The beach is the ultimate relaxation zone: endless waves, warm sun rays, a great read while lounging on a plush towel, or maybe a game or two of beach volleyball after collecting seashells from the shores. The beach can’t be beat for that true vacation feel.
No matter where you are in the world, from the tropical waters of the Maldives to the reef-filled, turquoise-hued waters of the Seychelles, to the bustling coastline of New England’s Nantucket Island, there are plenty of idyllic beach settings around the world.
Before you head off to one of these sandy hot spots, here are a few tips that will help you make the most of your seaside visit.
Keep your valuables safe
Looking to spend your day splashing in the waves or testing out your new surfing techniques? Keep your focus on play, not those personal items stuck on the sand by making sure your valuables are safe at home, or at least out of sight. Stash your cash, ID, keys and phone in the last place anyone would ever look: your can of iced tea (or other beverage of choice). This website misdefenseproducts.com may be able to help — it offers a variety of containers with false bottoms, like an Arizona iced tea bottle or can of root beer, to help you hide your valuables. Less subtle, but just as effective? This polycarbon case from Secure-It, which can latch on to your beach chair. While there’s always some risk associated with leaving valuables unattended on the beach, these products can at least help keep them out of plain view.
Snag a great bag
Once you have a delicious beach snack, comfy flip-flops and a funky hat, the only thing you need is a place to store it all. Look for a bag that’s waterproof or water resistant—think fabrics like vinyl that easily wipe off, or sports nylon. Store your beach towel at the bottom of the bag, either rolled up or folded tightly, and place smaller items on top. Keep big zip lock or plastic bags handy to stash sandy shoes, wet bathing suits or protect electronics. Look for a bag with multiple pockets so you can stay organized.
Ride the safety wave
Water babies, listen up! Who can pass up jumping waves all day? (It’s one of our very favorite activities.) Just keep an eye on your whereabouts. Pick a stationary landmark when you go in the water and periodically check where you are in relation to that spot, as the currents will usually move you down the beach a little. Also, keep an eye out for riptides, or rip currents — powerful water currents that flow away from the shore. If you do get caught in a riptide, the National Weather Service suggests not fighting the current. Swim across the current in a direction that follows the shoreline. Or, try to float or tread water until the current subsides. As always, another option is to signal for a lifeguard by waving your arms and calling toward the shore for help. If you stay alert and relaxed, you’ll be able to ride those waves until the sun starts to set.
Fun in the sun
We like beach naps, too. Just make sure you’ve boosted your S-P-F before you N-A-P. Avoid the lobster look and keep your mind on fun by getting your sunscreen regimen down. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, which will block 97 percent of rays from the sun. Reapply every two hours for continued coverage. Use a water-resistant sunblock, and be sure to reapply if you’ve just come out of the water. The correct amount? About a teaspoon of sunscreen to your face, and two teaspoons each to your torso and each leg.
(Main image: mal-b)