Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Travel Tip Tuesdays: Dealing with Hot Weather

Bad idea: walking seven miles in full sun in the heat
 of the day when the heat index was 110 degrees F.
(This is Lisa with heat exhaustion.)

Today Zachary and I got soaked in sweat during our customary four-mile walk— the humidity was intense, even though it wasn’t very hot. That got me thinking about traveling in hot weather. Since most people are indoors all day, a vacation that involves hours on a sunny beach or walking through a city in the middle of summer can take them by surprise. I usually travel in the off-season, but I’ve had my share of dealing with hot temperatures on the road. Remember these common-sense tips to help you stay cool.

Always carry a water bottle or two or three. Staying hydrated is surprisingly difficult, especially in dry heat. Don’t let thirst take you by surprise— keep sipping to help you avoid getting thirsty in the first place. Remember this in the car, too, especially if you’re driving through a remote area.

Wear a hat. Preferably one that covers your ears as well as your face.

Cover sunburn-prone areas of your body. Unless you’re swimming, I highly recommend using clothing instead of sunblock. It’s less messy, less chemical-ly, and allows you to sweat, which is important for staying cool.

Bring an umbrella. On a hot day, there are few things better than instant shade! On my travels, I’ve used an umbrella for sun protection far more often than rain protection.
Better idea: walking 18.5 miles in the shade when the heat
index was 110 degrees F, taking frequent breaks and eating
and drinking often (note the Gatorade and Clif bar).
(I did not get heat exhaustion that day.)

Eat a little whenever you drink. This helps keep your body’s systems in balance and will keep you from feeling nauseated when you try to eat on a hot, empty stomach (don’t ask me how I know!).

Take breaks often. On really hot days, pop into air conditioning whenever you can, try to stay in the shade, and pause to rehydrate and eat a little snack often. If you try to barrel through your schedule without breaks, you might get heat exhaustion (something I get frequently in the summer from pushing too hard!).

If you’re miserable, change your plans. This is supposed to be a fun trip, after all— if the beach, the ball game or the outdoor fair is simply too hot, head into the air conditioning and do something else. There’s no sense in making yourself miserable! 


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