10 things to do to avoid ruining a beach vacation
About to head out for an exciting beach vacation? The joy of lying in the sand or heading for a swim in the cool water is unmatched! However, in the days of planning and anticipation, many people often forget to take care of some of the basics, which could dampen the fun within no time. Here’s a compiled list of ten ways to avoid ruining a fun beach vacay to ensure a leisure-filled getaway from the humdrum of daily life.
On warm sunny days, heading to the beach sounds like an absolute delight. If one plans to head to the sea/ocean for a swim, play beach volleyball, or even just lounge in the sand, there’s always a risk of getting sweaty because of the humidity. Sweating is the body’s way of cooling off. However, this may lead to dehydration, making one feel tired. It could also increase one’s risk of a heat stroke.
Sipping on water or fluids and staying hydrated is important for a great day out at the beach. While adequate water consumption depends on one’s age, activity levels, and the local weather conditions, people must focus on drinking at least 2-3 liters of water daily.
Use skin protection
When stepping into the sun, one must take all necessary precautions to avoid sunburns and reduce the risk of skin cancer. Follow these guidelines set by the American Association of Dermatologists when choosing a sunscreen:
- Pick a sun-blocking sunscreen with at least SPF 30
- Use a broad-spectrum sunblock that protects the skin from UVA and UVB rays
- Pick a water-resistant sunscreen
Apply about an ounce of sunscreen from head to toe and massage it thoroughly before stepping out into the sun. Remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours to get adequate protection from the sun. Additionally, to enhance skin safety, bring a beach umbrella and wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and a lightweight long-sleeve shirt.
Learn the beach flag colors
At lifeguarded beaches, one can often spot several flags. Although they may slightly differ from locality to locality, here is what they generally mean:
- Double red flag – Water closed, no public swimming
- Red flag – High hazard of surf and/or currents
- Yellow flag – Medium hazard of surf and/or currents
- Purple flag – Dangerous marine life such as jellyfish, stingrays, etc.
- Green flag – Calm conditions, safe to swim/surf
- Black and white checkered flag – Generally set up to keep the surfers and swimmers apart in the water
Read the local weather forecast
Don’t let unpredictable weather ruin the beach experience. Being aware of the local weather conditions can also help one ensure a fun-filled trip. When heading for a swim in larger water bodies, it is also important to remain cognizant of tides, undercurrents, water depths, potential obstacles, lightning, thunderstorms, and Tsunami warnings. Check the expected weather conditions beforehand, or look for warning flags posted around lifeguard stations. Planning can help one avoid any disasters or mishaps on their beach vacation.
Watch out for marine life
It is common to bump into wildlife when going for a dip in the sea or the ocean. Jellyfish and stingray injuries are relatively common at beaches. These tend to require immediate medical intervention. Before jumping into the water, it is advisable to speak to a lifeguard about marine life to watch out for or look for a purple flag that may indicate the same. Exercise caution in the water as well, and avoid venturing too deep.
Carry first aid
Getting nicks and cuts are inevitable in daily life. On beaches, walking on shells or playing rough in the sand could lead to minor injuries. However, when heading to the beach, one needs to ensure proper first aid for these wounds. Carry a basic first aid kit to clean and keep the injured area covered. Leaving the wound exposed to sand or water could increase the risk of bacterial infections.
Practice basic safety precautions
Beach vacations are meant to be relaxing. It is a time for everyone to kick back and enjoy the waves. Being too lax about safety and security, however, could be dangerous. At the beach, it is important to be situationally aware and practice some basic safety precautions, such as:
- Keep the valuables in a secure space, out of public view.
- Do not wear flashy jewelry or carry wads of cash. This could attract the attention of miscreants and thieves.
- Do not share information about one’s hotel or residence, as this could be dangerous.
- Try to head out in a group.
Check for crowd levels
During the tourist season, activities around the beach, such as restaurants, arcades, go-karting, etc., can be extremely crowded, leading to long waiting lines. This can be troublesome to deal with, especially on a vacation. Planning this part of one’s vacation may help one skip these crowds. When possible, make reservations or head out for an early dinner. When visiting tourist attractions, get a headstart on others by starting bright and early.
Research the rental property or hotel in advance
When booking one’s stay, it is important to plan and research. Check out hotel reviews and vacationer ratings to create a realistic expectation. If the goal is to have a beach vacation, check the distance from the hotel to the beach – this could help save travel hours.
Many people tend to get caught up in the thrill of vacationing and overlook the importance of taking care of their bodies. Moreover, neglecting nutrition during this time can seriously affect overall health and well-being. One must pay attention to one’s daily activities and how these might impact one’s food requirements. For instance, those engaging in strenuous exercise such as swimming or volleyball will likely feel more tired and hungrier than usual. Caloric needs can vary significantly from person to person. As a general rule of thumb, it is advisable to eat a full meal (consisting of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) at least 2 hours before engaging in physical activity.