It's all very well and good knowing which beaches you should make a beeline for, but the burning question on everyone's lips really should be: which ones to avoid?
Maho, St Maarten
This Dutch Caribbean archipelago is in many ways a fantastic choice for a beach holiday. Powder-white sands are cradled by glimmering turquoise rollers. However, due to the fact that an international airport lies directly behind it, the roaring sound of aircrafts regularly flying ahead tend to impede that well-earned R&R you so badly sought.
Although charming Cornwall and delightful Devon are two of Britain's top spots for idyllic beaches, Blackpool isn't one of them. This lacklustre has-been has long passed its heyday as a quintessentially British holiday spot, winding up as a faded, last-resort stag do destination. Bleakpool, more like.
Pattaya owes its less than gleaming reputation to its seedy local haunts and sex shows. Thailand is home to dramatic scenery and powder-white beaches, but we'd really advise giving this one a miss for your family-friendly holiday.
Nine million bicycles in Beijing there may be, but we can guarantee it Xinghai beach alone leaves the impression that there are just as many people crammed onto one patch of sand. There's no denying that the beach hugging the sea is easy on the eye, but it's more a question of whether you can cope with the masses. We certainly couldn't.
Doheny Beach, California
Doheny Beach really dampens the reputation of a state known for its flawless sun-bleached beaches. Although some pollution is to be expected on California's 1,000 miles of sand, Doheny State Beach is one of the worst offenders. From the sand to the sea, it is synonymous with dirt.