Do’s and don’ts of beach etiquette when you travel
We all love to travel and we all love seeing fabulous beaches in exotic locations. One of the main reasons people travel is to see a beach, enjoy the sunshine, and play in the ocean in a place very different from when they are home. Even if you are a regular beach goer in your own hometown, if you are lucky enough to be in a beach city, it’s still a fantastic experience to see other beaches around the world. However, just like anything, the laws and traditions in other countries can be very different. A beach is no different, and how you act and what you do on various beaches in the world makes a difference. If you want to fit in and not be one of “those” people, then you need to do a little research before you travel to various countries and take that beach outing. Here are some basic tips for some various countries to get you started, and to give you an idea of what you need to prepare for.
We might as well start off with Brazil as it has one of the most famous beaches in the world, and is well known for having a very big beach culture. In Brazil, think of it as carry little and wear little. When you go to a beach in brazil, unlike what you would do in such places like California, you don’t bring a lot of things with you. You don’t bring all the extra clothes, umbrella, chair, drinks, picnic basket, towels, etc. There are vendors all over the beach in Brazil and if you want food you can just call them over. There are also many places that will rent you that umbrella and chair and anything else you need. Bringing all the extra equipment with you will just show you up as a tourist immediately. Contrary to popular belief, as small as those bikinis might be, it is also illegal to go topless on a beach in Brazil. And when you leave the beach make sure you take all your trash with you or have thrown it away in the local trash area. Littering on a beach in Brazil can cost you some serious money, and the police have no problem writing tickets. Another good tip to know in Brazil is that each section of a beach has a slightly different culture. So, it’s good to ask where the best place to go is for the kind of experience you want. If you want to hang out with young folks you don’t want to end up on the beach where all the old folks go.
California has a pretty solid beach culture, and pretty much anything goes. It is a good idea to check ahead with the locals as to which beach you should go to for what you want. Unlike many of the beaches in the world, there are not many vendors on California beaches so people bring everything including the kitchen sink with them. If you want to bring loud music with you, many of the beaches will let you do it, though, of course, many of the people around you might not be happy with your music choice. However having said that, that means be prepared for loud music around you from other people. The general rule of the beaches in California is everybody leaves you alone and does their own thing. There are no real rules, though sometimes we are not sure how good that is.
The Japanese beach season can be a little bit crazy. During the season, sometimes the beach can be so crowded you’ll be lucky to see sand. There is no real dress code other than don’t get naked on the beaches in Japan. You can wear a shirt and slacks or a bikini and it’s all fine. If you have a tattoo you might want to make sure that you can actually go to the beach, because on many of the beaches in Japan tattoos are forbidden. We believe this comes down to most of the criminal element in Japan being tattoo oriented. Many of the beaches in Japan also don’t have trash cans, so when you leave the beach you have to bring your trash with you. Do not litter. This is good advice for any beach anywhere in the world. One of the better parts of the Japan beaches is you can drink openly on the beach. A lot of countries don’t allow alcohol on the beach, but japan does.
French beaches are another fantasy vacation that many people have. Historically, French beaches have been notorious for their topless sunbathers and sometimes full nudity. However, these days it is not quite the same as it was. Although most of the beaches do not have laws that prohibit it, many of them just have an etiquette for which ones you can and which ones you can’t. So, if you are looking to go topless, then you will have to ask people where the best place to go is. Due to the wonders of the internet and phone cameras, you won’t find anywhere near as many topless people on the beaches these days. It’s also not generally done to bring your food and drinks with you to the beach unless you want to stand out as a tourist and make everybody around you unhappy. Don’t drink on the beach or eat on the beach. The French take food and the eating experience quite seriously so they will always leave the beach to go eat in a cafe or other location.
The reality is that every beach in the world is different just as every country is. If you are going to be traveling to a beach in that location it’s probably a good idea to do a little bit of research ahead of time. Check on the internet for that country and lookup beach etiquette for that specific location. If you are already in that country just ask one of the locals and they will be happy to tell you. The thing to remember is don’t assume that it’s ok if it’s ok at home. You could end up with a nasty shock and a hefty fine. We love the beach and we are sure you’ll enjoy the worlds beaches as you travel the world, but like anything, do a little preparation and you will enjoy it even more. Enjoy the sun.