Whether you’re headed to the airport or going to Disney, you’re bound to meet some annoying people along the way. Few people are at their best when they’re traveling, but nowhere is that more obvious than at the beach. (As if the heat, the sun, and the parking hassles just aren’t enough.) Lakeside or oceanfront, you’ll encounter many annoying types of people as you try to relax and enjoy the waves.
Below, check out the worst people you’ll see every time you go to the beach. (Your first priority is probably to steer clear of them. But you should also make sure you don’t turn into one of them on your next beach trip!)
1. The beachgoers dragging way too much stuff with them
If you plan to stay on the beach all day, you probably need a decent amount of stuff. There’s the cooler, the towels, the umbrella, and maybe the foldable chairs. However, some people struggle under the burden of far more things than that. They also have a grill and a stereo system. Plus, they brought the largest tent imaginable. And they couldn’t come without all the inflatable toys, either.
2. People who have no respect for your personal space
Beaches get crowded, especially ones in popular beach towns. But we don’t think that’s any excuse for this kind of beachgoer to block your view with his umbrella or roll his cooler right over your towel (or toes). Sure, space gets tight. However, we’d love to tell this guy to keep walking and find a spot where there’s a space that hasn’t yet been claimed.
3. The girls criticizing other people’s fashion choices
Everybody gets a little grumpy when they’re overheated. However, we just can’t abide the gaggles of girls who sit on their beach towels criticizing the fashion choices of everybody who walks by. Swimsuit-shopping is a nightmare for just about everybody. So it’s pretty unnecessary to go all Mean Girls, whispering about a stranger just because of the fit of her bikini or the cut of his swim trunks. Plus, body positivity should be the name of the game. Isn’t it out of style to criticize other people’s style and bodies yet?
4. The guy who refuses to put sunscreen on
You can’t go to the beach without spotting at least a few people who are lobster-red — but loudly refusing to put sunscreen on. Many people get sunburned without knowing that it’s happening. However, this guy knows exactly what’s going on and can’t be bothered to protect himself. Perhaps he thinks that the bright red will “turn to tan.” Maybe he doesn’t know exactly how dangerous skin cancer really is. Either way, you don’t want to try to reason with this guy. (And you really don’t want to be him, either.)
5. People who inadvertently scatter their trash everywhere
Many beaches are windy, and most people who go to the beach are aware of that. But, of course, there’s always an exception. Somebody always tries to read a newspaper — and ends up losing control of one section or another as the wind carries it directly toward your face. Others bring sandwiches wrapped in so many layers of wax paper that everybody within 10 feet risks being covered in mayonnaise and mustard. In either case, we don’t blame you if you secretly hope these people get a fine for littering.
6. The couple that takes the PDA a little (or a lot) too far
Many people think of the beach as the perfect destination for a romantic getaway. However, some of those people get a little too handsy when they spend the day at the beach with their significant other. Sure, they’re hanging out in clothes that basically give the same coverage as underwear. But most people who take their kids to the beach don’t want to see these two making out on the beach or in the ocean.
7. Young parents ignoring their screaming children
We get it. Everybody wants to relax when they go to the beach. But these parents shouldn’t really get to do that until after they’ve figured out why their child is naked, screaming, and terrorizing everybody within 100 yards of their towel. Parenting while on vacation is definitely no walk in the park. For everybody’s sake, we hope these parents realize that they may need a babysitter next time if they want to sunbathe uninterrupted.
8. Beachgoers who don’t even try to hide how drunk they are
At most beaches, you aren’t supposed to enjoy alcoholic beverages. That doesn’t mean that we don’t break the rules sometimes. One beer or cocktail probably isn’t a big deal. However, some people you see at the beach take it a whole lot further than that. They don’t even try to hide their liquor — or attempt to downplay how hammered they are. The prevalence of this kind of beachgoer probably depends on which beaches you frequent. But if this kind of person is common at your favorite beach, you have our condolences.
9. The people smoking on the beach, right where everyone else is sitting
Most people know better than to smoke on the beach. However, a few ignore the rules to throw common sense — and plenty of ashes — to the wind. The smell of cigarettes can ruin the fresh air at the beach for everybody. Not to mention the flying ashes and the smoke that can go directly in your face. We wouldn’t object quite so much if these people took their smoking break somewhere removed from where everyone is sitting, but that almost never happens.
10. The guy combing the beach with a metal detector
At almost every beach, you’ll see a guy in a fishing vest and a bucket hat, walking up and down the beach with a metal detector in hand. The sounds the metal detector can annoy even the most relaxed beachgoer. Plus, this guy often tromps all over people’s sandcastles, narrowly misses getting tangled up in your child’s kite, and may get uncomfortably close to you if he thinks you might be sitting on a few coins.
11. The surfer who’s definitely at the wrong beach
Sometimes, the waves are perfect for surfing. Other times, they’re not. However, this type of beachgoer packed up his surf gear and headed to the beach regardless of the placid conditions and nonexistent waves. Instead of admitting he chose the wrong day or beach and just enjoying the nice weather, this guy will sit on his board and sulk. Maybe he’s trying to will some bigger waves into existence?
12. The beachgoer who hates his neighbor’s taste in music
There can never be just one guy on the beach with a stereo (or a Bluetooth speaker). As soon as one starts up, somebody else feels the need to play his own music — probably to broadcast his disapproval of the first guy’s taste in music. If you’re throwing a party on the beach and want the background music, we get it. But everybody else probably just wanted to listen to the ocean — not clashing playlists.
13. The guy who thinks he’s a DJ
This may not be a common breed of beachgoer, but you’ll know it when you see it. Some people decide to set up not only with a tent and an overstocked cooler, but also with a super loud stereo system. This guy typically blasts terrible music that annoys everybody in his vicinity. It’s never quite clear whether his friends are enjoying the amateur DJ-ing, either. One thing that is clear, however, is that this guy isn’t at the beach to enjoy the sand or the surf like a normal person.
14. People handing out flyers or advertising their services
There’s nothing worse than finally finding a comfortable spot on the beach and getting into your book, only to be interrupted by a shirtless guy handing out flyers for a nightclub. 9 times out of 10, this guy is promoting a club that nobody wants to patronize. But it’s also possible that he could also be advertising his services taking cheesy portraits on the beach, too. Maybe he’s asking if you want to buy a bottle of water from him. In any case, maybe ignoring him will make him go away?
15. The guys trampling children’s sandcastles to play a game of catch
Most people love playing catch, frisbee, volleyball, and other games at the beach. You know who doesn’t love that? Small children who spent an hour building a sandcastle that one of these guys unceremoniously tramples as he tries to catch the frisbee (and probably misses). If these guys had any athletic ability, they’d probably have an easier time — and a lower chance of ruining a five-year-old’s masterpiece.
16. People fishing right where everybody is swimming
It’s usually not a problem to fish on the beach. But it always makes us nervous when people insist on fishing right where everyone else is swimming. Nobody wants to get snagged by a fish hook. This setup just seems like an accident waiting to happen.
17. Beachgoers who insist on splashing everybody
Sometimes, you want to hang out in the ocean without getting a face full of saltwater. But this kind of beachgoer couldn’t be any more oblivious to that. Whether you want to preserve your hairstyle or just don’t want to wash off all your sunscreen within five minutes of arriving at the beach, you’ll definitely want to avoid these people the next time you head to the coast.
18. The dog owners who don’t clean up after their pets
If your beach of choice allows dogs, you may want to watch where you step. Dogs enjoying the ocean are 100% adorable — at least until they have to answer nature’s call and their owners don’t want to clean up after them. Just kicking some sand over the top of that dog poop won’t make it magically disappear. But these dog owners don’t seem to want to admit that.
19. People who shake out a sandy towel right in your face
Beach etiquette really isn’t that difficult. Nonetheless, people routinely ignore one of the cardinal rules: Don’t ever kick or throw sand into anybody’s face. One of the quickest ways to break the rule is to shake out a sandy towel in the middle of a crowded section of the beach. Bonus points if there’s a strong wind that kicks that sand up into everybody’s eyes. Try not to sit near this guy, and definitely make sure that you don’t turn into him the next time you need to pack your stuff up and head back to the hotel.
20. The guy who takes his photo obsession a little too far
We all love snapping a photo or two at the beach. After all, you’ve got Instagram and Facebook to update! However, you may encounter beachgoers who push the photo-taking just a little too far. At a crowded beach, it’s probably impossible to snap a photo that doesn’t include at least a few strangers. But with this guy, you get the sneaking suspicion that he’s including all the bikini-clad women on purpose.