If you're anything like us, you tore off your jeans, threw on a swimsuit, and headed straight to the sand as soon as the thermometer hit the mid-70s. Now that we've officially broken in the hot weather with sandcastles, barbecues, booze, and sunscreen over the Fourth of July holiday, it's time to set a few ground rules to help you keep enjoying the beach. Expedia's latest Flip Flop Report got beachgoers to dish on the types of folks they'd really rather not share the sand with this summer. We've turned that intel into ammo to help you avoid being the most hated person on your next beach trip. Here are five easy ways to make sure you're not the one getting some side-eye with your suntan. Hint: It has a lot to do with recognizing personal space.
1. Keep it clean.
It comes as no surprise that Americans turn up the hate for people who trash the beach. Stepping onto sand filled with plastic bottles, cigarette butts, and other pieces of garbage can shatter dream your dream scene immediately. That said, keep our shores sparkling -- don't leave a mess, pick up your trash, and respect the beauty of the beach.
2. Keep an eye on your kiddos.
More than half of the folks surveyed agreed that one of the biggest ways to anger fellow beachgoers is by being an inattentive parent. With that in mind, it's important to practice a little quality control on your kids. (We understand that this might be easier said than done.) Give your kids (both furry and human) some space to run around and expend energy, but don't let them stray too far, cause a scene, or impede the precious relaxation time that other beach bums are trying to soak up.
3. Remember you're not alone.
Dipping your toes into the sand of a public beach is like making an unspoken pact to the share the space with all the other visitors. It's no wonder then that over a third of the surveyed beachgoers dislike when their neighbors don't respect their personal space. Keep in mind that not everyone wants to hear your favorite playlist, be within the lens of a camera, or hear about last night's crazy date. Leave your speakers at home, put the camera down, and keep your outdoor voice at a respectable level. Oh, and watch where you're flicking that sand.
4. Keep it classy (or at least under control).
Check yourself before you wreck yourself, especially at the beach. Boozing at the beach can be tempting, but nearly 50 percent of beachgoers don't appreciate it when people don't know their alcohol limits. Breaking up a fight, having to tell people to keep it classy, or saving an intoxicated individual from drowning isn't on anyone's summer beach bucket list, so don't overindulge and ruin the fun for others.
5. Don't be a creeper.
Nothing will put you in the annoying beachgoer category quite like gawking at others in their swimsuits. (And don't think you can hide behind your sunglasses either.) Don't want to be disliked at the beach? Simply don't ogle. As always, it's not polite to stare. If you need a distraction, bring a book.
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