Tips for Planning Your Next Trip to the Beach

It’s summertime and you know what that means: it’s time to pack your bag, fill up your cooler, and head to the nearest beach.

Here are suggestions for making your trip to the beach fun, safe and memorable.

Sand Safety

The sand is fun for kids, but remember:

  • Keep an eye out for broken glass and sharp objects as you are walking
  • Be sure to wear shoes or sandals on hot sand
  • If using a beach umbrella, make sure it is secured in the sand to avoid the wind taking it and injuring someone
  • When packing up, be sure nobody is near when you shake your towel – the sand can get into someone’s eye.

Avoid Sunburns

The sun’s rays are the strongest between the hours of 10 AM and 2 PM, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get a sunburn outside of those hours. Here are some tips to ensure your sun time is safe:

  • Apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes BEFORE you go into the sun
  • Be sure to wear sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection
  • Apply sunscreen throughout the day – ideally every 2 hours – even if it is waterproof. Waterproof sunscreen provides 80 minutes of protection in the water and water-resistant sunscreen provides 40 minutes of protection in the water. Remember, sunscreen can come off with water and sweat.

Preparation is Key

The beach is a great get-away, so here are some other things to keep in mind:

  • Weather advisories – check the local weather for storms and the heat index
  • Warnings, flags, lifeguard signals – read the signs when first getting to the beach so everyone is aware
  • Take a water break and get out of the sun at least once an hour
  • Avoid alcohol at the beach as it impairs judgment
  • Don’t be more than an arm’s length away from smaller children, and keep all children in sight
  • Don’t feed the birds or animals
  • Swim parallel to the shore
  • Check out this list of Michigan beaches

 Don’t Forget These Items

  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Hat, towels and/or cover-up (some type of protection from the sun)
  • Life jackets/swimmies
  • Beach games
  • Sand toys
  • Book/magazine
  • Radio/iPod
  • Cooler of healthy snacks
  • Lots of water and juices to keep hydrated
  • Small first aid kit

I love Lake Michigan!! What is your favorite beach to visit?

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Photo credit: Matt Seppings

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