After traveling to Israel with the Ministry of Tourism and 11 other bloggers, I finally got my chance to float – and cross off another destination on my bucket list. Believe it or not, there’s a right way and a wrong way to experience weightlessness here, so listen and learn.
Don’t shave before entering the water. This was the #1 piece of advice I received from fellow floaters before me. Put the razor down at least a day before heading to the Dead Sea and ideally 2-3 days if you can handle the hair. The high salt level of the sea will leave sensitive areas feeling on high alert and stinging like crazy.
Arrive with your bathing suit on. The locker room could have doubled as a murder scene only minutes prior to our arrival. Okay, perhaps that was a bit dramatic, but it was complete and utter chaos!
Wrap deep scrapes and other bodily sores in waterproof bandages. I had minor wounds here and there, and these stung so badly that it was hard to concentrate on anything else. My advice to you: wrap it up.
Take photos before getting into the water. You’ll want to remember this activity forever, and most of my photos from here were taken prior to getting in the water.
If you bring a GoPro, continuously dunk it into the sea. As soon as you take it out, the salt water will begin the air-dry, leaving a blurry film over your camera, essentially ruining your action shots. I was careful to not allow much water on the GoPro as I didn’t want any water droplets to ruin these one-in-a-lifetime photos. It was the wrong route to take, however, as a salty film had already rendered them ruined!
Get acclimated first. Walk down the ramp and go the your immediate left to get to the shallow water. Feel how your body takes to the salt. Squish the soft mud underneath your feet. Take in the view of the Dead Sea before you! The water feels nice at about 72 degrees.
Lather, rinse, repeat. Once your body is good to go, start picking up mud from the bottom to put all over your body, and don’t forget the face! Your skin will feel the smoothest it has ever felt, no spa appointments required. The after effects are truly amazing.
Beware of rocks underneath you. They definitely exist, so perhaps you’ll want to wear some good ole fashioned Tevas. Wearing water shoes over stubbing your toe in water that’s 9 times saltier than the ocean isn’t a bad move.
Move slowly. I moved as slow as possible yet somehow still managed to get salt water in my eye. OUCH. I thought sunglasses would provide a sort of shield, but it seemed inevitable. After a few minutes, the pain subsided and I could see again. Goggles anyone?
Close your mouth as much as possible. I found this one hard to achieve since I was beyond giddy to jump right in (more advice: DON’T jump!) and laugh with my new blogging BFFs. This salt water is strong to quite strong, and you’ll be craving some fresh water to rinse your mouth out in no time.
Don’t swim, float! Move slowly to the deeper end of the sea near the buoy line and the water will lift you right up – look ma, no hands. It’ll feel as though you’re floating with a plastic noodle, although there’s no noodle at all. I may or may not have raced with a friend and deadly salt water was flying everywhere. So much for being cautious. You live and you learn.
As your floating session comes to an end, remember to avoid using the locker rooms and rinse off well in the provided outdoor showers near the ramp. The salt concentration can discolor your bathing suit. On that note, wear an old one. You should have received a towel upon check-in at Neve Midbar Beach, if that is where you entered. Beware of Israeli men staring you down as if they’ve never seen a women before. Dodging their view by moving to a different shower head may be necessary.
If you’re a shopaholic like me, go with the Ahava brand that’s all over the region for your Dead Sea products. Be weary of other products from the Neve Midbar Beach store, as many will contain harmful chemicals – read the fine print!
Now for your viewing pleasure, here are the final clear moments captured on my GoPro. Enjoy the first person view!