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Planning A Solo Beach Trip: Your Ultimate Guide

By Jessie Festa. This guide to enjoying a beach trip alone contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Planning a solo beach trip, but don’t know where to start?

You’re in the right place!

Going to the beach alone can feel daunting, though it doesn’t have to be.

In fact, a solo beach getaway can often be even more enjoyable than going in a group, as you’ll really be able to take in the natural beauty and peace that surrounds you. Plus, a solo beach trip can be the ultimate self-care experience.

But, how do you actually plan a memorable trip to the beach alone?

Keep reading to discover important tips for planning a safe and fun solo beach vacation — plus suggestions for the best beach destinations for solo travelers.

As someone who loves going to the beach alone, I can’t wait to share my tips so that you can also enjoy some solo time in the sand!

Don’t forget to pack sun protection for your solo beach trip! Along with sunscreen and a hat, a few other recommendations include polarized floating sunglasses and rashguard clothing.

Other solo beach essentials include a waterproof fanny pack, a quick-dry towel with hidden pocket, and a waterproof phone case.

And if you’re looking for stylish beach cover-ups, I’m obsessed with these Kenny Flowers kimonos and sarongs!

Spend Time Alone At The Beach With Confidence (Free eCourse)

But first, before we get into our guide to taking a beach vacation alone, I invite you to grab a seat in my free Savvy Solo Traveler E-Course.

The 6-day course is designed to help you feel confident about booking your first solo trip and exploring the world alone.

Lessons include:

  • Common solo travel fears and how to overcome them
  • How to choose your perfect solo trip
  • How to tell loved ones you’re hitting the road solo
  • Mentally preparing for your solo journey without losing your mind
  • Essential steps for staying safe on a solo trip
  • How to take amazing solo selfies

Once you’ve grabbed your seat, read on to dive into our solo travel guide.

Is It Safe To Go To The Beach By Myself?

Going to the beach by yourself can be both a peaceful and fun experience. It’s totally safe to do, as long as you take some precautionary measures into consideration.

Make sure that you’ve brought adequate sun protection with you — sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and potentially even a beach umbrella.

Also, don’t go too far out in the water by yourself — stay close to the sand (and other people) and opt for a beach that has a lifeguard on duty.

Finally, stay aware of your surroundings. This is one of the most important solo travel safety tips no matter where you’re traveling. If you ever feel uncomfortable or unsafe, leave. Even if it means being rude or awkward.

What To Do With Your Stuff At The Beach Solo

While researching the best beaches to visit alone, one question that will likely arise is how to keep your things safe when traveling solo at the beach. Luckily, the following tips can help with this.

Leave your valuables behind

You want to be selective with what you take along to the beach, especially when it comes to your valuables. If you’d be devastated to loose it, it should probably stay at your hotel.

I’ll admit, this is easier said than done in some cases, specifically with your phone.

Most of us traveling around alone don’t want to go anywhere without our device — especially if you’re going to be out for the day; but your jewelry, laptop, and anything else that’s expensive and fragile (a MacBook Pro + sand is not a great combination) should stay safely in your room.

Additionally, if bringing cash, only bring a little — so that if your things did get stolen you wouldn’t be left with nothing.

The same goes for credit cards. Only bring one credit card with you, and leave your debit card and any extra cards in your hotel room safe.

From there, stick with your beach essentials:

  • Towel
  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottle
  • Book

… and leave the rest behind. You can binge watch your favorite Netflix show when you’re back!

solo traveler at the beach in Cancun, Mexico
Only bring the essentials when going to the beach alone. Photo via Jessie Festa (in Cancun, Mexico).

Keep your things in an anti-theft bag

You’ll need to bring something to the beach. Probably a towel, hotel key, and maybe even your phone.

One of the best pieces of travel safety gear you can bring on a solo beach trip is an anti-theft bag — like a Loctote AntiTheft Sack, which features cut-resistant fabric and an inside pocket lined with RFID blocking material.

The best part? This bag comes with a steel-reinforced locking cable, so you can secure your bag to a stationary object like a beach chair or a tree!

Click here to view Loctote’s full line of anti-theft bags.

Bring a waterproof bag

Along with having an anti-theft bag that you leave on the sand, you can also bring a waterproof bag for when you go in the water.

You can get one with a floating lanyard built right in so you you don’t lose anything. This bundle from OceanOnlineStore features a floating dry bag and a floating lanyard phone case.

Another option is a waterproof fanny pack, like this heavy-duty one from Watertrace. You can even go swimming and snorkeling with it!

Moreover, your phone can double as an underwater camera if you get the right case. LifeProof actually has a number of waterproof cases that help ensure you can capture beautiful images without ruining your phone. Just head to their online shop, choose your phone from their dropdown, and then search for their Fre Series waterproof cases.

Get a hidden pocket towel

Another option for hiding your valuables when at the beach solo is a towel with a hidden pocket.

This microfiber option dries quick, and its hidden zipper pocket helps keep thieves from knowing you’re even carrying keys and cash.

Get a beach towel with hidden pockets when traveling solo. Photo via Drew Dau for Unsplash.

Befriend a family

Making friends at the beach can be a great way to enjoy your time and protect your things. I suggest opting for a family — adults with kids at the beach are often a great friendly resource.

Plus, if you want to head into the water you can (kindly) ask if they’d mind watching your things for a few minutes.

Make your things look like trash

If you need to bring your things but simply want them to be less noticeable and tempting to take, consider making them look like trash. 

To accomplish this, you can store items in an empty sunscreen bottle or a chip bag — anything that will help it blend into the scenery. 

This can be an effective way to keep your things hidden from site. Just make sure to keep these items covered on your towel so that nobody accidentally throws anything away.

Keep an eye out

If you’re going to be at the beach when it’s less crowded, simply keeping an eye out might be the best strategy. This way, you can relax and enjoy your time in the water without having to worry about having someone to watch your things for you.

solo female traveler at Polo Beach in Bocas del Toro, Panama
Make a plan for keeping your things safe while you’re away from them at the beach. Photo via Jessie Festa (at Polo Beach in Panama).

How To Apply Sunscreen To Yourself On A Solo Beach Trip

If you’re headed to the beach solo, you need to protect yourself from the harsh rays of the sun. Unfortunately, slathering yourself with sunscreen isn’t sexy enough for Hollywood to cover it, so we’re stuck wondering how to do it.

Luckily, going to the beach alone doesn’t have to mean a burnt back. Here are a few tips for being alone at the beach and still keeping the sun rays in check:

  • Go with a spray-on sunscreen: you’ll have a better chance of covering the hard-to-reach places with a spray, though rubbing it in could still serve an issue.
  • Use a roll on lotion applicator: you’re not the only one that’s had this issue before, which is why there is a tool for it. Granted it might look a little weird, but you can get a handy little arm extension like this budget-friendly option that can lend you a hand.
  • Make your own applicator: using a clean small paint roller, you can apply the sunscreen by rolling it down your back.
  • Use a piece of plastic wrap or an old towel: you can use either of these to rub the lotion down your back.

You want to make sure you’re staying on top of your sunscreen application to ensure you don’t burn.

Generally, you’ll want to apply it every two hours; but you’ll also want to make sure you apply it right after you swim or sweat. Also, the higher the SPF, the better.

Beyond sunscreen, you can also:

  • Opt for a bathing suit that covers your back: choose one that covers the hard-to-reach top of your back in particular, like this one.
  • Wear sun protective clothing: you can opt for a stylish cover-up for the beach (like this one) or a quick-dry shirt that is meant for the water (like this one).

Things To Do On A Solo Beach Trip

While there are certainly pros and cons to solo travel, one of the biggest benefits of traveling alone is having ultimate freedom over your itinerary.

To help you plan the perfect solo beach day trip, here are a few fun activities — though don’t be afraid to get creative and let your own interests guide how you spend your time.

Bring a good book

A relaxing solo day at the beach starts with a good book, pending you enjoy reading. Whether it’s an old-fashioned paperback, an eReader, or even a magazine, having something to enjoy is a great way to soak up the sun.

With nobody around to interrupt you, it’s the perfect opportunity to kick back and relax in the shade of your umbrella.

Build a sandcastle

You don’t have to a kid to enjoy building a sandcastle, as it’s a great way for anyone to relax and unwind while at the beach solo. With a bucket of sand and a shovel, you can create something truly magnificent and enjoy the experience of watching it come to life.

Need a little inspiration? This video shares how to build the perfect sandcastle:

Sunbathe

Doing nothing while you enjoy the sun is another stellar solo beach activity. The sun’s rays have some seriously calming properties; but they’re harsh, so if you’re going to sunbathe be mindful about reapplying more often.

If you’re planning on taking an oceanfront nap, make sure to set an alarm on your phone so you don’t fall asleep and end up with a nasty sunburn.

Make sure that you’re also staying properly hydrated by drinking lots of water, wearing a hat for extra protection, and taking regular breaks from the sun. You don’t want to end up with heat stroke!

Learn to do a water sport

Learning a water sport is a great way to enjoy the ocean. Plus, travel is the perfect time to try new things as you’re typically in a more curious and adventurous mindset.

Whether it’s surfing, jumping on a paddle board, or peaking below the water with some snorkeling gear, the ocean is your oyster.

Many beaches will have a place where you can rent sporting equipment — though double check this before you go. If you’re a novice, you might want to book yourself a beginner’s class and search for beaches that specifically offer this.

Alternatively, you can purchase your own snorkeling gear and take it to your preferred strip of sand.

Regardless of what you do, it’s a good idea to make sure there’s a lifeguard on duty nearby in case there’s an emergency.

waterskiing while traveling solo at the beach in St. Lucia
Trying my hand at waterskiing while traveling solo in St. Lucia. Photo via Jessie Festa.

Make new friends on the sand

I want to premise this by saying that going to the beach and hanging out by yourself is perfectly fine.

Between work, family, friends — everything from your day-to-day life — there’s nothing wrong with wanting some quality time by yourself. If your ideal beach day looks like you, a book, the water, the sun, and not speaking to another soul, you’re not alone (figuratively).

That said, some travelers worry about overcoming loneliness when traveling solo and want to jump at the chance to meet people, and the beach is a great place to do that.

Whether you want to find a little sunshine honey or simply make a new friend, there’s plenty of opportunity at the beach. Find someone friendly and introduce yourself, join a beach volleyball game, or simply say hi to the person on the towel next to you.

The best part is, you can ask your new friend to watch your things while you take a dip in the ocean.

Use online tools to make new beach friends

Nervous about going up to strangers? You can also pre-plan a beach outing with new friends using online tools like:

  • CouchSurfing. Their local forums allow you to plan and attend gatherings.
  • Facebook groups. Find a local Facebook group for people looking to get out and explore, and see if anyone might want to join you for a beach day. You can also join a giant travel group like Girls Love Travel, which has millions of women from around the world.

Just remember to keep your meetup to public places, and either take public transportation or your own car (vs getting in a stranger’s car). This can help you be social and have fun while traveling solo while also staying safe.

solo female traveler at the beach in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Enjoying the beach solo in Puerto Vallarta. Photo via Jessie Festa.

Solo Beach Trip Essentials

The best solo beach trips typically start with the right preparation. To help with this, make sure to pack:

Sunscreen

Sunscreen is non-negotiable whether you’re alone on the beach or not. Without it, you’re surely to end up burnt after a day in the sun. So, do your future self a favor and apply liberally before hitting the sand.

Pro tip: sunscreen can be very expensive in popular beach destinations, so consider bringing it from home if possible.

Waterproof bag & anti-theft bag

Bringing along a waterproof bag is the best way to ensure you’re able to keep your valuables on you, regardless of what you end up doing. Whether you re swimming in the sea or just walking along the shore, having a waterproof bag on hand is ideal.

Add a waterproof phone case or pouch if you want to snap some underwater shots. This bundle from OceanOnlineStore offers both!

You might also consider bringing an anti-theft bag — like the Loctote AntiTheft Sack — if you’ll be leaving your things on the beach while you swim.

Reusable water bottle

Staying hydrated at the beach is a must. You’ll want to bring along a reusable water bottle in order to keep yourself feeling fresh and ready for anything. Personally, I love Nomader as their bottles are also collapsible!

Whatever you choose, just make sure to skip the single-use bottles. While they’re often readily available, they’re not good for the ocean or the planet.

rolled up reuseable water bottle
Photo via Nomader of one of their water bottles rolled up

Quick-dry towel with hidden pocket

A quick-dry towel is essential if you plan on getting wet. Even if you don’t, a towel can double as a beach blanket for enjoying a little solo sunbathing session at the best tropical destinations.

I recommend a microfiber towel or one made of a thin Turkish cotton.

To really make your towel work for you, also consider choosing one with a hidden pocket — like this stylish microfiber towel with a hidden zipper pocket at the corner!

Solo beach trip packing list:

Here are a few other items you might bring on your solo beach getaway:

  • Sunglasses — I love Rheos polarized floating sunglasses as they’re lightweight and don’t give you a headache
  • Headphones
  • Book
  • Waterproof fanny pack — like this one from Watertrace, which is an alternative to a waterproof bag or pouch
  • Sun hat
  • Snacks
  • Credit card and a little cash (don’t bring too much)
  • Portable safe — like this one from FlexSafe, which is an alternative to an anti-theft backpack
woman on a solo beach trip in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Obsessed with my Rheos Sunglasses when going to the beach solo. Photo via Jessie Festa (in Playa del Carmen, Mexico).

Tips For Choosing A Solo Beach Trip Destination

Now that we’ve gone over some important tips, let’s discuss the best beach vacations for solo travelers — starting with how to pick the perfect place.

Choose something that has the right vibe

The best solo travel beach destination is one that gives you everything you’re looking for.

There are beach destinations with an active nightlife scene (like Ios) and others that offer a more relaxed, laidback atmosphere (like Holbox Island). Then there are some that do both — like Cancun!

Whatever you’re aiming for, there’s a destination that’s out there for you.

Just keep in mind that if you head to a destination that’s all about the party when you want to wind down, you might find your relaxing vacation interrupted.

Research safety statistics

While heading out to the beach by yourself is typically safe, not all destinations have the same safety experience.

As long as you’re traveling smart you’ll most likely be safe — though it sure helps to know ahead of time what kind of safety concerns you might face.

This isn’t to scare you or tell you to be afraid to go to the beach alone; it’s just help you stay aware. For instance, while Barcelona is a beautiful and culture-rich destination, it’s also a hot spot for pickpockets, which is important to know before going so that you can prepare accordingly.

solo female traveler walking along a white sand beach by herself
Always research safety statistics before going on a solo beach trip. Photo via Jessie Festa.

Check the weather

The best beach destinations for solo female travelers will vary depending on when you’re traveling. Not only that, but what kind of weather you’re looking for also has a direct impact on where you should head.

Before you book your next trip, make sure to check the forecast and know what type of weather will be at your destination.

Best Solo Beach Vacations

When it comes to beach vacations for solo travelers, the following destinations are top picks.

Just note that this list of solo beach vacation ideas is in no way exhaustive. Of course, there are many other incredible and safe beach destinations for solo female travelers. If you have a favorite not mentioned, please share it in the comments below!

Santa Monica Pier and beach in California
Santa Monica Pier & Beach in California. Photo via Matthew LeJune for Unsplash.

Santa Monica, California

Looking for unforgettable solo travel beach destinations? If you want a beachside destination that boasts everything from fun amusements to peaceful sunsets, Santa Monica is for you.

Nestled in the bustling Los Angeles area, you’ll find a lively oceanside theme park, shopping venues within walking distance, and one of the best beaches for solo travelers to spread out your towel.

Regardless of what you want to do, there is plenty to see and experience for every kind of traveler. Relax, explore, and enjoy one of the top places to travel solo in California.

Progreso, Mexico

Down the coastline from the bustling city of Cancun you’ll find the peaceful port town of Progreso. A popular stop for cruise ships, this authentic little Mexican town sees major population fluctuations depending on whether or not a cruise has made a pit stop.

On cruise days, you’ll find the town filled to the brim with tourists as well as vendors ready to sell you their authentic goods.

But on off-days, the coastline is the perfect place to set down your towel and enjoy a good book. It’s truly one of the top solo travel beach destinations and one of the best places to travel alone in Mexico!

traveling solo to Agios Nikolalos Beach in Crete, Greece
Agios Nikolalos Beach in Crete, Greece. Photo via Evangelos Mpikakis for Unsplash.

Crete, Greece

One of the best beach vacations for solo female travelers is Crete, a small island in Greece surrounded by water on all sides. This sunny destination not only boasts gorgeous waterside paradises, but also small mountain towns.

Between the delicious food, friendly locals, and breathtaking landscape it’s the perfect place to enjoy a solo beach-filled vacation.

There’s so much to explore and you’ll get a little more of an off-the-beaten-path experience.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

If nightlife is what you’re seeking, Rio de Janeiro is the place to find it.

One of the best beach vacations to go alone, this tropical destination is known for its infamous party scene — drawing visitors from all over the world to experience it as well as the beach. Bonus points if you head there during the Rio Carnival where you’ll get a once in a lifetime experience.

Home of famous beaches like Copacabana and Ipanema (some of the best beaches to travel to alone!) as well as a number of other popular party spots, Rio offers something for everyone.

Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo via Kseniia Lobko for Unsplash.

Getting Travel Insurance For Your Beach Holiday Alone

When visiting planning a beach holiday as a solo traveler — or really any type of vacation — it’s wise to get travel insurance.

One of the best travel medical insurance for travelers is SafetyWing as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage — including coverage if you’re traveling for months as well as limited coverage in your home country.

Additionally, SafetyWing is budget-friendly and offers $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.

Click here to price out travel insurance for your trip in just a few clicks.

Final Thoughts On Taking A Solo Beach Trip

As you can see, planning a solo beach vacation is not only possible, but it can also be worthwhile.

With the right preparation and planning, as well as some research into local safety and the best solo travel beach destinations, you can travel solo successfully to the sand, sea, and beyond!

What are your top tips for taking a solo beach trip?

About Jessie Festa

Jessie Festa is an New York-based travel content creator who is passionate about empowering her audience to experience new places and live a life of adventure. She is the founder of the solo female travel blog, Jessie on a Journey, and is editor-in-chief of Epicure & Culture, an online conscious tourism magazine. Along with writing, Jessie is a professional photographer and is the owner of NYC Photo Journeys, which offers New York photo tours, photo shoots, and wedding photography. Her work has appeared in publications like USA Today, CNN, Business Insider, Thrillist, and WestJet Magazine.

Jessie Festa standing in front of grafitti wall

Hi, I’m Jessie on a journey!

I'm a conscious solo traveler on a mission to take you beyond the guidebook to inspire you to live your best life through travel. Come join me!

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1 Comment

  1. Cee Orvine on at 4:53 pm

    A lot of your links don’t work.

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