A few days ago we touched on the topic of balcony safety when traveling especially with kids or if you plan on having a drink or two. However, aside from a great view, another reason a majority of us go on vacation is to also enjoy a nice dip in the hotel pool, or head to the beachside, soak in sum sun and enjoy a few waves while we’re at it. Swimming is part of almost any holiday, especially during the summer months. It’s also a great way to exercise and get a bit movement if you plan to not really do anything else aside from relaxing. Nonetheless, keep local rules and regulations in mind, flag systems, the currents of the waves when at the beach, as well as where swimming may be permitted and where not. These things vary from country to country. We have taken a look and listed a few tips that are valid throughout the year, regardless of your destination and season. A pool is never far away, even during the winters, if your hotel has an indoor pool.
Make the most of it
If you plan on swimming, especially at the beach while on holiday it may be good to brush up on your swimming skills prior to your departure. No matter how good of a swimmer you may be, it might be nice to head to your local pool once or twice to get that feeling of a proper breaststroke. Especially if you have kids.
Speaking of kids, make the most of your time on holiday with them. Don’t let them play in the water while you lay around. Get in on the activity and get into the water with them (logically if you have very young kids or toddlers), however, also for older kids. It’s a great way to bond and keep an eye on them. It’ll be fun creating experiences to remember, also noting that children should always be supervised in or near water.
Wherever you may be, like we stated above, follow all rules and regulations. Every pool has its opening and closing times if you’re at a hotel. Follow the safety signs and local signs as well. First have a look at the pool layout, prior to jumping or diving in, so you know where the shallow and deep ends are. Only dive in where you are permitted too.
If you are on the beach be aware of the flags and the relevant signals. Be cautious of currents, no matter how good of a swimmer you are. They can be very strong. Never hesitate to ask locals or authorities nearby if there are any dangerous currents and learn how to spot a riptide.
Also be aware of underwater hazards. Things like reefs, rocks, a rapid change in depth or marine life. Only dive in where you are permitted if jumping from a cliff, pier, etc.
Just like we mentioned above, speak to locals, hotel reps, or the lifeguard about local beaches, currents or generic rules when it comes to swimming. Read the safety rules and never swim in areas reserved for boats or jet skis. As logical as it may sound, it is better to be safe than sorry.
A good neighbor
Even when on holiday, “be a good neighbor” and look out for others. If you plan on doing a big swim out in the open waters of a sea or ocean, perhaps you may be able to buddy up with someone else through social media, spotting someone locally, etc.
Children should always be supervised. Not every location (including pools) have lifeguards present at all times or even under legal circumstances. Do not leave kids unattended especially on the beach. Even if your child is wearing a life vest or any other swimming support, they are no substitution for supervision. “Being a good neighbor” also includes generic scanning and watching out for others including kids who may seem to be unsupervised or in a dangerous situation.
Know where to get help if something happens and ensure you know the correct phone numbers for the country you are in.
You do not have to prove anything to anyone. If you are not a good swimmer, be cautious. Perhaps you may want to take a few swimming lessons locally before heading off to vacation. There is no shame in properly learning something new, regardless of age.
If you consider yourself a good swimmer, remember swimming in a pool is different than swimming in open waters. You never know what may happen so be aware of your surroundings.
A great acronym when it comes to swimming is SAFE.
- S – Spot any dangers ahead of time and make sure you stay clear of them. Whether a slippery surface area at the pool or high waves on the beach.
- A – Advice. Seek inputs from safety sign or locals and authorities (lifegaurd, police, etc.)
- F – Friends or family members should always be nearby if possible.
- E – Emergency in case something does happen. Call/shout for help or utilize a phone to call the local emergency numbers.
Despite swimming being a “harmless” activity per se, it is important to freshen up on a few thoughts before heading to your destination especially when traveling with kids. Safety always should come first. Dont be over protective, just utilize common sense for everyone to have an enjoyable, fun and rememberable time swimming at the beach or at a pool.
What else do you do when it comes to swimming safety? We’d love to have you share in the comments below.