Travel Planning: 15 Travel Hacks That Will Help You Survive Blistering Heat #WGTravel #travelplanning #beattheheat
We're avid foodie travelers -- as you've surely noticed if you've read this blog for any length of times. However, our travel plans have ground to a halt thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. That said...we plan to resume travel as soon as we can safely do so. Do you have future travel plans to a hot climate? Today, The Weekend Gourmet correspondent is sharing 15 suggestions for beating the heat when you travel. This post may contain affiliate links.
When you’re travelling somewhere blistering hot, it can be difficult to stay comfortable. Whether you’re having to deal with a 40 degrees Celsius day -- approximately 104℉ -- in Australia...or a slightly cooler day in Greece...you’re willing to to try anything you can to stay cool and feel fresh. Below, you’ll find 15 genius travel hacks that will help you survive blistering heat and make the most of your trip.
(1) Pack Plenty of Protective Clothing Start by packing plenty of protective clothing. Sunburn is uncomfortable, and it will most likely hit you in the most inconvenient places. In general, sunburn will show up in places closest to the Sun first -- such as your nose, back, and scalp. That said, sunburn can get you anywhere. To help prevent sunburn, don’t wear dark clothing, because it’ll make you feel even hotter. Stick to loose, light clothing that covers your shoulders. Don’t forget to add a wide brim hat and sunglasses, either! If you still end up with sunburn no matter how many precautions you've taken, you may need to purchase sunscreen with a higher SPF. There’s no shame in buying high-SPF sunscreen -- even if you’re not super pale skinned. You can still tan when wearing SPF, so don’t let that put you off. Finally, be sure to invest in a nice after sun treatment so you can keep your skin hydrated too.
(2) Stay Hydrated at All Times Staying hydrated in the heat is crucial to your well being. Dehydration is no fun, and it typically happens way faster when it’s the temperature is hot. Room temperature water is actually better than ice water, because ice water slows down your digestion, which in turn slows your metabolism. This then constricts your blood vessels and your ability to cool off! So, stick to cool -- not freezing cold -- beverages. You can always enjoy ice pops, ice cubes, and ice creams to cool off if you need something extra cold.
(3) Apply Sunscreen Regularly...and Liberally The Sun can damage your skin all year round, but you’re especially susceptible to damage during the Summer's blistering heat. You need to bring the safest sunscreen away with you, making sure you reapply every few hours. Liberally cover every part of your body -- including your face, your feet, and hands. If you go swimming or get wet, be sure to reapply. Remember: the Sun can and will still burn you when you’re in the water. Just because you’re swimming doesn’t mean you’re protected! If you do a lot of swimming, then try to find a sunscreen that isn't dangerous to marine life.
(4) Stay Out of the Sun at Peak Times You should stay out of the Sun between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM. This is when the Sun is the most dangerous, so find a shady spot and stay there! Don’t sunbathe, or you’re more likely to end up with sunburn, heat stroke, and other health issues. Even if the Sun doesn’t look too vicious during these times, it’s still a good idea to stay out of its way. The UVB rays (think of the B as standing for ‘burn’) will damage your skin and make it look older; UVB rays are really dangerous in the early afternoon.
(5) Put Your Bed Sheets In the Freezer Sleeping at night can be one of the most challenging tasks when you’re in a hot country. There are a few things you can try, but one of the best solutions is to put your bed sheets in the freezer! Simply put them in a plastic bag and place them in the freezer for a few minutes, until they've cooled down. If your freezer isn't big enough, placing pillowcase in the freezer instead can also help. Image credit
(6) Stay Cool With a Plant Mister A good plant mister will deliver a fine spritz of cool water all over your body and face, which can feel amazing when you’re in the heat. You can also buy aerosol sprays that do the job of cooling for you. These aerosols won’t last as long as a plant mister, though -- and the mister is refillable.
(7) Pay Extra for an Air Conditioner If you’re debating whether paying extra for a room with an air conditioner is worth the expense, let this be your answer: IT IS!! You’ll curse the day you decided not to pay extra for an air conditioned room. As you lay awake at night, the heat will be all you can think about. Sleeping with a bottle of frozen water in your bed might be the only other option to stay cool if you’ve already paid for a room without an air conditioner.
(8) Pay Attention to Your Footwear In the blistering heat, we tend to swell. For some it may not be noticeable...but for many, fingers will begin to resemble sausages and feet will become shapeless blocks. Having comfortable footwear is key. If you know you have a tendency to bloat and swell, make sure you have a fail-safe pair of shoes you can put on that won’t irritate your feet.
(9) Put a Cool, Damp Cloth On the Back of Your Neck A cool, damp cloth on the back of your neck can feel amazing when you’re spending time in the heat of the Sun. You can also use the damp cloth as a cold compress for your head if you’re laying down and need relief from the heat.
(10) Avoid Activities That Make You Break a Sweat You might be the kind of traveler who loves a good adventure, but you should avoid activities that will make you sweat if it’s particularly hot. If you have no choice, be sure to replenish water and electrolytes before, during, and after your sweaty adventures. Energy drinks can help, so make sure you stock up. Don’t overexert yourself, either. If you begin to feel faint, immediately stop! Image credit
(11) Stay Alert for Signs of Heat Illness Heat illness can be a real bump in the road on a trip, so stay alert for the following signs and symptoms so you can find treatment as soon as possible: Muscle cramps Fatigue Heavy sweating Extreme thirst Knowing the symptoms to watch out for can bring you peace of mind while you enjoy yourself. Further, make sure you know where to go for medical attention in the city you're visiting so you're prepared if the need arises.
(12) Avoid Alcohol Not only can alcohol interfere with your balance, judgement, and coordination -- you can put yourself in danger by drinking alcohol in hot weather. High heat can increase the effects of alcohol, so it’s worth keeping this in mind before you down a whole bottle of wine yourself. If you do drink alcohol, try to limit the amount you have. Remember you’ll be more sensitive to the alcohol than you would be at home. If you must drink alcohol, alternate an alcoholic drink with water or a soda!
(13) Drink Hot Tea or Coffee This suggestion might seem absurd, but there are people who swear by this trick when visiting a particularly hot country. If you drink a hot drink, it can result in a lower amount of heat stored inside your body -- provided the additional sweat produced when you drink the hot beverage can evaporate. Sweating = cooling off. Ironically, this could mean your favorite tea or coffee is the ideal beverage during a heatwave!
(14) Hang a Damp Sheet In Front of Your Window Still struggling to sleep at night...or just wondering how you can possibly relax in your apartment when it’s so hot? Try hanging a cold, damp sheet in front of your window. Any warm breezes that would have made their way in will transform into a beautiful cool breeze instantly. If you don’t have the option of doing this, then spraying your curtains with cold water can have a similar effect. Hint: use the plant mister we recommended earlier!
(15) Eat the Right Foods Now onto one of the best things about taking a trip...trying delicious foods and specialties you probably wouldn’t be able to try anywhere else. However, knowing what to eat can make a difference to your overall comfort. Many regard spices in a similar way as drinking hot tea: they raise your internal body temperature...causing you to sweat, then cool down. You could try eating a spicy dish to see if it helps the heat at all. However, you might feel like it’s too hot to eat at all. Many people experience a sudden loss of appetite when it’s hot outside, so the key is to choose lighter meals. Don’t simply not eat...you should make sure you’re nourished to ensure you’re hydrated and have plenty of energy. Some great cooling dishes you can enjoy include salads, smoothies, yogurt, and gazpacho and other cold soup. If you’re really not feeling like having a full meal, then snack on foods like frozen grapes and watery fruits like watermelon -- both are tasty and cooling.
Knowing how to survive in the blistering heat is key if you’re going to enjoy your vacation. Make sure you’re fully prepared beforehand...and pack the essentials so you can stay fresh on your travels. Do you have any other hot-weather travel advice for our readers? Leave your own helpful hacks below!