The pilot announces the beginning of your descent into the airport. You look out the window. Where you should see glimmering ocean stretching toward the horizon, you see a massive, grey cloud. You leave the airport and now the cloud’s looming over you. And raining down on you. You check the forecast on your phone: indefinite gloom.
Your beach vacation is doomed, right?
Not totally. Getting that tan might be out of the question but if you shift your expectations slightly you’ll be singing in the rain —literally and figuratively.
Here are five things you can do to make the most of a rainy day at the beach.
Enjoy the Beach
In many popular beach destinations, spring and summer rain means the weather is still warm. When else will you have a chance to play in the rain and not worry that you’re getting wet?
Check weather reports to make sure there’s no chance of lightning or flooding. Then jump in!
Get Cozy and Relax
Few things are more tranquil than sipping coffee and reading a book while rain patters on the roof. If you can do this under a balcony awning and stay dry, even better.
If you’re not much of a reader, break out the iPad and watch Netflix. Out of the country? Not to worry. You can easily mask your American IP address to unblock US Netflix.
Go to the Spa
If kicking back isn’t relaxing enough, go to the spa and get a massage. Spas are a staple of the beach tourism industry. An expert masseuse or masseur is almost certainly close to you. Soothe away the stress of things beyond your control—like the rain—with a mineral scrub, exfoliation, the steam room, and silence.
Drink Like a Local
If spas and yoga aren’t your thing, the Ron Swanson way can help you “experience true freedom and bliss.” Find a nearby pub where locals congregate and go get sloshed with them.
To sum up every renowned travel writer there ever was: there is no better way to experience life in a certain place than by getting drunk with people who live there.
You’ll make some friends that you will never see again. Or forget.
Go On a Shopping Spree
Mundane tasks are transformed into thrilling activities when carried out in new places. Running up and down the aisles of a Target with a shopping cart becomes liberating. Walking out of a drug store with more dollar-a-piece junk than you can carry becomes an adventure—get an umbrella while you’re at it. Sampling foods at the supermarket counts as an exotic dining experience.
During a vacation, as in life, you can’t worry about things beyond your control. Whether in the Airbnb with Netflix or at the bar with locals, don’t let the gloom make you gloomy. And buy a trinket to remind yourself of the time you made the most of a rainy stay at the beach.