More than half of U.S. adults say that a beach vacation is their favorite type of vacation – if that’s what you have on your mind, you’ll need these four things to make it complete.
The Right Beach
Obviously, a beach vacation means spending lots of time on the sand, and if the stretch you choose is dirty, rough, crowded, or in any other way unappealing, it’s not going to make for a very good time.
No matter which coast you plan to visit, do some research to find out if it offers what you’re looking for, whether it’s lifeguards for safe swimming, or simply a clean stretch for building sandcastles and soaking up the sun.
Southern California is home to so many great beaches, you’ll probably find yourself looking through the houses for sale in Los Angeles dreaming of a move, but there’s a beach for everyone from the wild and rugged shores of the Pacific Northwest to Miami’s strikingly white powdery sands edged by clear turquoise waters.
The best beach vacations mean staying along the beachfront, but do you choose a hotel/resort or a private vacation rental?
There are pros and cons of each, with resorts frequently offering a variety of activities, access to swimming pools and multiple dining options. A stay at a resort usually means less space for families or groups to stretch out, which can be a big concern if inclement weather hits.
On the other hand, a vacation rental often comes with a full kitchen that provides convenience and savings on dining out as well as being a better fit for larger groups and families. Of course, this can also mean forfeiting some of the luxuries of a vacation in exchange for household duties like cleaning, laundry, and cooking.
You’ll probably want to do more than just lounge on a beach chair – the best beach vacation includes a variety of activities from surfing, boogie boarding, parasailing, stand-up paddleboarding and swimming to dolphin or whale watching, building sandcastles and exploring tide pools.
In some places, you might find outstanding beachcombing with lots of beautiful seashells to add to your collection.
Be sure that everyone has a comfortable place to relax on the beach, whether it’s a folding reclining chair, a portable chair or an oversized, plush beach towel.
If you can’t bring your own due to logistics, be sure the place you choose to stay offers what you need. You’ll also want items to keep yourself protected from the sun and insects – nothing can ruin a vacation faster than incessantly itching bug bites or a sunburn.
Bring sunscreen, ideally plenty for extended outdoor activities at the beach, meaning a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
Do some research ahead of time to determine what type of biting insects you need to protect yourself from, be it mosquitoes, sand fleas, ticks or something else, and pack an effective repellent. You might want to bring an antihistamine which can relieve itching and swelling associated with insect bites – dabbing a bit of tea tree oil on them can help them heal faster too.