10 Steps to Becoming a Beach Bum

Being in Australia, it’s practically required that you go to at least one of the many beautiful beaches. When I first arrived, I went to the beach almost every day. Sadly, now that classes have started my beach excursions have become less frequent. However, I always make time to go to the beach at least once a week. That being said, I think I can finally consider myself a qualified beach bum and this is my Beach Bum Survival Guide:

1. Sunscreen

First on the list is quite essential: sunscreen. Back in the United States, I hardly put on sunscreen (sorry, Mom) because I have been blessed with skin that does not burn easily. But in Australia, the sun quite literally hits different. The sun here is intense and if you are not careful and apply sunscreen, you’ll end up with a nasty burn. I actually ended up with a sunburn on my scalp… I would not recommend it.

2. Beach towel

What’s the point in going to the beach if you won’t either be 1) basking in the sun or 2) swimming? Both of these activities will require a good beach towel, and if you can find one that is specially textured to be anti-sand that’s even better. Believe me when I say this: sand gets everywhere.

3. Sunnies

For me, sunnies (aka sunglasses) are an absolute requirement. I have the most sensitive eyes in the world and wear sunnies even when it’s cloudy so they are a must. If you plan on laying in the sun and tanning, you’ll want a pair — unless you’re worried about getting a tan line from them.

4. Thongs

Hold up… not what you are probably thinking. At first glance, you might have been a little confused by this one, but thongs are what Australians call flip-flops. Walking in the sand can be sometimes excruciatingly hot so you’ll need some sort of protection. Also, considering sand ends up in every crevice you could possibly imagine, you probably wouldn’t want to wear any pair of shoes that you would wear on a regular basis, so thongs are the best footwear option.

5. Water bottle

Like I said earlier, the Australian sun is like no other sun you’ve felt before. This means that you’ll get more dehydrated and faster. Bringing a water bottle and frequently filling it up is the best possible thing you could do for yourself. Stay hydrated, friends.

6. Speaker

If you intend on going to the beach with some friends, bringing a speaker is always a crowd-pleaser to get the party started. Who wouldn’t want to listen to their favorite tunes while chilling on the beach?

7. Book

Going to the beach alone? A good book is always a great addition to your tanning session. Listening to the waves crashing in the background is also ideal for reading.

8. Snack or sandwich

Spending time on the beach in the hot sun can be pretty draining after a while– even if all you’re doing is laying there. It’s not a bad idea to pack yourself a snack or a sandwich in case you work up an appetite. Food along the beaches is typically a little overpriced so you’ll also be doing your wallet a favor.

9. Money for ice cream or other cool treats

If you work up a sweat (in this sun you inevitably will), make sure you have packed a little money so you can buy yourself a cold treat like ice cream or gelato. They are both incredibly common and easy to find around beaches, so if you don’t mind spending a few dollars to cool off it’s definitely worth it. I can honestly say that I have never had more gelato in my life than I have in the past month — it’s pretty great.

10. Optional hat

Personally, I prefer sunnies over hats but they’re equally a good choice. Not only do they protect your eyes and keep you cool but they also shield your scalp from getting a sunburn — seriously, one of the worst places to get burned. Plus if you feel in the mood for a nap, a hat over the eyes works perfectly for a nice beach snooze.

Now that you have this guide, throw on your bathing suit, pack your bag, and you’re set to become a true beach bum! Be careful though, it’s an addicting lifestyle.