13 Things You’re Doing Wrong at Fort Lauderdale Beaches

Melinda Crow

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You're at the wrong beach.

The goal is to match your activity to the beach. Want to walk your dog? Find a dog-friendly beach. Want a quiet escape from the world? Don't stay at a busy beach resort.

You're invading other people's space.

There's a bubble of personal space that should not be invaded, and it's bigger at the beach than almost anywhere else. As a rule, your stuff (towels, bags, gear, chairs, umbrellas, children) should be at least a foot or more from a stranger's stuff at all times where possible.

You're snorkeling in the wrong spot.

Don't assume that just because there is water there will be colorful fish to see. The best places to snorkel are rarely at smooth sandy beaches. Fish prefer rocks and crevices to hide in.

You're snorkeling without any idea about how to do it.

I recently saw a family wading around at the beach with snorkels and no masks. Consider taking a snorkeling course through your local scuba shop before you go on vacation.

You're wearing the wrong clothes.

Unless you are a supermodel, you will have a better time at the beach wearing clothes that fashionable but provide protection from the elements.

You're hogging the good spots.

If you haven't read a hardback book in years, but bought one for your trip, just to make your beach chair look lived in, you may be a chair hog. If your entire vacation schedule revolves around getting and keeping the perfect beach chair, maybe it's time you took up a different beach activity.

You're not listening to the right thing.

Nobody wants to hear your playlist thirteen times over. Get headphones, or better yet, listen to the sounds of nature and people enjoying a day at the beach.

You're showing way too much affection.

Unless you are certain that nobody is sharing the beach with you, get a room.

You're hauling too much stuff.

If it takes you three trips from the parking lot to get all your stuff in place, you may be overthinking the whole day at the beach thing. Towels, sunscreen, coverups, and maybe snacks and drinks if none are available close by. That's about it in most cases.

You're using the wrong sunscreen.

Many sunscreens contain chemicals that are harmful to coral reefs. If you will be swimming at a beach near reefs look for products that don’t contain oxybenzone, butylparaben, octinoxate, and 4-methylbenzylidine camphor. The Environmental Working Group provides detailed information.

You're assuming that there will be showers.

Resorts and some public beach access points usually offer a rinse shower, but a better option is to take your own. Recycle two-liter plastic drink bottles by filling them with water and leaving them in the sun at your vehicle for the perfect warm rinse when you are ready to leave.

You're forgetting that most car keys are not waterproof.

Be sure to take along a non-chipped valet key for your vehicle, or take the key in a waterproof pouch when you swim. This is particularly important if you are driving a rental.

You're using the wrong cooler.

You don't have to have a cooler that includes a blender like the crowd-funded Coolest, but a cooler that keeps your beverages cooler longer on the hot sand could be the difference between a good day at the beach and a great day at the beach.

You might also enjoy these News Break stories:

The Best Little Stretch of Beach in Broward County Florida

The Only 6 Cruise Itineraries You Might Be Able to Take from Ft. Lauderdale This Summer

11 Amazing US Snorkeling Destinations You Probably Don't Know About

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Waco, TX
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