Clearly, going to the beach solo presents some challenges. What to take? What to do with what you take? How to put on sunscreen by yourself?
Not being a beach person, I hadn't thought of these issues until a person on Twitter asked me for tips
So, I did what I always do when I don't know the answers, I went to the Solo Travel Society (STS) on Facebook. STS members regularly use this forum to ask for advice and tips on traveling alone. And when they do, fellow members step forward with answers.
Here's what they had to say when I asked how to handle being…
Solo at the beach…
Emily – “If you want to go in the ocean, you need to buy a small waterproof bag to keep your essentials. I have a small one that works well. It has a lanyard on it and it stays afloat. I keep my regular digital camera in it (it's small) and my money/keys in the bag. For my iphone, I have a Lifeproof case (works wonderfully) that I take in the water with me, as I am always taking pics/video underwater and all around. I did this when in Panama recently and it worked fabulously.” [Here's a link to the Lifecase on Amazon LifeProof iPhone 6 Case]
- Mindi – “It depends: A: take a good magazine or book and relax or B: Join a group outing and go snorkeling or do something else exciting!!!”
- Jacquie – “I've found hiring a chair and umbrella meant that my stuff was looked after. Also if you go back to same vendor, it can be social too.” [This depends on the beach. In some places your things are watched however in other places, like the south of France, this simply means that you get a chair and an umbrella.]
- Tracy – “Befriend a family. the adults are usually happy to have another adult to chat with and you can leave your things near the giant encampment of family ‘stuff' if you want to go in the water.”
- Jocelyne – “I spent lots of solo time on the beach this winter in El Medano Tenerife; leave your valuables in your room and you should be fine.”
- Rachel – “Last year I stayed in a hotel just opposite the beach so I went for my swim first thing in the morning – just took my towel and roomkey with me and as there was no one sitting on the beach it was easy to find a spot right by the water to put them down where I could keep an eye on them as I swam.”
- Melissa – “If I plan to go in the water I don't take anything to the beach that I wouldn't want to lose. Just my towel, sunscreen and water bottle mainly. If I'm really anxious about it I'll pin my hotel room key to my suit. The only two times I've done the beach solo though, my hotel was just a short walk away so I didn't need a day's worth of stuff.”
- Samantha – “I just leave my stuff on the beach and keep an eye on it while in the water. Usually I'm at an uncrowded beach so there's not many untrustworthy people.”
- Stars on the Ceiling – “Bring your spray on sunscreen! I spent a week on my own at Krabi beach in Thailand and I would have had handprint cutouts of sunburn on my shoulders if it wasn't for spray on sunscreen.”
- Christin – “The last time I went to the beach solo I left my valuables in my car, but kept the keys well hidden. Take a bag of snacks from a grocery store as beach/boardwalk food can be expensive. Hiring an umbrella, or bringing your own also will help keep away the sunburn of spots you might miss with sunscreen. Sunburn when traveling solo could potentially ruin a trip for several days if you aren't careful.”
- Simon – “Watch for the unintentional/intentional frisbee landing at your feet, as a ploy to get to know you.”
- Technosyncratic – “Clean out an empty sunscreen bottle and make a bit of a hole for access, then stow your keys, money, and phone inside. ;)”
- Kapcha The World – “Take a good book and a dark pair of sunglasses so you can people watch on the sly!
- Active Planet Travels – Nude Beach = No belongings needed! ;-)”
Wondering About Travel Insurance?
- “I just couldn't leave my mother to travel when she got sick. Fortunately, my travel insurance reimbursed me for my flights which was all I had spent to date”
- “I lost my prescription glasses on a hike in the UK. When I got home I was surprised to learn that my travel insurance would pay out up to $300 for them.”
- “I was in Sydney, Australia when a crown popped off a tooth. I had it fixed by a local dentist and recovered the cost from my travel insurance.”
It takes just minutes to buy travel insurance. You could be thankful you did for the rest of your life. Here are two companies to check out.
You can read my full report on travel insurance here: Going Alone? Travel Insurance is a Must