Waterfront vacations are gaining popularity, and a recent survey indicates that 45 percent of travelers are looking at beachfront rentals for their summer holiday. Meanwhile, 34 percent are seeking waterfront rentals, according to a report on TravelPulse. Nothing is quite as exciting as enjoying a summer vacation at a waterside destination. Spending time at the beach creates room for you and your loved ones to make lasting memories and enjoy incredible adventures. However, a day at the lakeside or seashore isn’t all sunshine and happiness. There are hidden dangers of being in and near large water bodies. So, when shopping for your everyday carry-on bag, booking flights and hotels, and planning for beach activities, consider water safety as part of your trip preparation. Below are safety tips for enjoying water-based vacations anywhere in the world.
Learn how to swim
Swimming is one of the lifesaving skills you should learn, especially if you intend to explore the open waters during a beach vacation. The last thing you want to experience is getting into the water only to encounter strong waves or currents that may push you into the deep waters. A boat or kayak might also flip over, leaving you stranded in the open sea. To avoid such circumstances, consider enrolling in swimming classes before heading out to the beach. Also, ensure your family members and friends possess strong swimming skills. You want to be sure all your travel companions can handle a surf to avoid accidental drowning.
Understand warning signs
A waterfront vacation is all about having fun in and around the sea or lake. But for you to have the most memorable experience, you must prioritize safety at all times. Whether you’re planning for a waterside holiday abroad or locally, take time to research common warning signs at beaches. Be sure to read and understand what each sign stands for. Doing so is critical to ensure that you and your loved ones stay safe when exploring the beach.
Common flag-based safety beach warnings you’ll see are green, red, yellow, purple, and green. Green indicates low hazards, but it’s still imperative to exercise caution. Red stands for risky conditions like high or strong currents, while yellow indicates medium risks. Purple flags flown with either yellow or red means there is dangerous marine life, but not necessarily sharks.
Don’t forget to wear a life jacket
Many people assume life jackets are perfect for beginner swimmers only. But the truth is, even the most talented swimmer should put on a personal floatation device when boating or surfing. Bear in mind that even good swimmers can get pushed into deep waters by strong rip tides and currents. Since personal floatation devices help you stay afloat with your face up, they eliminate the chances of drowning in the sea, and this is why wearing a life jacket is the most practical way to stay safe while in the water. However, to maximize safety, you must purchase a life jacket certified by the coast guard because it’s made of high-quality material. Most importantly, take time to learn how to use your life jacket properly before setting sail to enhance its effectiveness.
Watch out for weather and sea conditions
When setting travel dates, be mindful of the weather conditions in your desired beach destination. Remember, waterside locations are prone to hurricanes and typhoons. Therefore, research the best time for a beach holiday, be it in the Caribbean, Mexico, St. Lucia, or Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands. This step will help you schedule your trip when the weather is favorable for water-based adventures.
Even on a beautiful day, open waters can be unforgiving. The water conditions can change quickly, putting the lives of swimmers, surfers, and paddlers in danger. If you plan to go kayaking or paddling, check for fog and strong winds near the shoreline. Also, be cautious of rip tides that tend to form in large areas of open water. Your ultimate goal is to enjoy a safe sea excursion, especially when scuba diving, surfing, or boating.
Apply sunscreen lotion and stay hydrated
While water hazards tend to get in the way of a good beach vacation, nothing makes your experience uncomfortable, like a sunburn. With this in mind, pack a high SPF sunscreen lotion and make it a habit to apply it on your skin and the kids before going out in the sun. Don’t forget to reapply after taking a dip in the cool water. Additionally, don’t overlook the importance of staying hydrated when swimming, surfing, or boating. When you hydrate, you prevent muscle cramps and heat stroke caused by high temperatures at the beach.
Going on a waterside vacation is a perfect way of creating unforgettable memories with loved ones. You’ll have numerous opportunities to explore exotic places, engage in fun water-based activities, and relax at the beach. However, to enjoy your holiday, you must enhance safety in and near water. Make sure you understand beach warning signs, protect your skin, stay hydrated, know how to swim, and wear life jackets when in the open waters to stay safe while on your holiday.