Safe Beach Vacation: Tips for an Enjoyable Time in the Outer Banks, NC
Everyone has their favorite Outer Banks NC beach vacation spots. But despite your familiarity with the area’s idyllic beaches and islands, it can always pay to be prepared before you plan your next vacay.
From sand emergencies (hey, we’ve all been there!) to unexpected visitors, there are a few challenges that every beachgoer inevitably faces. And, of course, there are some great ways to ensure an even more memorable beach vacation – particularly when it comes to safety.
So, before you pack up your T-shirts and sandals for another blissful beach day on the Outer Banks, give this short, simple guide the once-over. We’ll steer you clear of surprise hazards and show how you can have a safe beach vacation!
Choose the Right Beach Spot
When it comes to choosing the right beach spot in the Outer Banks, there are a few key factors to consider. First and foremost, look for beaches that have lifeguards on duty, especially if you are visiting with young children or inexperienced swimmers. Lifeguards provide an added layer of safety by monitoring the water and offering immediate assistance in case of an emergency. P
opular beaches like Corolla, Kitty Hawk, and Kill Devil Hills are known for their lifeguard services and family-friendly atmosphere.
In addition to lifeguards, consider the conditions of the beach itself. Look for beaches with calmer tides and shallow waters, particularly if you have young children who will be spending time in the ocean. These types of beaches are often well-suited for families, as they offer a safer swimming experience.
Furthermore, the amount of available space on the beach is also an important consideration, especially if you are traveling with a large group. Beaches like Corolla and Kill Devil Hills offer plenty of room to spread out and set up your beach equipment without feeling crowded.
This ensures that you can maintain a safe social distance from other beachgoers and have enough room to enjoy your day on the sand.
Lastly, research the beach’s facilities and amenities. Some beaches have restrooms, showers, and picnic areas, which can make your beach experience more comfortable and convenient, especially if you’re planning for a full day at the beach.
Doing your homework and choosing the right beach spot that caters to your specific needs and preferences will set the stage for a safe and enjoyable beach vacation.
Be Sun Smart
While basking in the sun is a favorite activity for many beachgoers, it’s essential to protect your skin from the harmful effects of UV rays. Applying sunscreen should be a ritual before hitting the beach.
Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and apply it generously to all exposed areas of your body, including the face, ears, and tops of your feet. Don’t forget to reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating, even if the sunscreen claims to be water-resistant.
Aside from sunscreen, wearing protective clothing can further shield your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Opt for lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that covers your arms and legs. Additionally, donning a wide-brimmed hat will not only protect your face and neck but also provide some much-needed shade.
Sunglasses with UV protection are also crucial for shielding your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. Look for sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays to safeguard your eyes and prevent long-term damage.
Remember, proper sun protection is not just for sunny days. UV rays can still penetrate cloud cover, leading to sunburn and skin damage. So, whether it’s a bright and sunny day or a slightly overcast one, always prioritize sun safety during your beach vacation.
Spending countless hours in the sun and engaging in various beach activities can lead to dehydration, which can quickly spoil a fun day at the beach. It’s essential to keep yourself and your group well-hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day.
Water should be your primary source of hydration. Bring an ample supply of bottled water or fill a large cooler with ice-cold water for the whole family or group. Encourage everyone to drink water regularly, even if they don’t feel particularly thirsty. Remember, by the time you feel thirsty, you may already be mildly dehydrated.
While it’s tempting to reach for soda or alcoholic beverages on a hot day, it’s best to limit their consumption as they can actually contribute to dehydration. Alcoholic drinks can cause increased urine production, leading to fluid loss and further dehydrating your body. It’s crucial to be mindful of your alcohol intake and balance it with plenty of water.
By staying well-hydrated, you’ll not only have the energy to enjoy all the beach activities but also prevent potential heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke. So, be mindful of your hydration needs and make staying hydrated a priority during your Outer Banks beach vacation.
Learn and Respect Beach Safety Rules:
To ensure a safe and enjoyable beach vacation in the Outer Banks, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself and your group with the beach safety rules and guidelines. These rules are in place to protect beachgoers and maintain a safe environment for everyone. Respect signages, warnings, and guidelines provided by lifeguards, local beach authorities, or posted at beach accesses.
One important rule to follow is to stay within the designated swimming areas. These areas are marked by flags or buoys and are constantly monitored by lifeguards. Swimming outside these areas can expose you to risks such as strong currents and rip currents.
Rip currents are powerful, narrow channels of fast-moving water that can quickly carry swimmers away from the shore. They are one of the most significant dangers beachgoers face. If you ever find yourself caught in a rip current, the most important thing is to remain calm and avoid fighting against the current.
Instead, swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the rip current’s pull, and then make your way back to the shore. Learning how to identify and escape rip currents can be crucial in ensuring your safety and the safety of those around you.
Have a Safe Beach Vacation With These Tips
By following these beach vacation tips, you and your family can have a safe beach vacation during your stay in the Outer Banks. Remember to bring plenty of sunscreen and water, wear protective clothing and footwear, pay attention to weather and surf conditions, swim close to the lifeguard, and never leave children unattended.
With these tips in mind, you’re sure to make lasting memories.
Start planning your Outer Banks beach vacation today! Contact us for umbrella rental and more.