Memorial Day weekend marks the official start of the summer vacation season. A lot of folks will be heading for their favorite beach for some sun, sand, and relaxation. Some of my most treasured memories are from family beach vacations. As exciting as it is to be at the beach, we rarely have the privilege of being there all alone, or with just our family or friends. There will be plenty of others who desire the same fun and relaxation that we do. Everyone can enjoy the experience if we practice good beach etiquette by being a good beach neighbor.
1. Neighborly Habits
- Don’t set up camp too close to others on the beach. Allow them to have ample space to spread out and not be crowded.
- Don’t set your chairs in front of other beach-goers. They would probably like an unobstructed view of the water and may need to keep an eye on children who are swimming.
- It’s okay to bring radios or other media-playing devices as long as you keep the volume down. Remember that not everyone enjoys listening to music on the beach. Some people prefer to read or talk to others in their party.
- Be conscious of wind direction when shaking out towels and using spray-on sunscreen. Neighbors won’t appreciate being sprayed with either in a gust of wind.
- In the water with others, try not to splash, especially when swimming close to children. Some are just getting used to the waves and learning to swim. Allow them the space to be comfortable.
2. Be Friendly
Take time to speak to lifeguards or those who patrol the beaches. They have a very difficult job in the hot sun keeping up with beach-goers and ensuring everyone’s safety. A smile and a kind word lets them know they are appreciated, and it might make someone’s day.
3. Take Out What You Take In
Don’t leave trash on the beach! If you take snacks or drinks in disposable containers, make sure to discard them in appropriate receptacles. If trash cans are not provided on the beach, take your trash with you and dispose of it elsewhere.
4. Obey Warning Signs
Beach days can be clouded with high or rough surf, making it difficult to swim and enjoy the water. Safety officials put out “no swimming” signs or warning flags for strong rip currents when this occurs. Do everyone a favor and obey the signs! If you’re not a good swimmer, be content to remain in shallow water where the waves wash up to the shore. You don’t want a preventable accident to ruin your vacation or put safety personnel at risk.
5. Obey the Beach Rules
Many communities post signs at access points along the beach stating rules for using the public beach. Take a moment to read and familiarize yourself with the posted regulations. Following the rules will ensure you and your party, as well as safety personnel, have a fun day at the beach.
Summer break and vacations are something we look forward to all year long. Everyone works hard and deserves a chance to have the most relaxing and enjoyable visit to the beach, whether it’s for a day or week-long vacation. Being aware of others who share the beach with us will make a pleasant experience for all beach-goers, and help you make wonderful memories that last for years to come.