Summer is upon us, which means beach vacations for many of us. Though being at the beach can present issues for travelers, as there are specific hazards and challenges. For example, how do you keep your valuables safe while you’re swimming? How do you pack towels without using up all your bag space? In this video/post, we’re going to review our top nine beach safety tips and recommendations that can help make your next trip to the ocean or lake a bit easier, safer, and more enjoyable.
Top 9 Beach Safety Tips
1. Secure your valuables:
There are basically two approaches to this issue. One is to take your valuables with you into the water and use a waterproof pouch or wallet. I know some people swear by this approach, but I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of it. I think I’m just paranoid that water will leak in or even worse, I’ll lose it while swimming.
The other approach is to secure your valuables using a portable safe or slash resistant bag that can be locked to a chair or other immovable object. I’ve even strapped mine to a beach chair, knowing that the person would have to steal the entire chair if they wanted to take the bag. This isn’t completely foolproof, but I think it’s the most practical approach for most people. In fact, we recently reviewed the Loctote Flak Sack II.
2. Use quick-dry travel towels:
One of the biggest challenges is packing towels, especially when you have limited space in your luggage. My recommendation is to invest in some quick dry travel towels. These are made with a microfiber that not only absorbs water, but can be dried quickly. They also are extremely compact and take up very little room in your luggage or daypack.
There are several options out there, but we recommend the Quick Dry Travel Towels Set from Country Bound. I’ve had a few microfiber towels that only lasted after a few uses. However, I like the Country Bound ones since they are high quality and come with a lifetime warranty. The towels come with hang tags which are useful for drying when traveling. The set also includes three different size towels and a storage bag. You can get them from Amazon for less than $20, and I think they are definitely worth the cost. We’ve used them for most of our travels, not just when traveling to the beach.
3. Consider renting gear:
I’ve traveled a few times to tropical locations hoping to do some diving and snorkeling. Though I quickly realized how little space I had in my suitcase for my gear. I recommend renting equipment from a local dive shop at your destination. Even if I plan to just go snorkeling, I’ll often pack my mask and snorkel, then rent my flippers since they tend to be fairly bulky.
4. Bring sunscreen and bug repellent:
Bringing sunscreen is a no-brainer, but I have to admit that I’ve neglected to bring insect repellent on several occasions and regretted it. This happened in Central America and I ended up getting eaten alive by sand fleas, mosquitos, and other insects. I may be a mosquito magnet, but I still recommend bringing some just to be safe.
5. Watch out for rip currents:
This one is so important! So many people die every year from being swept out into the ocean by strong rip currents. It even happened last year in Los Angeles.
Rip currents, or “rip tides” as they are sometimes called, are long and narrow channels of water that flow from shore to the ocean. If you get caught in one, you’ll feel like you’re being pulled away from shore. In fact, you can usually spot them by areas of foaming water and debris that seem to be pointing toward the sea.
If you get caught in one, don’t fight it. Go with the flow and once you feel like it’s not pulling you anymore, swim parallel to the shore to escape the current. Then start swimming back to the shore. The biggest mistake is to try and fight the current, which will only exhaust you, especially if you’re not a strong swimmer.
It’s worth mentioning that rip currents can also occur in large lakes, so be very careful. For more information on rip currents, see this informative article.
6. Wear sunglasses (and avoid losing them):
Wearing sunglasses is important since the glare from the water and sand can strain your eyes. I love polarized sunglasses since they often let you see into the water by reducing the glare. For more information on whether polarized lenses are worth the cost, check out video/post on the topic.
You’ll want to be careful so you don’t lose your sunglasses in the ocean. Most sunglasses do not float, so if they get knocked off your face by a wave, you’ll likely lose them. I’ve seen this happen so many times, so I recommend either being extremely cautious or using a strap or retainer to keep them secure. You may not win any fashion awards, but you’ll be glad you’re wearing them if you’re hit by an unexpected wave.
7. Rinse items after salt water exposure:
If you wear your sunglasses or watch in the ocean, you’ll want to rinse them with fresh water once you’re done swimming. Even if your watch or sunglasses are waterproof or resistant to corrosion, it helps to prolong the life of your belongings by rinsing off the salt.
8. Carry water in an insulated bottle:
One of the things I hate is bringing bottled water and having to drink warm water since it’s been around the hot sand and sunlight. I recommend getting an insulated stainless steel water bottle that will keep your water nice and cold, even at the beach. It’s also a lot a better for the environment! We did a review of the S’well insulated water bottle a while back, so check it out if you need more information.
9. Consider wearing aqua shoes:
I’ve been in the situation where I’ve been to a beautiful beach only to find that it’s more rocky than sandy. That can make for a painful and sometimes dangerous situation when entering the water. In this situation, I recommend getting some inexpensive aqua shoes to protect your feet. They are an easy way to keep your feet from getting cut and scratched, and you can also use them for boat trips.
Enter our giveaway!
Just fill out the entry form below or on the entry page. You don’t have to purchase anything, but there are multiple ways to enter and gain entries. By signing up for some of the social media channels, you’ll earn extra entries into the contest. The more options you complete, the more entries that you’ll earn. And of course, there’s no pressure to enter! We’ll randomly select our winner on July 7, 2018.
Keep in mind that the contest is only for US residents. Though if you’re not based in the US, don’t worry. We’ll have more giveaways soon, so stay tuned.
UPDATE: Congratulations to Enrique T. for winning our giveaway!
I want to express my appreciation to Loctote for generously sending us a bag for the giveaway. We love our Flak Sack II bag and have been using it on a variety of trips. It’s a very versatile bag for travel, especially if you plan to spend time at the beach or pool. In fact, we used our bag a few weeks ago when we stayed at an Airbnb in Palm Springs since it didn’t have a safe. We were able to secure my laptop and other valuables while we were out exploring the town.
Do you have any tips for spending time at the beach? Also, how will you use the Loctote Flak Sack Sport bag if you win the contest? Let us know in the comment section below!