Going to the Beach Alone – Solo Travel Tips

When you’re travelling alone, some things get more complicated.  Going to the beach alone is one of those!  Staying safe and keeping your belongings secure when you are on your own at the beach isn’t always easy.  So, I’m sharing all of my knowledge and tips to help you to enjoy your solo beach trip safely so you can just concentrate on relaxing and enjoying the sunshine!

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Top Tips for Staying Safe at the Beach Alone

Be Prepared

You might wonder how prepared you really need to be to go to a beach alone, but I always like to do some research on the beach, especially if it is in a secluded spot. 

Is it easy to get there?  Some of the beaches I wanted to visit in Cornwall had a very steep path down the cliff to get to the sand so I decided not to risk falling and chose a safer beach instead. 

Is there nearby parking or public transport?  Will you have to walk far to get to the beach, and will you need sensible shoes for scrambling over rocks or just sandals?

Check the tide times to make sure the beach won’t get cut off at high tide.  Check if the beach is safe for swimming if you are planning to go for a dip, and pay attention to any warning signs or flags.

Is there somewhere to buy food and drink or do you need to bring everything yourself?  My first tip would be to bring food and especially drink anyway, so you’re not relying on having to buy it from somewhere that may not be open.

A Solo Beach Trip Doesn't Have to Be Scary - Woman alone on a beach, wearing a white dress and looking into the distance
A Solo Beach Trip Doesn’t Have to Be Scary!

Stay Hydrated

It’s easy to forget to keep drinking while you are enjoying yourself at the beach!  Take plenty of water with you to keep hydrated and I usually put ice cubes in my water bottle to keep the water cool a little longer.  Snacks are also useful to keep you going until your meal.

Protect Yourself from the Sun

Do not underestimate the power of the sun’s rays.  Even on cloudy days, you can burn easily, and without anyone to remind you to apply and reapply sunscreen you need to be extra careful.  There are various ways to protect your skin though, and they don’t involve asking anyone to rub cream into your back!!

Wear Sunscreen

I might be showing my age here but as Baz Luhrmann said; “if I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it”.  Even if you want to tan, sunscreen is still essential, so slather that stuff on.  I’d also recommend setting an alarm at regular intervals so you remember to re-apply, and to wake you up in case you doze off in the sun!

Don’t forget the tops of your ears and your hair parting, as well as the tops of your feet.  I always make sure I put sunscreen on the backs of my hands as well.

How to Put Sunscreen on Your Own Back

Don’t worry, going to the beach alone doesn’t mean you have to ask a stranger to rub sun lotion on your back.  While that could be an ice-breaker to get chatting with that cute guy or girl, I’m not a fan of being touched by people I don’t know!

The easiest option is to get an aerosol sunscreen spray which delivers an even coverage wherever you spray, so no awkward contortionism or creepy strangers are required.  Sun Bum’s sunscreen spray is vegan, reef-friendly and water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.

Alternatively, you could get a lotion applicator that you fill with your sun cream and use to rub on your back.  The Back Bliss Lotion and Cream Applicator was designed by a woman who got sunburnt at the beach because she couldn’t reach her back, so it could be just the thing to help you apply your sunscreen. 

I bought one for my trip to Australia and it took a bit of practise to make sure I didn’t miss any patches, but after a couple of tries it worked really well.  Other similar products like this lotion applicator are also adjustable to make sure you can reach every spot!

Cover Up

If you’re not working on your tan, the easiest way to protect yourself from the sun is to cover up.  Be wary of thin, floaty materials as they still allow UV light to pass through so you could still burn.  A normal t-shirt will work well, or you can buy a UV filtering rash guard or long-sleeved swimming top to keep your skin safely covered up.

Don’t forget a sun hat with a wide brim to protect your ears, neck, face and scalp, and sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV rays.

Me at a Beach in Australia - How to Visit the Beach Alone
Me at a Beach in Australia – How to Visit the Beach Alone

Take an Umbrella

It’s also important to get some time in the shade.  Some beaches may have a few palm trees (watch out for coconuts!) but bringing or hiring a beach umbrella is the best way to guarantee that shade won’t disappear as the sun moves across the sky. 

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How to Keep Your Belongings Safe at the Beach

Now we’ve got you covered, it’s time to figure out how to keep your belongings safe at the beach.

Don’t bring anything valuable with you to the beach in the first place.  Leave expensive jewellery and electronics at home or back at your hotel.  If you drive to the beach I wouldn’t recommend leaving them in your car either, as break-ins to cars at the beach aren’t uncommon.

While you are sunbathing, keep your bag in sight at all times.  I’ve had someone try to creep up behind me to try and grab my bag, so don’t let it out of your sight!  If you have an umbrella or sun lounger, clip the handle around the pole or leg so no one can grab it and run, or keep the strap on your wrist or around your ankle.

To keep your belongings safe while you are in the water there are several options to help prevent thieves from taking your stuff.

Anything that you leave on the beach could be put into a portable safe which you can attach to a parasol and bury in the sand.  Alternatively, secret stash items like a fake water bottle or can of Coke also foil thieves.

If you prefer to keep anything valuable with you, a waterproof dry bag that you can sling over your shoulder will keep electronics and car keys safe and dry, and with you at all times.  I have a small waterproof pouch I take with me into the water, so I don’t have to worry about anything while I’m taking a swim.

If you want to take photos then a waterproof phone case to go around your neck is essential to protect your phone from sand and water as well as potential thieves!

Woman alone on the beach at sunset
Avoid Spending Time at the Beach Alone After Dark

Avoid Being on the Beach At Night Alone

Unfortunately, even the safest of beaches can become a scary place at night.  For me, unless I am with a group of people, I head home as soon as the sun sets.  The exception to this is if your hotel is right on the beach, and you are somewhere with other people where you feel safe.  However, still be on your guard wherever you are, and don’t take any unnecessary risks.

What to Take to the Beach

Beach Essentials

Aside from the things I’ve already mentioned, these are the most important things to take to the beach.  Get my full beach packing list here.


Not only do sunglasses look cool, but a good pair will also protect your eyes from UVA and UVB rays.  If you’re going in the sea with them, a strap to keep them on your face can come in handy!

Sun Hat

A sunhat is important to protect your head and face, especially if you plan to be in the sun for any length of time.  Peaked caps are useful, but a full brim will protect your neck as well.


Your lips will dry out quickly with the sun and salty water, so a chapstick with a built-in SPF protection will help keep your lips soft and safe from the sun.

Disinfectant Wipes

Wipes are handy for wiping your hands before you eat, and generally keeping things clean.  It’s amazing how dirty things get at the beach!

Going to the Beach Alone - Woman on a beach facing away from the camera wearing a large hat
Going to the Beach Alone – Don’t Forget a Sun Hat

Beach Clothing


Of course, you don’t want to forget your swimsuit!  Break out your cute bikini and sexy swimming shorts, you deserve it!

Swimming Clothes

If you are planning to spend a lot of time in the water, sunscreen will wash off so a long-sleeved rash guard top will protect your skin from burning.  Even an old t-shirt will do the job if you don’t want to splash out on some new gear, but there are some super cute and colourful options to choose from!


If space allows, I like to bring 2 towels to the beach – one to lie on and one to dry myself off with!  Microfibre travel towels take up less space than normal bathroom towels and are easier to shake the sand off.


To give your skin a break from the heat of the sun, or to cover up to go into a shop, having a sarong or cover up is a must.  For the gents, a t-shirt or funky colourful shirt is the perfect beach accessory.  For ladies, I usually have a sarong and a tank top to put on, although there are some beautiful beach dresses around to choose from too.

A Beautiful Solo Beach Trip - overhead shot of a woman in a turquoise sea
A Beautiful Solo Beach Trip


Beach shoes, flip flops or sandals are very useful if you are visiting a stony beach, and they will also protect your feet from hot sand.  I hadn’t realised that hot sand can quickly burn the soles of your feet, but after experiencing a painful beach visit in Belize I learned the error of my ways!

Jelly shoes or water shoes can also be worn in the sea so you don’t have to worry about stepping on anything sharp under the water.

Dry Underwear

There is nothing worse than sitting around all day in a wet swimsuit, so some dry underwear is essential.  I usually wear my bikini to the beach, then before heading home, I change into some dry underwear or a dry bikini which makes my journey back so much more pleasant! 

That does take some stealthy towel action to avoid flashing everyone, but it is definitely worth it!

Wrap your wet swimsuit in your towel or put it in waterproof bag to stop it from soaking everything else in your bag.

Things to Do at the Beach Alone

Don’t be worried about feeling lonely or awkward at the beach on your own.  There are plenty of things to do at the beach to keep you busy!


Chilling out at the beach with a good book sounds like the perfect solo beach vacation to me!  A good old paperback is easy to carry and it won’t matter too much if it gets damp.  If you prefer to read on your Kindle or iPad, remember to keep it safely hidden when you’re not using it.

A Good Book or Kindle Helps to Pass the Time at the Beach
A Good Book or Kindle Helps to Pass the Time at the Beach

Listen to Music, a Podcast or Audiobook

I love disappearing into my own world at the beach, especially if there are noisy families around.  I just pop in my noise-cancelling earbuds and listen while I’m gazing out to sea.  If you’re somewhere peaceful though, there is no better sound than waves lapping on the shore.


People watching is addictive, and easy to do when you’re wearing sunglasses!  I don’t mean to stare incessantly at anyone in a creepy way, but I do like to have a nosey at what other people are up to.

Explore Rock Pools

Depending on the type of beach you are on, there may be rock pools to explore when the tide is out.  Another favourite activity of mine from my childhood is having a nose about in rock pools to find anemones, starfish and crabs and it is still great fun – although I leave them where they are and don’t pick them up any more.

Go Beachcombing

I have recently discovered a love for searching for seaglass when I’m at the beach.  Unless it’s the height of summer, the beaches in England aren’t usually warm enough for a swim, so I’ve taken to just walking along the shore and keeping my eyes open for anything interesting.  You never know what you may find!

There are plenty of things to do at the beach alone - hands taking a photo of a red starfish on a phone
There are plenty of things to do at the beach alone

Go for a Dip

Assuming the water is safe for a swim, I love cooling off and just sitting in the water.  Be careful about swimming too far out and of any strong currents or riptides.  

Go Snorkelling

I’m not a fan of just swimming around without things to look at, so snorkelling is the best way to keep me entertained in the sea.  Depending on where you are you could see different kinds of fish, octopuses and even sea turtles just snorkelling off the shore.

If you’re nervous about swimming in the sea, I find it’s also nice to know what is under the water so I can make sure there are no sharks or anything scary down there!

Get Active

There are plenty of water sports you could try your hand at, again depending on where you are.   Surf lessons, scuba diving, windsurfing or paddleboarding are just some of the activities you could do alone at the beach, just join a class and get out there.  Even going for a walk or a run on the beach can pass the time quite nicely.


The whole point of being at the beach alone or with people is to enjoy it.  Whatever you like to do at the beach, you can do, and enjoy your time there.  If I’ve missed any top beach time tips then let me know in the comments anything else that you do to stay safe and enjoy a solo trip to the beach!

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