Each year millions of visitors flock to Myrtle Beach for some hot fun in the summer sun, and some get a little more sun than they bargained for. The worst souvenir you can take home from Myrtle Beach is painful sunburn, especially if it prevents you from enjoying yourself on vacation.
Nothing can spoil a trip to the beach like too much sun that forces you to spend your time in the shade or the indoors. Here are five tips for protecting yourself and loved ones from the sun and making sure everyone has a safe and happy vacation:
- Sunscreen is the easiest way to protect your skin, and the most common mistake made by vacationers. Yes, you can buy a bargain brand bottle for a buck at the dollar store, but this will provide about as much protection as applying pancake batter to your skin, especially in a water-rich environment like the beach and pool. Make sure to buy waterproof sunscreen with an SPF level of at least 50 for children, or 30 for adults. Children require frequent coatings, about every hour or so, since even waterproof sunscreens tend to can dilute due to perspiration and repeated dips in the water. When reapplying, check the little ones and yourself for any spots you may have missed earlier and pay close attention to keeping it covered in the near future.
- Beach umbrellas have become a hot topic in Myrtle Beach. The city issued a ban on the larger shade tents because they were becoming a safety issue, preventing emergency vehicles from responding to crowded areas of the beach and blocking the sight lines of lifeguards. The new law has prompted visitors to switch to the smaller and legal beach umbrellas, which can provide a nice shady spot to escape the sun’s direct rays. Be sure to pick up one that is adjustable so you can use it to block out the sun and the wind, and one that is strong enough to withstand a stiff ocean breeze. You don’t have to spend all your time in the shade of the umbrella but you can use it to take frequent breaks from the sun to cool off and give your skin time out of the harmful UV rays.
- There’s a good reason that countries located close to the equator take advantage of the siesta, an afternoon retreat to escape the heat of the day. Myrtle Beach is also a good place to try the practice, particularly during the summer months. Between the hours of noon and 2 p.m., head back to the room for a long lunch and a little relief from the heat. This is a good time to rest and reapply sunscreen before you go back out in the sun, and to check yourself for any signs of sunburn or heat exhaustion. Drink plenty of fluids, water and sports drinks instead of carbonated beverages, and let your body completely cool before you jump back into the sunlight. After showering, apply an aloe-based lotion to keep your skin moisturized.
- Another common mistake beachgoers make is to coat themselves in sunscreen but forget some of the other items that can protect them from the sun. For example, lip balm with a high SPF can keep your lips from getting dry and cracked from the sunlight, and a pair of UV-resistant sunglasses can keep the bright sunlight out of your eyes. A baseball cap or visor offers extra protection for your head and face, and some savvy visitors have discovered water socks or sandals to keep the tops of the feet from burning and the bottoms from stepping on sharp shells. You can also throw a wet beach towel over your shoulders for protection and relief from the sun, and really enjoy your Myrtle Beach vacation.