We’ve all fantasized about having a getaway vacation at the beach. If you’ve never had the experience, it’s easy to develop dreamy ideals based on what you see on TV and what friends post on social media. A day at the beach can definitely be a great experience. However, there are certain realities that Hollywood doesn’t show and friends don’t talk about. It’s understandable that people get caught up in the novelty of going to the beach. Still, it’s necessary to prepare for the fact that it might not be as perfect as you expect.
The early bird still gets the worm
If you want to get a good spot, prepare to show up early. Beaches in high tourist cities crowd up quickly, especially in the summer months between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Most people arrive between 12pm and 2pm. You don’t hear many people talking about how ridiculously crowded the beach becomes in the summer, but it does get pretty packed. If it’s important to you to have a good parking spot (for either your car or your bum), plan to arrive before noon.
The wind can be an issue
You might not think about it while you’re happily packing your bag. However, the wind speed can potentially get in the way of having your ideal time at the beach. You get there and lay down on your towel because you want to get started on an awesome tan. The next thing you know, you’re being pelted by gusts of wind from various directions. That’s funny, you don’t remember packing the extra blanket of sand now draped over your body. Now you’ve got sand in cracks and crevices you never knew existed. When you’ve got wind like this, you can forget about unpacking your snacks. As a tip, make sure to properly prepare if you’re going to the beach on a particularly windy day.
Beach hair usually isn’t glamorous
Real beach hair isn’t the same as salon beach hair. When women think of having “beachy hair,” they imagine strutting around with long, textured waves, full of effortless volume like they stepped right out of a Victoria’s Secret swim suit catalog. The unfortunate reality of what the humidity and the salt water does to hair isn’t quite so flattering, especially if you have processed or chemically treated hair. Unless you’re lucky, your hair likely isn’t going to look like Gisele’s, at least not while you’re at the beach. You might want to pack hair ties so at least it will be more secure and out of the way.
There are usually laws against alcohol consumption
You may have daydreamed about sipping margaritas on the beach with your spouse as you gaze into coastal sunset. While it’s a nice idea that may be doable in some cases, what a lot of people aren’t immediately aware of is that many public beaches have laws against consuming alcoholic beverages. There are a surprising number of people who show up with booze and think it’s fine to drink as they please. You can be subject to fines if you are caught drinking by beach patrol. To put it simply, whether or not you can legally drink on the public beach depends on the state, city, or county laws. If you are unsure, be sure to check with the regulations in your area of destination before you pack your cooler.
There is a risk of encountering sharks
Everyone knows that there are many creatures that live in the ocean. Although, not everyone thinks at first that they’ll ever actually see a shark swimming nearby in the wild. The more time you spend at the beach, the more you realize that encounters with sharks and other sea creatures aren’t all that uncommon. The anxiety might begin to set in as you wonder if there’s ever been a shark swimming close to you. They are out there, but that doesn’t mean you’ll end up like a “Jaws” victim. You can still swim in the ocean and have a good time. It’s important to stay aware of your area and use caution. Stay close to the shore, have someone with you, and avoid swimming close to the pier completely.