In my exploits over many summers to the Jersey shore, I have discovered that a day at the beach must not only be viewed as a day of rest, but also as a day of skill and organization in order to be successful.
This is why I have decided to compile a list that will prevent beach goers everywhere from ruining their day in the sun by making the silly mistakes that can often snowball and cause a tripto the shore to be (gasp!) unenjoyable.
1. Check the Weather– This is the single most important move to make when planning a trip to the beach. The weather will make or break your entire experience. No one likes sitting in a bikini on a cold, cloudy beach and why experience this misfortune when Weather.com is just a click away?
2. Look Hot– Remember that a trip to the beach means massive exposure. Remember to shower and shave all the right spots before you go.
There is nothing more horrifying than laying your towel down on the sand and realizing you have a bird’s nest worth of hair protruding from your armpits. (Gross).
3. Bring Toys – Swimming and sunning can only keep you occupied for so long. If you want to go all the way with your beach excursion, you at least need to bring a bucket and a shovel. Get a giant sand castle going. Dig a hole to China. If you’re part of a large group, grab a volleyball or a football to get a beach side game going. If related to someone who likes treasure hunting at the beach, nerd out and borrow their metal detector.
4. Don’t Forget the Warm Clothes – No one thinks of sweatshirts when they think of the beach, but when you emerge from the icy ocean and the wind starts to blow, there is nothing in the world you’d trade at that moment to warm up. If you don’t go swimming, you’ll be covered when the sun goes down and your bikini just isn’t enough coverage.
5. Bring Coins and Elect a Qualified Driver – There may be tolls, parking meters, or extreme cravings for cheap snacks on your journey to the beach. Coins always come in handy. As for your elected driver, this individual must be skilled in their sense of direction and have the ability to know when is the right time to make pit stops along the way. Taking on the role of driver requires skill and dedication. Be wise when making your choice.
6. Leave Early– Pull your friends out of bed and drag them to the car if you need to. If you start your day early, you can beat traffic and take advantage of all of the prime time hours of sun.
7. Locate the Bathrooms – Immediately upon arrival. I’m not kidding with this one. Don’t wait until your stranded on a remote section of the beach with your bladder about to explode. Sidenote: Contrary to popular belief, the ocean is not a gigantic toilet. This whole phenomenon weirds me out, big time. Who wants to go swimming in the same place they go to the bathroom?
8. Pick the Perfect Spot – You don’t want to be squinting to see your friends from the sand dunes a mile away from the shore. You also don’t want to be sitting in the line of fire of the waves. Last week I witnessed a man’s iPod and PDA simultaneously wash out to sea before he had a chance to retrieve them. Ouch.
9. Wear Sun Tan Lotion – Yeah yeah, lather on the sunblock. That weird guy
Baz Luhrmann even wrote a song centered on the concept. We’ve all heard it a thousand times, but it needs to be said. Many girls still hit the beach completely unprotected, exposing their hair, skin, and eyes to the powerful rays of the sun for hours on end. Just look for those sixty year old ladies with leathery skin on the beach. They’re probably forty. You may be bronze now, but snake skin (and skin cancer!) could belong to you sooner than you may think.
10. Bust Out the Camera – Who doesn’t love dreaming of summer instead of finishing their ten page paper for Media and Law? Capture some memories and remind yourself not to despair during the cold months. Those pictures of you and your friends frolicking on the shoreline will help you remember that summer will be back in no time.