Things to consider when going to the beach

When heading out for a beach day, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind and prepare for. Make sure you bring plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen (the reef-safe kind of course!) towels, and any gear you’ll need for snorkeling or building a sandcastle masterpiece. Having enough water is one of the most important components of a successful day at the beach. The sun in Hawaii may be stronger than you’re used to, so stay hydrated and if you don’t have an umbrella or tent, try to find a well-shaded spot to set up camp.

Take into consideration what might be going on in the area, such as holidays, festivals or special events that may overcrowd the beach and make parking more difficult! If it’s your first time at the location, try to do a little bit of research beforehand. It’s easy to find information like weather and windspeed with a simple web search and it will probably impact what time of day you decide to go. Windspeeds tend to be lower in the earlier hours, peak during midday and gradually drop back down as the afternoon progresses, so aim for either early morning or sunset to catch the best conditions. Your search will also tell you about what amenities the location may or may not have, such as water fountains, showers, bathrooms or nearby food options.

Upon arriving at your beach of choice, look for things that could either prevent an accident or be helpful in the case of an emergency. For example: is there a lifeguard on-duty? Are there any signs posted indicating a rip-current or rough conditions? If there isn’t a lifeguard, be sure you’re making safe choices when in the ocean. Never turn your back to the waves for long and always keep an eye on a landmark so you will know immediately if you’re being swept away by a strong current. If you’re with children, always have an adult supervising and make sure any weak swimmers stay within a comfortable distance. The ocean is very powerful and unpredictable, so always be respectful and never underestimate her strength.

Make sure to locate any bins for trash and recycling, and if you can’t find any close by, keep your items secure from any wind until you have the opportunity to responsibly dispose of them. Always leave the beach as you found it or better! If you see trash, even if it isn’t yours, try to pick it up so that it doesn’t end up in the ocean or an animal’s stomach. Respect our beautiful natural environment or “malama ‘aina”; take care of the land!