No matter how long you have been waiting for that long-awaited seaside break, and how much preparation is done beforehand, the success of your holiday lies not only in what you pack in your luggage. Here are ten important points to remember whilst you are away to help ensure a safe and successful, seaside holiday vacation.
Before we begin my 10 Hot Tips, let’s remember what may be the most obvious safety precaution to take because so many people do need reminding! Avoid excess exposure to the sun as you will burn more quickly by the sea due to higher ultra violet light level. If you ignore this oft-repeated medical advice you may well very soon suffer with sore skin, which can be extremely uncomfortable. You may also soon dehydrate, leading to headache and nausea. Worse still, you will expose yourself to the risk of skin cancer.
OK, so here then is my main list of other things you might like to bear in mind to help things run smoothly, ensure you are made welcome at your holiday destination, and in some cases, even prevent disaster.
*Arrival: When you arrive at the coast, if the road is in any way busy, do always keep up with the main flow of traffic, concentrate on the road, and don’t suddenly pull in without notice. By doing so you will avoid being ‘cut up’ or honked at by locals, who frustrated by congestion caused by a constant stream of ‘Sunday Drivers’ need to get on with their daily business.
*Excitement: Try to curtail excessive noise at your holiday cottage due to excited children, a dog in unfamiliar surroundings and so on. If you decide to have a barbecue, don’t smoke out the neighbours. Have a word with them first if possible, just in case they any windows open or washing drying that you can’t see. They’ll be pleased to meet you and make you so much more welcome for taking the trouble.
*Shoes: Wear sensible shoes when crossing rocks, loose shingle or sand; broken and sprained ankles are one of the most common injuries to arise by the seaside.
*Flags: Beach safety flags should not be ignored: Red Flags means danger, don’t enter the water, Chequered Flags indicates that the area between them has been designated for craft-use, such as wind surfing, kayaks and surfing. Avoid swimming there. Red and Yellow Flags indicate swimming zones where a lifeguard is present.
*Seagulls: It’s always a temptation to feed the birds, especially by throwing the seagulls a few spare chips. Do refrain from doing this though as incoming gulls seeking titbits can be very frightening to small children and the disabled who can’t always frighten them off. Partly tame seagulls can also become a nuisance by tearing open bin bags in the search for food, thereby creating a health hazard.
*Tides: Never try to guess the time of the tide. If you swim offshore, venture along rocks, or plan to walk any distance out onto open sands, always seek and heed advice about the wisdom of so doing before you set out. Locals will respect you for it as their relatives or friends, working on the lifeboat, or as coastguards won’t be called out, possibly putting themselves in danger, unnecessarily.
*Fishing: Be careful not to discard fishing line on the beach. By so doing you’ll prevent sea birds from becoming entangled and suffering tortuous death.
*Wildlife: Seals, that may often appear quite tame, are wild animals. When they hauled out ashore or swimming near the tide line they will sometimes lunge towards humans if provoked. Also do not pursue dolphins in a speedboat; your propeller could slash them causing both the animals and yourself great distress.
*Dogs: When walking your dog on a cliff top, always use a leash. It’s commonplace for seagulls to mob unattended canines and for the dogs to chase after them. Say no more.
*Souvenirs: Be aware that if you take pebbles off many beaches to decorate your garden pond or garden, you may breaking local by-laws and face a heavy fine! This has come about since people began moving van loads of stones to garden centres for easy profit, to the potential detriment of natural coastal defence.