8 Surprising Things You Should Never, Ever Do At The Beach

by Ileana Paules-Bronet
Ileana is the Senior Editor of Branded Content at Wild Sky Media. She grew up in upstate New York and Oregon and now lives in Queens, NY. Ileana graduated from Skidmore College with a degree in sociology. After graduating, she attended the Columbia Publishing Course in New York City, then worked as in marketing at Oxford University Press. Since transitioning to editorial, she has written for BuzzFeed, HuffPost, and Woman's World. She has also worked for local newspapers and magazines in upstate New York. In her free time, you can find Ileana watching Law & Order: SVU, eating ice cream, and spending time with her dog.

When warm weather rolls around and the sun finally peeks out from the clouds, the summer officially begins!

Kids get out of school, summer camps start, and people try to make time for vacation days and weekends spent outside.

One thing most people look forward to every summer? Going to the beach.

Whether you like to go swimming, play in the sand, or just relax on a towel, the beach has something to offer everyone.

But as much fun as it is to hit the waves, there are a handful of basic rules to keep in mind when it comes to enjoying the waterfront properly.

For example, if you bring a phone, learn how to protect it. And if you plan to spend the day by the water, learn the ins and outs of proper beach etiquette.

Knowing the correct way to behave at the beach (and what not to do) will make the experience safer and more fun for everyone!

Scroll through below to learn about the things you should never, ever do at the beach!

Thumbnail Photo: Max Pixel

Beach Mistake #1: Run, Baywatch-Style, Into The Waves

kicking sand
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Although running into the ocean’s spray like they do in the movies looks like a blast, it’s actually not a good idea.

It might be fun to go sprinting into the water, but it can cause problems for both you and others.

In addition to kicking up sand onto other people, you could also trip, slip, or step on something hard or sharp and injure yourself.

Beach Mistake #2: Stretch Your Swimming Skills

swimming skills
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Swimming is one of the best parts of going to the beach, but the beach isn’t the best place to test out your swimming skills or try to push yourself to the limit.

It can be great to swim in a lake or ocean, but keep yourself a safe distance from the shore, and make sure you always have someone on shore keeping track of you — you never know when a wave might pull you out deeper into the water.

If you start getting tired, give yourself a break and only go far enough into the water to where you can still stand.

Beach Mistake #3: Leave A Mess After Your Meal

beach mess
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

One thing most people don’t think about is snacking on the beach — when you’re sitting in the sun for hours at a time, you’ll definitely get hungry and thirsty.

You should feel free to eat and drink at the beach, but make sure you pack up or throw away everything you bring with you.

Litter can be hugely damaging to marine life, and it can make the area unsightly for other beachgoers. Even stuff you think is OK (like watermelon rinds) can attract stinging bugs and pests to the beach area.

Most beaches have trash cans, but if they don’t, it’s not an invitation to leave your garbage on the ground. Bring your own trash bag just in case.

Beach Mistake #4: Wear Too-Cheap Sunglasses

cheap sunglasses
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Although cheap sunglasses are great when it comes to finding inexpensive, hip styles, they’re not so great for eye protection.

Unfortunately, many cheap sunglasses don’t offer adequate UV protection.

The Mayo Clinic explains that when you’re shopping for sunglasses, you should pick ones that block 99 to 100% of UVA and UVB rays, screen out 75 to 90% of all visible light, and are the right shade for color recognition.

Additionally, your sunglasses shouldn’t have any imperfections or distortions.

Beach Mistake #5: Feed The Wildlife

feed wildlife
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

While you’re on the beach, it might seem fun to feed the seagulls that flap around, but it can actually be detrimental to the birds.

Not only is it annoying to other beachgoers when you feed the birds, but you are also putting the birds’ health at risk.

Birds are supposed to stick to a natural diet, but when they get free food from beach visitors, they get used to it, and then they overcrowd the beaches.

Also, when beach-goers leave for the winter, younger birds might have a hard time fending for themselves.

Beach Mistake #6: Forget To ‘Go’ Before You Leave The House

beach bathroom
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Forgetting to use the bathroom before going to the beach seems like a kid problem, but there are definitely a lot of adults who forget to “go” before leaving the house.

While some beaches have restrooms or porta potties, many do not — and it’s never a good idea to try to find a place outside to relieve yourself.

Instead of running into a bathroom emergency at the beach, make sure you go before leaving your house or hotel.

Beach Mistake #7: Bring Your Dog

beach dog
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

It might sound like a lot of fun to bring your dog to play at the beach, but it’s actually not allowed in a lot of places.

If your beach does allow dogs, it’s still something you should seriously consider — sand can get hot, dogs can get tired, and dehydrated, and not all dogs like the beach.

If you do decide to bring your dog to the beach, make sure it’s a dog-friendly beach, and keep a close eye on them, especially if they go swimming.

And of course, clean up any ‘presents’ your dog leaves behind.

Beach Mistake #8: Ignore The Beach Authorities

beach authorities
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Finally, and maybe most importantly, never ignore authorities when you’re at the beach.

Lifeguards and other beach officials know whether or not the water is safe for swimming and if there are any concerns you should know about, so you should always heed their advice.

Next time you’re at the beach, make sure you follow these guidelines to make the experience more fun for yourself and everyone else.

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