23 Aug Summer Travel: 16 Tips for Traveling During the Hot Summer Months
The summer sun is out in full force! For many people, this means vacations and trips during the hottest months of the year. If you’re traveling during the hot summer months, you don’t want to ruin your fun because you can’t stand the heat.
Overheating can result in serious health risks, so keeping yourself cool is essential for your safety in the sun. Below are a few tips to keep you cool while on your trip:
Beat The Heat: Best Summer Travel Tips
1. Don’t Forget Sunblock and a Sun Hat
Sunblock and a good sun hat are some of the best lines of defense you have against heat exhaustion, sunburn, and heatstroke. Protection from sun damage should be a top priority when traveling in hot weather. Remember sunscreen is not just for children; it should be used by everyone who will be outside in hot weather. It’s the best way to protect yourself against sunburns and sun damage that leads to skin cancer.
Sunblock serves primarily to protect your exposed skin from the sun’s damaging rays, but many people overlook the protection a high-quality sun hat offers. A sun hat can protect your head, neck, and face from sunburn, sun damage, and even skin cancer. So if you’ll be in the sun for more than an hour or two, a sun hat is something you definitely want to remember to bring along.
2. Make Sure to Drink Plenty of Water
It seems like common sense, but forgetting to drink enough water is one of the top reasons for getting dehydrated. The temperature outside will deplete your water stores quickly, so make sure to drink an ample amount of fluids while you’re traveling. Dehydration can cause sunstroke, heat exhaustion, and heat rash, so drink a glass or two of cold water every few hours while you’re out in the sun to keep yourself hydrated and refreshed.
3. Wear Light Clothing
Wear clothes made from breathable fabrics that allow your skin to breathe when you’re outside in hot weather. Loose-fitting garments will also help keep the sun off your body and allow for some airflow so you won’t get too hot. Lightweight fabrics like linen often work best by allowing air to circulate against your skin.
4. Be Aware of Heat Exhaustion Symptoms
If you experience any of these symptoms, make sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible:
- extreme fatigue or exhaustion
- nausea, vomiting, or dizziness
- rapid heart rate
- clamminess or a cold sweat (not to be confused with normal sweating)
Heat exhaustion is a serious and potentially deadly situation. If you begin to experience any of these symptoms, seek help immediately and follow the instructions from your doctor.
5. Try Not To Go Outside During The Hottest Parts Of The Day (10 am-2 pm)
It may sound like common sense, but sunstroke and sunburn can happen regardless if it’s cloudy out or not. In fact, this is when they most commonly occur since most people decide to be outside during these times. But don’t let the lack of direct sun fool you; cloudy days are still dangerous is the heat is sweltering all around.
Also, limit strenuous activities in hot weather like running or biking, so you don’t risk overheating yourself from working up a sweat. Instead, plan your itinerary to focus on indoor activities during these peak heat times. Things like museum trips, catching a movie, or hanging out at an indoor pool are great ways to enjoy your trip without having to worry if it’s going to be too hot for you or not.
6. Stay Indoors For Longer Periods Of Time To Cool Down
One simple tactic for avoiding the blistering sun is to simply stay indoors longer. Use this time to cool off, relax a little and catch up on some of your reading while you rest from the heat. By allowing your body to cool off periodically, you can keep it from experiencing the heat strain that occurs when you spend too much time out in the sun. In addition, by using this cycle of cooling down ever so often, your body will be better equipped to withstand the heat when you have to be outside for a more extended period of time.
7. Travel at Night
Traveling during the cool of the night can help you avoid some of the sun’s harsh rays during your excursions. Traveling at night can also be a great way to have some fun adventures and see parts of the world you might not otherwise get to during the day.
8. Take Regular Breaks While Traveling
If you’re traveling by car, be sure to drive with air conditioning when possible (you’ll be surprised how many places still lack AC in their cars as a standard feature) and take regular breaks during your trip, so you don’t get too hot while driving. Likewise, when taking public transport like buses or trains, try to sit near the front where it’s cooler and regularly check for vents that blow cold air. A portable fan or battery-operated handheld fan is also suitable for this situation, as well as staying indoors while you wait around for transportation.
9. Carry a Portable Fan With You
A portable fan is a great way to keep cool on hot days. You can find fans like this online that are very compact and lightweight with rechargeable batteries, so they’re perfect for packing into your luggage.
The sun’s rays become stronger as the sun moves toward its highest point in the sky. By carrying a portable fan with you, you’ll be able to cool off more easily without having to cut your outdoor time short.
10. Find Some Shade
If you’re going to spend a lot of time outdoors, try to find some shade at least once every hour. This will help keep sun exposure minimal and also helps reduce excessive sweating, so you don’t have to worry about sunburn or sunstroke from working up too much of a sweat. If there aren’t any nearby trees, hang out in your car with the air conditioning turned on. Remember, any type of shade is preferable to prolonged sun exposure, so even just taking shelter inside a building for a few minutes is better than nothing.
11. Reduce Caffeine and Alcohol Intake
Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics that remove water from our bodies. So if you get sunburned, it will make your sunburn worse and make you feel more dehydrated than usual. It’s best to avoid alcohol and caffeine the day before departing on your trip, so your body has an easier time staying hydrated. If you feel like you can’t go without caffeine or alcohol while traveling, be sure to offset your intake with plenty of water to maintain balance with your hydration.
12. Start Your Day Earlier
By starting your day well ahead of the peak heat times, you’ll be able to see more of your destination than if you start too late. In addition, by getting to the outdoor sites you want to see in the relative cool of the morning, you can catch up on some much-needed rest and hydration later when the sun is sweltering overhead.
13. Take a Siesta
When the sun’s at its peak, avoid sunburns and heat exposure by taking a siesta or some other type of short nap for an hour or two when it’s hottest outside. In Mexico and other Latin American countries, there’s often a tradition called “La Siesta” that involves resting during the heat of the day after eating lunch. Many savvy travelers take advantage of this tradition when going on summer trips out of town.
Not only will this noontime nap keep you safer from the heat, but it’s also a great way to recharge and let your lunch digest before going out again.
14. Avoid Crowded Places During the Day
The heat is more intense in public places where people are packed tightly together, so avoid these during the sun’s peak hours. Instead, spend some time around midday visiting the less popular or indoor attractions that you might be able to see without sunblock or sun hats. You may even want to grab some lunch at a restaurant rather than packing a picnic so you won’t have to worry about sun exposure while eating.
15. Watch What Type of Shoes You Wear
Don’t let your guard down just because there isn’t much sun out. The sun can still get through clouds and reflect off objects like sand, water, rocks, and other things on the ground. Also, wear shoes that protect you from heat if you’re walking for an extended amount of time throughout the day.
16. Don’t Stay Out Too Long
If being out in the sun can’t be avoided, try to limit the amount of time you spend outdoors since it’s hard to predict how much sun exposure you’ll get throughout the day. Plan breaks in increments of around 15 minutes to go inside for a cool-down session before heading back out again.
Final Thoughts on Traveling During the Hot Summer Months
The summer is a great time to get out and explore the world, but it can be dangerous if you don’t prepare for all of the sun exposure. Use the tips we’ve provided in this article to stay safe this summer while traveling in hot weather and follow these guidelines to keep yourself cool and safe from heat-related illnesses or injuries during your travels.