Summer's approaching faster than you think and you know what that means; Long hot days at the beach! If you're like me then you can barely contain your excitement when you think about being under the warm sun while listening to the sound of the waves roll onto the beach. I try to make the most out of my days at the beach. I clear my whole schedule and plan on staying from late morning until the evening. Long beach days like this take a lot out of you and many people couldn't imagine staying that long. But for all the people that love beach days as much as I do here is how to survive a long day on the beach!
1. Stay Hydrated
This may seem like an obvious tip as we're told our whole lives to make sure that we stay hydrated and that we should be drinking x amount of water every day, but you may not realize just how easy it is to get dehydrated at the beach. You are at the beach after all and you're spending a lot of time in the water which should help keep you hydrated right? Wrong. Since the ocean is salt water this will actually add to making you more dehydrated. Not only will your skin absorb salt from the ocean, but you may notice every time you go for a swim in the ocean that you inevitably get water in your mouth and sometimes you may even swallow a bit. Not only do you have to worry about the sun causing you to sweat and make you dehydrated you must also factor in how often you get in the ocean and compensate for all of the salt you are soaking in. I would advise you to pack more water than you think you may need and also throw a few sports drinks or Pedialyte into the cooler to get those electrolytes back up throughout the day.
2. Protect Your Skin
We've all heard this before; "make sure you wear sunscreen". As annoyed as we may have been growing up with our parents telling us this it is a very important step to surviving a long day at the beach. After all, I think we can all remember a night or two of being in pain between your burnt skin being extremely sensitive and the heat radiating out of your back heating up the sheets to a temperature that is way past the point of uncomfortable. Some may want to prevent this discomfort later, some may want to prevent wrinkles and age spots, but I think you and I can both agree that neither of us would want to have skin cancer. Whatever the most important reason is to you just make sure to protect your skin at the beach. Make sure you're applying a broad-spectrum (this protects against UVA and UVB rays),waterproof sunscreen that has at least 30 spf regardless of how tan you may be. Applying one time when you get there is not enough either. Make sure you are reapplying your sunscreen every 80 minutes and even more often if you are getting in the water a lot. Pack an umbrella to sit under while you're enjoying the view. It's also a good idea to keep a shirt on hand incase you are getting too hot. This may seem counter intuitive, but one reason you are getting hot suddenly is because your skin is roasting under the sun.
3. Pack Snacks
If you're planning on spending the whole day at the beach, throwing a few sandwiches in the cooler for a "lunch break" is definitely not enough. Load it up with snacks that will last throughout the day. You'll be on the beach all day in temperatures that can reach 100 plus degrees with the heat index, the last thing you want is to pass out from not eating enough. You'll be sweating all day from the sun, potentially running round, and swimming in the ocean. These activities will not only cause you to lose electrolytes like we mentioned earlier, they will cause you to lose nutrients as your body will be burning them. Skip the twinkies and pack some fruit, nuts, granola bars, and some peanut butter crackers. You will need protein and nutrients to survive the long day of fun in the sun that you have planned!
4. Bring Things To Do
We can all agree the beach is one of the most fun places to be. As fun as it may be, after a few hours or so a lot of people tend to get bored. No one wants to cut their beach day short due to boredom or one of the group members whining about wanting to leave early. To prevent this from happening, make sure you pack some things to do. Bring a book to read. This may not be the best option in the middle of summer due to all the kids playing in the area, but if you enjoy reading than take it to be beach for an even better experience. If you're anything like me and don't like reading let me first apologize for this lengthy article (if you've made it this far) and secondly make sure you bring some more exciting things to do. Breakout the boogie boards, bring corn hole, a frisbee, a football, grab the surfboards and get ready to have a long day of fun in the sun. Bonus tip: Bring pails, shovels, and a blow-up kiddie pool if you have kids. For more beach tips with kids.
If you make sure to implement these 4 tips you should have no problem surviving a long day at the beach. Remember; stay hydrated, protect your skin, pack snacks, bring things to do, and never forget the most important thing about a long beach... HAVE FUN!