Things You Should Never Do on a Beach (10 Un-Spoken Beach Rules)

Posted by Carolyn Morris on



If you are planning your first family beach vacation this article will be a reminder for yourself and your family members of 10 unspoken beach rules that should be followed.  Beach educate if you will.

There is no better place to unwind and let your hair hang down so to speak, like the beach.  But even the beach has some rules that require some thought and attention. Here are 10 things to never do while enjoying the sunshine and your family vacation.

 You don’t want to develop the reputation of the family in your condo complex or wherever you are staying that doesn’t follow beach rules and educate. 


 1. Don’t Sit Too Close




Healthy boundaries are always a expected even before “social distancing” became a buzz word.  So be aware of others when deciding on your beach towel placement, beach umbrella and beach chair set up.  Give yourself and your neighbors as much personal space as possible.

If the beach isn’t crowded, try for at least 7 to 20 feet between your set-up and other families. If it’s a crowded day, obviously that’s going to require a little more thoughtful squeezing: Shoot for a boundary of at least 6 feet even if you family has to set up 2 separate camps. And always, no matter what the density, do your best NOT to sit directly in front of anyone else. It’s just not cool so be aware to not block the view of others if possible.




 2. Clean Up After Yourself




 Let’s name a new Golden Rule for going to the beach (and life in general): Avoid buying  stuff that makes trash. Bring your snacks and drinks in reusable containers (including straws), employ easy zero-waste practices like bringing cloth beach napkins instead of paper, and try always to avoid one time use plastics and Styrofoam cups if you can. If you create any trash, remember to use trash cans is available and if not take it with you when you leave and properly sort and dispose of it at when you return to your condo or hotel.




 3. Don’t Play Loud Music

With the advent and now ubiquity of earbud-driven listening, some beach etiquette gurus are calling for a total ban on radio air play of beach tunes

One popular South Carolina beach town recently put major limits on airplay music volume and content while another Jersey Shore town banned speakers on the beach  altogether.  Frankly this is a rule for family beaches that can’t come too soon. 

So if you’re up for sharing a summer soundtrack with your whole gang (and it’s allowed on your beach), keep the volume down to mid-range (take a stroll to the nearest neighbors and make sure they can’t hear much or any of it), and keep the content pretty much PG-13.  The last thing a family want to here is some rapper cussing like a sailor at their kids when they are trying to enjoy the beach.




 4.   Don’t Feed the Seagulls at the Beach




Not just Seagulls on the beach or any wildlife, for that matter. Whether you think those aggressive gulls are cute or annoying, here’s the point: Feeding them your food not only reinforces begging behaviors, it’s actually unhealthy for the birds. 


Sea birds like gulls can become ill on diets of French fries and bread crusts; further, they need to forage properly, not hang out waiting for handouts.

Keep your food for your own family and extend that general respect for wildlife. Remember to stay a respectful distance from any animal onshore, including basking seals and sea lions. Pack binoculars in your beach bag for watching them and give them about a 150 feet of personal space is what is suggest by most experts.




  1. Don’t Shake Out Your Towel Near Others



If you or your kids have never been to the beach, this one may not be so obvious.  When it’s time to head home for the day, gingerly lift one edge of your towel and let the majority of sand slide quietly off it. Then walk away from everyone and give it a good snap to clean it off (making sure you’re not upwind of anyone on a windy day).  

There is nothing worth than someone in front or behind you snapping off their beach towel and their sand blows into you eyes, ears, nose and mouth.  We have all experience this and quite frankly I have witness fights break out on more than one occasion over the years, because this simple beach rule was not followed.

And while on the subject of sand etiquette:  Remind your kids not to run between beachgoers—you’re guaranteed to kick up sand and make enemies. Finally, remove your flip-flops—they kick up an amazing amount of sand, even if you’re trying to walk carefully. I gess this is why sand free beach towels have become such a hot new beach product this year.


 For more info on Sand Free Beach Towels Click Here






  1. Don’t Ignore Beach Warning Signs

Don’t make the lifeguards have to rescue you, be smart and pay attention to any rip tide, big surf, or other unsafe conditions (like algae blooms, jellyfish, and sharks, to name a few). Take a moment when entering a beach to read all signs about ongoing hazards and temporary ones, and learn what a green, yellow, or red flag means locally. You will see a good general guide below. If they say stay out of the water, do what they say. They know better than you do.   I  have heard my granddad say on more than one occasion.  “Look at that tourist jackass, doesn’t he know the red flag is posted?”





  1. Don’t Turn Your Beach Umbrella into a Game of Thrones Piece of Weaponry




Take a long pole with a pointed end, add a big canvas made to catch the merest puff of wind, and then barely secure it upright. Recipe for wild lift-offs and potential skewering?  Don't believe me?  Check out the video above.

Secure your Beach Umbrella: Try to get at least 1/3 third of the post buried in the sand by using a rocking back-and-forth motion (stabbing doesn’t work) and once it’s buried, rotate the umbrella so that it has its “back” to the wind, effectively pushing it into the sand, not lifting it out (be prepared to adjust if the wind shifts). I feel a quality beach umbrella is a mandatory beach accessory, but when you buy your umbrella for the beach go ahead and invest in a sand anchor available here.







  1. Don’t Leave Your Structures or Gear Out Overnight




… if you want to see them in the morning. The tide may come up higher than you expect or weather can roar in and take down what you thought was secure.  

I hate to say it but there are also thief’s that walk the beach at night looking for tourist who kept their base camp set up.  They have great businesses selling beach stuff at local flea markets because they have zero cost of goods.

 It’s just a good beach rule, and  stewardship to return the sands to their natural state at the end of the day.






  1. Don’t Fight the Ocean or you’ll lose




If you’ve paid attention to the warnings as we talked about in beach rule #6, you’re unlikely to get into big trouble while in the ocean. That said, crazy things can happen, and you might find yourself suddenly pulled farther and farther from shore by a riptide.

If you try to make your way back to the beach, you’ll exhaust yourself quickly and put yourself at risk for exhaustion & even risk for drowning. Put your arm up to signal to the lifeguards on the beach that you need watching or help, and let the current pull you out until you can swim parallel to the shore out of the rip.

At this point you can make your way back to shore.  When you visit a beach for the first time get aware of the way the current is pulling, is it north to south or east to west?





  1. Don't Let Pets Go Unsupervised




If you’ve found a dog-friendly beach that allows your pet off the leash, keep in mind that the ocean can be a risky place for your pet. You also don't want them disturbing others who are enjoying their time in the sun.

 Seawater can act as a gastrointestinal irritant, according to Animal Planet, and can act as a laxative or promote vomiting, and lots of dogs will just lap up whatever is swirling around them (make sure you’ve got lots of fresh water for drinking instead).

Secondly, rip tides, sharks, and sudden deep water can put a pooch in peril, so watch carefully. Finally, salt water can irritate a dog’s skin and paws, so make sure there’s a nice, fresh-water rinse for him or her at the end of the beach day.  Many beaches have public showers, so remember to use them on your pet as well.




USE YOUR COMMON SENSE AND BE AWARE OF OTHERS.  There you go 9 words that pretty much sum up the rules related to the beach.

There is not a more laid back, enjoyable vacation to be had than at the beach. However here at we get a lot of questions from new customers that are also apprehensive first-time beach vacationers.  We thought these 10 Beach Rules may help people know what to expect and help them prepare in advance and have a wonderful beach vacation.









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