How To Survive a Beach Vacation

Severe sunburn and blisters on a shoulder, thr...
Severe sunburn and blisters on a shoulder, three days after a significant exposure to sun without sunscreen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You’ve waited all year, and in some cases, many years, for your dream vacation on a tropical beach.  Now the time has come.  You’re packed and read to spend some awesome time in the warm sunshine, lounging on the beach and playing in the ocean.  But the worst enemy to a happy vacation is something you may be looking forward to the most – the sun.

If you’ve never been to the tropics (and that includes Florida), you may not realize how very sunny and incredibly hot the Sunshine State can be.  You can not stick your pale and pasty white body out on the Florida sand for hours on your first day at the beach.  And if you have a “base tan” that won’t matter much either.  Even with a high number sunscreen, this would be a mistake that you will pay for the rest of the vacation.  Once you burn, you will not enjoy sitting in the sun and there is no way to avoid the sun in Florida.  And if it’s bad enough you could end up in the hospital.  Not a fun way to spend a trip you’ve planned for a long time.

Old sunscreen can lose it’s effectiveness.  Begin by using a NEWLY purchased, and high SPF, sunscreen (15 or more) and go out on the beach in the early morning and late after noon.  Avoid the mid-day hours when that sun is killer.  Believe me, it will be hot enough and you will get a tan even then.   Watch the kids very closely – the burn will not show up while you are sunbathing or boogie-boarding, but later you will feel it and see it.

Hats are a must and make sure they cover your ears, and beach shoes or water shoes are highly suggested.  The last thing you want to do is step on a sharp shell out in the water or trash hidden in the sand on the beach.  If you can’t walk, you won’t enjoy vacation, will you?  Shoes that cover the tops of your feet keep that area from burning as well.  And do I really have to suggest sunglasses?  Get them for the kids too.

Some condos and resorts rent out beach umbrellas and cabanas and it’s a good idea to have one as a place to sit and eat lunch or a snack beach-side.

Basically, bide your time in the sun.  You have the entire vacation to get that tan you seek and I guarantee you will have one if you spend any time outside.  Just don’t ruin the vacation trying to look like you took one.

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