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Updated by Zoey Adams on Jul 21, 2015
Headline for Etiquette on the beach - Beach Etiquette Guidelines for Holidaymakers
Zoey Adams Zoey Adams
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Etiquette on the beach - Beach Etiquette Guidelines for Holidaymakers

Proper etiquette is the hallmark of a conscientious traveller and the beach is no exception when it comes to good behaviour. From faux pas to simple courtesy here are some guidelines for beachgoers.


Where to Place Your Belongings

When setting up a spot for one's self on the beach it is important to maintain the 15 feet rule before putting your towel on the sand. Ideally beachgoers should be 15 feet apart from one another to allow enough privacy and a safe distance for one's own beach gear. Looking at available spots before establishing one's own spot so as not to inconvenience those already at the beach is good etiquette.


Check the Tide Before Settling In

Another common mistake beach holidaymakers make setting up one's spot too close to the water and then moving up the beach once the tide comes in, thus inconveniencing other beachgoers who must either move or have their space infringed upon to accommodate those heading inland due to the tide. Pay attention to the tide conditions and select a spot uphill of the shores so that the water will not move in even during high tide.


Don't Feed Birdlife

This may be a well-know rule of thumb when it comes to beach etiquette but it is also a guideline that is often ignored by families with children and those intrigued by local birdlife. Seagulls and other birds at the beach are not pets and should not be fed as the birds will hover above beachgoers expecting treats. It is also important that whatever food one bring to the beach in covered containers.


When Placing Your Umbrella

Attentions should also be paid when setting up one's umbrella as placing it an angle that does not oppose the direction of the wind can result in the apparatus flying off once the wind gets underneath it and disrupt other beachgoers.


Beach Games

Those who are based in a Negombo hotel such as the Jetwing Beach can opt to engage in in-house activities although beachfront activities are another staple of a beach holiday. Visitors playing games on the beach such as beach volleyball or Frisbee should refrain from playing in crowded areas and opt for a free area of the shores instead of disturbing others who may be enjoying a nap, reading or relaxing on the beach. Whistling and making loud noises when playing should also be kept to a minimum.


Forgo the Flops

Leaving one's flip-flops behind is always a good idea when heading to the beach as walking near other beach visitors who are already occupying the beach can become especially hazardous with footwear on. Flip-flops are known to splash sand with every step and walking amongst other beachgoers wearing flip-flops is not only ill advised but rude and offensive as one may inadvertently sand someone's face or other belongings.


Volumes Down

If one is taking a radio or music playing device to the beach keeping the volume at a moderate level is good etiquette while opting to use headphones is also a sign of respect for others.


Be Careful When Clearing Out

Avoid shaking off sand from towels near other beach dwellers as this can scatter sand all over one's neighbour's person or belongings. Be careful when clearing out of the beach as one was when setting up.



Public displays of affection are a big faux pas on the beach and this is especially true in Asian countries.