If you go with your family, the beach is a relaxing getaway, prepaid and carefree.
Vacationing with friends may be much more exciting, but splitting a house with eight people to lower the cost means spending time with seven other people you're not totally comfortable around.
Someone’s bound to wake up early to run five miles and make everyone feel guilty for sleeping until noon; another friend will retreat to the house to watch Netflix after an hour at the beach; someone will probably straight-up destroy your bathroom.
When vacationing with friends, sleep, sanity and money become limited resources.
Here is a step-by-step guide to get you through going to the beach with your 20-something friends.
You’re going to want to start with kicking those body image issues. Free yourself of the undercurrent of fear that whatever you’re bringing to the table isn’t good enough.
Bring a Boombox
Your beach spot is surrounded by families with children who are 6 or younger.
Instead of using your headphones, blast “Get Low” across the shore and heatedly argue with a concerned father about what music is appropriate for toddlers.
Prepare your Phone
Everything at the beach is designed to destroy your technology. Between the sand, waves and seaside kids, it will be a miracle if it gets out alive.
Fear not because I’ve done the research.
After Googling, “How to take your phone to the beach,” I found 10 steps to keeping it safe.
Here is a real step I found: “Download the beach waves ringtone and use it if you don’t want to switch the ringtone off. This way, it won’t be drawing attention when it rings.”
There’s nothing more relaxing than thinking every single wave is a phone call. Yet, why limit yourself to the beach?
Whenever I visit Greece, I set my text notification to the sound of banks closing and general doom. My ringtone for public transit is the sound of a homeless man whispering to himself.
It’s like I’m not even there.
Break the Law
Drunkenly light off fireworks and lose your dogs as you dance around the fire you made out of glass containers.
Reject the Clouds
The beach knows you’re coming. It’s not going to rain.
Regard the sky as you would a portrait. Those clouds in the distance are not going anywhere. The Earth doesn’t rotate, and the wind doesn’t exist.
As long as you don’t think about the inclement weather, it won’t rain. It's mind over ma—
Was that a drop? Did you guys feel a drop?
Flex for the Camera
Sh*t, someone brought a Nikon. Everyone flex! Flex as hard as you can!
What do you mean, "What?" Everything!
One, two three, cheese! Okay, now breathe.
You got at least one ab in that shot. Good thing you’re super dehydrated from drinking the night before.
Waste Your Money On Horse Racing
Come on down to the boardwalk and acquire an addiction to the races.
If you beat the 3-year-old whose dad always helps him throw the ball, you win two small teddy bears, which you can trade in for one medium, which means you’re one-third of the way toward spending $30 on a stuffed animal.
Be A Man
Engage in the following dialogue with your friend who is also a man:
“Hey, after pizza, you want to go to the arcade, punch that bag and see who’s more alpha?”
“Yeah, man. There’s a direct correlation between how hard I punch that bag and how secure I am in my masculinity."
For best results, after swinging, mutter to yourself, “I never felt close with my dad.”
Be a Woman
While the author of this guide is no woman, he certainly knows women.
A staff writer had this to say:
“We'll kill ourselves because of the skinnier bitch to our left.”
Seems a bit harsh, but what do I know? I’m a man.
Become an Alcoholic
When you return to work and your friends ask how it was, clutch your head and mumble, “This is the longest I’ve been sober in eight days.”
At 5 pm, head straight to the bar to avoid going through withdrawals.
Talk to the Locals
Slide up to a leather-skinned local to hear all about the hurricane that ruined their local economy.
Quickly forget about the encounter, and continue being young.
Plan for the Tan
Sit in the sun for five hours straight, flipping every half hour.
The only people who worry about melanoma are pale people who live a long time.
So what if your grandkids will never know you? Their parents will show them your Facebook page so they can meet the bronze statue you once were rather than the freckled corpse you became.
Ogle Other People
Summer’s here, and you know what that means: sunglasses. You like staring at people more than they like being stared at.
No one knows what goes on behind those tinted lenses, so go on.
Be the creep you were meant to be.
Come damp, leave damp, and stay damp. The dampness never ends. You will always be damp.
Make Regrettable Decisions
The beach is like a youth’s cheaper alternative to Vegas: Anything goes, you'll spend too much money, and ill-advised sex is probably going to happen.
Leave your Boogie Boards in the Car (or the Past)
Unless you have a child who doesn’t want to carry it, you are technically not allowed to bring a boogie board. To be real, if you do bring a boogie board, you will require a rash guard.
You know, one of those water shirts? You wear one so you don’t get a rash. I’m serious; it’s for rashes.
Do you see that fin? There’s definitely a dolphin out there.