Maybe a stupid question for some, but here we go. I just recently return from sea side holidays. One of the problems that I had was checking photos "on spot" when most of the time it was sunny, with very little shadow. Do you have some tricks/tips to overcome this situation beside capping hands around screen? Or did I perhaps somewhere in manual missed function how to view photos through viewfinder like many compacts have (I have Canon 500D).
You can buy shades which clip on on to the LCD and flip out. However, if like me you don't mind looking slightly odd if it saves you money, you can just keep the inner cardboard tube from a toilet paper roll in your kit, then you can just put it against the LCD and look through the other end. Works a treat.
Your DSLR has an optical viewfinder (thank god...) rather than EVF like in those compacts, so no - you did not miss such settings.
That said, you do have a brightness settings on your menu to enhance the rear LCD. Might not help in full sun, but can make the difference in less demanding situations. Note that it eats your camera's battery faster, though.
In addition to @ishmaiel's link, you can actually construct such a hood from scrap cardboard.
This is a very common problem. No LCD will be bright enough to compete with the sun and the glare off the front of the screen.
There are a large number of LCD shades available, which mitigate the problem by allowing you to view the image in a darkened environment.
I haven't tried any of these. Other than the added bulk, they look like a good solution.
you can use something like this - costs only 12 USD.
But I mostly use my baseball cap, to shade the screen.
Try a Giotto's glass screen protector. Your 500D's screen does not need a bulky, annoying hood loupe thing. You just need a decent anti-glare screen cover, and set your screen brightness to maximum!