The weather has been hot, making dreams of showing off our ‘summer’ bodies abound. So if you want to hit the beach, here are a few things you should know:
- Be Safety Conscious– being safety conscious is not the same as being afraid of everything related to the beach. There are many ways to stay safe at the beach and still have fun. If you have kids, keep an eye on them. Don’t leave your belongings without someone watching them closely. Although, it depends on if you are in a public or private beach area like Eleko or Elegushi beach.
- Carry Extra Money– Unless you plan on driving in your personal car and carrying everything you need to relax on the beach, it’s advisable for you to carry extra cash. Besides the entry fees, you might need to pay for a palm frond tent/changing booth or rent items like a table, cars, an umbrella. Other times, it could come in handy to buy extra drinks or barbecue fish. You might even stumble on a horse, jet ski or boat when you get to the beach. Being able to afford them could just make the day a little more fun.
- Observe Beach Etiquette– Every country has their rules of what is acceptable behaviour on the beach. In Nigeria, people rarely take too kindly to others being indecently dressed or showing excessive PDA on the beach. The concept of sex on the beach, even for a married couple, isn’t a ‘thing’ in Nigeria so it’s a no-no. If you want to change from one outfit to another, rent a tent and use a wrapper or beach blanket/towel to create privacy.
- Have Two Sets of Clothes– A few people prefer jumping in the ebbing waves with their swimsuits, others like to keep their clothes on. So if you are in the latter category, you need a new set of clothes to use. You may not plan to play in the water but a mischievous companion may decide you getting wet is fun too. So have an extra set of clothing to change into, to keep the drive home less squishy.
- Play Responsibly– Okay, so we are here at the beach to play. You’ve got your beach ball, flip flops and slay swimwear with a beach wrap or a tunic. Avoid playing in crowded areas because of pickpockets and the possibility of hurting others you may bump into. When you toss your ball into the water, check out for rip tides before going in after it. Don’t throw or kick sand or splash salty beach water in people’s eyes, getting a medic at the beach can be a problem if you don’t know the first thing about first aid. If you are playing in the waves and you see a big wave coming, move ashore to avoid serious injury to your neck or spine.
- Protect Your Skin– Some people prefer to use baby powder so sand doesn’t stick to their skin while others use Sunscreen because of sunburns. Sunburns can result in Melanoma later in life but when it washes off into the ocean, it affects the coral reef in that area. So it’s best you don’t use it if you plan to go into the water unless you don’t mind reapplying often. Stick to long sleeve beach tunics, sun hats, sunglasses to cover your skin or take shade in a tent or gazebo when the sun gets too hot.
- Stick To Your Territory– If you have a distinguishing item associated with your tent, it will make it easy to recognise if you stray too far. It could be a brightly coloured piece, draping the entrance or a set of chairs or tables outside it. You could even use landmarks close by to help you locate it easily. This way you avoid walking into someone else’s abode at the beach and prevent others from doing the same to you.
- Engage Children– You probably chose a beach hangout because you wanted to lie in the wet sand as the waves roll back. But if you have children with you that may not be possible unless they are engaged. If you have toddlers and you don’t want them running off into the water, give them targets like fly a kite, pick shells, ride a pony or make sand castles or fixtures. You can pump up their pool with a bicycle pump and pour water in it so they stay there rather than run into the waves on the beach. If you want them to play on the beach, then make sure, keeping them safe and engaged is a priority.
Have you been to the beach lately? What other tips do you suggest we add to this list?