Better Beach Behavior!

School is out and summer is here, which for many means trips to the beach. Yet, sometimes a trip to the beach is anything but relaxing. Here are the Mannersmith Top Ten Tips for enjoying your time in the sand.

Err Towards Modesty ~ Do leave a little something to the imagination. Yes, beaches are one of the few places where showing some skin is considered acceptable. But as with all good things in life, everything in moderation. If you like to be as tan as possible in as many places as possible, do others the small favor of having an appropriate cover-up as you traipse to and from your towel.

Create Your Space ~ Do find a spot that is at least three paces from other's belongings. The idea here is to give others a bit of personal space. The spacing should allow for beachgoers to walk between your towel and the other towel without kicking up sand on either.

No Blocking ~ Your umbrella or tent should not inhibit other people's ability to view the water. Many beachgoers like to bring all the comforts of home. This is fine so long as it does not prohibit others from enjoying the sights.

BYOE ~ Do bring your own everything. Before you leave home, consider what you will need for the day. A typical trip to the beach requires: towels, blankets, folding chairs, bathing suits, sunscreen, water, snacks, reading materials, beach toys, disposable camera and a little cash should the ice-cream truck roll by. Do not expect others to share food or sunscreen. Also, do not bring anything of great monetary value as it may be lost, stolen, buried or (gulp!) washed out to sea.

Ocean Noises ~ Do allow common sense to prevail. Music should be enjoyed by headphones, yelling saved for emergencies and profanity never. It is hard to relax when our ears are being accosted.

The Smell of Salt Air ~ If you are at a beach that still allows smoking and you want to light up, you will need to head way down the beach. Do be sure to dispose of your butts appropriately. It can be quite dangerous for birds, dogs and children to ingest cigarette butts they have found "buried" in the sand.

Cute Kids ~ Yes, your kids are adorable; do not expect anyone else to watch them for you. Lifeguards are not trained to be babysitters. Your kids are your responsibility. If watching them at the beach is too much, then stick to the kiddie pool in your backyard.

Take Care of the Wildlife ~ Beaches allow us to connect with nature; fish, snails and other living things. While it is fun to pretend that starfish is your pet, it needs to be returned to the water before you go home.

Gather Then Shake ~ Do walk away from the people before shaking any of your blankets and towels that have collected sand. The windier it is, the further you need to go. This does make packing up a two step process, but waving sand in people's eyes is not a good way to end a great day.

Nothing But Sand ~ Do double check your small spot in the sun. When you leave, everything of yours leaves with you, including garbage!

During this summer season, I hope you remember to drink lots of water, wear sunscreen, and that manners matter, but safety first. Wishing you a wonderful 4th of July.