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5 Things You Should Never Do at the Beach, Etiquette Experts Say

This bad behavior could make you enemies at the shores this summer.

As the warmer weather rolls in, you're likely already thinking about how you're going to stay cool this summer. For many of us, the beach is an obvious choice. But with crowds of people all flocking to the shores at the same time, you have to take into consideration how you're behaving around others in a shared space. Talking to etiquette experts, we got insight on what to avoid when taking part in this beloved summer activity. Read on to discover the five things you should never do at the beach.

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Start unauthorized bonfires or barbecues

Happy friends drinking beers at camping barbecue picnic next to the ocean - Surfers people having fun and laughing together - Main focus on right guys - Travel, vacation and friendship concept

You may be looking to get your movie moments at the beach this summer. But don't disregard rules and the safety of others just in order to do so, advises Jasmine Cheng, an etiquette expert and founder of The Gentle Album.

"Without permission, it's not a good idea to start a bonfire or barbecue on the beach," Cheng warns. "This rule is often in place to prevent accidents and protect the environment."

Bring your pets into crowded areas

Relax, dog and happy with couple at beach for peace, summer and sunset vacation. Love, support and travel with man and woman with pet by ocean for nature, health and date or holiday together

Many of us want to bring our furry friends out with us to have fun in the sun. But Nancy Mitchell, a registered nurse and contributing writer at Assisted Living, says you should always check beach rules before bringing your dog or other pets along with you—especially if you're going at a busy time.

"This is an etiquette issue that stems from healthcare. A beach is a public place, filled with people with various conditions and triggers," Mitchell explains. "Some people may be asthmatic or allergic to animal fur. So bringing your dog to the beach on a crowded day could actually be a health risk to others."

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Set up too close to other people

Mother wit hkids having fun on the beach. Sunny summer day. Mallorca, Spain.

Finding a good spot at the beach when it's busy can be hard. But don't let your desire for a premium position put in you in a bad light with the other beachgoers. Dana Hall, a clinical therapist with expertise in social skill training, says it's important to be considerate of your neighbors when setting up your stuff.

"Maintaining a reasonable distance, such as six to eight feet, can help ensure everyone has enough personal space and avoid any potential discomfort or agitation," she says.

According to Hall, your beach umbrella—which is usually around six feet long—can serve as the perfect measuring tool for this scenario.

"By placing your blanket at a distance equal to the length of the umbrella from your neighbor's spot, you can help create a comfortable and respectful environment for everyone around you," she notes. "Remember, being mindful of others' personal space can contribute to a more enjoyable experience for all beachgoers."

Disrupt beachgoers to take photos

Tourist, Beach, Porto de Galinhas, Latin America, Brazil

In this digital age, many people go to the beach now in hopes of getting good photos. But make sure you remain mindful of those around you when you're trying to capture those "Insta-worthy moments," says Shelley Marmor, a travel etiquette expert and the founder of Travel Blogging 101.

"When it comes to selfies and drone shots, nobody wants a drone buzzing around their head, or their peaceful beach moment photobombed," Marmor shares. "In addition to respecting others' space, it's crucial to follow any local rules or regulations regarding drone usage."

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Leave anything behind

Plastic pollution is strewn on this sandy beach leading to the ocean. One pink straw and a drinking cup both discarded single-use plastic items.

When all is said and done and you're packing up to go, don't try leaving things behind to make the trip back easier. This is especially important to remember when it comes to trash, according to Jim Campbell, an etiquette expert and the founder of the trip-planning company Honeymoon Goals.

"Even if you don't care about the environment and think that other people should clean up after themselves, you're still leaving a mess for someone else to deal with," Campbell says. "If you take something out onto the beach with you, bring it back in with you when you leave."

Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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