When spending a day at the beach, you are supposed to be able to relax and take in the sun and the breeze. However, if you have ever been to a beach outside your home country as a solo traveler, you may have been nervous and apprehensive. This is because, unlike going with a group, you are solely responsible for your belongings. There is no one with you that you can trust to watch your cell phone or money while take a dip in the ocean. For most people, there maybe a rational fear that some local kid will come and snatch your stuff as soon as you get out of arms reach of it. This causes them not to fully enjoy their beach experience. While it is always a possibility that something like that can happen to you, I have been to over 50 beaches around the world as a solo traveler and have yet had it happen to me. Here are a few things ways to lower your stress level and enjoy the beach as a solo traveler.
Take only what you can Afford to Lose- This is probably not the first thing that you want to read in a post like this, however, it is always a possibility that you will get your stuff stolen whether you are a solo traveler or traveling in a large group. By knowing your items are replaceable, it will increase your peace of mind. With that being said, you need to decide WHAT is actually worth taking on your beach trip. If the beach is 200 meters from your hotel, then do you really need to take your $400 iPhone?
Rent a Beach Chair- Most beaches (even “private” ones) have beach chairs that you can rent on the cheap either directly from an attendant or by buying a drink at a restaurant. This is probably the most surefire way that you can get an extra set of eyes on your stuff should you decide to go for a swim. It is usually bad for business if a tourist gets their stuff stolen while using their chairs. That doesn’t mean you should leave you wallet on the chair while you go throw back some cocktails at the bar, but this does give you some sense of security should you need to run off to the bathroom.
Get a Spot Close to the Ocean- Whenever I go to the beach, I make a beeline to the chair that’s closest to the ocean even if it costs me a little extra. This allows me a quick entry and exit into the ocean as well as the ability to have a clear view of my stuff while I swim. Even if I seeing questionable characters heading towards my chair, I can begin to make my way out of the water and be ready to confront them if necessary.
Put Your Stuff UNDER the chair- Many people leave their stuff either on or next to the beach chair or towel whenever they go into the water. As I learned as Military Police Officer, most crimes are committed out of opportunity and not necessity. A criminal is more likely to grab your stuff if they can make a quick escape. By putting my stuff under the chair, it requires them to bend down a dig it out, which may allow me to get the jump on them. If you don’t rent a beach chair, then look for something fairly heavy to put over your stuff (i.e. tree branch, garbage lid).
Wear Sunglasses while you Nap-If you plan on lounging out, make sure you have a pair of sunglasses. That way people can’t tell if you are sleeping unless they are right next to you. By not wearing sunglasses, it will be obvious whether or not you are sleeping which could attract unwanted attention. I even throw on my wireless headphones to give the impression that I am listening to music. While I have never actually taken a nap at the beach, I have been able to relax for hours on end.
Do not Sleep on your Stomach- If you are going to flip over for a back tan, then make sure you are able to stay awake. By falling asleep on your stomach, not only does it attract unwanted attention, but should someone snatch your stuff, you would be in no position to immediately chase after them even if you happen to wake up in time
Put Your Money in Your Shoes-Whenever I go to the beach, I either put some or all of my money inside the sole of my shoes. My shoes are so beaten up that I couldn't give them away. A thief will almost certainly assume that you keep your money in your bag and not your shoe. They usually only have time to grab one item and will always choose to grab your bag over the shoes.