When you’re leaving your self-catering Cape Town holiday apartment behind to head for the beach, this checklist will help you make the most of the sea, sand, sun, views and sunsets.
Early bird catches the worm
If the weather looks promising, don’t wait until you’re going to battle for space on the beach or get scorched in the middle of the day. Head out of your upmarket apartment early and enjoy a peaceful morning soaking up the softer sunrays.
Pack a hat
Whether you’re heading for the beach, shops or markets, a hat is always a good idea. Remember the South Easter can play up in Cape Town, so a hat with a chin string or a cap that sits securely on your head will work best.
Keep the sting out of the sun by applying sunscreen first thing in the morning. Reapply every two hours or every time you come out of the water. Covering up also helps avoid sunburn.
Change of clothes
You and your family will get wet and sandy at the beach. Keep a dry change of clothes for everyone in plastic bags to keep out the sand. Replace the clean clothes with your wet beach clothes when it’s time to change.
Make use of your luxury self-catering apartment’s facilities and raid the fridge to pack snacks so you don’t have to queue to buy fast foods while on the beach. Apples, cheese wedges, carrot, celery and cucumber sticks are healthy and refreshing on a hot day.
Have a first aid kit handy
Be prepared for scrapes and cuts with band aid and take along some headache tablets. An antihistamine cream and insect repellent may also save the day on the beach.
Store electronics in plastic bags
Slip your cell phone and camera into a zip lock plastic bag to protect them against sand, sunscreen and getting soaked.
While you are on holidays, criminals are still on the prowl and they often target relaxed holiday makers. Be aware of your personal safety while out and about – even on the beach. Avoid deserted areas and going to the beach all by yourself. Don’t leave your valuables unattended.
When things heat up, you need to stay cool. Proper hydration is very important – especially when you spend a day in the sun. Opt for water as your drink of choice on the beach and make sure you drink a glass of water for every hour in the sun.
A cold beer may sound inviting when the sun is hot, but remember that Cape Town’s beach authorities prohibit drinking of alcohol on our beaches. Alcohol also dehydrates your body, so it is not a good idea to take a toot in the sun.
Listen to the lifesavers
Most Cape Town beaches have lifesavers on duty in the summer months. They demarcate safe swimming areas. Take care to stay within their parametres and don’t swim out too far. Strong currents can catch you unaware.
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