If seashells are on your mind this spring and summer, you’re not alone. The hunt for seashells—by both serious searchers and casual beach tourists—is a fun pastime you can enjoy with family on your next beach vacation, and it’s an easy way to bring home truly one-of-a-kind souvenirs.
While we’ve all picked up a pretty shell on the beach before, there are a few tips for dedicated searchers to improve their finds. We’re sharing them below.
Know what you’re looking for
Sometimes, the best part about searching for seashells is that it’s easy and carefree—you can enjoy the hobby while at the beach with family and don’t have to put in lots of planning or research to do it. However, if you’re looking for a specific specimen, a quick Google search ahead of time goes a long way! Different shells can be found in different places, so research your specific destination and get an idea of what to look out for once you get there.
Go at the right times
To ensure that you come home with a large haul of shells, go searching at the right times. While shells can be found throughout the day at virtually any beach you visit, the periods of time following high tide or a big storm can be especially bountiful.
Scope out a great searching zone
Not getting the results you were hoping for? It may not be the result of a “bad day”—you just have to find a quieter, less populated spot! If you’re searching for shells, you can be sure that others are, too… so find a calmer nook of the coastline and see if you don’t have more luck there.
Don’t displace live creatures
No matter how beautiful the shell may be, it’s important to avoid displacing live creatures. Shells serve as homes for many different types of sea creatures, so always be sure to check if something is living inside before you pack your shell away.
The presence of life inside a shell isn’t always clear at first, of course. Many times you may pick up a beautiful shell from the ocean floor, only to realize there’s a hermit crab or other dweller living inside! It may be startling, but simply place the shell back where you found it and keep going.
Transport it all back home with care
Whether you want to give your shells to friends and family, or have plans for an arts and crafts project, be sure to transport your shells home with special care. Place them in a separate bag within your luggage and, if the shells are especially fragile, consider using a small cloth or tissue to keep them from clanking into one another.
With know-how and a bit of patience, you can come home from your beach vacation with more shells than you know what to do with!