun and shade time is a game changer.

Sandproof Beach Blanket - This water and sand-proof, quick-drying blanket is extremely affordable.

Sun Lotion Stash Container - Sticking your wallet and phone in a disguised sun tan lotion bottle creates a sense of security when running back and forth from the water. Check out just how many amazing secret hiding containers are available.

Cooler Options - It is always great when a name-brand option is also the cheapest. For something a bit more manageable in different terrains, the 30/50/60 Can Lifewit Cooler Bag and the TOURIT Cooler Bag both have sturdy straps.

Water Shoes - A must when seeking more diverse and secluded swimming spots. It’s surprising how much easier water shoes help to navigate diverse terrains in search of euphoric waterholes and tucked-away waterfalls. These no-frills options will do just fine, while these options have a few more fun patterns to choose from.

Water-Proof Fanny Pack - Having a waterproof fanny pack is clutch, especially if you want to take photos without having to swing a backpack around while walking through a river. Take it one step further with a full-on waist pack, which is great for quick solo cool-down missions on the way to and from work.

Water Skipping Balls - These buoyant water balls do not sink, and are particularly fun to skip back and forth across little pools of water while hanging out with friends and family.

Exercising Equipment for the Water

Why not switch up your exercise routine and really capitalize on the myriad benefits of swimming? Some advantages include less stress on joints and the body generally; a greater reduction in emotional stress; and improved heart health. Bringing swimming into an already established routine or starting back up in the water after a break can be just the kind of variation needed to motivate yourself.

Go Long! - For some good old-fashioned exercise, just get a normal frisbee, the brighter the color the better, or a waterproof football, and go out for some long, diving catches.

Dynamic Fitness Noodle - It’s almost silly to call this must-have for any swimming situation, a piece of exercise equipment. But not only can the kids use it for water games; there are a lot of exercises that can be done to mix up the normal fitness routine.

Kick Board - Want to swim some laps for cardio but don’t have a PHD in aqua-kinetics? A kick board allows for instant relief from having to learn how to do a freestyle-backside-butterfly-stroke.

Floating Belt - This device opens up an entirely new angle on human-to-pool (and gravity) relations. Additionally, the use of a floating belt brings even the casual fitness enthusiast to the next level of weightless exercise.

Water Exercise Kit for Well Under 20 Bucks - If you are just a bit more serious about moving your workout into the water, this simple and highly affordable kit is all you need to get a new routine going.

Make it Your New Thing

For better or worse, in this hyper-connected world, there is always a lot to think about. Taking a step back and changing up your environment and body temperature is a solid way to process everything you have going on, or to just take a break from it all. Swimming cools the body down and enhances brain activity. It can often be neglected as a regular calming method to incorporate into your life. But think about how much more chill the time spent outside of the water can be once you’ve escaped for a while into a cooling, weightless, watery euphoria.