things not to take to the beach

11 Things Not To Bring To The Beach

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You’re headed to the beach and packing your gear. It’s important you don’t forget the essential items like sunscreen, a towel, and your suit.

Are there items you shouldn’t take to the beach?

Although it’s not a big list, it’s important to consider what you shouldn’t take and why. Sand, birds, and thieves can make your beach trip much less enjoyable if you bring an item you really didn’t need.

Especially if an item is expensive.

It’s human nature to be over-prepared, however, in most cases those items you thought you needed will remain unused while you enjoy the sun and surf.

I’ve made a few mistakes while at the beach and I’m sharing what I’ve learned. Let’s go over the 10 things not to bring to the beach.

11 Things Not To Bring To The Beach Items you shouldn't take to the beach

#1 Electronics

You knew electronics would be first.

Electronics, like your phone and Kindle, are tempting to take to the beach. In fact, most people bring their phone in case they get a call from work or family. However, if you’ve planned a beach vacation those calls can wait.

There are a few reasons you don’t want to take electronics to the beach. The main reason is SAND. Sand will get everywhere and it’s guaranteed to follow you home (learn how to beach proof your phone).

A week later you’ll find sand in your bag and wonder where it came from (it was your beach trip). Once sand gets into the cracks of your phone it begins to cause problems.

Sand can make buttons stick and if that happens you’re in trouble. Sand can also scratch your screen – most people use a screen protector these days though (check Amazon for a waterproof phone case)

Another reason you don’t want your electronics on the beach is because of thieves. Even on the nicest beaches, there are people walking around looking for unattended items.

If you’re in a big group you shouldn’t have to worry about thieves because someone will always be around. But if you’re alone, or in a small group, think twice before you all jump in the ocean.

Keep an eye on your electronics from the water.

#2 Stereo or Music

I understand that music is fun to have at the beach. The problem arises when you force all of your beach-going neighbors to listen to your choice of music.

Time and time again, I’ve been with family at the beach and watched as a group sets up their area and turns the music on full-blast. Why? Believe it or not, this is rude and drowns out the calming white noise of the waves.

If you choose to listen to music, take a small speaker and keep it at a level where only your group can hear it. Ask your neighbors on the beach if they mind. Better yet, find a place on the beach that’s empty and play your music there.

Your speakers can also be ruined by sand so keep them covered.

Related: Essential Beach Items For Women

#3 Socks and Shoes

Socks at the beach are a fashion faux paw. Don’t do it!

Still, some people can’t resist and will wear shoes and socks on the beach. Once you take your shoes on the beach you can rest assured that sand will get in them. Sand isn’t easy to get out either!

Socks will provide some skin protection to your feet but they will become weighed down by sand quickly.

If you want “socks” on the beach, check out sand socks that are made for beach sports and running. Sand socks are great for hot sand and for snorkeling too!

#4 An Aggressive Dog

People love to take their dog to the beach. It’s fun to watch a dog at the beach, enjoying its freedom to run and play in the water.

Most beaches are crowded in the summer so make sure your dog is well-socialized before bring it to the beach. Also, make sure the beach allows dogs – many don’t but there are always a few beaches in every area that allow dogs.

There will be other dogs and birds that your pup might enjoy chasing.

#5 Unsealed Food (birds, bees, sand)

what not to take to the beachEveryone needs food. Most beachgoers bring a few snacks to eat throughout the day. It’s a wise decision!

Choose your food wisely and make sure you keep an eye on it. Seagulls are notorious for stealing food – even if it’s in a secure bag. They tend to enjoy chips and sandwiches but they aren’t necessarily picky.

I’ve even witnessed a seagull fly off with a small purse (how to get rid of seagulls).

If you bring sweet snacks (with honey) it might attract bees (yes bees are common at the beach).

Also, consider snacks that won’t melt. After all, your snacks will be in the hot sun all day (unless you have an ice chest).

#6 Waxy Lip Gloss and Perfumes

Recently I was at Laguna Beach in Southern California and I applied Burt’s Bees Wax to my lips. Within a minute I had several bees swarming my face.

I swatted them away then ran down the beach while people watched me. I’m sure they thought I was a crazy person. Luckily, I was able to wipe off the lip gloss in the ocean.

Be careful with scented perfumes and deodorants and lip gloss that has beeswax. They can attract insects and you might end up getting stung – doesn’t sound like an enjoyable day at the beach.

#7 Chocolate

Chocolate at the beach is only a good idea on 2 occasions:

  1. You’re enjoying a romantic beach picnic at sunset
  2. At the beach in winter

Summer days spent outside and chocolate doesn’t mix. If you bring a chocolate bar to the beach, plan on eating it while you walk from your car to the beach.

Trail mix? Think twice because those M&Ms will melt all over the raisins and nuts.

Simply put, your chocolate snack will turn into a creamy mess. Your kids might like making a mess!

#8 Bike, Skateboard, Skates/Blades

A bike, skateboard, and skates (or blades) are perfect for the beach boardwalk but it’s not a smart move to take onto the sand.

Like other items on this list, sand will get into the gears, chain, and bearings and it can jam up the wheels. It might not be noticeable right away but sand takes time to work its way into things.

It really depends on how nice your bike, blades, or board is.

Is it something you don’t care about? Is it a second-hand bike that’s meant to be thrashed? If so, then go for it.

Was your bike or board a gift? Was it a big investment? If so, I’d keep it at a safe distance from the sand.

Related: Can I Ride My Bike On The Beach

#9 Wallet

One thing you’ll never want to take to the beach is your wallet. It’s pointless to take something with your cash, credit cards, and identification cards.

Most people at the beach leave their wallet in their car and only take the cash they might need for buying food or drinks.

Take 20-40 bucks and secure it in a pocket and leave your wallet behind. Loosing 20 bucks is a lot less painful than your whole wallet.

#10 Credit Cards

Credit cards are usually kept in your wallet but some people will still bring them to the beach. Use cash at the beach and you don’t have to worry about canceling your cards if they get lost or stolen.

Most beach vendors prefer cash anyway. Keep it simple!

#11 Expensive Sunglasses

This tip may seem counter-intuitive because we’re inclined to show off our nice sunglasses at the beach. The beach is the perfect place to wear them, right? Wrong!

Don’t forget about sand! Sand will scratch your lenses and get into the tiny hinges on your glasses frames.

Just about every other place is okay to wear your expensive sunglasses – just don’t wear them at the beach. Instead, opt for a cheap, yet good-looking, pair of glasses that offer UV protection. These can be found for $10-20 and you can leave your nice pair in the car.

Conclusion

In most cases, you won’t need a list of what not to take to the beach.  This list is pretty straightforward.

The most important item is your phone and other electronics.  If you decide to take them, make sure they are secure in a waterproof case (small dry bags are cheap and worth the 5-10 dollar price).

You’ll also need to prepare food accordingly.  Don’t take items that make a mess and don’t take food that will melt.  Chocolate bars and trail mix seem like perfect food for the beach but they aren’t.

When it comes to personal items, like your wallet, money, and sunglasses, take the bare necessities so if it gets lost or stolen it won’t ruin your trip.  Most people take cash but leave their wallet and credit cards hidden in their car.

You won’t need much money once you’re on the beach (maybe just food and drinks).

Sand causes the most damage to person items so keep that in mind as you’re packing.  Chances are you won’t have any problems, just make sure you don’t forget any of the essential items like sunscreen, towels, and your suit.