A Simple Look at a Not-So-Simple Life

Ten Beach Tips for the Tourist – from a Non-Tourist

I am so lucky. I live in a beautiful city on the coast of South Carolina. Charleston is a popular tourist destination, drawing people from all over the world who want to enjoy our history, our climate, and our beaches. Once upon a time, I was one of those people who got to go to the beach maybe once a year, if I was lucky. Now you’ll find me on the beach every chance I get – from April through mid-October. Since I go to the beach so often now, I’ve learned a lot. Here are a ten tips I’d like to share with our beach guests.

sea oats

1. Yes, you really do need sunscreen. That brilliant white skin will be brilliant red skin faster than you can yell “Cowabunga!”

2. It is windy at the beach. Take into consideration the direction of the wind when applying spray sunscreen. Otherwise, you soak your unsuspecting beach neighbor and get nothing on yourself.

3. This is NOT sunscreen. Really.


4. It’s a good idea to take note at the park gate (or on the Weather Channel) of when high tide will be. That way, you can construct your complex sun tent in an appropriate location.

5. When the tide starts washing into your complex sun tent (because you failed to take note of the information above), know that moving it three feet back from its current location will buy you maybe 15 minutes before you will once again be required to relocate.

6. This activity is great fun to watch.


FYI: It isn’t as easy as it looks. This is what happens if your balance and timing aren’t perfect.


7. If you’re a teenage girl trying to pick up a cool skim-boarding teenage boy, offering him a band-aid when he wipes out and cuts himself won’t work. For one, cool skim-boarding teenage boys don’t wear band-aids. Second, if he isn’t so cool and tries to wear it, it won’t stay on in the water. Just saying.

8. This is sorta cute – I mean, it’s just a little kid.

sorta cute

This is NOT. Please check yourself!

not cute

8. White bathing suits tend to be transparent. Strapless bathing suits may be cute, but they don’t stay up in the waves. The jewelry that accessorizes bathing suits so well in fashion magazines gets lost on a real beach, only to be found hours later by one of those guys with a metal detector. Leave your accessories at home unless you want someone else to get lucky at the pawn shop with your stuff.

9. I’m all about feeling at home in your body. I don’t think anyone should stay away from the beach because they don’t like how they look in a bathing suit. That being said, certain kinds of bathing suits should be worn only by young teens/women with fit physiques.

10. The beach wouldn’t be the beach without sand. Sand can be both a form of entertainment and an object of terror. When packing up to leave the beach, please take your towel to an open area to shake the sand out. Your beach neighbors will thank you. (Otherwise, they may curse you!)



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2 thoughts on “Ten Beach Tips for the Tourist – from a Non-Tourist

  1. Even when I was at my thinnest (and a dancer) I could never wear a bikini…although as a sign of just how comfortable I have become with my body, I did actually consider it the other day – and cracked myself up – here I am almost 30 pounds heavier than I was when I would never wear one…and NOW I’m thinking of it. Silly me….

    All good points, you raise here. They work for those of us who visit beaches at Great Lakes, not oceans…well, except the tides are less evident…

    • You know, it’s a real dilemma for me. I think the messages that media feeds to women about how we need to look perfect are all perfectly evil. Our bodies are unique and beautiful, even when they aren’t perfect. (And none truly are.) I believe in feeling at home in our bodies. There are two piece bathing suits that I think any body can wear. But the itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny bikini look should be reserved for just a few. Most women know that. A few, well. . .

      To you, I say to find the bathing suit you are comfortable wearing, and wear it proudly! God made that body. Love it!

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