1. Store your electronics in plastic bags.

Are you tired of worrying about your cell phone getting wet every time you go to the beach? Hate to take it, but also hate to be without it? Turn to a trusty zip-lock plastic baggie and never worry about it getting soaked or sandy again.

2. Bring along the right type of sunscreen.

You know enough by now to bring along sunscreen for your beach vacation, but is it the right type for your skin? In general, most experts recommend nothing less than SPF 30. Remember that it’s not enough just to bring it – you have to use it, too. Plan to lotion up or spray it on every hour or so. You might need to do it more often if you’re going to be hanging out in the water or if you’re fair-skinned.

3. Hide your valuables well.

We’ve all done it – put our keys and money in our shoes. Even comedians joke that everyone knows that’s where most valuables are hidden at the beach. Instead of doing the obvious, hide your stuff somewhere no one will look — such as wrapped up in a baby’s diaper or an emptied-out sunscreen bottle.

4. Don’t swim with jellyfish.

If you hear of a jellyfish sighting, avoid that area of the water. Jellyfish stings can make a beach day turn sour very quickly, and some jellyfish stings can be dangerous and require a trip to the emergency room. It’s not worth the risk.

5. Stop being sandy with some baby powder.

Baby powder doesn’t just smell nice, but it can also take all that sand off your body. Everyone hates the feeling of not being able to get totally sand-free on the hands, arms, legs and feet. Instead of trying to rub it off or wash it off, simply shake some baby powder onto it. In no time flat, you’ll have silky, sand-free skin with a soft, relaxing aroma.

6. Don’t swim out too far.

Even strong swimmers can get mixed up if they’re swimming in strong tides. Rather than trying to be a hero or looking cool, stay closer to the shore. It’s ultimately the safest way to swim in the ocean.

7. Don’t force little kids into the water.

Everyone seems to think it’s hilarious when little kids are forced to go into the ocean, but if yours is scared, it’s best to back off. Let him or her get in at a slow pace. Some children are more wary of the waves than others.

8. Get to the beach early in the day.

If it’s going to be a beautiful day, there’s nothing wrong with heading to the shore earlier rather than later. It’s not usually as crowded, and although the water may seem a bit cooler than it will be at 2:30 p.m., it will still feel refreshing and wonderful. The sun doesn’t shine as intensely in the morning, either.

9. Be social — or at least don’t be rude.

The beach is a place where you’re going to run into many different individuals and families. Even if you don’t want to talk to the folks who are on blankets next to you, completely ignoring them can be rude. A simple “Hello” will suffice. Who knows? You might even discover that you have something in common if you strike up a conversation.

10. Bring along lots of water.

Staying hydrated at the beach is an absolute must, so bring along lots of bottles of water. If you don’t have a cooler or don’t plan on bringing one, store some of the water bottles in the freezer for a while. They’ll stay nice and cool longer throughout the time you’re at the beach.

11. Try not to fall asleep.

Napping at the beach can seem like the perfect thing to do, but it can lead to serious sunburn. If you’re going to allow yourself some shut-eye, always make sure you’re under an umbrella.

12. Don’t take your camera into the surf.

Sound totally obvious? It might be, but more than one person has ruined a camera or smartphone by accidentally getting it wet. Stay far away from any waves when you’re trying to take pics.

13. Don’t drink alcohol.

While a cold beer can seem like a huge treat at the beach, it can quickly sap you of your hydration levels.

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