One of my concerns as a solo traveller was what I was going to do with my things when I went to the beach. There was no way I wasn’t going to enjoy the beautiful beaches along the coast of France and Italy after I had spent all that time and money getting there. Of course I could just lay on the beach and not go in the water but how could you resist taking a dip in the freaking Mediterranean Sea? It’s also almost impossible not to go in the water considering how hot it is during the summer. Here’s some tips on keeping your things safe while still being able to enjoy the beautiful beaches.
#1 Don’t bring anything you wouldn’t want to lose
The beach is not the place for your DSLR camera as it’s big, clunky, and just asking to be stolen. Also, think of all the tiny sand particles that could lodge themselves into your expensive, beautiful camera. Obviously some jerk could always steal your non valuables, like your towel, reading book, etc but you can make do without those. Having your passport, camera, and money stolen are a different story.
#2 Ask a friendly looking family or another solo traveller to watch your things
Scope out the area around you for potential people that seem trustworthy and willing to watch your things for a short amount of time. Families are nice and aren’t going to rob you but they might also get distracted by their kids running around and not keep a watchful eye. I recommend asking a fellow woman and even offering to do the same for them when they decide to go in the water. Don’t be a burden, though, and stay in the water forever as they're doing you a favor.
#3 If you must bring valuables, bring them in the water with you
If you insist on bringing your iPhone to the beach, which I don’t blame you because who doesn’t want to take pictures of the beautiful surroundings (or selfies :D ), then bring it with you in the water! The best way to do that without ruining your phone is with a waterproof, airlock pouch. Not only can you now take pictures from the water, you can keep smaller items like your room key, passport, and credit card in it. It has a strap that you can wear around your neck or your wrist to ensure it doesn’t sink down in the water.
#4 Make friends at your hostel
I actually ended up not having to use any of these tips for most of my beach excursions because I ended up making friends from my hostel or on tours and went to the beach with them! We then took turns going into the water while one person stayed with all our stuff.
#5 Lock it up!
Unfortunately for those traveling on a shoestring budget, many of the nice beautiful beaches require an entrance fee (although it's usually minimal). They also provide for charge things like towels, beach chairs, umbrellas, and lockers. If I were to pay for one thing, I would definitely pay for the piece of mind that a locker gives you - which is why I pack an extra lock other than the one I use in my hostel. Or, instead of a locker, you could lock up your bag to an object like an umbrella and lock the zippers of your bag together. Thieves aren’t going to steal your bag if they see that it’s going to be a hassle and will draw attention to themselves - they're going to go for the easiest target.