Summer is in full swing, which means it’s time to soak up the sun, spend time with family and friends, and hit the road to explore new places. As Europe and much of the world swelters with record-breaking heat waves, travel to hot regions can be uncomfortable and even dangerous. None of us go on holiday because we intend to stay in our room hugging the air conditioner all day, so here are some ways to ensure you stay as cool as possible when you venture outside.
1. Stay hydrated
- Not to sound too obvious, but do stay hydrated! Hydration helps regulate your body temperature and fend off that sluggishness we feel in hot temperatures. It also helps keep your skin supple and helps prevent dry skin, chapped lips, sunburn, sun damage, and even bad breath!
- Carry a water bottle in your daypack or handbag and refill it throughout the day. You can always ask the waiter to fill it up for you when you eat at a restaurant.
- Load up with electrolytes. Packets of oral rehydration salts are lightweight and easy to pack. They come in all sorts of flavors and help replenish the electrolytes we lose when we sweat.
- Fruit juices like watermelon-mint, pineapple, and fresh lemonades are nutrient powerhouses and help beat the heat
- Alcohol dehydrates you! Not to say you shouldn’t enjoy a nice cold lager or an Aperol spritz while you’re on holiday, but you can help your body keep pace by having a glass of water alongside your cocktail.
2. Get wet!
- Lower your internal body temperature by taking a cold shower, running through a fountain, or jumping in the pool.
- If you don’t have a body of water nearby, wet your hair or tie a wet bandana around your neck and relish the cool breeze as it evaporates.
- Handheld misting fans are a dream in hot dry air and are easy to carry along with you. The cooler the water in the misting fan, the better it works — try filling yours with ice water if it’s an especially hot day
3. Dress for the heat
- Opt for light-colored clothing in natural fabrics. Cotton and linen are wonderfully breathable and do well in heat and humidity.
- Pack loose clothing that won’t cling to your body and stifle you. There’s no beating a dress for how light and airy it is.
4. Protect yourself from the sun
- Bring an umbrella to carry the shade with you. Many umbrellas offer UV protection these days, but even a regular-old umbrella will help keep you cool and shady in the glaring sun. Plus, a colorful umbrella makes a great prop in your travel photos!
- A hat, a cap, or a bandana will keep the sun off your head a neck
- Sunglasses with UV protection help prevent strain and fatigue
- Don’t forget your sunscreen!
5. Avoid being out in the heat during the day’s hottest hours
- Do your sightseeing in the mornings and evenings. This has the dual benefit of helping you beat the heat and beat the crowds.
- Stay indoors or rest in the shade during the afternoon. The siesta is one of humankind’s greatest heat-defying technologies! A respite in the afternoon will have you rejuvenated for the evening’s activities.
- Visit cool, indoor locations during the height of the day’s heat. Museums, galleries, cathedrals, and shopping centres are great places to visit during the afternoon.