5 Things Not To Do on the Florida Beach … No One Will Tell You


Photo: Kelly Dean

5 Things Not To Do on the Florida Beach … No One Will Tell You

By Kelly Dean

If you’ve ever traveled overseas, the U.S. Department of State provides you with local information about where you’re visiting to better insure you have a safe trip and not inflame the locals – think pitchforks and Frankenstein. It’s too bad they don’t do the same thing here. Because people vacationing on the Florida beaches often make a few mistakes that are worth mentioning.

1.Wear Perfume or Cologne

That’s what I really want to smell when I go to the beach: a 12-dollar Burberry knockoff instead of the salty, crisp, sun-warmed ocean breeze. You bet. Why would I want to suffer that fresh, non-toxic olfactory joy that has blown hundreds of miles over ocean water when I can smell a chemically enhanced you? Ladies spray this on like lice repellent at a prison and pop their beach umbrellas 10 feet upwind. Men do it too. No. Not. No.

2. Wear Speedos (old guys … or young guys for that matter)

Really? Is there no one in your life who’s gutsy enough to tell you that seeing you in a banana hammock is like seeing… hell, an old guy in a banana hammock? For the love of Pete, what are you thinking? I see this with European tourists who long ago fell into the Italian-designer-on-the-beach look… oh, and overly bejeweled men from New Jersey. No amount of vacation money can rationalize this. I can’t imagine anything worse. No, wait…

3. Show Large Amounts of Back Hair

If you have so much back hair that you can’t get a tan anyway, then what’s the point? Wear a T-shirt. Better yet, wear two in case you get wet. There might be nothing you can do about your age or general physical appearance, I’m a prime example, but hair is removable or cover-up-able. Any drugstore employee will be happy to help you, look for one named Igor. I know, this borders on mean, but no one will tell you otherwise.

4. Forget Sunscreen and Sunglasses

“Hey, Mr. Obvious. That seems like kind of a no-brainer.” — Everyone

Really? Without a doubt, this is the No. 1 error at the beach. It never fails that someone in your group ends up looking like a white-striped red alien lying naked and prone on a sheet-free bed for three days moaning in agony — all thanks to not wearing sunscreen.

On the beach: you can burn in the sun, in the shade, under an umbrella, in the water, under the water, sober, drunk, while walking or standing still. Why? The sun reflects off the sand and water. Apply often.

5. Use the Beach as an Ashtray

Certainly, smoking on the beach is more disturbing than perfume, but leaving cigar and cigarette butts in the sand is unconscionable. There’s nothing like running your feet through the sand and getting a couple of cigarette butts stuck between your toes.

It makes me wonder if these people put their smokes out on the furniture at home. Do they think it’s healthy for fish and turtles to eat them or something? Yum, yum. Do they think birds will carry them away and seed future cigarette farms? Fact is, they might and it’s not good. Put the butts in a can or something and take them with you so you can drop them on your carpet at home. Yikes!

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