Five Tips for Visiting a Nude Beach, Flickr: smcdevittAre you thinking of visiting a nude beach? Especially when you’re traveling internationally, it can be a pretty cool alternative to a normal beach trip. You can live like a local for a day or two, and try something you probably wouldn’t do at home. I’ve been to a few – in St Barths, Nice and Monaco – and I can tell you from experience that it doesn’t have to be disconcerting. In fact, it can be a normal jaunt to the water for you. Here are five ways you can make this alien experience a little easier:

Don’t stare! The freedom of a nude beach also implies a freedom from judgment – both positive and negative. Relax, and enjoy the breeze on parts of your body that might not feel it otherwise. Feel free to look around, as you would at any other beach. But, be mindful of the people around you. Would you like it if they stared out you? (Well, maybe if you’ve been going to the gym …)

Let your inhibitions go: It’s hard to have a good time if you’re all tied up in self-consciousness. The first thing you need to do is let go of your preconceived notions about modesty. Go with the flow, and take your cues from the people around you. If you need to start slowly, head to the water (if it isn’t cold), and work your way up to the shore.

Get involved in the scene: Once you’re a bit more comfortable, walk around a bit. Build a sand castle. Do what you would do at any other beach. The only difference is that you, and the people around you, aren’t wearing anything.

Don’t stand out: How will you wind up looking out of place at a nude beach? Well, being dressed – or overdressed – is one way. Gawking is another. Just like being part of the scene (above), you really do want to blend into the crowd.

Wear sunscreen: Why? This should be pretty obvious. And don’t forget to use it everywhere!

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photo: smcdevitt

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