The weather in many beach destinations is often hot. The sun is one of the biggest draws to beaches. Without it the beach is not nearly as attractive. The closer you are to the equator, the hotter the sun will be. Stick to a destinations summer for the best beach season. Keep in mind that seasons in the northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere are opposite each other. Protection from the sun in the form of hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen is important to protect against sun burn, eye damage, and skin cancer. Sunscreen with a high SPF, higher than 30 or even 45, is recommended if you are especially prone to burning. In tropical destinations rain can last for weeks and even during dry seasons a strong bout of rain can occur, therefore waterproof and easy drying clothing is a good idea.
There are hundreds of remedies for temporary relief from the pains of sunburn. Aloe Vera is one of the best known treatments, while other lotions and sprays also help.
Food and water
When traveling in a strange country eating strange foods and the chance to drink unfiltered water is quite common, as are certain ailments. Medicines to counter these travel illnesses are recommended such as antibiotics and diarrhea medicine. Only drink bottled water in tropical areas, as the chance for cholera and water borne diseases is still high in many tropical countries. If you cannot get bottled water or want to cut down on your plastic bottle waste try iodine tablets, purifying drops, or water filters.
In many beach destinations around the world sharks are an issue, although for the most part a relatively slight issue. The chances you will get bitten by a shark or even see a shark is extremely rare. Keep up to date on how often sharks appear on particular beaches and try to stick to beaches patrolled by lifeguards.
Tides & Currents
In many locations knowledge of the tides and currents is extremely important. During high tides, twice a day, the beach may disappear or make swimming quite dangerous, especially when near rocks and reefs, although surfers prefer the stronger waves. During low tide, twice a day, the sea is much calmer for relaxation and preferred for most beach activities.
Strong currents are far more dangerous than sharks and lead to far more deaths. Sometimes right off shore currents can be quite strong so swimming should be done with caution or you could easily be swept out to sea where your rescue is incredibly difficult. Other times the currents are well offshore, but you should take precautions when snorkeling or surfing so you don’t venture too far out. Many public beaches will have markings or ropes limiting how far swimmers should go from the shore.
Water temperature is an incredibly important factor when swimming. Although the sun maybe shining, the water can still be extremely cold. Not only does temperature decrease as you change latitude, but also as you change depths. Wet suits or dry suits need to be worn when diving or surfing in many locations.