10 SURPRISINGLY COMMON BEACH VACATION MISTAKES
We've prepared a list of mistakes we also made in the past. However, it goes the same every summer - people book a beach vacation and continuously make major mistakes without even realizing it. We're about to try to change that, so you are all prepared next time. So let's dig into it.
#1 Have some kind of footwear with you to the beach
And now you might be thinking, why on earth would I need to bring footwear to the beach? Beaches are for bare feet. So that's a perfect place to not wear shoes.
Except when it's summer, and it's hot, and the sun has been beating down on that sand, basically turning the sand into a super hot stovetop. And so, if you don't have some footwear for those sweltering days at the beach, your feet will end up with some nasty burns and blisters on them. Just go ahead and bring some sandals or any kind of shoes, and take them off when you get to the water.
#2 Putting your stuff on the beach too close to the ocean
We see this always when people come to the beach, see the water, and put their belongings like 10 feet from the ocean. But the problem is there are tides that change and the water rises, and some big waves can come that is bigger than all the others. So many people come to the beach and leave their stuff. Then they go into the water. And while they're in the water, the tide or a big wave comes up and takes all their stuff out to the ocean. So the property either gets wet or gets carried out to sea. So when you get to the beach, don't put your belongings close to the water. Look where everybody else is sitting and sit farther back than they do because you've never been there before.
You don't know how quick it's gonna be before the water gets there. So don't sit in front of everybody else; sit behind everybody else. Those people probably have a bit more local knowledge than you. Of course, they may also all be tourists, but let's just assume that some of them could, in fact, be locals.
#3 Picking the wrong hotel or accommodation
It can be a gigantic mistake for your beach vacation. So what is the wrong hotel when you're going to the beach? Well, not all beach hotels are created equal - just because it has the word “beach” in the name doesn't mean the hotel is anywhere near the beach. Also, is there actually beach access in front of the hotel? Just because it's on the beach doesn't mean you can actually get to the beach that's in front of it. It might be on a cliff. There might be a train track between you and the beach. So you really have to look at the walk from the hotel to the beach in order to avoid such inconveniences.
Also when choosing a hotel, you should look up if the hotel provides a lot of beach supplies in your room rate. For example, does it include beach chairs, umbrellas, and toys, or does that cost more? An example is Hawaii hotels; some have all that stuff. Others like Hilton - never.
So you might get a really great rate at Hilton for, you know, $200-$300 a night. But then, if you want a beach chair, it costs $50 for the day, and an umbrella, it's $30 for the day. If you want a surfboard - another $20 for the day. You could have spent that one hundred bucks on a hotel.
Nevertheless, summer is probably the most popular season for travelers. And from our personal practice, we know hotels like to play around and raise their prices. But even though prices increase yearly, there is never a guarantee that you are booking the cheapest rate. Well, there wasn't a guarantee before. Now it's different.
RatePunk is a browser extension to track your travel expenses. Or in other words, it's a tool you download into your laptop or phone and can forget you even have it. But the magic always happens when searching for a hotel on your favorite booking site. Suppose you choose a fantastic beach resort like Azure Mare Hotel in Crete for your August vacation. See what happens? RatePunk ran a live price comparison and found that Agoda sells the same hotel for $801 while you're browsing on Booking.com, which offers the hotel for $953. Easy savings in a second.
Give it a go. You are a savvy traveler, or aren't you?
#4 Not bringing water shoes
We've talked about shoes to walk at the beach with no foot burns. But why water shoes? There are plenty of great places, but you want water shoes there. Many beaches are rocky coral bottoms, and your feet are, frankly, gonna get hurt if you don't have water shoes. So when you're researching the beach, look at it, is there a beach with a rough bottom. If it is, get some water shoes designed to go in the water. Then you don't need to bring the sandals; just wear the water shoes out from the hotel to the beach, into the water, the beach, and back into the hotel. Again, one pair of shoes for everything.
#5 Underestimating how bright the sun is
Look, the sun isn't brighter at the beach, but the sun reflects off the water. The sun reflects off the sand. And so you are getting a lot more sun than most destinations.
And this becomes a mistake for people. You don't see people turning red on the beach's first day. But on the second day, they look like lobsters, when you can see everything is sunburned, peeling, and hurts.
So our recommendation to you - bring a lot of sunscreen. If you're gonna be outside at the beach for more than an hour, you should consider reapplying sunscreen every hour; most of them are only waterproof for about 80 minutes.
#6 Underestimating the power of the ocean
We always see people who have come to the beach for the first time think they're great swimmers because they swam in pool laps forever and ever. And then, sure enough, say that person's gonna need help from the lifeguards because they didn't bother to pay attention to where the rip currents were. And beaches with waves often have rip currents, certain sections of the beach. The water goes. The water goes out, and where the rip currents are, it goes out more than it comes in in that section. And really, it will suck you out.
#7 Not bringing warm clothes
People say I need shorts, t-shirts, flip-flops, sunglasses, and hats to be at the beach. Like it never gets cold at the beach (!). And, you know, maybe if you're going to Florida because of the humidity, it doesn't get much colder at night than in the day. But many other Southern California beaches can get cold at night. The temperature can drop 30°F or 40°F from the daytime high to the nighttime low and get quite chilly.
And so make sure you bring at least one jacket, long sleeve shirt, and some pants so that once you're done at the beach during the day, you can be warm enough to go out at night related to this weather thing.
#8 Not watching the weather
Not every day is paradise. So you can Google surf report, whatever beach you're at, and look at the waves, the condition, and the water temperature. Because if you're just a casual swimmer, a big wave day that's a day with lots of rip currents that you don't want to go to the beach as a casual swimmer. You want to go to the beach on the day the waves are ankle-high.
#9 Traveling to the beach when everybody else is traveling
We have already talked about going to different places while everybody is there. And nothing's changed. A nice thing about the beach is when it's relaxing, you have it all to yourself, and it's a beach paradise. And when you are on the beach with a gazillion of your closest friends, it's no longer relaxing. And when you're out in the water, you're worried about getting hit by every other swimmer's inner tuber boogie border. So it's not relaxing anymore. And so you will want to go to the beach when everybody else isn't going.
So everybody else likes to go to the beach in the height of summer, June, July, and August. What are some other good times to go shoulder season? May, September, October. Consider going to Hawaii in December. Why Hawaii in December? Well, because December is a prolonged time there. Therefore, you can have some alone time in paradise.
#10 Trying to bring a baby stroller to the beach
People take their baby stroller, get it on the sand, and it just doesn't work because wheels and sand really don't function well unless they're like super big inflated wheels. And then people just end up having to carry the stroller. And then the sand gets in the wheels, and no surprise - it doesn't go up with electronics.
Sand doesn't go well with wheels, bicycles, or roller skates. So if you got things with you, keep them off the sand. Don't take it onto the beach if you've got a baby stroller. Maybe a baby backpack could be an option.