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There’s something undeniably appealing about enjoying a beach vacation. Beach getaways appeal to so many travelers whether they’re seeking some relaxation brought on by a combination of fine white sand, sun drenched skies, and the rhythm of crashing waves, or are in need of some adventure with various water sports, sailing, or deep-sea fishing charters.

While beach vacations may be universally appealing, that is not to say that successful beach holidays don’t require careful planning. From selecting the perfect beach spot to packing essentials to ensure your safety and comfort, there’s much to consider.

Thankfully, I’ve not only travelled to many beach destinations but have also lived in some of the top beach travel hot spots in the world and therefore got you covered with some of my best tips for enjoying your next beach vacation to its fullest.

Beach Vacation Tips

Beach Holiday Planning Essentials

Mar Pages Beach

Ensuring your beach vacation is not only enjoyable but also well-organized and hassle-free begins with doing your research in terms of choosing a location and time for your holiday. No two beach locations are the same of course and different beaches will appeal to different travelers, keeping in mind some beach destinations can present very different conditions in different seasons.

If you’re seeking windswept rugged beaches that offer hiking, wildlife, and adventure, you may want to look into Tasmania or the Faroe Islands. Beaches in the Greek Islands, Croatia, and along the Amalfi Coast offer up pebbly beaches, while the stunning coastline of places like Australia, Bora Bora, and the Seychelles are home to world famous sandy beaches.

Be sure to choose a location that offers the activities you hope to enjoy, whether it’s water sports, beachcombing for shells, nightlife, or cultural experiences. It’s then vital to research the best time to visit your chosen beach destination in terms of better ensuring you will experience the weather you find most pleasing and to possibly avoid the crowds of peak tourist seasons if you are after a more peaceful beach getaway.  

Then factor in your budget when selecting potential beach trips. Setting a budget will allow you to narrow down locations, accommodation options, and flight options.  Remember to budget for food and activities, and give thought to what proximity to beaches you wish for when it comes to choosing a resort, hotel, or beach house rental.  

Look for amenities like direct easy beach access, infinity pools overlooking the sea, on-site seaside dining, availability of scenic cruises, and family-friendly features if traveling with kids. Remember to pre-book popular activities like snorkeling, boat tours, or surfing lessons ahead of time to ensure you don’t miss out, especially in high season.

Keeping Comfortable at the Beach

Sumoii Sand Free Beach Towel Review Best Travel Beach Towel (1)

Ensuring comfort at the beach as a traveler involves careful planning when choosing seaside accommodation and in terms of packing. It starts with choosing a hotel that is within easy walking distance to the beach so as to maximize your time at the beach while on vacation and to save you the burden of a long walk trying to carry loads of beach gear.

Choosing accommodation with direct beach access will also allow you to easily return to your room for breaks from the sun and heat, as well as to grab meals use the bathroom, or freshen up. A private outdoor space with a sea view always enhances a beach experience as well, as does ensuring your room offers air conditioning if travelling to tropical climates.

Look for hotels that provide as much beach gear as possible like comfortable beach chairs, umbrellas, towels, and beach toys so you don’t have to pack such items yourself or be forced to rent such items which can prove costly when done on a daily basis.

Staying hydrated at the beach is always important, so be sure to pack insulated cooler bags or some type of portable collapsible cooler that is easy to travel with to ensure beverages stay cold.

Be sure to pack your handy reusable water bottle or opt your favorite custom plastic cups displaying your favorite quotes, family name, or possible your company logo if you own a business,  which could become a conversation starter while engaging with fellow travelers at resorts or hotels.

A cooler will also keep snacks and other refreshments  fresh and free of bugs or pests. Fruit always makes a great beach snack as it is healthy, hydrating, and refreshing. Think sweet pineapple or watermelon, or easy fruits like grapes and berries that don’t require peeling or disposal of waste.

When it comes to packing swimwear, quick drying swimsuits are always a wise choice and packing multiple sets of swimwear will ensure you always have a dry set available. Don’t forget to pack a cover-up for when it comes time to travel to and from the beach, or for simply roaming around resorts or seaside eateries and shops.  

Investing in a lightweight microfiber sand-free travel towel is also a wise choice as they really can add a great deal of comfort and offer less hassle when trying to keep clean and repack at the end of a trip. Ensure the protection of items like phones and other electronics by packing a water-proof bag you can seal them in.  

Planning Beach Activities

Snapper rocks is one of the best surf beaches in Australia. Come here to watch in awe as some of Queensland’s best surfers tackle phenomenal waves.

One of the best things about choosing a seaside destination is that they almost always offer a wide range of beach activities to keep you busy throughout your stay. Of course, exactly which activities are on offer will vary greatly and be dependent upon where you choose.

Snorkeling is always a favorite activity and can often be enjoyed straight from the beach you’re staying on. Snorkel equipment is most often easily obtained, and you need not have any qualifications as you do with scuba diving.

You also may have the opportunity to arrange surfing lessons, try a bit of stand-up paddleboarding, rent a jet ski, or attempt some windsurfing and kitesurfing. Then there’s beach volleyball, seaside yoga sessions which are often offered by resorts, and sometimes even beachside spa or massage services.

It’s not a bad idea to pack some binoculars which will allow you to do a bit of whale or dolphin watching if they are present and expected to be migrating in the case of whales. Be sure to check regulations regarding collecting seashells if you plan on doing some beachcombing for them.

Whichever activities you plan for your beach trip, be sure to research the typical wave and current conditions. Calm waters are ideal for swimming and snorkeling, while larger waves will of course be better suited for surfing. Know the daily tide schedules to avoid high tide, which can often reduce the size of beaches and may increase water hazards that could impact various beach activities.

Be aware of any potential dangers that may be present such as stinging jellyfish, sharks, crocodiles, or areas that may be prone to rip tides that you don’t want to get caught in while swimming,

Certain activities such as lighting bonfires, fishing, or beachside camping may be prohibited or may require you getting a special permit. Beaches also often have rules regarding things like alcohol consumption and allowance of pets.

Safety First

As relaxing and fun as the beach may be, there are often potential hazards to be aware of. Thankfully, most if not all these dangers can easily be avoided when you have adequate awareness and take necessary precautions.

Always swim in areas monitored by lifeguards when available and follow any posted signs and flags indicating water conditions. Sometimes beaches may be closed to ensure your safety which you should always abide by.

Avoid consuming alcohol before swimming or participating in water activities, as it can impair judgment and coordination. Instead. stick to hydrating yourself with water or fresh juices. Make yourself aware of and watch for signs of heat exhaustion which may include sweating, weakness, dizziness, and nausea.

Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and reapply every two hours or after swimming. And while you may be eager to focus a lot of time working on a killer vacation tan, be sure to plan breaks from the sun, whether that means heading back to your accommodation at regular intervals or simply seeking cover under umbrellas, trees, or other sources of shade from time to time.

Wearing special water shoes or simply flip-flops will help to protect your feet from hot sand, sharp objects, and marine life like jellyfish. Most hotels and lifeguard stations will have a basic first aid kit available to treat minor injuries or marine animal stings. Be sure to pack wide-brimmed hats, quality sunglasses, and UV-protective clothing to shield your skin and eyes from harmful UV rays.

Educate your children about the dangers of the ocean and always keep an eye on smaller kids both when they are in the water and while playing on the beach. Establish a meeting point and plan in case anyone in your family gets separated while at the beach.

Avoid touching or disturbing marine animals and coral reefs. A great deal of marine life including live seashells, rays, fish, octopuses, and other creatures are poisonous or have dangerous spines. Also make sure to keep up to date with weather forecasts and be aware of any approaching storms or extreme weather conditions, always seeking shelter if you hear thunder or see lightning,

Always dispose of trash properly to not only protect the environment but also so trash and other manmade items don’t end up creating hazards or unpleasantness for other beachgoers. And simply avoid bringing any kind of single-use plastics to the beach.

Spain is the most popular destination for holidaymakers from Ireland and the UK, which means that those seeking sunshine and sand will have considered visiting the Canary Islands at some point.

While most of these tips may seem like common sense, sadly many beachgoers either forget or are simply unaware of various dangers or beach etiquette. As with any trip, taking time to thoroughly research the exact beach destination you are planning to visit will make you aware of potential dangers, offer you suggestions for activities, and let you know what you can expect out of your beach holiday.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.



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